As someone who’s never planned a wedding, all the pieces that go into a wedding invitation can seem completely overwhelming and confusing. Multiple envelopes? Reception cards? Belly bands? What??

 Don’t worry. I’m putting this together to show you the breakdown of all the pieces of an invitation suite to help you figure out what you really need to include.

Invitation Anatomy part  1

stationery 101 part 2:

 Now in order to not overwhelm you with too much information, hopefully this helps clear up exactly what you need for your invitation suite, and you can decipher the invitation jargon! There's more to come, so look for the next installment of Stationery 101 to get more great tips to help choose your wedding stationery!



1. Invitation; This is the obvious one. The invitation is where the most crucial information is placed; namely, the who when and where of the wedding! This is what your invitation suite will be based around, and is usually the largest piece of the suite. Typically, the card will be 5” x 7” or larger.

2. Response card: Even in our modern age of online RSVPs and wedding websites, a response card is still a standard (and I would argue, important!) part of an invitation suite. This is how your guests will let you know if they’re coming to the wedding! Typically a smaller card with a coordinating envelope, or sometimes a postcard, this card will tell guests when they need to respond to your invitation. It’s also a helpful way to hint at exactly who is invited to the wedding, if they didn’t pay attention to whom the invitation was addressed, by including a line saying “There are ____ seats reserved in your honor” so you don’t have to deal with uninvited plus ones!

3. Reception card: This card can also fall under the “details” card category. This is typically a smaller card that tells your guests, you guessed it, where and when the reception is! This is especially helpful if your ceremony and reception are at different locations, or there will be a large gap of time between the ceremony and reception. This is also a good place to tell guests what to expect; dinner and dancing, cocktails and dessert, formal attire or casual, etc. 

The invitation cards

4. Map or directions card: Part practical information, part piece of art, the map card is a creative way to show your guests where to go for your wedding, as well as some fun points of interest along the way! These can be as elaborate or simple as you want them to be. You can just give basic printed directions, or include hand drawn and painted watercolor maps to show your guests where your wedding is taking place. It’s also helpful to let your guests know if your venue has valet parking, or if guests will have to find a garage or street parking.

5. Website card: Since wedding websites are so common now, it’s a good idea to give your guests a card to remind them of your website! Typically a small business card sized piece, this will include your wedding website URL and can also include things like your wedding hashtag, so guests can follow along on Instagram leading up to the wedding!

6. Registry card: Similar to the website card, this is a small card that lists where the couple is registered for gifts. Most guests expect to bring a gift to the wedding, but it’s not considered proper etiquette to list gift registries on your main invitation card! This way you can be sure your guests will actually shop off your registry and avoid getting 5 toaster ovens at your wedding.