Properly wording wedding invitations
will help spotlight the mood and tone of your wedding for guests. If you plan a
formal ceremony with multi-course dining at the reception, your invitations and
related material should be formal. But if you dream of a casual garden wedding
with wildflowers and a cloud-dappled sky, your stationery should reflect that
Traditionally, wedding invitation etiquette is clarity, consistency and good taste. Your invitation often is the first signal that prospective guests get about your wedding plans. Properly shaping the message and its tone is important.
Your first priority in wording wedding invitations is to provide information—the who, what, where, when and why; so beloved by journalists. Make sure these details are clear. All the fancy designs and color accents won’t make up for not communicating your message.
But wedding invitation etiquette is more than a sentimental request for someone to share in your happiness. It’s also the result of engineering, design and technology. Here are some of the processes and technology that can be used to make your request an irresistible invitation:
1. Calligraphy. Handwritten calligraphy is still the most elegant way to prepare your wedding invitations wording, but it’s usually very costly. Many stationery stores now provide calligraphy machines that can inscribe your invitations at lower cost. If you really want handwritten calligraphy, but can’t afford it for your entire invitation and related materials, hire a calligrapher to hand-address the envelopes only.
2. Computer Printing. Best for informal invitations, computer printing costs the least. You can, however, select from a wide range of paper and typefaces, and use specialized software to create elegant borders and decorative accents.
3. Engraving. The most formal process in wedding invitation etiquette is engraving. It is also the most expensive. The paper is pressed against a metal plate, which causes the letters to be raised on the paper. Once you create an engraving template, or “die,” it’s yours, and your stationer usually will keep it filed for your later use.
4. Handwritten. If you have beautiful penmanship and time to burn, buy beautiful paper and envelopes, then write your personal invitations by hand, a process highly recommended by wedding invitation etiquette purists. You can set the tone for your celebration by choosing from among a plethora of stationery, pens and ink colors.
5. Offset Printing. In offset printing, the ink lays atop the paper. It’s less expensive than engraving or thermography, and creates a less formal look that’s appropriate for an informal wedding.
6. Thermography. The thermography process infuses ink and powder together on the paper to create raised lettering. Because the letters aren’t pushed from behind and no metal plate is used, thermography costs about half as much as engraving.
Remember, the look of your wedding stationery is not the only way to convey the formality or casualness of your wedding. Planning to properly word wedding invitations can also represent your desired tone to help guests plan accordingly.