(Ed. note: Today’s post is an excerpt from iDo: Planning Your Wedding with Nothing But Net by Christa Terry. Check it out!)
Once upon a time, wedding invitations included an outer envelope, an inner envelope, a folded invitation card, a response card with its own envelope, a reception card, and a bunch of little squares of tissue paper that kept runny ink from getting all over everything. Really elegant invitations were made of oversized heavy ecru cardstock engraved with richly colored inks. You can still get invites of this sort, but be prepared to pay a premium for them. There is an art to packing a multi-component invitation, and the whole process is thoroughly outlined at Rexcraft.com/Custom/Rexcraft/Rexcraft_Etiquette.cfm. To make a long story short, response cards, RSVP envelopes, and reception cards take up different positions depending on how the invitations itself is folded and where the text appears. The thing is, it’s unlikely that any of your invitees will be particularly familiar with this paper folding etiquette, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
The big players in the nuptial paper world are the invitations, which come in hundreds of sizes, shapes, colors, and configurations. That said, be prepared to see the same paper and printing options again and again and again if you’re planning on buying mass-produced invites. An affiliate program launched by Carlson Craft has, to some extent, dominated the online invitation world with their cceasy program. You’re going to see a lot of online invitation shops that look just like the sample site at Free.cceasy.com—the prices appear to be set by Carlson Craft so you’re not going to find a better deal unless you can find a store that isn’t a part of the cceasy program that carries the same merchandise. Good luck with that.
You can stick it to the mainstream by looking at the many, many alternative options out there. The plainest of modern invitations typically consist of one envelope, a single invitation card, a response card with an envelope, and a reception card, but there’s no reason to settle for unadorned vellum. The inner envelopes and tissue squares of yesteryear have been replaced by ornate ribbons and charms, brightly colored wraps, and complicated systems of overlays. The more intricate invitations are usually the most visually interesting, but they can also leave recipients feeling a little confused. If you suspect your loved ones won’t be able to navigate the complex scheme of knots and bows on highly embellished invites, opt for something simpler.
Some invitations will always be more impressive than others. Oslopress.com crafts dramatic invitations made of laser-engraved birch, cherry, oak, maple, and walnut woods. At Bluemagpieinvitations.com, you can order custom designed invites in beautiful fabric enclosures. Would you prefer that each of your invitations be hand painted by an artist? Stop by Momentaldesigns.com to get a feel for the cost of originality. It’s not at all difficult to find invitations in bottles, scrolled invitations, seeded invitations that can be planted, and cards that come wrapped in silk envelopes.
Be aware, however, that impressiveness is almost always pricey.
(Image via Woodland Papercuts, which you should also check out!)