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Elements of a Great Wedding Invitation

Your Wedding Invitation is an integral part of the wedding planning process and is something you will want to prepare once you have set your wedding date and secured the location. If you plan to have out-of-town guests at your wedding or a destination wedding, it is also best to send a save-the-date card 4 to 6 months before your wedding date. This will allow your guests plenty of time to make their travel arrangements and will ensure more of your family and friends are in attendance. Your save-the-date card does not need more detail than the date, location (even a city and state will do), your wedding planning website (if applicable), and a note that a formal invitation will follow. Your traditional wedding invitation should be sent about eight weeks before your wedding, and you should request

RSVP replies three weeks before your wedding date.

A formal wedding invitation should include the following elements:

- Wedding Response Cards: This will tell you who will and will not attend your wedding reception. Do not forget to include a stamped return address envelope with the response card. Note that the response card should be for the person hosting the wedding.

- Directions and Maps: This is essential, especially if you have out-of-town guests attending. Note that these should be printed individually and not photocopied. Most reception halls will have this information available to download from their website. Just be sure to double-check the details for accuracy before you start printing copies.

- Accommodation Cards: Like the directions and maps, this is another essential element if you invite many out-of-town guests. You should include nearby airports, hotel options, area attractions, and rental car agencies. If you have booked a block of rooms in a nearby hotel or have reserved rental cars in their names, you would also provide this information.

Optional elements for your wedding invitation include:

- Reception Cards: Reception cards should be used if you plan on having different guest lists for your wedding ceremony and reception. The reception card includes details about the wedding reception, such as the time and venue.

- Website Links: Some couples have a wedding website to post details about their wedding. If you would like to include a website, a simple card with the web address can be included in the invitation.

Keep in mind that any extra inserts included in your invitation should be printed on high-quality paper that is the same thickness and color as your actual invitation if you do not have coordinating stationary in the same pattern.

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