Wedding Etiquette For Dummies
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After gotten a handle on the wording of your invitations, you need to find out about the inserts, or everything else that has to go into the envelopes — items like the inner envelope, reception and response cards, response envelope, map and directions, hotel information pew cards (if you’re using them) and tissue paper.

Inner envelope

The inner envelope doesn’t have any glue, is slightly smaller than the outer envelope and may or may not have a colored lining. It allows you to specify exactly whom you’re inviting to your wedding. Although you may address the outer envelope to your single friend, the inner envelope is the place to add “and guest.” It’s also the place to list the names of the children you’re inviting.

Reception card

A reception card is a formal invitation to your reception, and it’s used when the reception venue is different from the ceremony’s location or when there’s a gap in time between the ceremony and reception. The reception card should be half the size of the invitation and in the same style and quality. Along with the reception’s location, it should indicate whether you’re planning a meal for your guests. Clearly state the time of the reception or if it will immediately follow the wedding.

Response card

A response card, also known as a reply card or RSVP, functions to alert you and your caterer as to how many guests will be attending the reception. When guests are asked to select their entrees, response cards serve as menu planners and help with planning seating arrangements.

When you begin receiving your response cards, make sure you keep track of them against your guest list so that you can see at a glance who’s attending, who isn’t and who hasn’t replied yet.

Response envelope

When you order your invitations, be sure to use the response envelopes; they help your guests return your response cards in a timely fashion. Pre-address the envelope to the wedding host, and don’t neglect to put a first-class postage stamp on it.

Omitting the stamps on the response envelopes to cut costs may be tempting, but doing so is tacky and makes you look cheap.

Map and directions

You can draw a map of your area by hand or print a copy off the Internet. Make sure the directions to the ceremony and reception are adequate for guests coming from different locations and that you include major highways. Doublecheck on any construction projects that might affect computer-generated directions. You might also want to include directions from the wedding site to the reception site for those unfamiliar with the area.

Hotel information

Call around your area to find a selection of nice hotels of various price ranges at which you can reserve a block of rooms for your guests at a discount. If you can’t fit the hotel information on your map/direction cards, print another card with the hotel names and locations, nightly rates, phone numbers and information needed to reserve the room.

Pew cards

Pew cards, or within-the-ribbon cards, are used at very large, formal weddings for special guests with reserved seats to present at the ceremony. The usher then escorts the guests to the proper pew. It’s also appropriate to wait to send your pew cards until after you receive confirmation of your special guests’ attendance.

Tissue paper

Tissue paper, or overlay, is available in several designs, but the most formal is sheer white. It’s placed on top of the invitation itself. Although it makes for a nice presentation, you may omit it.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Sue Fox is the author of Etiquette For Dummies and Business Etiquette For Dummies. She is the founder and president of The Etiquette Survival Group, a California-based professional development and publishing company.

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