What do I Need to Include in My Wedding Invitations?
Put simply I can answer this question in one line: everything your guests need to know to attend your wedding (or any other celebration for that matter). This answer is true, but not particularly helpful. What will your guests need to know? How much detail should you include? How do you make sure that you don’t miss anything? There are a core set of things you must include with your invitations, and the good news is that I’m going to tell you what they are!
1. Date, time and location(s) - The MOST important information for your guests. If you tell them nothing else you need to make sure they know where they need to be and when. Make sure you include the full date, including the year, the time guests need to arrive and all locations if you’re having more than one. Include the full address and postcode for each location.
Top Tip: for the guest arrival time ask them to arrive up to 30 minutes before the ceremony time. That way you’ll allow for any late arrivals to still be in and seated before you need to start!
2. Dress code - Let your guests know how to fit in with your style! It may be that you’re going very formal or super casual, but it really helps your guests to know what you’re expecting! Give a guide for the guys and the girls, preferably with a picture or drawing as an example. Your guests will appreciate the guidance and you’ll avoid any faux pas on the day!
3. How to RSVP - You’ll be wanting to know whether your guests are coming or not! If you’re expecting your guests to RSVP by post it’s courteous to include an RSVP card with space for all the required information, and an addressed and stamped envelope. You’ll need to know who the RSVP is for i.e. their names, including any additional guests plus any additional information such as menu choices, dietary requirements or if they need accommodation.
4. Menu and dietary requirements - it’s always reassuring for guests to have an idea of what they’ll be eating on the day! If you’re having a buffet or food vans then use this as an opportunity to let your guests know. Crucially if you’re having a sit down meal where guests need to choose their food in advance you’ll need to include a menu for your guests to select from. It’s also important to point out any vegetarian or vegan options, and allow guests to share any dietary requirements with you so you can inform your caterer well in advance.
5. Accommodation details - if you’ve got guests coming from further afield it’s polite to provide information of local accommodation. It may be that you have accommodation on site for people but if not you can give your guests the details of hotels close to the venue. If you’ve got a lot of guests that would want to stay nearby, you can contact the hotel and arrange a discount for bookings connected to you. This can often be a substantial saving so be sure to pass this information on to your guests!
6. Gift information - Your guests will inevitably want to buy you a gift for your wedding, so if you want them to head in a particular direction here’s your chance. Give them a hint about what you’re after, direct them to your gift list, tell them about your theme, or point them to a charity. Whatever your gift ideas, be sure to share them with your guests as part of your invitations.
7. Taxi/transport details - Guests need to be clear on where they’re going and how they can get there. If the venue(s) are awkward to find include directions, and maps are always helpful. If there’s transport between venues ask your guests to book onto it. Give your guests information about local taxi firms and/or public transport and travel times to your venues and recommended accommodation if necessary. Don’t forget to mention that taxis home need to be booked in advance, particularly critical if your venue is in the middle of the countryside!
8. Song request, marriage advice and other details - this is always a fun way for couples to add a bit of personality to their invitations/RSVPs. You could ask guests for a song request, some marriage advice, a recommendation for a cake flavour or any other suggestions for your wedding that you can think of! It’s a great way to get your guests involved in the wedding!
9. Wedding website address - of course the majority of this information can be provided via a wedding website. Some couples choose to do both, but if you are having a website then it’s essential to include the web address with the invitations. Your guests will then know where to go to get all the key information for your wedding whether you’ve included it with the invitations or not!
This may seem like too much, but it’s so important to include enough information for your guests to be at your wedding, on time, dressed appropriately, bearing gifts and able to eat! It’s also good for them to know how to get home again at the end of the evening! Trust me, if you provide enough detail at this stage you’ll prevent a lot of confusion and a barrage of questions nearer to the day.
Need some help planning? Looking for some additional support? I’m here to help you! My support is flexible, focusing on what you need for your celebration. Contact me for a chat about your celebration, there’s no obligation to book!