Printing and design
Handmade Wedding Invitation
Commercial wedding invitations are typically printed using one of the following methods: engraving, lithography, thermography, letterpress printing, sometimes blind embossing, compression plate process, or offset printing. More recently, many do-it-yourself brides are printing on their home computers using a laser printer or inkjet printer. For the artistically inclined, they can be handmade or written in calligraphy.
Historically, wedding invitations were hand-written unless the length of the guest list made this impractical. When mass-production was necessary, engraving was preferred over the only other widely available then option, which was a relatively poor quality of letterpress printing. Hand-written invitations, in the hosts’ own handwriting, are still considered most correct whenever feasible; these invitations follow the same formal third-person form as printed ones for formal weddings, and take the form of a personal letter for less formal weddings.
Tissues are often provided by manufacturers to place over the printed text. Originally, the purpose of the tissue was to reduce smudging or blotting, especially on invitations poorly printed or hastily mailed before the ink was fully dried, but improved printing techniques mean they are now simply decorative. Those who know that their original purpose has been made irrelevant by dramatic improvements in printing technology usually discard them.
Modern invitation design follows fashion trends. Invitations are generally chosen to match the couple’s personal preferences, the level of formality of the event, and any color scheme or planned theme. For example, a casual beach wedding may have light, fresh colors and beach-related graphics. A formal church wedding may have more scripty typefaces and lots of ornamentation that matches the formal nature of the event. The design of the invitation is becoming less and less traditional and more reflective of the couple’s personality.
The invitation is typically a note card, folded in half, or perhaps French folded (folded twice, into quarters). Other options include a sheet of paper, a tri-fold, or a trendy pocket-fold design. The appropriate paper density depends on the design, but typically ranges from heavy paper to very stiff card stock.
Personal Wedding Websites (also known as “wedsites” a combination of “wedding” and “websites”)are a relatively new[when?] tradition in which engaged couples employ the use of a website to aid in planning and communication for their wedding. The websites are used for a variety of purposes including communication with guests, sharing wedding photos and videos with those who were unable to attend, and providing maps, hotel and destination information, bridal party and couple biographies, and profiling vendors. Increasingly the sites are being used as tools for wedding planning
Traditionally, wedding invitations are mailed in double envelopes. The inner envelope may be lined, is not gummed, and fits into the outer envelope. The outer envelope is gummed for sealing and addressing. More recently, the inner envelope is often left out in the interest of saving money, paper, and postage. In some cases, a pocketfold takes the place of an inner envelope.
In countries that issue them, the envelope may be franked with love stamps. The United States postal service issues a love stamp each year specifically denominated to cover the double weight of the invitation and reply (a rate slightly less than the cost of two regular stamps).
In addition to the invitation itself, sellers promote a full panoply of optional printed materials. The ensemble may include an R.S.V.P. response card, a separate invitation to a wedding reception, and information such as maps, directions, childcare options, and hotel accommodations.
These printers also sell matching pieces intended for the day of the wedding, such as programs, menus, table cards, place cards as well as wedding favors and party favors such as napkins, coasters, cocktail stirrers and matchboxes.
As with any invitation, the sole obligation of the person receiving it is to respond, as promptly as reasonably possible, to let the hosts know whether or not he will be able to attend. Receiving a wedding invitation does not obligate the recipient either to attend the wedding or to send a gift.
A proper response is written on the recipient’s normal stationery, following the form of the Black and white wedding invitations. For example, if the invitation uses formal, third-person language, then the recipient replies in formal, third-person language, saying either “Mr. Robert Jones accepts with pleasure the kind invitation to the wedding on the first of November”, or “Ms. Susan Brown regrets that she is unable to attend the wedding on the first of November.”