Assembling and Mailing Your Invitations
Assembling and mailing your wedding invitations is not a difficult task but it does require plenty of organization. Start by clearing your dining table or a large coffee table. In assembly line fashion, lay out the individual components of your invitation in the order in which they need to be assembled.
Before you begin assembling, take some time to count your invitations, reception cards, envelopes, etc. to make sure that every stack has the exact same count. It is a good idea to fold the invitations and put stamps on all of the reply card envelopes before you begin assembling. Many couples enlist the help of a few close friends or family members. Assign specific tasks to each person to minimize mistakes.
Wedding Invitations Assembly
The following are standard insertions that may be placed in the inner envelope (or outer envelope if you decide to omit the inner envelope).
Reception Cards: A reception card is a formal invitation to the wedding reception and is included as a separate insertion when the ceremony and reception are held at different locations. Reception cards are also used when the guest list for the wedding ceremony is larger than that for the reception. Thus, guests who do not receive reception cards are only invited to the ceremony, and not to the reception. The reception card is placed right on top of the wedding invitation. Many couples put a piece of tissue paper in between the wedding invitation and reception card. The tissue paper used to serve a function - to keep the oils from the ink on engraved invitations from smudging. With improved printing techniques, there is no need for this extra layer but many couples continue to include the tissue paper as part of the wedding invitation.
Response Cards: Response cards allow your guests to communicate to you whether they will be able to attend your wedding. Some couples also use response cards to ask their guests for their meal preferences. The response card is placed on top of the reception card and is often printed in the same type style and design as the wedding invitation on card stock. A return envelope with your address printed is included with the response card. It is proper etiquette to place a stamp on the return envelope. Wedding response cards typically have a blank line at the top preceded by the letter "M," indicating the space for your guests to write their title (Mr. or Mrs.) followed by their names. Your guests will either place a check after the word "accepts" or "regrets" to indicate whether they will be able to attend the reception. If there are dinner options you should also have a place for people to check their meal preference. A date by which your guest is asked to return the response card is noted at the bottom of the response card. A great time-saving tip is to assign a number next to each name on your guest list and then pencil in corresponding numbers on the back of the response cards. When you receive back a response card that is left blank or contains illegible handwriting, you can figure out exactly who sent the response card by matching the number on the back of the response card with those on your guest list.
Maps and Directions Card: Although not necessary, it is a good idea to insert a map or a directions card to the ceremony and reception sites. This is especially important if you are having many out of town guests who are not familiar with the location of your wedding sites. Make sure that your directions are accurate and concise prior to sending.
Optional—Travel Card: For destination weddings, or when many of your guests are traveling to attend your wedding, it is important to include travel information for the convenience of your guests. Include detailed information on nearby airports, ground transportation, lodging options and local attractions
Optional—Pew Cards or Within the Ribbon Cards: These are included if you wish to communicate to family and close friends that they will be seated in a special section at the ceremony. Usually refers to certain number pews in church, or a section separated from the rest of the seating by ribbon or other decoration. The card is presented to an usher who should direct the guest to the designated section. See example:
Please present this card The First Baptist Church
Saturday, the eighth of November
Pew number 7
When two envelopes are used, all of the enclosures described above are inserted in the inner envelope, facing the back of the envelope. The inner envelope is then placed, unsealed, in the outer envelope, with the flap away from the person assembling the invitation.
Mailing Your Invitations
After you are done assembling your invitations, you are almost ready to mail them out. Never assume you know how much mailing an invitation will cost. Can you imagine anything more heart-breaking than getting back all your beautifully addressed invitations because you were three cents short on postage? Take a completed invitation with all your enclosures to your local post office and have them weigh it and tell you the price for a first-class mailing.
Look for love-themed stamps for your invitations or you can create your own custom stamps on some sites. To ensure that large, thick, or oddly sized envelopes don't get caught in processing machines, the U.S. Post Office is usually happy to handle requests for hand canceling. It can also minimize the amount of automated printing (for example, bar codes) the post office adds to your mailing address.
A fun thing to consider, if you have plenty of time, is to choose a city with a wedding-related name (Bridal Veil Falls, Oregon or Loveland, Colorado) and contact the postmaster about hand-canceling your invitations there. If you bundle your invitations together in a large package and mail them to the postmaster, she or he will arrange to hand-cancel your invitations.