Wednesday, October 21, 2009

{Pro in the Know} Invitation Terms

Everybody talks about wedding invitations, but there are actually many more terms that are associated with them and items that might accompany them.  Below are explanations of some of the more common terms and items that you are likely to encounter while shopping for your invitations. 
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Seal and Send Invitations: This all-in-one wedding invitation style folds up and seals into its own self-mailing piece.  Attached to the invitation by a perforation is the response postcard which is easily removed by the guests.  Since the response piece is a postcard, you will save on postage for the return mailing and the envelope is eliminated.  Pricing for this type of invitation usually includes decorative seals along with a printed return address on both the back flap when initially mailing the invitation and on the response postcard.

Layered Invitations:  This term pertains to invitations that have layers of paper tied or glued together.  Many times the top layer is translucent which means that through the top layer you will see a muted version of the decorative paper that lies underneath. 

Pocket Wedding Invitations: This style of invitation includes a pocket wrap that holds the invitation card and has a pocket to hold any separate card enclosures.  The wrap then folds up into one piece for enclosing in the mailing envelope.

Announcements:  For those whom you would like to inform of your recent marriage but will not be invited to your wedding, you can choose to mail them an announcement card.  They can be printed on paper that matches your wedding invitation with the verse reading that your wedding has already taken place.  Suggested mailing is on the day of your wedding or immediately after. 

Reception Cards:  An insert card that contains all the details of your wedding reception.  Reception cards can be used in place of having this information printed on your invitation or if only certain guests might be invited to this portion of your celebration.  They can be ordered to match your invitations and then be included as a separate insert.  Please keep in mind that including this card could possibly add to your mailing cost since postage is based on weight.

Response Cards:  Guests are asked to return this card indicating whether they will be able to attend your wedding.  Response cards provide you with the accurate guest count you will need to properly plan for your dinner/reception.  The response card along with its return mailing envelope will be inserted with your wedding invitation.  Remember to include a postage stamp on this small return envelope which will also have a mailing address pre-printed so your guests can easily return it by the date you have requested.   

Map/Direction Cards:  Guests will appreciate direction cards as a convenience if they are not familiar with the location of the church and/or reception.  

Double Envelopes:  Traditionally, formal wedding invitations come with a set of two envelopes.  The outer envelope is actually the mailing envelope containing the name and address of the guests.  The inner envelope holds the invitation along with any insert pieces and is addressed with only the guests' names.  This envelope is left unsealed and placed inside the outer envelope.

Printed Envelope Flaps:  Having your return address printed on the flap of the outside envelope can save you time and ensure that undeliverable wedding invitations are promptly returned to you.  A return address also provides an address to any guests who might not be able to attend but still wish to send a card or gift.  There is usually a small charge for this option. 

Lined Inner Envelopes:  For a small fee, you can request a colored lining on the inside of your inner envelopes to add a special touch to your wedding invitation ensemble.  Color choices will vary depending on the invitation style you choose.

Envelope Seals:  Optional, decorative self-adhesive seals can add the finishing touch to the outside of your mailing envelope.  They are available in many styles and are used to give the illusion that they are holding the flap down even though the envelope has already been sealed. 

Informal Notes:  These are typically used as your thank you notes but it is a good idea to order them when you order your wedding invitations since they can be printed on matching paper and this will save you on shipping costs.  Informal notes are personalized with either your monogram or first names on the front with the inside left blank for you to write your personal message.  Any extras can be used long after the wedding for other purposes.  Blank mailing envelopes are included.

Engraving:  This is a time-honored process of raising ink on paper through a process of etching metal plates, filling the etches with ink, then pressing paper into the plates.

Thermography:  A printing process whereby wedding invitations are printed in ink and a special powder is sprinkled over the wet ink. Then the invitation is sent through a heater which melts the powder and "raises" the ink. Thermography is more cost effective than engraving. 

Many of the above items are not essential to making your wedding invitations complete but now you know some of the options that are available.   Remember, this is your special day, so it’s your decision as to which invitation style you choose and which pieces or special touches to include as part of your entire stationery ensemble. 

Article by Knol

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