Monday, December 28, 2009

Wedding Invitations: Why Maps Matter

As Stephen and I headed to our friends’ recent wedding, armed with turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps, we felt excited and relaxed, knowing we had more than enough time to get there, mingle with guests, and enjoy the anticipation of such a big moment.

Fast forward an hour later to the two of us frantically dashing into the church at the last minute, now feeling stressed and frustrated that Google Maps led us on a wild goose chase through one poorly marked street after another.

What can a bride and groom do to prevent these types of mix-ups for guests? Before sending out your invitations, be sure to plug your venue addresses into popular online mapping sites, including Google Maps and MapQuest, to make sure the route that pops up is the right one.

If you find that one of these sites leads guests through a maze of wrong turns, you’ll then have plenty of time to warn them, either by including the info with your invites or posting it on your website. Sure, it’s extra work, but do you really want to take a chance with something as important as ensuring guests make it in time to witness your I-dos?

I’d also suggest including a paper map as an invitation insert, which our friends unfortunately skipped. Even if your ceremony and reception are being held at the same place, a map showing the cross streets and general area will at least allow guests to tell whether they’re on the right track.

I’ve seen a lot of fun hand-drawn and homemade maps, but if DIY isn’t for you, there are tons of professional options out there, including this cute and classy version by Distinctive Directions.

As for us, we’re taking the DIY route, and I’ll be sure to post pictures of our map card once it’s ready. Are you including a map with your invites? What special designs are you thinking about using?

(Graphic Credit: Distinctive Directions)


  1. I agree that maps are a must! We will definitely be including one. I haven't decided whether we will go the DIY or etsy route. Can't wait to see yours!

  2. WOW!! I love this idea!! I wish we had thought to include maps. We did include directions to our venue but not a map :( Great idea!

  3. Thankfully we won't need a map (unless I just hand one of the resort to our guests...which I might), but I agree that normally they are a must. You can NEVER trust a Google Map though! They have failed me on FAR too many occasions!

    Great ideas here!

  4. i totally agree! my relatives are already whining about how far our venue is - 2 hours away from most of my family - and it's not that easy to find. maps are key.

  5. Such a great idea. Our venue is pretty easy to find using a GPS or online map site. However, those places direct you to get off at the exit which the venue is actually on (the same street). But what those devices don't tell you is that the particular exit they direct you to is also the place right where traffic backs up pretty nicely on the 5 freeway. So it is actually better to get off one exit earlier and cut over to the street the venue is on to avoid the traffic backup. We have listed this bit of advice on our wedding website and our invitations direct guests to the site for directions. I am hoping they are smart enough to take heed and figure it out :)

  6. Great idea! Our venue (the city zoo) is definitely easy to find, but since our guests will be parking a different parking lot, rather than the main one all the signs direct you to, a few maps can't hurt! I love the idea of those classy black and white maps!