You’ve been a busy bee, buzzing around, planning your dream wedding. You have all the details settled, you’re finalizing the invite list, the caterers are set, and it’s going to be absolutely perfect.
Now you just have to send out your invitations.
That’s why this guide is here, to help you with everything you need to know about enclosure cards:
An enclosure card is the meat and potatoes of your main invitation.
The invitation itself is usually a sleek, streamlined rundown of your wedding, including the who (you), what (getting married), where (at your amazing venue), and when (the date).
Wedding invitations are dedicated to your ceremony, but they leave a lot to the imagination, like what to wear, what’s on the menu, and how to get to the venue in one piece. Enclosure cards are your safety net. They contain all the other juicy info you need to tell your guests to prepare for the special day.
So, why not include all that information on the invite itself?
As per our wedding invitation “Dos and Don’ts” guide, don’t overcrowd your invitation. A separate enclosure card helps you communicate all the info you need, while keeping the formal invitation aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
Any extra details will fit perfectly on their card, so there’s no need to try to stuff it all into one place. Give your invite and your enclosure cards their own space to shine.
If you’re having a wedding with a cultural ceremony, a details card is the perfect place to include information about what to expect, or bring to, the ceremony.
For example, some traditional cultural weddings, such as Indian weddings, take place over multiple days. Often, at traditional Chinese weddings, red envelopes containing money will be given instead of using a gift registry.
As you may be wondering what to write on wedding enclosure card(s), be sure to communicate any specific instructions that your guests should know about your special day.
Your invite is just that, an invitation. You only have to communicate the most important information on the invite properly—the stuff no one can forget.
Enclosure cards, however, give you and your partner the chance to sparkle (literally, if you like glitter).
Here are some fun ways to add that personal touch:
Anyone who receives a wedding invite can (and probably should) get an enclosure card with it. It’s that simple. Odds are that your guests want to know what’s going on. With enclosure cards, you can provide that information stylishly and effectively.
Plus, who doesn’t love the excitement of opening up a fancy letter?
As we mentioned, enclosure cards are for including all the extra information that doesn’t quite fit on the invitation. While it’s important to include the basics on your enclosure cards, there’s a lot of wiggle room to make your card unique to your ceremony.
Whether your wedding day is intricately complex or laid back, odds are that you’re going to need to lay out some of the details in the fine print.
Here are a few different types of enclosure cards.
If you have a reception planned in a different location than the wedding venue itself, a reception card will preemptively clear up any confusion.
Now you have ample space to stylishly write out the venue, address, and time of your reception.
Don’t forget this one. A response card lets you know who can and can’t attend the wedding ceremony and reception.
This little number dictates everything from how many seats you’ll need, to how much food to prepare, to what food everyone will be eating. You’re going to want people to pay attention to this response card.
Most RSVP cards include a response date, a space to accept or decline the invite, space for guests to write their name (and the name of their plus-one), and entrée options.
Note: If you’re expecting a written response back, make sure to include a stamped envelope as a courtesy to your guests. That said, digital responses are a little more efficient and easy to track.
We love destination weddings. Beautiful new vistas and familiar faces are a winning combination, but if people are coming from out-of-town, it’s a courtesy to help them find accommodations.
Or, if you’re staying at home, lend a helping hand to visitors and direct them to affordable and comfortable places to stay. They’ll appreciate the guidance and you’ll appreciate their presence on your wedding day.
If your dream wedding ceremony includes an elegant, color-coordinated celebration, this is the way to let everyone know.
Attire cards help specify the dress code (be it black-tie, formal, or as laid-back as casual Fridays).
Here’s an example of an attire card:
Our wedding will feature a fusion Indian ceremony, so we invite you to come in bright colors (no black please).
Traditional Indian attire includes lehenga (an ankle skirt) and sarees (a draped garment) for women, as well as sherwani (a coat-like garment) for men.
A direction card is like a mini-GPS you send your guests. You want to help your guests attend your wedding. Make sure to include the full street address of your venue and step-by-step directions so that no one gets lost.
Here’s an example of a direction card:
Join our celebration at 1234 Nuptial Rd. WeddingLand, USA. Directions from the north: Drive over the river and through the woods. Directions from the south: Turn right at the Starbucks and follow the balloons.
Okay, maybe you’ll need a little more detail than this, but you get the picture.
Including a map of the venue can add a fun, rustic touch to your invitation.
A paper map will help your guests get acquainted with the area and your venue. This is particularly helpful for guests who are traveling for the ceremony, but it’s also a nice, personal way to get all your guests on the same page.
A wedding website is a great way to consolidate information about your wedding—think of it as an encyclopedia for the ceremony.
Linking to your website on an enclosure card is a simple way to make sure that everyone has access to all the ceremonial goodies you’ve prepared. Besides, you worked hard on it, why not show it off?
Other types of enclosure cards include itinerary cards, which can include a schedule of events and locations, and transportation cards, which can help your guests get from point A to point B.
There’s no hard and fast rule for enclosure cards; if it’s an important detail to your celebration, it’s worth creating an enclosure card for it.
Now that you’ve decided on what information to include on your enclosure cards, you can take them to the next level by personalizing them to match your ceremony and union.
Your wedding, as cliché as it might sound, is about you, superstar. And personalization is the name of the game. So, when it comes to enclosure cards, escort cards, wedding programs, and so on, let your style shine through. This is an opportunity to share with your family and friends what your union means to you.
Are you a fan of elegant, white weddings? How about something nautical? Vintage or Art Deco? Maybe you and your SO are Marvel superfans and want to share a subtle (or not so subtle) wave to your passions.
All of that can be woven into the look of your enclosure card.
Note: Your enclosure card is another way to get people excited about your wedding—it’s not every day that you get to dress up and celebrate with your favorite people. The tone of the writing on your enclosure card can also set the mood. If your wedding is traditional and formal, stick to the script… but if you have your heart set on a Victorian gothic ceremony, feel free to break out some Poe and quote “The Raven.”
Feel like you need to add a little extra pizzazz? Here are some unique additions to consider:
Magnets: Include a magnet or sticker to help your guests save the date on their calendar.
QR: Include a card with a QR code that saves the date in your guests’ phones or directs them to your wedding site.
Prizes: Add an enclosure card detailing a door prize, where everyone who RSVPs is entered to win an extra-special wedding favor.
Flowers: Include a pressed or laminated flower. If you’ve already settled on wedding flowers, give your guests a little taste of what’s to come. It’s a memorable, sweet-smelling, and whimsical addition to your card that shows off the aesthetic of your ceremony.
Poetry: Include a poem or meaningful quote. Are you the artsy type or a big fan of Shakespeare? Why not include a meaningful poem, quote, or song lyric on one of your cards? This gives you the opportunity to share something of personal significance with all of your guests before the ceremony even starts.
Craft: Craft with your significant other. Are you good with your hands? Consider adding a literal personal touch to your enclosure cards by hand-customizing them.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer possibilities of writing and assembling your enclosure cards, we’re here to help. Here are some ways that you can hit the ground running with Zola’s help.
We might be a little biased, but we know we’ve got what it takes.
We have hundreds of templates for enclosure cards (and any of your other stationery needs). We’re here to support your vision with dozens of ways to customize our templates to make your uniquely perfect invite.
Our available themes include:
No matter what, we have the perfect starting point and finishing touches for your cards.
Are you a talented artist, or is there a photo of you and your SO that you adore? At Zola, we also have a template where you can upload your card design to make your enclosure cards even more unique.
Simply upload your custom design and let us help you make it a reality.
By customizing your enclosure cards, you can ensure that they’ll be both useful and memorable additions to your wedding invite. Here are some of the customization options we offer.
Foil: Zola offers multiple colors of foil to give your enclosure cards a unique, luxurious feel. Whether you choose silver, gold, or rose gold foil, your cards will be sure to catch the eye of your guests.
Color: Your enclosure card can be as colorful or as minimalist as you want it to be. Most of our card templates feature multiple color options, so go ahead and try out all the colors of the rainbow.
Paper texture and thickness: Believe it or not, texture can change the vibe of your enclosure cards. Depending on the texture, you can show off your rustic roots with thick, natural paper, or give your guests a taste of the high life with a lustrous glossy finish.
Corners: The difference between square and rounded corners seems small, but it can accurately showcase the style of your wedding.
If you’re into soft, flowy gowns and a beachside ceremony, rounded corners might be a good fit for your breezy style.
Love the vintage look of “The Great Gatsby”? Sharp edges are the way to go.
Themes, colors, and flowers are great guides for your stationery. The bonus here is that you’ve already figured them out, so use these aesthetic guides to your advantage. If green is your color, try using it in your enclosure cards.
You can always visit our Expert Advice section for more tips and tricks. Whatever you’re doing to make your invitations the stuff that dreams are made of, we have your back.
Now that you’ve learned all about what to include in your wedding invitations and how to make your enclosure cards unique, aren’t you just a little curious about how these invitations came to be?
It might be hard to believe, but many of our present-day traditions are rooted in the history of wedding invites.
In the Middle Ages, the duty of sending out wedding invitations fell to the town crier, who would announce news of the marriage in the town square. At this time, most people couldn’t read. Naturally, anyone and everyone within earshot were invited. If someone heard about your wedding, they were automatically on the guest list. These days, we have the luxury of being a little more selective.
Once newspapers started circulating in the 1600s, and as more and more people learned how to read, wedding announcements would be made in the paper. Like with the town crier, reading about the ceremony in the paper was essentially an open invitation.
In 1642, the invention of metal plate engravings allowed for customizable, highly personalized wedding invites. Calligraphers would hand-carve plates backwards to get the look just right for their clients. Phew, it’s hard enough writing forwards.
The 1800s introduced the lithograph, which got rid of the need for pesky metal engraving plates. It was way less expensive to make prints this way, so the middle class was able to start sending invites through the mail. Horse-drawn carriages would hand-deliver the invitation to wedding guests. How romantic.
Thermography, a new form of printing, was invented after World War II. It’s cheaper and uses raised type to print. Because it was less expensive and there was more money floating around post-war, stationary became a commercial good that was sold practically everywhere. Finally, wedding invitations truly reached the masses.
When it comes to wedding invitations, the world is your oyster. Whether you’re taking the traditional route complete with tissue paper and a double-envelope, or you’re sending out an email blast to 500 of your closest friends, you have the freedom to make your wedding invitations truly yours.
Whew—it’s safe to say we’ve covered all the bases when it comes to enclosure cards. Here’s a quick checklist to keep you on track.
Once you have your stationery all sorted (we knew you could do it), give yourself a big pat on the back—and get ready to enter the final stages of preparation for your wedding. Congratulations!