Wedding invitation

Wedding invitation

A wedding invitation is a letter asking the recipient to attend a wedding. It is typically mailed four to six weeks before the wedding date. Wedding invitations may be printed using one of the following methods: engraving, lithography, thermography, letterpress printing and sometimes blind embossing. They can be ordered from an artist, or vendor, specializing in invitations. For the artistically inclined, they can be handmade.

Often, 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. Tissues are often provided by manufacturers to place over the engraved text, originally this tissue protected the engraving against smudging or blotting, but improved printing techniques mean they are now simply decorative. [Elizabeth Post, "Emily Post on Weddings", page 65. 1987.] Traditionally, the mother of the bride addresses the wedding invitations. However, if she chooses not to, the mother of the bride may outsource this responsibility to a professional calligrapher or a friend with good penmanship.

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).

Response card

Along with the wedding invitation, the ensemble may also include a response card and envelope. The response card is traditionally used for gathering totals for the caterer and getting a general number of guests attending. The recipient is asked to mail back the response card roughly three weeks before the wedding or by the date indicated. The envelope is pre-addressed and pre-stamped by the wedding party for ease. A new more modern option is sending the response card as a pre-addressed and pre-stamped post card. Using the post card eliminates the need for an inner envelope for less formal weddings.

Other items

Other pieces often included in the ensemble are the reception card or folder, map or direction card, and accommodation information. The reception card simply lists the addresses and times of any post-wedding events, such as a cocktail hour, dinner or dance. Map or direction cards provide details about the location of the wedding and reception. The accommodation information gives helpful tips about airfare, transportation or hotel arrangements for out-of-town guests. Local attractions may be featured as well. Often the accommodation information is sent in advance with the save the dates.

ave The Date

A save the date is similar to an invitation and is mailed up to one year before the wedding date. Save the dates simply announce that the wedding date has been set and encourages recipients to plan for the event. It is not used as a substitute for the wedding invitation and typically mentions that an invitation will follow. The save the date can also allow you to let guests know what area of the country the wedding will be held. Save the Date cards are only necessary for weddings that occur on holidays or destination weddings. They are an optional piece for weddings not occurring on holidays or destination weddings.


In pop culture

In "The Invitations" episode of "Seinfeld", George Costanza's fiancé Susan is killed by licking toxic wedding invitations that George picked out since they were inexpensive.

See also

*Personal wedding website
*History of wedding invitations

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