Have you ever wondered how some wedding traditions came to be? There are many traditions that we just take for granted have always been there, even for something as simple as wedding invitations. Read on to learn the sometimes surprising origins of wedding invitation traditions.
The postal service wasn’t always what it is today! Because of the early unreliability of mail delivery systems, wedding invitations were often delivered by hand. For relatives that lived farther away, however, the post office had to be trusted, and thus the origin of outer envelopes. Double envelopes ensured that, although the invitation might pass from hand to hand and become dusty or dirty before reaching its destination, once it arrived, there would still be a pristine envelope within containing the actual invitation.
While it may have seemed impractical still, for well-to-do Victorian households the system was quite fine. The courier would deliver the invitation to the house, with the butler intercepting it and removing the untainted inner envelope to deliver a pristine, untouched wedding invitation to the lady of the house. Although the postal service is a great deal more trustworthy now, this tradition has lasted through over a hundred years of mailed wedding invitations, and shows no sign of going out of fashion.
The Victorian era also saw the emergence of the reception card, as not all wedding guests were necessarily invited to the reception. Although the opposite is often true today, reception cards are still helpful to include with your wedding invitations, especially if your wedding reception is taking place in a different location than the ceremony. In such a situation, it’s appropriate to include the address of the reception hall on the card.
Have you ever wondered why wedding invitations come with a tissue-thin sheet of paper inside? This practice came about to prevent freshly engraved invitations from smudging, and has lasted as a tradition, though engraved wedding invitations have become less common. The tissue layover, like the outer envelope, has lost its original role yet remains a part of the wedding invitation tradition.
Just a few things to keep in mind as you create wedding invitations of your very own!