Invitations: Glossary I-O - Wedding Invitations - Unique Wedding Invitations

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Photo Credits:
Red Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
White and Cranberry Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
Invitation with Bow -- Geoff White Photographers
White Invitations -- Geoff White Photographers

Invitations: Glossary I-O

Inner Invitation Envelope:

Although not always used, inner envelopes are enclosed in the larger envelope and do not have glue on the closure. The inner envelope protects the invitation. They are used with most wedding invitations, especially formal invitations. All that is written on them is the name of the invited guest(s), title and last name only. First names are not included. (For example, an inner envelope would read: Mr. and Mrs. Smith.)

Insert Cards:

Insert cards are separate, smaller cards that are included with the wedding invitations to provide additional information. Examples include: insert cards, to inform guests of the couple's online wedding website; rain cards, to inform guests of an alternate location in case of inclement weather; ceremony cards, to inform a select group of guests about the ceremony; reception cards, with information about the reception location; reserved section or pew cards, with information about special seating at the ceremony; response cards, for easy RSVP, or map and travel cards.


Many brides and grooms, especially at a more traditional or formal sit-down affair, choose to have menus printed. If you have used any artwork or a monogram in your invitation and enclosure card design, you can use it at the top of your menu.


For centuries after Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type in 1450, letterpress was the only printing method used. It remained the most popular type of printing until recently. Letterpress uses an old-fashioned movable type machine to press inked, raised type onto paper. This method works best on thicker, textured paper, especially handmade paper. Though printers that use this method may be harder to find, letterpress creates a beautiful, antique effect combining texture, color and dimension.


A monogram is a design made out of several letters. In addition to being a decorative option for couple's stationery, the couple's monogram may be used on many items in their household, such as napkins, towels, sheets, flatware and crystal. On wedding invitations, the monogram should only be used if the wedding is being hosted by the bride and groom, and should comprise the first and last initials of both the bride and groom's names. On stationery in general, it is preferable to use more than one initial, most commonly the first and last initial, of equal size, or the last initial, larger and placed in-between the first and middle initial. A standard stationer's monogram will be less expensive than one designed specifically by the couple.

Offset Printing:

Also known as lithography or flat printing, offset printing is the standard method used to print these days. Ink is stamped onto a page using a rubber cylinder, which produces a crisp, flat image.

Outer Invitation Envelope:

The outer envelope is handwritten or calligraphed. It is addressed with the full name and address of the invited guest(s). Postage is affixed to this envelope. The outer envelope typically contains an inner envelope, which holds the invitation, response card, response card envelope and sometimes a map with directions

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