Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Traditions & Superstitions~The Invitation

Letterpress invitation by Bella Figura.

Today on Traditions & Superstitions we are going to talk about why there are so many rules to do with the invitations and where they came from.

  • In the Middle Ages, invitations were written in calligraphy by monks, for the nobility.
  • They were considered a luxury. Most people couldn't read or write
  • Before then the town crier would announce to all the impending marriage.
  • The envelope was usually sealed with a wax impression of the host's coat of arms.
  • The printing press was invented in 1447 by Gutenberg.
  • In 1642, the invention of metal plate engraving printing brought wedding invitation printing to the middle class.
  • Engraving is done by handwriting on metal in reverse and then printing on the paper.
  • Tissue paper was put on top of the invitation to prevent smudging, in case you were wondering what to do with it.
  • Each guests name was also engraved on the invitation.
  • During the 17th century people started announcing their weddings in the paper.
  • Lithography was introduced in 1798. This method uses chemicals to produce an image.
  • Lithography made it possible to mass-produce wedding invitations.
  • During the Victorian times invitations were made by lithography or handwritten.
  • They also usually sent them out only about two weeks before the event, instead of the six to eight weeks now.
  • The invitations were delivered by foot or horseback. The post service wasn't reliable.
  • The invitation was put into two envelopes since the outer envelope could be soiled en route.
  • The outer envelope was thrown away by the butler before it reached the guest.
  • The inner one was presented to the invited guest clean and pretty. It is the one without a seal.
  • The wording is from the nobility and society mavens.
  • Traditional invitation wording is the most formal of English, from Victorian times.
  • For ceremonies taking place in a house of worship, use request the honour of your presence.
  • For ceremonies taking place in a non-religious setting should say, request the pleasure of your company.
  • Traditionally, invitations are written in black ink on white or cream paper.
  • They were printed in a script font.
  • Using titles for everybody on the invitation makes it formal.
  • If you are getting married in an untraditional way you can be a lot more creative with the wording.
  • The names on your wedding invitations should be the same as on your birth certificate.
  • In 1973, the US Postal service started issuing their LOVE stamp.
  • You can now order personalized stamps through the USPS at Stamps.com, Zazzle or a few other companies.
  • You can have the post office hand stamp the invitation.
  • It is not proper to put no gifts, the gift registry or give to a charity instead of gifts on the invitation, no matter what kind of wedding you are having.
  • Today's letterpress invitations are made on antique machines.
  • According to Wedding Paper Divas, the top invitation trends for 2009 are birds, peacock feathers, flowers, dandelions, and branches.

Happy Reading,

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