Envelopes that is!
Today I am getting down with some wedding envelope anatomy. Not just the innies and outties… the undergarments, those “necklines”… and so much more. Envelopes, my friends, are far from boring anymore and long have been one of my favorite parts of the wedding invitation suite.
So keep on reading to see:
WHAT these envelope components are,
IF you truly need to have them for your wedding invitations, and
INSPIRATION for your invitation suite!
Ins and Outs
Let’s start with the bare essentials: what do you REALLY need?
The short: you need an outer envelope and, if mailing RSVP cards as well, you will need a return envelope that fits this enclosure.
The details: Outer & Inner mailing envelopes date back to the days of horse and carriage, when mail really took a beating. In my mind, not much has changed as USPS machines are really not mail friendly. But hey, we can save that for another blog post!
The outer mailing envelope will have the guest names, address, return mailing address and postage. If following strict etiquette, Traditionally the outer envelope is usually addressed only to the heads of the household.
In Inner Envelope typically addresses the invited in a more informal way, and includes the names of every person invited to the wedding (for example the kids' names or additional family members).
And of course, the RSVP envelope: if having guests mail back their reservation, you will want your return address pre-printed on a coordinating envelope and it is proper etiquette to always include the postage on this piece.
Choosing your envelope style can add a statement to your invitation suite, and thus your wedding. The style is all about that flap!
Here are the three most popular envelope flap styles:
Deep V, European, and Laser
Envelope liners are a portion of paper or card stock that is cut to fit inside the envelope and fold down with the envelope flap. They have been making a big comeback, as they no long are just solid bold colors but can incorporate more intricate artwork meaningful to the couple or coordinating to the invitation suite.
Envelope liners go back to the days when wedding invitations were hand delivered, and were used to add a bit of extra protection and privacy to the special contents of the envelope.
Traditionally, envelope liners are used on the inner envelope of the invitation suite. This means that the liner will still be seen if the recipient uses an envelope opener on the outer envelope, as the inner envelope does not get sealed. That allows the liner to be seen in all of its beauty.
Vintage or Custom Stamps – the bottom line is, when you see vintage stamps on pictures of wedding stationery they are usually for photo purposes. However, some brides-to-be do love splurging on the investment of curated stamps! Best place to find these vintage elements? Ebay!
Additionally, if you like the idea of a custom stamp then you could have a coordinating one designed and printed through Stamps.com. I believe there is a temporary hold on these, but they will still me mailable for a smaller investment than the vintage stamps
What do I love? Im digging Rifle Paper’s current love stamp! It’s bright and cheery and perfect for nearly any wedding.
Wax Seals- So many of us have fallen in love with the unique nature of wax seals on stationery. The little metal stamp and custom colors of wax truly makes invitations stick out. If you are getting a wax seal, I would suggest that you place it on an inner envelope. Also, PRACTICE! If your designer is not assembling the suite for you, this is a time consuming process and patience is not an option.
Custom Return Address Stamp- Likely, this is the first commissionable piece of artwork having done as a future married couple, so why not have a stamp made with your names on it? You will need your return address on the RSVP envelop and on the back flap of the invitation. If not having them printed, this is a wonderful option that you can keep and use for other pieces as well. (Like thank you notes!)
Calligraphy- Will this envelope “accessory” ever get old? Actually, it IS old. Calligraphy is likely the most traditional component of not just envelopes, but the actual invitations themselves. Can you IMAGINE handwriting all your wedding invitations? These days, there are so many styles of calligraphy as well, so choosing this option will truly make your wedding suite exclusive to you.
When you receive a bright envelope, or even a 5x7 envelope in the mail (because those CLEARLY aren’t bills!) think about the excitement you get. Sprucing up that envelope with the most simple details may only build that excitement further, making what is inside truly a gift.