If this is your first time digging into the wedding stationery world, there are so many options for invitations, it can be hard to choose. This reference guide will help you figure out which pieces you want to have for your particular event.
There are ways to condense information into single cards, however, we'll run through the proper etiquette of what you might choose to include and its purpose.
THE INVITATION CARD
The main card in your suite, which sets the tone of the entire event for the guests, and communicates the important details like who, what, when, and where. A typical size of a Winter Paper Co. invitation card is usually 5" x 7” but some of our semi-custom suites feature unique sizes, and we’re always able to do a unique sizes for a custom suite.
THE INVITATION ENVELOPE
The envelope which contains the entire invitation suite. This is addressed to your guest, and your return address typically appears on the back flap. The size of this envelope (for a Winter Paper Co. Invite) is typically an A7, or 5.25" x 7.25.”
THE RESPONSE CARD
This is the card with which guests can mail back to you, and respond if they are able to attend. This is a great place to ask for dietary restrictions, menu selections, etc. Our typical size for these is 3.5” x 5,” but can vary from suite to suite. This is the smallest postcard or mailable size the Post Office allows, or you can use this card to simply direct guests to your wedding website to RSVP.
This is a great place to list your wedding registry (etiquette says it should not be included on the invitation pieces themselves). Otherwise, this small card can be used if your reception is at a separate location from the ceremony, or if you want to share your wedding website. This card is not an option with our semi-custom stationery collection, but available to our custom stationery clients.
THE RESPONSE CARD ENVELOPE
If your guests are required to mail back their response card, you need to supply a pre-paid postage envelope. Your address would appear on the front of these cards, so all the responses come back to you directly. The smallest size this can be is an A1 envelope size, or 3.625" x 5.125”
This card can be used to talk about additional events throughout the weekend, such as rehearsal dinners, welcome receptions or brunches. It’s also a great spot for a map of the area, transportation, parking, or accommodations information. If you’re selecting a 3 piece suite, you can use the details card as a non-mailable option, in lieu of a response card, and have guests reply via a wedding website. Our typical size for these is 5.5 x 4.25, but can vary from suite to suite.
Add a colorful, coordinated envelope liner to your suite! Envelope liners tie together all the pieces, and give a delightful surprise to guests when opening your invitation suite. When using envelope liners, we suggest using a strong tape to enclose your invitations, so guests can more easily open the flap.
Wrapping an invitation can also involve a larger piece of paper or mixed media. Jackets are typically tri-fold, and can be made of fun elements like vellum or paper, (which can be custom printed), or even seed paper or thin leather.
In addition to picking styles of paper to print on, you also have options on how the paper is finished. A straight cut edge is the classic presentation that you’ll see in most instances. Deckled edging is a process where the edges of the paper are ripped to resemble the look of hand-made paper. And edge painting is a unique process where double thick paper is painted only on the edges to reveal a color accent. Specialty paper edging does require specific papers to be used in each instance, and does cost additional - let us know if you’re interested in these options when we’re first getting started, so we can properly price your suite.
Without some sort of wrap around the invitations, your insert cards will slide around inside the envelope. To prevent this and preserve the presentation as guests open your invitations, add a belly band to keep everything tidy. There are lots of options for wrapping your invitations, but the key is to not pick something very thick, or you’ll end up with a parcel rate for mailing your invitations.
These are small tags which are added to belly bands. They can be die cut into a variety of shapes, such as square, circular, rectangular, etc. They can be digitally printed monograms, letterpress motifs - you dream it, we can add it.
Die cutting takes invitation elements to the next level by adding shapes to your suite! Some of our semi-custom suites already include die cut invitations, but we can absolutely create any size or style of shape.
Wax seals add an elegant, timeless look to your envelopes or belly bands. Wax seals can be used on the inside or outside of your main envelope. They add a regal touch to any suite, but they do also add to the cost of postage.
We can create customized pre-made seals with adhesive, or supply the stamp, and you’ll can create your own, at home. How you plan on using the seals will determine if you need to melt your own wax and stamp your own, or if purchasing pre-made seals is best.
Vellum is a thin, transluscent piece of paper. We can print onto the vellum, and you attach these pieces on top of an invitation with a eyelet, or leave it loose as a traditional, protectant layer for your printed suite.
When a pocket envelope is opened, the invitation is usually adhered to one side, and the pocket contains the additional loose pieces, like response cards and details cards. Pockets are usually sealed with a belly band or a wax seal. Pocket envelopes are available in a variety of colors, and can be landscape or portrait orientation. Only a few of our semi- custom suites are formatted to fit pocket envelopes already. If this is an option you want to add to a suite that isn’t formatted for pocket envelopes, you’ll end up needing to look at a custom invitation suite.
Instead of printing directly onto your invitation envelopes (especially dark envelopes), consider adding an envelope address sticker wrap for a unique look.
Add a second layer to your invitation card - whether it's a pop of color, a textured paper style, or just a monochromatic layer for added depth.