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An Invitation to Your Dream Wedding

Gwen Baker


The very first impression that your family, friends and associates will get of your wedding will be when they open that heavy starched envelope containing your invitation; for it sets the manner and theme of your forthcoming event. At first sight, your guests will be able to tell whether your wedding is formal, semi-formal, or casual. Customarily, wedding invitations were either white or ivory with black ink, and always engraved. Today, brides want the elegance and formal look of the traditional wedding invitation but also want something different. The choices are never-ending. Take time and put some thought into selecting your invitations. Feel the paper samples. What impression do they give; understated elegance, fun or romance?

Your invitation should generally include:

• The outer invitation envelope

• An invitation

• A reception card

• A response card

• Another envelope for the response card

• Information for guests on where to stay, how to get there, and important phone numbers

• Detailed directions with addresses for the church and reception

Following are some of the different types of invitations for your consideration.

Engraved invitations – an age-old process where the paper is stamped with a mold, leaving an indentation or imprint on the paper. Ink is then applied to the imprint and allowed to dry. These type of invitations are the most difficult to prepare. You should plan on six weeks or more for delivery of the final product once you’ve approved the design and content. If you are having a formal wedding, engraved invitations are usually the ones to go with.

Thermo graphed Invitations – a popular option to engraved invitations today and less expensive. They are prepared by using a glue-based solution to set the lettering and design of your invitations. Then ink and very fine powder, or “dust” is applied to the glue based solution and heated. As the drying process takes place, the lettering becomes raised for an eye-catching and stylish look.

Calligraphy Invitations – graceful and trendy and have the “panache” of the “old fashioned.” Invitations prepared this way are handwritten in a script lettering that takes time and effort. Normally, special training is required for that “old world” look. If ordering calligraphy invitati

ons, allow plenty of time for delivery, and remember, calligraphy ink is usually not waterproof and may smudge or streak with minimal moisture. Hand-Colored Invitations – basic invitations with flamboyance and style and having your own personal touch with hand colored or painted designs. This approach is usually unique and shows an inner glimpse of you and your fiancé. More and more brides are looking at the “individuality” and ease of preparing hand colored invitations. Hand-colored invitations are far from the traditional engraved invitation.

Printed Invitations – another cost effective solution. Most professional printers offer a wide variety of styles. These types of invitations are usually the quickest solution if you are in a rush.

Box Set Invitations – come essentially prepared for you, in a wide array of designs and styles. These can be dressed up according to your own personality. There are thousands of unique ways to create a perfect invitation, and creating your own invitations will be exciting and fun.

When it comes to addressing there aren’t a lot of options here. Addressing is usually done by hand or by computer. No labels. One option is hand lettering by a professional calligrapher. This provides both a personalized and elegant appearance to your invitation. Calligraphy is challenging and requires some practice. If you’ve never done calligraphy before, and really want to address the envelopes yourself, pick up a book at the library or take a short course. When addressing the envelopes, you don’t have to use calligraphy. If you have nice hand writing, that will work fine too. Today, computers along with high quality printers offer a mixture of calligraphy fonts, quality and dependable results. Also some invitation shops have a calligraphy machine that is actually a pen that’s moved by a computer. This is certainly a time saver!

Your invitations should be ordered three to six months prior to the wedding date, which allows ample time for reading and correcting the proofs, printing, addressing and mailing. Order enough invitations for each couple, family and individual on your final list, each attendant and their guests, and the clergy. Then add at least 25 percent to the total number for additions and corrections.

Experienced stationers are your best advisors on wedding invitations, and their knowledge is available at no charge when you purchase your invitations from their business. Stationers can also provide helpful hints on when to order and mail the invitations, how to determine proper postage and innumerable other details.

The experts at Alegra’s Bridal & Invitations and Inviting Affairs will be glad to give their expert advice on wedding invitations.  

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