There are a lot of different paper items that need to be designed and purchased for your wedding, but few things are more important than your wedding invitations and stationary. Wedding invitations are very important because they will be how you communicate the vast majority of the details about your wedding to your guests including the time, location, and the type of wedding you will be having. Additionally, your choice of wedding stationary is an opportunity to express yourself and give your wedding a personal style and flare that you can’t achieve with any other type of medium. Since you will only need to design and shop for your wedding stationary and invitations once and there are few paper items that have as many intricate details that go into their making, you probably aren’t familiar with all the lingo and terminology that goes with the territory. Here is a basic guide to stationary and invitation terminology to help you get exactly the prints that you want for your wedding celebration.
Standard Stationary and Invitation Terminology
- Beveled Edge: Usually seen exclusively on heavy card stock, this is a slanted edge that creates the illusion of a picture frame effect.
- Cotton Rag: A type of paper that is made from long cotton fibers that is more similar to a fabric than traditional paper. It is expensive because it doesn’t discolor over time, and its often used in high quality wedding invitations that use letterpress printing.
- Embossed: Raised letters or images that are created using a press to squeeze the paper into a certain shape in an upward manner.
- Debossed: Similar to embossing, except the letters or images are depressed into the paper in a downward manner.
- Deckle Edge: Uneven edging around the border of stationary or invitations to create the appearance that they were torn rather than cut. This creates a very rustic look.
- Die Cut: A cut on the inside portion of an invitation card used to reveal a portion of the page behind it. It’s like creating a window through the first page to reveal a portion of the second page. Though they are usually square in shape, you can die cut a number of different shapes in heavy card stock.
- Dingbat: A simple image that is used to create a theme for your invitations or stationary. Examples include birds, fish, snowflakes, and palm trees which depict something relevant about your wedding theme or personality.
- Engraving: Similar to embossing, engraving is when the letters are pressed from behind into the printing letters to create a raised look that can be felt from the backside.
- Thermograph: A printing technique that utilizes powdered ink that is heated to give the appearance of raised ink. It appears very similar to engraved printing, but it is much less expensive.
- Suite: A term used for the entire package of wedding invitations. “I hold in my hand my suite of wedding invitations”.
- Vellum: A very thin and transparent paper that closely resembles frosted glass. You can print directly onto vellum, but it is often used as an overlay to a printed piece of card stock.
The terminology listed above should help you greatly when you are choosing your stationary or wedding invitation designs. Though we tried to cover most of the terminology we are asked about on a regular basis, the above guide to stationary and invitation terminology is far from a complete guide. Be sure to discuss all of your options in great detail with the printing company or your wedding planner to get exactly what you want for your special day. If you found this guide to stationary and invitation terminology helpful, please feel free to share it on your favorite social media platform. Good luck and have fun planning your wedding!