Inside the Wedding Invitation

Posted by Caitlin on Jan 29, 2015


Your wedding invitation acts as a first impression of the celebration to come, and a lot goes into putting together this perfectly pretty piece of snail mail. In our 2015 WinterBook, we break down the invitation suite and bring you everything you need to know, from major etiquette guidelines all the way down to the lovely little trimmings.

Wedding Stationery Wardrobe: hand calligraphy, engraved, fold over note; two color invitation, and flat printed program with slate grey ribbon. Photo: Marjorie Maxfield.


What’s in your wedding stationery wardrobe?

Is that a gasp I hear from the bride, mother-of-the-bride and groom? Yes, everyone of the prime players in your wedding, including the father-of-the-bride, should be aware of the important role stationery plays in every wedding. Here are the basics that must be addressed, sorry about the pun, by the bride and her loved ones:

The Wedding Invitation

“The wedding invitation sets the tone for the wedding!”

Does your invitation’s design, wording, style mirror your signature style? Does it reflect what kind of event it will be?

No, you do not need to give away your color scheme, theme; however, if you are planning a traditional ceremony in a church, then that casual, destination by-the-sea look that you have always adored needs to be the theme of your first summer event as a married couple, not the invitation,

The wedding  invitation typically includes: an invitation, the reply set with the replay card and envelope; a reception card, unless your ceremony and wedding ceremony are at the same place.

Other wedding enclosure cards include:

Direction Map

A direction/map  card is convenient if the venue is off-the-beaten track or difficult to find even for an Map Quest savvy guest. Put the directions on one side and the map on the other.

Transportation card

Although you posted the information on your WeddingWire bridal site, it is a very nice reminder to your guests, not only the wedding party, that transportation will be provided.  The wording, centered on the “reception side card” reads: “Transportation will be provided from the ceremony to the reception.”

 Admissions card

Celebrities, rock stars, and other luminaries as well as those of us who desire a more secure wedding with no unintended guests, then an admissions card is for you. The wording:

Please present this card at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral,

Saturday, the twenty-second of June

Pew Card

For your honored guests who you want to seat in a special section of the church, then the Pew Card is your ticket! The wording,

Please present this card at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral,

Saturday, the twenty-second of June.

                                                                                                                                                              Pew number_____

Within the Ribbon Card

This was a mainstay in mid-century weddings to designate that there will be a “within the ribbon” section of the church for the close members of the family. At the church, white or creme ribbons are draped on the center aisle pews, to tell all guests these seats are reserved for the immediate family.

Within the Ribbon Card

Brides Reserved Section (Write name(s) in black ink)

Groom’s Reserved Section (Write name(s) in black ink)

Bride’s Personal Wedding Stationery 

Thank you, thank you! The bride has a duty to write a thank you note for every give, gesture of love that is given to her! No exceptions. So, she needs pre-wedding notes with her maiden name; and after-the-ceremony bridal notes with her married name. Note here, if you are not married in a civil or church ceremony you cannot use you married name or initials! This means on the wedding invitation, program or bridal notes!

I would suggest a fold over note. The most popular, i.e.. expected by the majority of your guests, has the initials, monogram of the bride (married name here). I might nudge you toward an engraved note. Why? It makes a big impression, tells a lot  about you and practically, you can, later, use your monogram die in a color ink.

I see blind embossed monograms (no ink used) as the premier note. Recently, I had a bride who had her initials designed by a nationally-renowned calligrapher, Christopher Watkins. See the sample above in a bronze. What she chose was even more awesome: the calligraphy was blind embossed!

If you prefer a more low key note, then flat print or use thermography, with your name or initials in black.

Mother-of-the-Bride, Father-of-the-Bride and Groom Thank You Notes

You bet, each one of these key players have thank you notes to write to friends, family, clergy as well as those who were gracious enough to give to their time and talent to your wedding day. Your Mother needs a fold over note; the gentlemen, a correspondence note with their full name at the top.


By Anne Chertoff

Whatever look you’re planning for your wedding there will be an invitation design that conveys that feeling to your guests.  It’s very important that your wedding invitation gives your guests a glimpse of what they can expect so they know what to wear and look forward to.  For example, a classic white or ecru invite with black font for a Saturday night wedding will convey a black-tie/formal affair, while a brightly colored invitation with palm trees will send a more laidback vibe.  Here are some of our favorite wedding invitations by theme:


You don’t need to stick with ecru and black for a traditional look any more. This blush pink with copper invitation from the William Arthur Wedding III Album is very formal with its classic layout and wording.


By Anne Chertoff

A number of exciting new wedding invitation details were spotted at designer booths throughout the 2013 National Stationery Show. Brides will continue seeing fashion-inspired lace accents and shimmering gold foil printing on invitations and stationery accessory pieces. Traditional invitation designs got a modern update by mixing two font types, some even resembled handwriting. And whether or not you’re DIYing your wedding invitation, if you like the DIY look you’ll have plenty of Kraft paper invites to choose from. Couples should take note of the back of their invites when selecting theirs. You’ll find that they’re just as detailed as the front with patterned and textured backings. Here’s a look at some of the latest wedding invitation designs arriving in stationery stores later this summer:


Lace inspiration on a wedding invitation doesn’t have to be limited to a white or ivory pattern, as the Port Jefferson Wedding Suite by Dolce Press shows here. Featuring a purple lace-like pattern on each of the stationery suite’s pieces, the traditional fabric is more modern when shown in a bright hue, and the mixing of serif and sans serif fonts only adds to the whimsical look and feel.

Port Jefferson Wedding Suite Dolce Press


Guest Post By Anne Chertoff

Planning a destination wedding?  Whether you’re saying “I do” in the States or abroad let your wedding’s location inspire your wedding invitation.  We found two creative ways to highlight your destination at two creative companies: City Card Shop and Fine Day Press.