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When newly engaged brides & grooms start their research on wedding invitations, questions will most likely arise about what is needed in their basic wedding invitation package. If it is their first time planning a wedding, they may be unaware of the elements to be included with their intivitations. Here are the compenents required in a standard wedding invitation package.

The Wedding Invitation Card

The most important part is the wedding Invitation card itself. Once you have decided on an invitation design and colours the wedding invitation wording usually takes some time to put together. There are many unique family situations that may require you to word the invitaions differently. The first line of the invitations card lists the names of the brides parent's (host of the wedding which is the same as the person person paying for the wedding) and the groom's parents. If the bride and groom are hosting the wedding they can simply put their own names and then "together with their parents..." If the grooms family is paying for the wedding the order should be reversed and the groom's parents should be listed on the invitations first. Here are some guide lines for particular family situations.

General Ettiquette for Wedding Invitation Wording

1) Write out names in full, including middle names. Omit a middle name if necessary, rather than using an initial.

2) Spell out all words, including the hour, the date and the year. Spell out all words in the address, including Street, Road and Avenue. The two exceptions to this rule in an address are Saint (St.) and Mount (Mt.)

3) Use Roman numerals in names, rather than "the third" or "3rd."

4) No periods (.) at the end of a line

5) No abbreviations other than Mr., Mrs., Dr., and Jr.

6) First letter of each line is not capitalized, unless it is a proper noun (for example -- “Sunday, the fifth of October” is correct. OR “on Sunday, the fifth of October” is correct)

7) Dates and times are written out (half after five o’clock, two thousand and three)

8) The first word of the year is capitalized

9) Formal invitations are usually written in third-person. For example, “Mr. and Mrs. Craig Chastain” instead of “We.”

The Reception Card

Traditionally, there is a separate insert for the reception information if your wedding will take place in two different locations. If your
wedding will be taking place at only one venue this piece is not needed. This piece is optional and many brides and grooms choose to exclude this option if all their information fits on the main invitation card.

The Response Card

The response card is the card where your guests fill out their names and indicate whether they are attending the wedding or not. This insert gets returned to you in the mail so that you know who is attending the wedding. There are cases where you will want to include additional information on the response card. If you are
offering your guests menu options, you will need to include these options on the response card ask your guests to inidicate their preference.

The Reponse Envelope

This piece is included in the package for guests to mail the response card back to the bride and groom to let them know if they are attending the wedding. Remember to include a stamp on the response envelope so guests may reply conveniantly and quickly. Usually the address where you want the replies to arrive is printed on the front of the envelope. Traditionally, the replies are addressed to the bride's parents or whomever is hosting the wedding however, it is now acceptable to print the bride and groom's address on the response envelopes instead if preferred.

The Map or Direction Card

It is proper ettiquette to provide a map or written directions to your venue for your guests so that they do not need to look up the address
themselves. It is common courtesy to try to make it as convenient as possible for your guests to attend your wedding.

The Hotel Accommodations Insert

If your wedding is out of town, or if you have a lot of guests coming from out of town, you should reserve a block of rooms from two to three hotels for your guests. The accomodations insert should include these
hotel names and contact information or a representative from the hotel, along with any codes the guests will need to access the discounted rate.

The Wedding Registry information

It is improper ettiquette to include a registry card with your
wedding invitation. However, it is very logical and practical to provide your guests with your registry information. Instead of listing the registry information on the wedding invitations many brides and grooms choose to list it on a website they have created for the wedding. It is not improper etiquette to include this website information with the wedding invitations as it will most likely contain other information pertaining to the wedding day and the bride and groom as well.

Main Invitation Envelope

This envelope is used to hold all the pieces of the wedding invitation package. This envelope should have a return address printed on the back flap and list the name and address of the invitee or invitees on the front. This information is traditionally handwritten but many brides and grooms save timie by getting their wedding invitation company to print it for them or have a calligrapher write it for them. Other couples also choose to use printed labels that are attached on the front of the envelopes.