Many couples are opting for the traditional engraved invitation , as deeply rooted a custom as entering the church to the music of Wagner and leaving to Mendelsson. Despite the many other wedding traditions that have changed, this style of invitation has prevailed since the late 1800’s, according to leading manufacturers and suppliers of wedding invitations .
The top selling wedding invitations of today don’t look much different than they did 100 years ago. With the exception of the 1970s, when couples sought unconventional invitations with bright colors and creative wordings, the traditional engraved invitation has been the most popular choice.
The engraving process embosses letters into the paper, creating a raised look and feel to the surface. The lettering, usually engraved on cream or white cotton-content paper is most often royal or classical script. The design is simple and the wording standard, according to traditional rules of etiquette.
There are many traditions associated with marriage. The engraved invitation is one of them. Wedding invitations set the mood, style and tone of the wedding . For many couples who have conventional church weddings , the traditional invitation is most appropriate.
Tiffany & Co., the internationally renowned luxury goods supplier and oldest stationary company in America, is a firm believer in the traditional invitation . The company has strict guidelines for the design and wording of the invitations they produce and will only sell invitations deemed “proper” by traditional standards.
Only as recently as five years ago did Tiffany & Co. begin putting reply cards and envelopes into their sample books. According to rules of proper etiquette, recipients of wedding invitations are supposed to send a handwritten letter of response to the bride and groom within 24 hours. However, the company decided to add the reply cards and envelopes to their product line because contemporary society has not been conditioned to letter writing. Without the reply cards the bride has no assurance of total guest turnout.
Tiffany & Co. has also had to adapt traditional wording of invitations to accommodate all family structures such as families with only one parent, divorced parents, etc.
In addition to modifying the wording, today’s invitation can be designed to express one’s individuality without breaking tradition. Many couples are requesting embossed borders or motifs to accent the traditional invitation . Adding a ribbon or embossing a personal monogram or family crest are other ways to customize the invitation without compromising the integrity that the traditional engraved invitation conveys.
Etiquette ‘experts’ also agree that the traditional engraved invitation is the most proper form of wedding correspondence. It is far better to write personal letters or inform your friends of your marriage by phone than to have your invitations printed rather than properly engraved. According to these experts, do it right or don’t do it at all.
The rich quality and elegant look of the traditional invitation is the best way for brides to tell family and friends that their presence is greatly valued on this important occasion.
For the bride who wants to be absolutely proper and follow the rules of traditional social etiquette, following are some of the guidelines
– Invitations should always be engraved.
– The paper selected should be white, or ivory, 100 cotton content paper.
– The most traditional lettering is script. There are many styles to choose from.
– In the strictest of traditional standards, the groom’s parents should never be listed on the invitation along with the bride’s.
– If divorced parents are both sponsoring their daughter’s wedding, names should be listed with the mother’s preceding, followed by the father’s on the next line.
– For a conventional church wedding , the wording of the invitation should read “request the honor of your presence”.
– For a wedding ceremony that is to be performed somewhere other than a church, the invitation should read “request the pleasure of your company”.
– The place of the reception should never be written on the invitation itself unless the wedding ceremony is taken place there.
– There is no need to put the year of the wedding on the invitation because it is a timely event.
Finally, if proper etiquette is important to you, you should follow these rules. Keep in mind that slight variations will not mean the end of the world. After all, it is your wedding day and you should do what you feel is best for your individual situation.