Are you confused about terms such as 'accommodations card', 'gate-fold' or 'belly band'? Not really sure what you need and what's not so necessary in your invitation suite? In this article, I'm going to break down the parts of an invitation for you and discuss some of the styles and elements that you may or may not choose to include in your invitation suite.
Here are the various different parts of an invitation suite and what their function is. Not all of these pieces must be used, it will depend on how you've planned out your day, and who is on your guest list.
The main invitation is fairly self-explanatory, it's the most important piece of the invitation suite that asks your guest to join you on your big day and tells them the pertinent information such as date, time and location. If you're not sure how to word your invitation, visit this link for wording samples to help you get started.
RSVP/Response Card & Envelope
Traditionally, a response card is sent with the invitation that allows guests to indicate whether they will be coming to your event and how many guests will be in their party. You may also choose to have them indicate what meal they would like and/or if they have any dietary restrictions. The response card comes with a corresponding envelope that should already be addressed with postage so that they can easily mail it back to you. These days, for some modern and more casual events, people are opting to not include this in their invitation suite and request a phone or email response instead (this is especially becoming popular for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs). Many wedding websites also offer an RSVP function so you may choose to direct guests to your website to RSVP. When deciding which method to use, think about who your guests are. Are they older and more traditional? Are they computer and email savvy?
If you're holding your reception at a different time and location than your ceremony, you may choose to put this information on a separate card. These days many couples opt to include this information on the main invitation instead.
If you have guests coming from out of town and have reserved accommodations for them, you may want to include a card with the hotel information. If you've arranged transportation between the hotel and the event venue, this is also the best place to indicate this.
Usually the address of the venue is included on the main invitation but if you'd like to make it easier for your guests, you may choose to include a separate card with a map and/or step-by-step directions. Consider who your guests are and what they might prefer. If your guests are used to using a GPS, then the address on the main invitation might be enough.
Main Envelope (or inner and outer envelopes)
Traditionally, all of the above would be neatly packaged into a nice corresponding inner envelope with the names of the invited guests. The inner envelope would then fit neatly into an outer envelope which would have the guests' full address. It is becoming more and more popular to drop the inner envelope and put everything into just one envelope with the full address. You may choose to do this to save some money or you just might see it as unnecessary. Again, depending on how formal and traditional you want to be, the choice is yours.
Please note, Impressions invitation suites generally include the main invitation, the RSVP card and envelope and the main outer envelope. Additional envelopes and inserts are available for an additional fee.
Now that I've laid out the essential elements of the invitation suite, I'll go over some of the styles and enclosure options that we have to offer.
The pocket fold invitation has become extremely popular in recent years because it allows for a neat and tidy package if you plan to include several inserts. A pocket fold usually has 3 panels, one with a pocket for the inserts & response card envelope, one for the main invitation and one that folds over to hold it closed. It is often embellished on the outside with additional cards or ribbons. Pocket folds can be quite expensive because it is a lot of extra paper that must be die-cut and assembled.
The pocket is a simpler version of the pocket fold. Instead of 3 panels, it just has the one pocket panel. You may choose to put the main invitation inside the pocket with other inserts or you may choose to put the main invitation on the back of the pocket.
A gatefold enclosure has two panels that open from the middle like french doors. The main invitation is usually mounted on the inside middle panel.
If you're looking for a way to package all your cards together neatly without the cost of a pocket or pocket fold, a belly band is a great economical solution. It's a band that can be skinny or wide and made out of various materials that circles around the invitation and inserts and usually slides off.
Ticket-style invitations are a popular trend right now, especially for destination weddings or events with sports, movie or music themes. Usually these invitations are short and wide and have a portion that detaches off the main invitation by way of a perforation. Often the detachable portion is used as the response card.
This style of invitation is one card folded to create multiple panels. Each panel is folded in opposite directions to create a 'Z' shape if it's 3 panels or an 'accordion' look if it's multiple panels. An invitation like this is a great way to incorporate photos if you've had an engagement shoot that you'd like to include photos from.
A tri-fold invitation is usually an 8.5" x 11" card folded into thirds much like the popular pamphlet style. It is an usual format for an invitation but a great solution for someone looking to be a little different or unique.
These invitation elements are a few of the more popular options out there but in this day and age the possibilities are endless! If you're a non-traditional kind of person looking for something new and unique, we're happy to help you design the perfect piece for your special event. Contact us today for more information!