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Wedding Invitations

The invitation to a wedding is a letter inviting the recipient to attend a wedding. This is usually written in the formal language of a third person and mailed five to eight weeks before the date of the wedding.

As every other invitation, it is the host’s right and obligation — traditionally, for younger brides in Western culture, the bride’s mother, on behalf of the bride’s family — to issue invitations, either by sending them or by receiving them, either by enlisting the aid of relatives , friends or her social secretary to pick the guest list and address the envelopes, or by hiring a se With computer technology, others may use a mail merge with word processing and spreadsheet applications to print directly on envelopes from a guests list.

The History Of The Wedding Invites

The Middle Ages and Beyond
Before Johannes Gutenberg ‘s invention of the mobile printing press in 1447, marriages in England were usually announced by a Town crier: a man who would walk the streets announcing the news of the day in a loud voice. Anyone within earshot has historically been a part of the party.

Analphabetism was prevalent in the Middle Ages, and the custom of sending written wedding invitations originated among the aristocracy. Assuming families should commission monks, trained in the art of calligraphy, to render their notes by hand.

These documents also bore the individual’s Coat of Arms, or personal crest, and were sealed with wax.

Beginning in 1600,

Despite the invention of the printing press, the standard printing methods of the period, in which ink was simply poured onto the paper using lead type, created a result that was too bad for fashionable invitations to create. At this time, however, the practice of announcing weddings has become known in the newspaper.

In 1642, Ludwig von Siegen ‘s invention of metal-plate engraving (or Mezzotint) put wedding invitations of higher quality within the scope of the emerging middle class. Graving, as the name suggests, allows an artisan to “hand-write” the text in reverse on a metal plate using a carving tool, and the plate was then used to print the invitation. The resulting engraved invitations were covered from smudging by placing on top of a sheet of tissue paper, which is a tradition that continues to this day.

The wording of wedding invitations at the time was more formal than it is today; usually, each guest ‘s name was written separately on the invitation.

The Industrial Uprising

Following Alois Senefelder ‘s invention of lithography in 1798, it became possible to produce very sharp and distinctive inks without the need for engraving.This paved the way for a genuine mass-market to emerge in wedding invitations.

However, owing to the unreliability of the new postal system, wedding invitations were often sent by hand and on horseback. To shield the invitation from harm en route to its receiver, a ‘double envelope’ has been used. Despite advancements in postal reliability, the practice remains today.

Modified times

The roots of the commercially printed ‘great wedding stationery’ can be traced back to the time immediately after World War II, where a combination of populism and rapid industrial development gave the common man the right to emulate the elite of society’s lifestyles and materialism. About this time, influential figures in society, such as Amy Vanderbilt and Emily Post, appeared to educate the common man and woman on etiquette.

The development of thermography has also underpinned the rise in wedding stationery use. Although it lacks the fineness and distinctive characteristics of engraving, thermography is a less costly method of attaining an elevated form. This method, also called engraving by poor man, creates polished, raised lettering without impressing the paper surface (as conventional engraving does). As such, invitations to wedding-whether printed or engraved-eventually became affordable to everyone.

More recently letterpress printing has given wedding invitations a fast revival in popularity. Because of the deep impression or bite it can be done it has a certain boutique and craft appeal. In this way, it was not the original intention of letterpress to bite into the paper but instead to kiss it making a flat print. The bite or deep impression is a recent style that adds the tactile touch experience to wedding invitations printed by letterpress. Many letterpress printers specializing in wedding invitations are small start-ups or artisan printers, rather than large printing firms.

Over the last few years laser engraving has also made headway in the wedding invitation market. It is mainly used to engrave invitations to wood veneer, and is often used to engrave acrylic or to mark other types of metal invitations.

In wedding invitations the latest trend is to order them online. The use of the internet has made it an easy task to view, organize and order wedding invitations. There are hundreds of websites offering wedding invitations and paperwork and being online enables the client to order from anywhere in the world.

The label for the text on a formal invitation to a wedding varies by country, culture and language. Usually, a formal invitation is written in the formal, third-person language in Western countries, saying the hosts want the guest to attend the wedding and offer their date , time and place. Even in countries such as India, where the British acquired the concept of wedding invitations, the language continues to follow Western traditions.[3]

Since the parents of the bride are typically the wedding hosts, the text usually starts with the names of the parents of the bride as they use them in formal social contexts such as “Mr. and Mrs. John A Smith” or “Dr. Mary Jones and Mr. John Smith.” The exact wording varies, but a typical phrase goes like this:

A modern invitation to a wedding
Mr John A Smith, and Mrs.
Request honor from your attendance
On their daughter’s wedding
Jessica Marie Mary
Monsieur Michael Francis Miller
On the 1st November
By 12 noon
Hall at Christchurch
Virginia Richmond
Note the apparently anglicized ‘honour’ spelling; this derives from an Emily Post ruling in the 1920’s.

In the United States, when the service is performed in a worship house, the line “request … presence” is used; “pleasure of your company” is used when it takes place elsewhere.

If parents of the groom are also wedding hosts, then their names may also be added. If the parents are not the host of the wedding, the host ‘s name will be replaced in the first line, or, especially if the bride and groom are the host themselves, the passive voice may be written: “The honor of your presence is requested at the wedding of …”

Sent after the wedding ceremony, formal announcements omit the time and sometimes the place, but usually retain the same general form.

Informal invitations are issued by word of mouth or by hand-written letter, which are appropriate for less formal weddings. There is no fixed form for such invitations as long as they express the requisite practical details about the time and place.

Design and printing
Typically, commercial wedding invitations are printed using one of the following methods: engraving, lithography, thermography, letterpress printing, sometimes blind embossing, compression plate processing, or offset printing. More recently, a lot of do-it-yourself brides use a laser printer or inkjet printer to print on their home computers. They can be handmade, or written in calligraphy for the artistically inclined.

Historically, wedding invitations were hand-written unless this was rendered impractical by the length of the guest list.When mass production was required, engraving was preferred over the only other option then widely available, which was a relatively poor quality of letterpress. Hand-written invitations are still considered the most correct in the hosts’ own handwriting whenever feasible; these invitations follow the same formal third-person form as printed ones for formal marriages and take the form of a personal letter for less formal marriages.

Invitation to marry: Cover
Manufacturers often provide tissues to put over the printed text. Originally, the purpose of the tissue was to reduce smudging or blotting, particularly on invitations poorly printed or hurriedly mailed before the ink was completely dried, but improved printing techniques mean that they are now simply decorative. Those who know that their original purpose has been rendered irrelevant by dramatic improvements in printing technology usually discard them.

Modern design of invitations is following trends in fashion. Invitations are generally chosen to match the personal preferences of the couple, the level of the event’s formality and any color scheme or theme that is planned. A casual beach wedding, for example, might have light, fresh colors and beach-related graphics. A formal church wedding may have more types of scripts and lots of ornamentation matching the event’s formal nature. The invitation design is becoming less and less traditional, and more reflective of the personality of the couple. Some web-based print-on-demand enterprises now allow couples to design or customize their own invitations for weddings.

An example of a modern foil invitation to a wedding
More recently in 2019, invitations for foil stamping and foil sleeking have reverted to trend. Foil sleeking is applied by applying a thick layer of toner to a paper using all four CMYK colors and a fifth white colour, followed by a film heat transfer machine where the foil sticks to the toner and design.

Typically, the invitation is a note card, folded in half or perhaps folded in French (folded twice, into quarters). Other options include a sheet of paper, a triplicate design or a trendy pocket-fold design. The proper density of paper depends on the design but typically