Tips Regarding Wedding Reception Invitations
Invitations to the wedding ceremony itself receive much attention during the wedding planning process. Wedding reception invitations are often overlooked, but in some situations using them is a good idea. In some cases, they can be quite important in their own right.
If the wedding reception is to be held in a different place to that of the wedding itself, a reception invitation can be used to inform the guest of the location. In this case, you can save time and money by mailing both invitations together. That is usually how that is done. A map can be included for those who are unfamiliar with the location.
Some couples choose to invite more people to the wedding than to the reception. If so, a separate reception invitation is warranted. For those invited to both, you could also include the reception invitation with the wedding. If including the reception invitation with the wedding invitation, the style should complement but not upstage that of the invitation to the ceremony. Most wedding invitations come with a companion reception card that matches the invitation, it's just a fraction of the size - it's the size of a thank you card.
When choosing to have a location wedding or other small, intimate ceremony, a couple may wish to have a reception that more people can attend. In this case, the wedding reception invitations would be sent by themselves. You don't have to worry about them competing or clashing with the wedding invitation, so they can be in any style you desire.
Most brides in that case choose a wedding invitation style that they like and just word it as an invitation to the reception only. The small reception cards mentioned above don't come with envelopes and are quite small just to send by themselves, so a larger invitation is much more appropriate.
If your wedding and reception are being held at the same location, reception invitations are not necessary. You can include the reception information on the wedding invitation, as long as there is room to fit the extra invitation. But separate invitations can still be used if you wish. If you want to do everything "right" by the book, you would want to include a separate reception card even if the location is the same for both the wedding and the ceremony. Some brides opt for the former suggestion for budget reasons.
Be sure to include some way for your guests to let you know if they are able to attend. The formal way to do this is to include response cards in your invitation packet. These provide a way for your guests to fill in their name and how many in their party will be attending. If you have menu choices to offer, they can also select those on this card. The come with envelopes that are addressed back to you. This is all included in the price. You should put a stamp on this envelope for your guests' convenience. Your caterer will tell you how much in advance he/she will need to have a head count. It is a good idea to add at least an additional week to that as many people are slow to respond and may respond late or not at all, in which case, you may need to call some to get a final count.
Having a response card adds some expense to your wedding invitation order, but is the formal and best way to get your final numbers.
Some brides have been known to put a phone number, email address or web address for responses. It seems to be an acceptable change in the trend of responding, but the best way still, to remain formal is with the response card.