Inviting Elements: Invitation Basics
Because a directions card is a relatively recent development, there are no stringent rules regarding its format. You can provide the information either in the form of explicit written directions, or alternatively you can supply an illustrated map.
So that your guests are fully informed about all relevant details regarding your wedding, it is often necessary to include additional information along with the directions. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may be needed to provide any or all of the following kinds of information:
- Valet parking—If this is being provided, it should be indicated immediately following the driving directions.
- Group transportation arrangements you have made for your guests—Indicate where and when your guests need to meet to take the transportation, and in setting a departure time, allow an extra 15 minutes to ensure an on-time arrival. If your ceremony and/or reception site has no available parking and therefore requires that all guests arrive by shuttle, make sure you clearly state this.
- Child care arrangements that you have made—A great way to encourage guests with children to attend, while keeping the kids from crashing your party, if that’s your preference.
- Appropriate attire for the wedding—For example, “black tie” for a formal wedding, or “garden shoes suggested” for an outdoor wedding where you don’t want the ladies aerating the lawn with spiked heels.
- Weather information—If it’s an outdoor wedding, a description of typical temperatures is helpful, and the location of a backup site you may have secured in case of rain is essential.
- Other things to do—If it’s a destination wedding, you may want to provide information on area attractions.
- Your personal wedding website address—if you have one
To properly package your invitation components, you will need some sort of envelope to put them in. Centuries ago, both an outer and inner envelope were used because the outer envelope would often get soiled while being transported via Pony Express. Today, most couples choose to skip the inner envelope to save money, stuffing time, and a few trees. However, it is still popular to select a luxurious lining for the envelope that coordinates with all the components going inside.
The return address of the person(s) extending the invitation to the wedding should be printed on the back flap of the outer envelope (i.e. if your parents are listed first on the invitation, use their address). Their names do not appear—only the street address, city, state and zip—and of course, no abbreviations are used.