Welcome to Enclosure Cards 101! Now that we have talked in-depth about your main wedding invitation in the last two Tips N’ Trends posts , we’re going to answer one of brides’ most common questions: “What other paper goods should I include in my invitation suite?”
We’re glad you asked! We’ve put together a list of the most common enclosure cards to help you decide what to include in your wedding invitation suite.
A response card allows your guest to notify you of whether or not they will be attending the wedding and the reception, how many will be attending, and each guest’s meal selection. Remember: each response card must have a response date and a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Reception cards are used whenever the wedding ceremony and reception are held in different locations (e.g. your ceremony is at a church and your reception is at a hotel). While the wedding invitation displays the ceremony details, the reception card specifies the details of the reception, including the time and location.
Reception cards are also necessary when the guest list for the wedding ceremony is slightly different than the guest list for the reception celebration. If you have an intimate ceremony and larger reception (or vice versa), and the reception cards allow the you to curate the attendance accordingly.
DIRECTION & MAP CARDS
Direction cards give simple yet explicit written driving instructions to your wedding location, while map cards are actual maps with the route to your wedding venue highlighted.
Nowadays, nearly everyone has GPS on their phones, and a lot of brides opt out of adding direction or map cards into their invitation suite. Before opting out of either of these cards, however, make sure that GPS directions to your venue are clear and accurate (your out-of-town guests will appreciate it). Also, if you have older guests who might not be familiar with modern technology, it’s usually a good idea to include one of these cards in your suite.
Accommodations cards are sent to your out-of-town guests who are unfamiliar with the area and need to make hotel reservations. In these cards, you can include detailed travel information, hotel options, and whether or not you have pre-booked a certain number of suites in a particular hotel. Rental car information can also be included.
Details cards are great if you are having a lot of activities planned for your guests. If you are having a welcome dinner, a morning-after brunch, or any other weekend activities you want your guests to attend, this type of card is a must.
It’s now common practice for couples to have a website where their guests can find a brief biography of the bride and groom, a brief story of how they met and got engaged, and detailed information about wedding day celebrations. Even though you may have included the website address in your Save-the-Date cards, it is highly recommend it to include a simple card in your invitation suite displaying your website address – just in case.
WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE
Registry and bridal shower information should not be included in your invitations. It is considered rude as it implies that getting a gift is just as high a priority as sharing your big day with your guests. This information should be included in your wedding website, and it is the job of your bridesmaids and parents to informed your guests about it.
We hope this helps you understand the purpose and the importance of each of your enclosure card options. Including reception cards, response cards, direction and map cards, accommodations cards, and website information in your invitation suite offers you the best way to coordinate your wedding weekend and ensure that everything runs smoothly for your guests. The more informed they are, the less stressed they (and you!) will be.