An Okin style invitation from Bibi

A significant portion of my life for the last few weeks has been dedicated to wedding invitations. My Save the Date was a hit so the pressure is now on for the invite(s). It can be overwhelming for even the biggest stationery fan. Below are a few tips and tricks that are helping me sort through the paper maze.

PAPER CHASER The printing method you select will make a huge impact on the look and cost of your ultimate invitations. Here’s the lingo you need to know before making your final decisions:

Engraved This is one of the oldest and priciest printing methods. A metal plate is created and pressed onto paper leaving a raised or “bruised” design. This style is most common for uber-formal nuptials. Visit Smythson of Bond Street for examples of engraved suites.

Letterpress Instead of a raised design like the one described above, a letterpress plate leaves a deep impression in the paper.

Thermography Ideal for those who like the look of raised lettering but would rather pass on the engraved price tag. This heat-based process can fool even an seasoned stationery geek.

Flat Printing A general term for smooth to the touch invites. It includes offset and digital printing and is most common for modern couples because of the versatility and affordability it offers.

Your wedding invitation suite shopping list: It is an added plus when everything from your save-the-date to the thank you card is cohesive in design. These are the paper items you’ll likely need leading up to and on the big day. Don’t feel obligated to purchase everything on this list (I’m certainly not.) but rather pick and choose what works best for your style and budget.

  • save the date
  • invitation
  • rsvp response card
  • directions card and/or info summarizing other wedding weekend events (i.e. – rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch)
  • table number and escort cards
  • ceremony program
  • menu card
  • thank you card


DO buy an extra 25 envelopes just in case you make mistakes when addressing them.

DO ask your local post office to weigh a complete invitation before mailing. You’ll need to know exactly how much postage is needed for each envelope — don’t assume one stamp is sufficient.

DON’T forget to triple-check your invitation proof. Enlist the help of a grammar-savvy loved one (not your fiance/fiancee) to assist.

DON’T forget to confirm your guests’ legal names and the names of their dates if applicable before addressing envelopes.

Triple B Sidebar: Entire books have been written about the proper way to address wedding invitations. Apparently some people get their panties in a bunch when they aren’t “properly” addressed with their professional titles — Mr. & Mrs. John Doe versus Dr. John Doe & The Honorable Jane Doe. Maybe I’m anti-establishment but I think this is a waste of time and energy. Would I feel differently if I had a bunch of letters in front of or behind my name? Perhaps. But my fiance and I have tried to keep this process as easy-breezy as possible. Use your discernment. You know your guests better than any experts do.

[Photo courtesy of Bibi.]