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Basic Components

1. Wedding Invitation Card
In your wedding invitation package, the invitation card is the main course of the meal. It is the most essential element that can make or break your guests’ impression of your event. The general rule of thumb is that it should include the date, time and location of the ceremony and/or reception. It basically must provide all the details your guests need to know in order to attend your event on time and in proper attire.

The wording of invitations is often dictated by etiquette. However, while we are known for designing and printing elegant and classic invitations, we at Printsonalities encourage our brides and grooms to exercise their creativity in the conceptualization and even execution of the designs and wording of their wedding invitations. The invites must always be representative of the couple and of the wedding theme.

2. Outer Envelope
An outer envelope is the envelope holding the inner envelope (if any) and all the other pieces included in your wedding invitation set (main invitation, information cards, map). It is usually large and square-shaped, and complements the design of all its enclosures. Wordings always include the complete and formal name and address of your invited guests. The return address, which is optional, includes the hosts’ name and address and is printed at the back flap of the envelope. Meanwhile, the mailing stamp is placed on the upper right hand corner.

Although the outer envelope essentially serves as a packet for all the wedding invitation components, it is the first thing your guests will see upon its arrival. Hence, it’s ideal to have the outer envelope look presentable and appealing. You can do this by matching the wordings with the style of the envelope’s contents or by personalizing them through printing, embossing or calligraphy, depending on your preference.

3. Inner Envelope (Optional)
Nowadays only used in the most traditional designs, the inner envelope is placed inside the outer envelope and contains all the enclosures including the main invite. Inner envelopes were originally used to add protection for the inserts. Due to practicality and environmental concerns, inner envelopes are no longer necessary, but the aesthetic and romantic tradition still remain.

The flap of the inner envelope is not glued and usually has a lining1. Unlike the outer envelope on which you place the titles, names and the mailing addresses, the wording on the inner envelope must only include the title and names of your invited guests.

1Envelope lining – paper or fabric that is glued to the inside of the envelope shaping an outline for the flap. There is a wide assortment of textures and colors that can be used; the theme or motif of the event is commonly applied in the design of the envelope lining.

4. Response Card (RSVP)
A response card, commonly known as RSVP (répondez s’il vous plaît) card, is a personalized and pre-addressed card that allows guests to send a confirmation of their attendance and oftentimes the number of people going with them. Response cards are a critical aspect of the wedding planning process because it allows the planner to know how many guests are sure to attend the wedding.

The inclusion of RSVP cards in invitation sets is actually a modern practice. Traditionally, wedding invitation packages did not include response cards since the guests were expected to take the initiative in writing their own confirmation of attendance.  But in these fast-paced modern times, there is a need to make the communication between the host and the guest quick, efficient and convenient.

Response cards include the host’s contact details and the date the reply is expected. Nonetheless, the wordings and design can always be adapted to fit different needs.


Additional Components

1. Reception Card
A reception card contains the important details on the date, time and place of only the wedding reception. It is also through these cards that you inform your guests about what to expect and what to wear, or whether there will be dancing, lunch or dinner served, or perhaps what activities you need them to prepare/pack for, especially in the case of destination weddings.

Reception cards were originally enclosed with the main invitation. Meanwhile, if the reception takes place in the same location as the ceremony, you may not need to send a separate reception card. You may simply include an additional line on your invitation that indicates “Dinner and dancing to follow” or “Reception immediately following.” This way, guests will know that the reception will be held in the same venue. However, remember that a reception card should be sent for all formal affairs.

2. Map/Directions Card
This is an optional part of a wedding invitation package but is very necessary especially if most of your guests will be traveling from other places or if you’re having a destination wedding. The purpose of including a map or direction card is to make sure none of your guests get lost or arrive late at your event.

There are four ways to guide your guests for directions:

  • Hand-drawn map made by a friend or local artist and printed by your wedding invitations provider
  • Professional map acquired from the church or reception site or made by your wedding invitations provider
  • Turn-by-turn directions in simple text printed as a direction card
  • Combination of text directions and a map

3. Travel/Accommodation cards
If you are having a destination wedding or if many of your guests will be traveling considerably to reach the venue, you might want to include an accommodation card in your enclosures. As their hosts, it would be a hospitable gesture for you to make their trip as convenient as possible.

An accommodation card contains very helpful information including but not limited to:

  • A complete list of hotel/lodging options complete with details on rates, amenities, room types, reservation, etc.
  • The specific room number, check-in and check-out time, inclusions, additional fees or any pertinent details your guests need to know if you already secured the accommodation
  • Any other information your guests might need for their travel arrangements
  • A few recommended local tourist spots or activities in case they would like to extend their stay

You may opt to provide accommodation cards only to out-of-town guests. Nevertheless, if you want to save on printing costs, you may also include all this information together with the map/directions card.

4. Within-the-Ribbon Card
A within-the-ribbon card tells the ushers which section should the guests be seated. These sections are often cordoned with ribbon streamers, cords or pew bows that divide that the area for groups of guests. Within the ribbon cards are included with the invitations or sent to the guest after they have confirmed their attendance.

5. Pew Card
A pew card is a small card that indicates the pew number of the assigned seat of the guest. This is similar to a within-the-ribbon card except that the pew numbers refer to exact seats, not just sections. These cards may be sent with the invitation or they may be sent later after everyone has confirmed their attendance.

6. Escort Card
An escort card is a small card that indicates the place of your guests in their respective tables. The guests’ names are handwritten by calligraphy or printed on the envelope, and the appropriate table number is written on the enclosed card. Escort cards may be given to your invited guests together with the wedding invitations or placed outside the reception space.

7. At-Home Card
One creative and elegant way to provide your family and friends with your new mailing address is by sending them At-Home cards. These are small cards containing the newly wed couple’s new address, the date it would be effective, and oftentimes the new name adopted by the bride. At-Home cards may be sent with the invitations, with the announcements, or on their own.