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Wedding Invitation Paper: Everything You Need to Know

all about wedding invitation paper

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Invitation Paper

When you are planning your wedding, there is a laundry list of items you need to accomplish before heading down the aisle. One of the biggest decisions you need to make has to do with your wedding stationery, and that includes the wedding invitation paper you decide on. There are a lot of options to choose from, and your envelopes and other invite must-haves are rolled in with your order. 

To help couples navigate the sometimes daunting process of deciding on the best wedding invitation paper types, this guide provides everything related to the topic. From the history of wedding invitation paper and envelopes to the checklist you will need when you find your stationer, the experts at Bliss & Bone are here to assist you with all of the details and insights you need to know about your stationery. Read on for our advice on mapping out your wedding invitation paper and envelopes needs.

The Different Wedding Invitation Paper Types

Now that you know what you need to order, let’s deep dive into the various types of wedding invitation paper. Even after you decide on printed invites, you still have a lot of decisions to make for your stationery. There is a wide range in styles and costs, depending on the wedding invitation paper stock grades, finishings and weights. 

  • 1-ply versus 2-ply wedding invitation paper. Classic wedding invitation paper stock is available in one- or two-ply formats. The two-ply option is considered more luxurious and that is because it is thicker. Ply determines the density of the product and you can really feel the quality when you hold this wedding invitation paper stock in your hands. 
  • Popular wedding invitation paper types. Wedding invitation paper stock, particularly card stock or cover stock is the most frequently used type of paper. For a wedding invitation paper stock is generally used for items like brochures or catalogs and there are varying basis weights. The most common type of wedding invitation paper stock is cardstock because it is thicker and measured in points based on the thickness of a single piece of the wedding invitation paper. You can also measure cardstock in grams per square meter, or gsm. As an example, Bliss & Bone’s premium Bright White and Pearl White wedding invitation paper is available in two weights: One-ply wedding invitation paper is 350 gsm and two-ply is 835 gsm. 
  • Other original wedding invitation paper types. Card stock, also known as cover stock, only scratches the surface of the different styles of wedding invitation paper you can ultimately pick for your own stationery. There are wedding invitation paper stock that comes in several colors for an extra “wow” factor, and they can perfectly coordinate with your wedding theme or venue. For an even more original alternative, there are also wood veneer sheets that work well as rustic wedding invitation paper. 
  • Premium or specialty wedding invitation paper types. Beyond the more traditional options, more and more couples are choosing premium or specialty wedding invitation paper to craft the ultimate stationery suite. Vellum, cotton fiber and acrylic are just a few of those options. 

You should talk all of this through with your partner and stationer, who can evaluate your interests and budget as you curate your design plan. Keep in mind that some types of wedding invitation paper do not work well with particular printing styles, so you will need to work together on the best possible solution. 

Understanding Common Sizing for Wedding Invitation Paper

Along with the type of wedding invitation paper, size matters too. In this section, we are focusing on the measurements of your wedding invitation paper, and what is most common for your various stationery needs. Once you have determined the best size for your wedding invitation paper, you will also need to pair it with the appropriate envelope that will hold it. 

  • Size of wedding invitation paper: These are often A9 (5.5 x 8.5-inch) or A7 (5 x 7-inch) wedding invitation paper stock. The most popular, by far, is the classic A7, but you can envision practically any size for your wedding invitation paper. If you prefer the look of square wedding invitation paper stock, however, you can go with these two popular styles: 5.5 x 5.5-inch or 6.5 x 6.5-inch wedding invitation paper. 
  • Size of Save the Date wedding invitation paper: Before you send out your wedding invites, you may want to design printed Save the Dates. If that is the case, consider these typical sizing options for wedding invitation paper: A7 (5 x 7-inch), A6 (4.5 x 6.25-inch) wedding invitation paper stock.
  • Size of wedding invitation paper for reply cards: Reply cards are usually smaller, so the size of the wedding invitation paper would be measured as such. Two sizes couples use are 4-Bar or A1 (3.5 x 4.875-inch), and A2 (4.25 x 5.5-inch) wedding invitation paper.
  • Size of wedding invitation paper for inserts: Wedding insert cards can be small or large, depending on the details you need to share. For example, if you only want to add a note to check out your wedding website and registry, you can use a 4-Bar or A2-sized piece of wedding invitation paper. Meanwhile, if you are sending out a full itinerary of events for a destination wedding, a larger card size could be warranted.

You have so much to look forward to on your wedding day, and you are only a few decisions away from getting there. Think through the different sizing options and the costs associated with them as you weigh the best choices for your wedding invitation paper. And even though we have outlined the most popular sizes among wedding couples today, there are no clear rules when it comes to your wedding invitation paper. 

The Essential Wedding Invitation Paper Needs

As you consider your wedding invitation paper and all that goes with your stationery order, you need to understand exactly what you are purchasing. All of these items go hand-in-hand, so it is crucial that couples take it all in before making any big decisions about their wedding invitation paper and envelopes. 

Here are the items that can (and should) match or coordinate with your wedding invite paper and envelopes:

  • Save the Date: While Save the Dates are technically optional, they are recommended for wedding couples who want to effectively communicate with their guests. You can decide on a digital Save the Date, or find a printed template that uses the same wedding invitation paper stock or other style you love. Or, you could choose a completely different style that is more fun and original than a classic wedding invitation. Save the Dates do not come with too many rules, and couples are encouraged to get more creative with them. One important guideline, though, is that they feature two components: the date and city where your event is taking place. You should also send these out about six to nine months prior to your wedding. If you are hosting a destination wedding, though, you should get them out even earlier (think nine months to one year before the festivities).
  • Wedding invitation: The star of the show, of course, is your formal wedding invitation. Traditionally, couples have them printed with wedding invitation paper—but much has changed over the years (more on the history of wedding invitation paper later!). But these are just one part of the puzzle that is sent out to your beloved guests about six to eight weeks before your wedding day. Most of the time, you will also need a few other items that pair with your wedding invitation paper and envelopes.
  • Reply cards: You need to know whether your guests are attending your celebration or not, and that is why the RSVP is so important. While it is possible to ask guests to reply through your wedding website, another more classic route is to ask them to send back their RSVPs through the mail. A reply card can also ask guests about dietary restrictions or preferences, which can better prepare you and your vendor team for the upcoming festivities. If that sounds appealing to you and your partner, you will need to order reply cards that work well with your other wedding invitation paper. On top of that, you will also need to provide an addressed and stamped return envelope so your guests can simply fill it out and drop it in the mail.
  • Insert cards: In addition to the reply card, you may also want to add in an insert or two with more details about the events before, during and after your wedding day. For example, if you are hosting a welcome party, you can add an insert to your order with invitation details about that separate event. And because it goes with your full stationery suite, you will want to make sure that the style matches your wedding invitation paper and printing method. 
  • Belly band: If you are ordering several items for your wedding invitation suite, it might make sense to also order a belly band. This collects all of your wedding invitation paper and organizes it so your guests will receive a carefully packaged arrangement. You will want to prioritize this, especially if you are hosting several events for a destination wedding or other multi-day celebration.

With all of these in mind, you can now have a more clear idea of what will go into your stationery suite. It is possible to coordinate everything—including other products like wedding menus and wedding websites—when you shop by collection. At Bliss & Bone, we have pre-made, curated designs for all of these products, allowing you to have instant access to a beautifully crafted set of stationery.

neon flat print wedding invitation
gold foil wedding invitation

Popular Printing Techniques for Wedding Invitation Paper

For an additional step in the process, you and your partner need to detail everything about your celebration. You can follow the etiquette for wedding invitation wording, and your stationer can offer some options as well. Make sure you include these key pieces of information as well: The name of the hosts, the name of the guests of honor (most likely, your and your partner’s names), the date and exact time of your ceremony, the venue for the ceremony and reception and any pertinent RSVP details. Later on, you can add reply cards or inserts to explain the remainder of your wedding related events. And once that is all finalized, you should move on to determining the best printing style for your wedding invitation paper.

  • Flat printing: Also known as digital printing, flat printing is what happens when you use a digital press. Similar to a printer in your home, this type of printing process adds ink to wedding invitation paper. This is also recognized as the most affordable printing style for wedding invitation paper, and is a more cost-effective option for couples who want printed invites that are relatively budget-friendly. Plus, you can use several colors at one and create a matte or flat finish with this style for added contrast. It should be noted that flat printing does not always work with non-white wedding invitation paper colors. Make sure to chat with your stationer if you are interested in a colorful stationery set with flat printing. 
  • Letterpress printing: Letterpress printing is a historic, beloved option among couples because of the unique design it creates on wedding invitation paper. It is a manual process that involves a custom plate that impresses on your wedding invitation paper to develop a series of vintage-meets-modern invites. Because of the technique used, every single wedding invitation will look slightly different, which is what draws many couples to the idea. With letterpress, you need to choose an ink color that is darker than the wedding invitation paper color. Blind deboss uses a similar technique but has no color in the ink, so you will only see impressions in the wedding invitation paper.
  • Foil stamping: Stationers use the antique technique for letterpress printing when it comes to foil stamping, but instead of color, colored or metallic foil is heat stamped and pressed into the wedding invitation paper. At Bliss & Bone, we offer a total of 12 colors, running from yellow gold to glossy clear. 
  • Blind emboss: Another favorite among wedding couples is the blind emboss printing process. Rather than creating an impression, blind embossing has a raised look that sets it apart from the rest. This process does not use ink, so you need to be mindful of the wedding invitation paper you decide on. Lighting colors work best for this particular printing style.
  • Engraving: This is considered the most luxe option among all printing styles because of the intense process required to create them. It creates a beautiful embossed look that many couples love. A plate with your invitation design is pressed into the paper and lifted up, leaving a slightly raised text with a design. 

The antique styles of printing wedding invitation paper are known to show subtle variations. For many couples, that is the key reason why they want letterpress, foil stamping or blind embossing. But if you and your partner want a full, identical set of invitations, consider flat or digital printing. Every couple and every event is so different, so you need to have open communication about your preferences for your wedding invitation paper.

How Much Do Different Wedding Invitation Paper Styles Cost?

Before we get into the various costs associated with wedding invitation paper, let’s look at the overall or average cost of wedding invitations. As a starting point, digital or flat printing should start around $700 for 100 invitations, and prices go up depending on the colors you choose and the number of invites you need. Costs immediately go up for letterpress printing, because it involves manual work, and the same goes for foil stamping and blind emboss. And for engraving, you can expect to pay as much as $2,200 for 100 engraved wedding invitations. This does not include the envelopes, inserts and anything else you may want to or need to purchase with your wedding invitations. And though it may seem small in comparison to the general fees of wedding invites, stamps (for both the invite and reply card return envelope) should also factor into your budgeting process. 

Your budget is an incredibly important part of your wedding planning process, and it is highly recommended that you and your partner have a conversation about how much you plan to spend on your big day. This should include all of the “must-haves,” from your chosen venue (or venues) to the decor you select for your festivities, and everything in between. You can also ask any other family or friends who have offered to contribute financially to your event, so everyone is on the same page before you make decisions about your venue and vendor team. 

We also have tips on saving when it comes to your stationery suite. For instance, if you love the idea of letterpress, you can choose that style of printing for your wedding invitations and then stick with flat printing for the reply cards and inserts. This gives you the best of both worlds, without needing to break the bank. Another option is to avoid envelope liners, or even switching to fully digital wedding invitations. The most important thing is that you love your wedding invitations and that your guests fully understand where and when they need to be there to celebrate. 

Why Couples Decide on Wedding Invitation Paper Goods

There are plenty of pros and cons to anything, but there are several reasons why couples ultimately love the idea of ordering wedding invitation paper and its related materials. If you and your partner are still undecided, these are the reasons why many couples gravitate toward printed invites:

  1. They are more traditional. For centuries, couples have sent out formal wedding invitations through the mail. You really can’t go wrong with a classic, in so many cases, and this benefit is one of them. To take even more traditional and authentic measures, you can use antique printing styles too. 

  2. They serve as a special keepsake for you and your guests. Your wedding day flies by, and you will want to hold onto mementos that will help you reflect on the celebration for years to come. One perfect example of a keepsake? Your invites, of course. You and your guests can keep them for years as a reminder of all the fun you had on your wedding day.

  3. They are ideal for less tech-savvy guests. Yes, we are living in the digital age—but not all of your guests understand how to navigate the digital wedding invitation space. If you are concerned about this for your guests, paper invites are an ideal solution to this conundrum. 

While factors like costs associated with wedding invitation paper can also sway couples into deciding on digital invites, there are so many reasons to love the printed style. If your budget can accommodate it, you will follow millions of couples (now and in years past) who have sent out invitations through the mail.

The History Behind Wedding Invitation Paper and Envelopes

To better understand the value of wedding invitation paper today, it is important to go back in time and learn more about how we got here. The history of wedding invitation paper dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Before then, most weddings in England were verbally announced by the town crier. But then, a world-changing invention was introduced: the printing press. Johannes Gutenberg’s development of the printing press in 1447 revolutionized communication—and marked the beginning of wedding invite paper and envelopes, as well as letterpress printing. So, in the Middle Ages (1400-1500), it was more common for wedding invitations to be sent out whenever members of nobility were getting married. This is also when calligraphy was used on wedding invitation paper, an age-old technique that’s still cherished (and used!) today.

By the 1600s, wedding invitations were becoming more sophisticated and widespread. Part of this is credited to Ludwig von Siegen, who invented metal-plate engraving. But we really cannot talk about wedding invitation paper without mentioning the Victorian era in the 19th century. Some wedding traditions come from this time period as well, and it is when many wedding invitations were printed en masse. 

And when lithography was introduced in 1798 during the time of the Industrial Revolution, wedding invitation paper and printing experienced yet another advancement. This sped up the process of creating each wedding invite, and limited the human error of writing them by hand or using the engraving method. Around this time, it was also more popular to include a double envelope with your order, which protected the envelope from possible damage on its way to each guest.

Letterpress made its way back into the cultural zeitgeist when Martha Stewart featured it in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine in the 1990s. Long credited with the revival of this antique printing process, the one and only Martha Stewart reinvigorated couples’ interest in this vintage look. And now, there are even more advancements to the technique. Many people incorporate metallic foil and blind debossing to create a similar, chic effect for their wedding invites.

Today, there are so many methods to printing and sending out your wedding invitations—many of which were popular back in the day. For instance, letterpress printing is one of the most premium, beloved wedding invitation paper printing styles to choose from. These days, there are plenty of other modern trends too, including envelope liners, insert and reply cards and much more. In fact, some people even present their wedding invitations in luxury boxes or other unique methods of delivery.

While there are standard and premium wedding invitation paper styles and printing methods, there is yet another modern invention: online wedding stationery. From Save the Dates to invites, there are a variety of options available for couples who are interested in fully digitizing their invitation suite. These are a lower cost, high tech solution for those looking to save money while also helping the environment. Because they do require the use of wedding invitation paper, you will automatically reduce your carbon footprint as it relates to your wedding planning. Talk about the different styles with your partner before ultimately deciding on the best possible route for your wedding day.

The Experience of Designing Your Stationery Suite at Bliss & Bone

Before you get started with Bliss & Bone, you should know all of the benefits that come with working alongside our team. If you are interested in learning more about the wedding invitation paper itself, you can order a set of samples before committing to anything. For just $15, you will receive products that show the differences between one- and two-ply paper, the various printing techniques and more. These are shipped out on Fridays, but you can let our team know if you need a rush order. And if you have your heart set on a particular design or printing style, make that known and we will do our best to accommodate your request and other preferences.

After you have decided on the right wedding invitation paper and printing process, you can start to envision the entire picture. Bliss & Bone’s online builder makes it easy to customize existing templates to create a truly special and one-of-a-kind stationery suite for your event. You can also start your project and return to it whenever you want to make changes or adjustments. One of those choices is the envelope and envelope liner. For the liner alone, we have more than 300 prints and 30 papers available to further personalize your design. Beyond that, we offer envelope printing for $2 per envelope, so you can ensure that all of your guests’ information is there and all you need to do is send them out. If you are interested in a calligrapher, our team can recommend professionals in your area and encourage you to order blank envelopes. 

The bottom line with all of the products and services at Bliss & Bone? Practically everything is customizable and modifiable. If there is a print or other element to your design that you would like to tweak, simply reach out and talk to our team. We will do our best to work with you on crafting the dreamiest stationery imaginable for you and your partner. 

For an additional fee, you can also work with a designer for extra customizations on your invites and other stationery needs. Make sure you “check” that you are interested in Design Your Own Plus, and one of Bliss & Bone’s designers will reach out for a consultation. The following are all offered through the Design Your Own Plus program:

  • Creating a custom print or font
  • Tags
  • Booklets
  • Grommets
  • Folded cards
  • Ribbon or leather lacing
  • Specialty wedding invitation paper or materials, like vellum
  • Gilded edges

After you have completed your design and are ready to submit your order, there is also flexibility when it comes to receiving your invites. If you need rush services, those are available if you pay additional fees. We want to make this process as smooth and positive as possible, so communicate directly with our team to learn more about the benefits of building out a wedding stationery suite at Bliss & Bone.

Get Started On Selecting Your Wedding Invite Paper and Envelopes With the Experts at Bliss & Bone

Now that you feel more prepared to kickstart your stationery building process, always remember that the Bliss & Bone team is here to provide any support you might need. We offer full sets of stationery, including wedding menus, wedding websites and rehearsal dinner invites, so you can use Bliss & Bone as your singular resource for all things related to your paper and digital wedding goods. If you want to reach out to us, contact us online or send us an email to We are more than thrilled to help you craft the most beautiful and one-of-a-kind wedding invitation suite possible.