Of all the wedding planning details couples must work through to pull off a stylish, gracious wedding day, probably among the least favorite chores is coming up with directions for getting to the venue. I can recall gladly delegating this to my dad, who actually keeps a spiral bound notebook filled with directions from and to just about anywhere, including everything from mileage to construction shortcuts to the nearest Cracker Barrel exits. He was the man for the job!
But in today’s world of GPS and Mapquest, more couples are questioning the need for including written directions. Some choose to skip directions cards in their wedding invitations to cut costs. Counting on people’s own resourcefulness to find their way to your ceremony and reception can be costly in other ways, however, leading to confusion, lateness and a bad impression.
I’ve heard of more than one wedding saved by well-connected Facebookers who thought to broadcast directions or warn of major construction en route to the reception. In once case, the bride and groom knew about the construction but failed to mention it. Ironically, this same couple was organized enough to create a website early in their planning, as well as sending Save the Date cards printed with the website address. But only a partial list of guests received these. Guests who merely received a wedding invitation months later had no idea about the website. Big PR oops!
Whether or not you decide it’s essential to send out Save the Date cards or to create a wedding website, the handiest, most thoughtful way to help your guests make their way to your venue is to include a directions card directly in your wedding invitation.
Directions in wedding invitations work best when:
- Provide clear directions from different points of origin. Think about where the majority of your guests will come from and don’t forget the airport as a point of origin too. Use a mapping website as a starting point, such as mapquest.com or mapblast.com.
- Print on the same quality paper and in the same design as your wedding invitation. This “brands” your directions and makes it less likely to get lost.
- Include a street address so guests can program it into their GPS or go online to a mapping website.
- Include a website address and/or phone number for the reception venue, just in case.
- Get someone else to proofread!
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