The Wedding Invitation has been around for centuries. Some have even made reference to them found in ancient caves.
Before the invention of the printing press in the early 1400s, most invitations were delivered via Town Crier. If you were fortunate enough to hear the invite; you were invited!
Many aristocrats hired monks to handwrite their invitations using well-mastered calligraphy. Even after the printing press was invented it would have been considered “in bad taste” to not handwrite an invitation.
During the Victorian Age invites became very formal. The outer envelope was common practice due to the nature of the delivery method. Most invitations were delivered by horseback and often travelled long distances in the elements. When the invite arrived at the home of the guest, the housekeeper removed the outer dirty envelope and presented the pristine invite to the home owner on a silver tray.
Today, wedding invitations are a reflection of the couples’ personality and convey the level of formality for the wedding. This being said, many couples are going outside the traditions and using everything from e-invitations to custom wedding celebrity designed formal invites. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind these tips from Emily Post.
Essential Wedding Invitation Dos and Don'ts by Emily Post.
Do allow plenty of time. Plan enough time in your schedule to carefully address, assemble, and mail your invitations.
Do get organized. Develop a system for addressing and mailing your invitations. Prepare by gathering the names and addresses of everyone on your guest list. Arrange each piece that goes into an invitation in a stack, in the order it will be picked up, assembled, and inserted into the envelope.
Do ask for help. Invite friends, family or bridal attendants to help assemble invitations.
Do use the names of all guests when possible. It is much warmer and more welcoming to use the correct names of those who will accompany your guests on invitations instead of "and guest."
Do use correct titles. It's flattering when invitations are addressed correctly. This means using appropriate titles and spelling names correctly. When in doubt, ask before addressing.
Don't forget to include any appropriate inserts, such as maps, directions, or hotel information for out-of-town guests.
Don't include registry or gift information with your invitation. It is in poor taste to insert a list of places where the couple are registered or a checklist of the things they want and don't want.
Don't use a standby guest list. When possible, invite your entire guest list at the same time rather than waiting to see how many people accept before sending out a second round of invitations. When the guest list is carefully planned, and when you consider the likelihood that 10-20 percent of invited guests typically send regrets, this approach is much more straightforward than using a standby list.
Don't use address labels for wedding invitations. Always address wedding invitation envelopes by hand, even when inviting hundreds of guests.