Saw this article on getmarried thought it was very helpful. Please see below:
Your Wedding Invitation Cheat Sheet
Picking the perfect invitation is one thing — knowing all the details about paper, folds and printing options is another. Don’t have time to study up on all the details? We’ve got you covered with this fast and easy guide on all things invitation-related
1: What Kind of Paper Do I Want?
There are typically four main types of paper used for wedding invitations; heavy card stock, vellum, linen, and recycled or handmade paper. Vellum and linen tend to be more expensive, so you want to stick with a heavy card stock or recycled/handmade paper if you’re on a budget. Colored paper is also more expensive than plain or off-white, so keep that in mind when checking out invite options at your local stationary store.
2: What Type of Invitations Are Available?
Wedding invitations are often defined by the number of folds in the paper. The more you have, the more you can expect to spend. Here’s a quick break-down of some of the most popular types.
Panel Card: This is a one-sheet invite that is often called a “no-fold.”
Accordian or Z-fold: Invitations are folded to resemble a “Z” so the inside isn’t revealed until the entire thing is unfolded.
French-fold: An invitation is folded twice to create a four-paneled effect. This often used for parchment invitations.
Short-fold: The invitation is folded twice but not equally so part of the invite reveals what is hidden underneath.
Tri-fold or “Barn-fold”: And invitation is folded twice so the interior of the invite is hidden until each side is opened.
3. What Are My Printing Options?
Prices can vary depending on what sort of printing process you decide on. Engraving and Embossing tend to cost more because they require technical skills (since invites aren’t mass-produced).
Blind Embossing: This is a stamp-like process in which your invitation wording is etched as raised lettering on a metal plate, dipped in ink, and then pressed firmly into paper.
Debossing: The exact same thing as blind embossing except the letters on the metal plate are indented and not raised.
Engraving: The oldest and most complicated form of printing, this technique involves etching wording into a copper plate then sandwiching a piece of paper between that and another plate until the words on the invite press outward.
Flat Printing: Basically the same thing your home printer does.
Thermography: This process implements heat to bond a chemical resin to the invitation paper. This creates a raised effect to the lettering and wording, making it a popular (i.e. cheap) alternative to the engraving process.
4. What Added “Extras” Do I Need to Know About?
Like anything else in life, some wedding vendors and stationary stores will try to upsell you on things you may or may not need. Keep in mind the only thing you’re required to send along with your invitations is an RSVP card and a stamped envelope. Otherwise, feel free to invest in one or all of these, create them on your own, or skip them altogether:
– Paper Inserts
– Direction Cards
– Map Cards
– Registry Cards
– In Case of Rain Cards
– Envelope Lining
– Wax Seals
– Vellum Wrap
– Envelope Seal
(Stuck on your invitation wording? Use the Get Married Verse It tool to help you compose just the right words for your wedding, shower, bachelor and bachelorette party!)