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Wedding invitations are more than a simple announcement of your big day - they are a way to share specific information that ensures your guests will know where to be and at what time. As you go down your wedding planning checklist and start working on the invites, be sure you include all the details necessary. Here's what you should have:

What information to include on a wedding invitation

The five "Ws"
?When your guests finish reading your wedding invitations, they should know who's invited, what time the events are at, where the ceremony and reception are located, and how to get there. It may sound overwhelming, but standard invite wording has most of it covered. Here's an example:

"Together with their parents, John Charles Smith and Anna Marie Todd request the honor of your presence at their marriage on Saturday, June fifth two thousand and fourteen at three o'clock in the afternoon at St. Michaels Church." 

That sentence tells the guests that they are celebrating a marriage (why), who it's for (who), where the ceremony will take place (where), and the time and date (when and what).

Reply cards
You won't only be giving information when you send an invitation, you'll be asking for some in return. Send reply and reception cards with your invites so that guests can RSVP. The reception cards lay out the five Ws (and one H) in regards to the celebration portion of your big day. Guests fill out and send reply cards that say who will be attending. Often, reply cards also have a spot where guests can choose their dinner entree - this is especially useful if you have friends and family with dietary restrictions. You should also include addressed envelopes so your guests can return the reply card with ease.

Map enclosures
While many people have GPS in their cars and on their smartphones, some brides and grooms like to enclose a map to lead guests to the ceremony and reception, as well as offer locations to eat or lounge between events (such as bars or restaurants). If you'd like to include a map, you can either add a card into your invites or choose stationery that has a map printed on the back. Both options are an elegant way to give your guests additional info - besides, some people prefer good old paper maps. 

Hotel and travel 
Some guests may be coming in from out of town, which means they need a place to stay. Couples may reserve rooms at a local hotel and others just provide guests with information to book a room for themselves. Create a list of hotels, cab companies and local eateries for your out-of-town friends and family.