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Wedding Invitation Etiquette ~

Destination Wedding

The Invitation Ensemble

Two envelopes or one?

In bygone days when invitations were hand-delivered, an outer envelope was used to keep the invitation envelope clean for a more impressive presentation to the guest. Whether or not you opt for double envelopes is your decision. Today, many invitations are sent with single envelopes for a variety of reasons, including less paper waste and because some of the fancier custom-made envelop styles (like the French and Bavarian envelopes) are designed to be singles. If you order double envelopes and you also choose envelope linings, the inner envelope will be lined.

Envelope Return Address

Be sure to order your envelopes with your return address (excluding your name) on the back flap. This not only looks nicer, but also saves addressing time! If you are ordering double envelope sets, this address is on the flap of the outer (larger) envelope. Make certain you order additional envelopes in case you make mistakes while addressing.

Lined Inner Envelope

For selections that include an inner envelope, a lovely envelope liner adds that special elegant touch. You can select a liner that brings out the beauty of your invitation for a slight additional cost.

Tissues

Tissues were originally put on top of the invitation to prevent the old, slow drying inks from smudging. Today it is no longer necessary, but many people still prefer the traditional look of tissues.

Reception Card

Reception cards are included when the reception is held at a different site than the ceremony or if you have different guest lists for the ceremony and the reception. The reception card wording either reflects the wording of your invitation or simply reads, "Reception immediately following the ceremony" with the location.

Sample Traditional Wording

Reception
Immediately following the ceremony
Forest Lake Country Club
Columbia, South Carolina

 

Response Card and Envelope

Response cards provide a simple and painless way for your guests to reply. The cards have a space for your guests to write their names and indicate whether or not they will be attending. A printed return envelope is always included in the price of a response set. The face/front of this envelope is preprinted with the name and address of whoever will be receiving your replies. To make it even easier for everyone to reply, put a stamp on this respond envelope. If you are using the traditional wording shown below, remember to spell "favour/favor" the same way as you have spelled "honour/honor" on the invitation. As most party planning budgets require exact numbers, it is socially acceptable to call, or write, those guests who have not responded.

Respond Card Sample Traditional Wording

The favour of a reply is requested
before the twentieth of May
M_____________________
Will __________ attend

Respond Envelope Sample

Mr. and Mrs. Jason Leigh McPherson
1337 Shady Lane
Naples, Florida 34116

 

Map and Directions cards

Preprinted enclosure cards providing directions to the ceremony and the reception site can be exceptionally helpful to your guests, especially those coming from out-of-town. Photocopied directions blemish the beauty of your beautiful invitation ensemble and are often very difficult to read.

Accommodation cards

Your guests will appreciate the convenience of a preprinted card that lists recommended hotels in your area, along with the phone numbers.

Within-the-ribbon cards

Another tradition is to designate special seating for select guests. The guests receiving these cards present them to the ushers, who will escort them to this special seating (usually in the front) that has been sectioned off by ribbon.

At-home cards

A handy way to inform every one of your new address and the date you expect to begin residing there. These can be sent with a wedding invitation or wedding announcement. If the woman is changing her name in the customary fashion, names are not listed. If she is keeping her name or hyphenating it, this card is a good place to announce that by listing the woman's name in full on the first line and the man's name in full on the second line.

Sample Wording

At home
After the fifth of April
2314 Sylvan Avenue
Oakland, California 94602

 

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Helpful Wedding Information ~ Etiquette Guide, Destination Guide

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