The Secret Language of Wedding Invitations

When you first start looking at wedding invitations, you might be surprised at all the different terms you don’t recognize! From accordion folds to deckle edges, it might seem like these terms were made up to puzzle already-frazzled brides-to-be. Fear not, though – we’re here to clear up your confusion by decoding some of the more arcane terms you might come across.

If you’re trying to figure out the best shape for your invitation, your options include panel (no folding involved), short-fold (sheet of paper folded once, creating a short front panel and a longer back panel), tri-fold (one sheet folded twice, creating a three-paneled invitation), accordion fold (one sheet folded twice in an accordion fashion) and French-fold (sheet of paper folded twice, creating a four-paneled invitation). It’s like origami, only slightly less complicated & they all make more sense when you see them pictured on actual wedding invitations, trust us.

Some common terms you might come up against while you’re hunting include the following: enclosures (a catch-all term for the RSVP cards, reception cards, direction cards, etc. that come along with an invitation), invitation proof (a sample invitation that lets you see and hold exactly what you’re getting), motif (a small picture, often an ornament or a logo, that you might want to appear on your invitation), typestyle (a fancy term for font, or the type that your wording appears in). As you can see, most of the vocabulary you’ll come up against when creating your wedding invitations is just a slightly different way of saying something relatively straightforward.

But how about some of the more obscure terms out there? If you see the words “deckle edge,” it means you’re getting an invitation (probably parchment) with uneven, feathery edges, great for more artistic types. Die-cut means your wedding invitations will have a cut-out shape or sculpted edge, via a process that uses metal rules to cut designs and shapes into the paper. If a backing layer is mentioned, it’s in reference to the sheet of card stock behind the printed layer on panel invitations. On three panel invitations, it’ll likely be a double backing layer.

Can’t get enough of the secret language of wedding invitations? For more information, we say know the glossary, love the glossary!

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