Wedding invitations, the most important aspect of a wedding! You can never imagine not being able to choose whom to invite to the wedding. However, in 16th century, this is exactly what used to happen. The guests who attended the wedding could be anyone who heard of the wedding. This is mainly because the printing press wasn’t invented and the also the people were illiterate.
The social etiquette of sending out wedding invitations started at the beginning of 18th century. This is when reading and writing was considered to be a sign of education. Hence, this was the only elite who were able to use this form of correspondence.
Wedding invitations were written by hand. As matter of fact, it was written using calligraphy. It contained the guest’s name, times being spelled out, and the dates. The wordings that are used in the present day invitations usually follow the traditional format of the invitations from this time. The wedding invitation was sent inside an envelope. This, in turn was encased in an outer envelope. Since there was no postal service, the servants were given the duty to deliver the invitations. They traveled on horseback, irrespective of the weather condition.
The invitations were encased in an outer envelope because it would have protected the inner envelope from getting dirty or wet. Moreover, it displayed the directions, how the courier reaches to its destinations. When the invitation arrives, the outer envelope is discarded and inside it will be the inner envelope with the wedding invitation.
Limitations of Guests
Local weddings were considered to be a social event of the year. This is the reason families wanted to limit the actual guests. They did this to make sure that the undesirable people did not attend the wedding. In such a case, the invitations usually included a card that had to be presented when the guests arrived at the ceremony. The families that wanted to be organized assigned a number to each wedding guest. These numbers were then placed on the card.
The Arrival of Printing Press
The printing press was introduced in Europe in the year 1440. This was all due to Gutenberg. However, it was not until the 20th century that the printing of the wedding invitation really began. Prior to this, mass printing was taken to be a bad choice.
You might have noticed wedding invitation with tissue protector. This was a technique that was used in the invitations that were printed using the letterpress. This was done to make sure that the ink doesn’t transfer since it was not always dry.
It was after the Second World War that introduced more cheap wedding invitations were bought to the market. This was due to the introduction of techniques like thermography. Thereafter, came digital printing. This is the main form of printing for wedding invitations.
The Wedding Invitations of Present Times
You will notice that many of the customs which began in history ago, in respect to wedding invitations are applicable to present times, too. Even though the wordings might have changed and the formalities might have been reduced, the main idea is still the same.
If you are considering opting for wedding invitations which looks traditional, you can go for sticker envelope or wax seal. It will display the tradition of adding the family crest wax seal on the envelope.