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Weddings: The Wedding Stationery Trousseau

Wedding Invitation

The invitation creates the first impression of your upcoming wedding to your guests and should reflect the tone you wish to set for the ceremony and reception e.g. traditional, formal, casual, creative, etc. Today there are endless designs and styles to choose from and Creative Papers, Ltd. carries a full-line of distinctive invitations, corresponding enclosures and stationery to fit your personal tastes, needs and budget.

Outer Envelope :
It is customary to use double envelopes for the wedding invitation. The larger, outer envelope is the mailing envelope on which the guest’s name and address should be handwritten in full, without abbreviations, such as “Mr. and Mrs. William Kelly.” The sender’s complete return address, but not the sender’s name, should be embossed or printed on the envelope’s back flap.


Inner Envelope :

The inner envelope is slightly smaller and has no adhesive on the envelope’s flap. This envelope holds the invitation and enclosure card(s) and is inserted into the outer envelope. Only the guest’s title and surname is handwritten on the front of the inner envelope, “Mr. and Mrs. Kelly.” The first names of children who are invited may be written under the name of the parents.

Tissues :
Invitations were once engraved with oil-based inks. These inks were very slow to dry so tissue was inserted between invitation and enclosure cards to prevent smudging. Although they are no longer necessary, the tissued invitations have become an acceptable and tasteful tradition.


Enclosure Cards

A variety of smaller enclosure cards can be included with the wedding invitation which provides additional information about the ceremony or reception to the guests. Most often, enclosure cards are printed to match the same stock and ink color of the wedding invitation. Creative Papers, Ltd. will help you select the enclosure cards which will convey the appropriate information.

Reception Card :
This card is used to invite guest to the wedding reception. Traditionally a reception card, without an envelope, accompanies the invitation when the ceremony and the reception are being held at different locations.

Response Card and Envelope :
Correct etiquette in the past called for the recipient of a wedding invitation to reply with a handwritten note on their own stationery. However, the use of a response card has become acceptable and customary today. The response card indicates the date by which the guest’s reply is requested and provides a space for the guest’s name and response. The card’s envelope has printed the name and address of the person to whom the reply is sent. As a courtesy, a postage stamp should be affixed to the envelope.

Direction Card :
A card with precise directions should be enclosed with the invitation when the location for the ceremony or reception is not widely known by the guests.

Accommodation Card :
Accommodation cards are sent to out-of-town guests who need to make hotel arrangements. The card lists the names and phone numbers of convenient hotels and inns. If the host has reserved and paid for a guest’s room, this should be stated on the card along with the hotel’s address and phone number.

Transportation Card :
A transportation card is used to inform the guest that transportation has been arranged and will be provided by the host for travel from the ceremony to the reception or for travel home from the reception.

Pew Card :
To assist ushers, this card is used to identify select guests who are seated in a special section of the church, Pew numbers are handwritten on individual cards prior to sending. The guest gives the card to the usher for proper seating.

Within The Ribbon Card :
A card reading “Within the Ribbon” informs ushers that guests bearing this card should be seated in a special section identified with a ribbon or cord.

Admittance Card :
This card is used when a celebrity or dignitary wish to admit only invited guests to their wedding reception. The cards are present by guests upon entry to the ceremony or reception.

At Home Card :
This card announces the address of the couple’s new residence and the date after which they will be residing in their new home. When the At Home Card is enclosed with the wedding invitation, the couple’s married name is not used since the marriage has not yet occurred. If the At Home Card is enclosed with a wedding announcement, which is only sent after the wedding, the couple’s married name is used.

Wedding Announcement

The Wedding Announcement is sent after the wedding has occurred and is used to inform family members, friends and associates that the event has taken place. The Announcement should only be sent to those people who did not receive an invitation to the wedding. It simply announces the event; it does not invite nor require the recipient to send a gift.

The Announcement resembles the Wedding Invitation in that the same type of paper and double envelopes should be used. Although the wording of wedding announcements differs from that of invitations, the etiquette is the same.

It is preferable to mail Announcements the day after the wedding but they may be sent up to one year after the wedding.

Bride’s Stationery

Informal Note.
Contrary to its name, informal notes are rather formal. An informal note is a small folded note card, personalized on the front with a name or monogram. It may be used for many purposes such as thank-you notes, gift enclosures, informal invitations and any brief correspondence.

Correspondence Card.
More informal than a note, these cards are used for thank-you’s, informal invitations and short notes. Correspondence cards are flat, heavy cards which have a name, monogram or coat of arms at the top.

Gift Acknowledgment Card.
This card is used as a courteous and quick way to acknowledge that a wedding gift has been received. Gift acknowledgement cards are sent when the bride is going on a long honeymoon or when she has a very large wedding and is unable to reply promptly with personalized written notes.

wedding invitation

Ordering and Mailing Invitations

Ordering Time Schedule :
Wedding invitations should be mailed four to six weeks prior to the wedding date. They should be ordered early enough to allow both the stationer and calligrapher, should one be used, sufficient time to process the invitations and envelopes. It is best to allow the stationer four to six weeks and the calligrapher an additional two weeks; therefore, invitations should be ordered at least three months prior to the wedding date.

Correct Postage :
Once you have received your invitations, a complete sample with its corresponding enclosures should be assembled and weighed to determine the correct postage. The added weight of the enclosure card(s) may require additional postage.

Printing Processes

Engraving - Often considered the ultimate printing process, engraved lines are the sharpest and most distinct. In this age of ever-changing technology, engraving, created by craftsman centuries ago, is still the preferred symbol of quality and elegance, unequaled by any other technique.

A copperplate or steel die, meticulously etched with the copy to be printed, is placed in position on the engraving press. The plate is inked and wiped so that the ink remains in the recesses of the etched lettering or copy. Each invitation or accessory is individually fed into the press. Pressure forces the paper into the ink-filled crevices of the plate causing the image to be transferred and raised on the paper. It is this third dimension that creates the sharp definition associated with the engraving process. Due to the pressure exerted by the die press, an indentation is created on the back of the paper and a bruise is created on the front around the copy.

Thermography - Sometimes called raised printing, thermography creates its raised image without a copperplate. Thermography is a process produced by dusting slow-drying ink with a resinous powder and then applying heat. The powder fuses with the ink to create a glossy, raised impression. Thermography provides an appealing technique, adding a dimensional affect to design.

Lithography - Also known as flat printing, lithography is produced by using the offset process of printing. Because the appearance is flat and one-dimensional, lithography works well combined with other processes.

Embossing - Embossing produces a raised relief image through the use of a die, heat and pressure, literally reshaping the paper. Depending on the die, impressions can be created with a single level, multi-level, rounded, beveled or sculptured effects.

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