Your guests will appreciate the convenience of a preprinted card
that lists recommended hotels in your area, along with the phone numbers.
A handy way to inform everyone of your new address and the you expect
to begin residing there
A printing process that employs a die (see below) to yield colorless
letters and images with a raised "relief" surface.
The perfected art of handwriting/penmanship. Often associated with
fancy, curlicue script, calligraphy is now comprised of several
genres and styles.
Term describing the appearance of paper with thick wrinkles, ridges,
Type of paper made from 100 percent cotton. Arguably the most traditional
and elegant option for wedding invitations.
The irregular, feathered, "torn" edge of handmade paper.
An etched metal plate used to create engraved or embossed images
and type. Die-cutting: The process of cutting various paper shapes,
particularly with envelopes.
Preprinted enclosure cards providing directions to the ceremony and
the reception site can be exceptionally helpful for your guests,
especially those coming from out of town.
In bygone days, when invitations were hand-delivered, an outer envelope
was used to keep the invitation envelope clean for a more impressive
invitation presentation to the guest. Whether or not you opt for
double envelopes is your decision. Today, many invitations are
sent with single envelopes for a variety of reasons, including
less paper waste and because some of the fancier custom-made envelopes
styles are designed to be singles. If you order double envelopes
and you also choose envelope linings, the inner envelope will be
A printing technique that forms letters and images with a raised "relief" surface,
imparting added dimension to the invitation design. Usually used
for large initials or borders.
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These are the formal announcements of your engagement.
The most formal of printing methods, through which the letters appear
slightly raised. A "bruise" typically forms on the back of
the paper from the pressure. Engraving plate: An etched steel die
used to create engraved type or images.
The ornate calligraphic details that frequent ultra-formal invitations.
Gift Received Cards
Preprinted cards acknowledging that a gift was received may be sent
ahead of (never instead of) personally written thank you notes. This
allows the newlyweds to wait until after their honeymoon to thank
their guests more personally.
A very thin, waxy paper. Thinner than vellum (see below), its surface
is slick and shiny, whereas vellum is more translucent. Glassine
is best suited for envelope use, while vellum is sturdy enough to be printed
on directly for invitation use.
Made from natural organic materials including cotton, rag, hemp,
and plant fibers, uneven or "rough" in texture.
The various (calligraphic) script and lettering styles a talented
calligrapher can create.
Made from chipboard or newsprint, often from recycled fibers, industrial
papers have a rugged, hip look about them. Corrugated cardboard
and brown kraft paper (think brown grocery bags) are examples.
This is the personalized stationery on which to write individual
thank you notes to guests. In more traditional times, a bride would
write her thank you notes on her own stationery (without her husband’s
first name). However, as times evolve, most couples prefer to include
both names on their stationery.
A term for the exaggerated, oversized first letter of a word you'll
sometimes see in lavish calligraphy or a decorative typeface.
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Screen-printed paper that creates an illusion of layering; for example,
paper that looks like it's overlaid with a swatch of lace.
Paper that's similar to Vellum (see below), with a rougher, bumpy
A beautiful printing alternative to engraving (but more expensive).
The labor-intensive method dates back to the fifteenth century
and involves inking an image to produce an impression: the impression
is transferred by placing paper against the image and manually
applying pressure. The images and typeface appear precise -- individually "stamped
paper -- and very rich in color. Letterpress is great if you're
using unusual paper, motifs, typeface, or want to play around with
pigments. Comparatively, engraving and thermography restrict the
A paper type with a surface that's more grainy than pure cotton stocks.
Another elegant, classic choice for wedding invitations.
Maps often enhance directions. Some establishments provide maps
which can be reproduced, provided the artwork is clean, scannable,
black and white print. These can either be a separate caard or
printed on the back of a direction card.
Decorative paper marked by swirling, abstract patterns that resemble
the surface of marble.
Paper with an opaque, non-reflective finish.
At the reception, guests are provided with a menu card describing
the dishes you have selected.
Foil-like paper, non-crinkling with a shiny, mirror-like finish.
It's best for envelopes, and not appropriate for the invitation
(ink doesn't take to it well).
The "flat" printing used on everyday fliers, letterhead,
stickers, and more. It's a nice choice if you want to save lots of cash,
use highly textured paper, or several different colors of ink (with
engraving and embossing, you're usually limited to just one).
Cloudy, translucent paper that creates an airy, dreamy effect.
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If you are planning assigned seating within the tables, these inform
your guests of their assigned seats.
Unit of measure indicating the size of an individual letter or character.
Guests appreciate an outline to follow along with at the ceremony,
and it will be saved as a memento of the event.
Traditionally, reception cards are included when the reception site
is in a place other than the ceremony site.
Years ago, writing “R.s.v.p.” as a left footnote on the invitation
or the reception card resulted in your guests’ prompt response, using
their own stationery. However, in today’s fast-paced environment,
this formality is becoming less well-known. Party planning budgets
require exact numbers. It is now more common (and much more effective)
to include response cards with invitations. Response cards ensure
a thorough response from your guest list, as they provide a convenient
fill-in-the-blank format together with a self-addressed envelope,
which the host has pre-stamped.
A thin, soft paper, that is actually not made from rice. It's non-traditional,
but beautiful and elegant. It can only accept the letterpress printing
mode; cream and ivory are the most common colors used in the design
of rice paper wedding invitations.
These preprinted notes are sent at least three months (but preferably
six months to a year) before the wedding date and are invaluable
if you plan to invite long-distance or if your wedding I splanned for a
popular vacation place or time.
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Refers to the paper component of a project. The term is used to describe
the thickness and heaviness of paper. Hardy card stock is ideal
for formal wedding invitations. They'll often come accompanied by a square
of tissue or parchment (delicate stocks) for elegant contrast.
If you are planning assigned tables at your reception, these inform
your guests of their assigned tables.
Probably the most popular print method (it's less expensive than
engraving.) A heat-based process fuses ink and resinous powder
to create raised lettering. It's virtually indistinguishable from engraving
work. The subtle differences: thermographed text is slightly shiny and
the back of the invitation remains smooth (no impression).
Tissues were generally put on top of the invitation to prevent the
old, slow drying inks from smudging. Today it is no longer necessary,
but many still prefer the traditional look of tissue.
The style/appearance of a letter or numeral. With the arrival of
desktop publishing, the term is more or less synonymous with the
A term you might hear used to describe the look of certain paper
or ribbon, meaning that it bears discreet hints of different colors.
Paper made from a cotton blend, with a translucent, frosted appearance,
and a smooth finish.
The translucent emblem or "beauty mark" buried in fine paper
that becomes visible when the paper is held up to light. A watermark
denotes superb quality, signifying the exclusivity of the paper company
Preprinted notes formally announcing the wedding to family, friends
and business associates who were not invited. Please note that
they are to be mailed the day after the wedding takes place (never
before), but it is acceptable to mail them anytime up to a year afterwards.
It is a tradition to designate special seating for select guests. The
guests receiving these cards present them to the ushers, who will
escort them to this special seating (usually in the front) that is
sectioned off by a ribbon.
***Special thanks to Checkerboard for contributing information and
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