When you start wedding planning and begin to shop for invitations, there are a lot of words you might come across you haven’t ever heard before. Consider this your wedding invitation glossary!
What is a wedding invitation suite?
A suite is the term used to refer to the wedding invitation “package”. It’s your invitation plus all the coordinating pieces that go with it. My standard suite includes the invitation, mailing envelope, RSVP card, and RSVP envelope. Rather than saying invitations, suite encompasses everything together!
Any add-ons that you put with your invitation become part of the suite. For example, embellishments like envelope liners and extra insert cards (for things like the rehearsal dinner!)
What is an invitation proof?
The proof is the beginning part of the design process – it’s the digital design of your invitation suite. A proof is sent so you can not only review things like spelling and information, but also to give you a concept of what the actual printed product will look like.
Although colors can appear much differently on a screen, the proof should give you a pretty good idea of what your invitation will look like IRL. In my process, I do three rounds of proofs: the original + two rounds to make any edits or changes before approving to print.
What are printing methods?
The printing method is the way your invitation will be printed. I currently offer options for digital printing, thermography, foil stamping, and letterpress. Each printing method gives a different look + feel and pricing can vary greatly between then.
Read my full post here on the differences between printing methods and take the quiz to find out which best fits your wedding style and budget!
What does semi custom mean?
When it comes to wedding invitations, I offer custom and semi custom designs. For custom designs, I work with a couple to create a moodboard and design their invitation based on a look and concept we discuss. You can learn more about my custom design process here.
With semi custom designs, a couple finds one of my existing invitation designs to make their own. There’s no charge for changing things like colors (other than artwork), envelopes, printing methods, fonts, and wording. If there are changes to the artwork itself or the overall layout is changed, semi custom designs can incur a design fee. Most of the couples I work with choose to order semi custom wedding invitations.
What are belly bands?
To be honest, the phrase belly band kinda makes me cringe a little. It’s not something I would associate with wedding invitations if I didn’t have the industry experience. However silly, it’s the words used to describe the band that goes around the invitation suite to keep everything organized.
Besides being functional, belly bands are also just really pretty! They add a decorative element to your invitations and can be a fun way to bring in another color or show off your wedding monogram.
What’s an inner envelope?
Traditionally, wedding invitations were mailed with double envelopes: the outer with the formal name and full address, the inner with the first names of the people invited. It’s been said this started way back when mail was delivered by horse and buggy. The outer envelopes would get dirty during mailing, thus inner envelopes were used to protect the pretty paper inside.
Now that we live in the times of the modern post office, the need for double envelopes has decreased. I recommend them for very formal and/or traditional weddings and for heavier invitation suites. When using double thick paper, adding an inner envelope or envelope liner helps protect the contents – just like what they were originally designed for!
Inner envelopes are also helpful to be very clear and specific with who is and who isn’t invited to the wedding. It allows you to be explicit by addressing the invitation only to the intended guests.
What’s an envelope liner?
Envelope liners are one of my favorite invitation details! It’s a piece of paper (or other light + flexible material) that goes inside your envelope. They’re a fun way to surprise your guests, add a unique design element, and can be helpful to give protection when mailing.
Read more about envelope liners and if you need one for your wedding invitations here.
What is invitation finishing?
I think the term finishing might be unique to my process – other stationer’s could include it with “assembly”. For my orders, finishing includes your RSVP envelope printing, RSVP postage, and full assembly (including envelope stuffing) if you also add mailing envelope printing. Basically it’s the option to have everything done for you – or to do it yourself!
The couples I work with are split on adding full finishing – it’s totally preference! I do recommend finishing for suites that have in-depth layers so that I can fully assembly everything. Otherwise, you’re responsible for tying twine, adding belly bands, or putting together pockets – and since I know it takes some practice, I’m happy to handle that for you.
Well, there you have it! You’re pretty much a wedding invitation professional now. Questions? Interested in working together? I’d love to hear from you!