The Beautiful History Of Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are a way to creatively, stylishly, and beautifully announce your upcoming nuptials to your family and friends. For the last century, it’s been rather easy to distinguish between a normal letter and a wedding invitation. The envelope for the invitation was of a heavier gauge, foil was normally present on the inside of the envelope, followed by a fabulously poetic invitation. However, wedding invitations were not always handled in this way. Here is a bit of history surrounding the wedding invitation.

As far back as the 12th century, weddings were announced by the town crier. The crier would earn his pay by “crying” out the news from the street corner. Anyone who happened by the particular corner, or within earshot, was automatically invited to the wedding. This could pose a problem if the streets were very busy, as there was no idea how many people would be attending.

During the Middle Ages, most people were unable to read or write. Many nobility hired monks to complete the transcription of the wedding invitations. Each invitation was carefully completed under the watchful eye of the bride-to-be, with no mistakes allowed.

Eventually, the need arose for a way to identify people from certain families or lineage. The coat of arms, also known as the personal crest, was born. It was considered a person’s signature and was placed all important papers. Even today, it is considered of the utmost class and individuality. Wedding invitations are a common place to see a family crest today.

By the early 1600’s, wedding invitations were printed in the local newspapers; however, by 1642, the Mezzotint, or metal plate engraving, was responsible for a much higher quality of invitation. In order to keep the ink from smearing on the invitation, tissue paper was placed on top. This tradition remains today.

The inscriptions on the wedding invitation were considerably more formal and elaborate than today. Each guest’s name was printed individually on the invitation. By 1798, the invention of the lithograph brought a sharp, distinctive printing. Most wedding invitations of this time were delivered by hand and via horseback. In order to keep the invitation in the most pristine condition, two envelopes were used. This is another tradition that remains, as well.

Following World War II, many saw a great boom in industrial growth and security. This lead to many of the “middle class” following the examples of the “upper class.” Many began request printed invitations for their weddings. This was also when thermograph was developed. Even though it was not as expensive as engraving, it still produced a pretty raised lettering.

Within a few years, either printed or engraved wedding invitations became very affordable for most everyone. Today, wedding invitations are normally selected by the bride and to some are as important as the newspaper wedding announcement or the even the wedding flowers. There are now designs to match almost any preference, including color, style, and paper. When looking for the perfect wedding invitations, take the time to look around and see what catches your fancy.

Janine Sinclair is an experienced writer who maintains the wedding planning section of the site. Visit the site to inspect a large range of wedding invitations or for advice on wedding invitation wording