As you are choosing your wedding invitations, one of the most important decisions has to do with the paper you choose. Although your decisions are going to be guided by whether you are choosing traditional or contemporary invitations, you’ll still have plenty of choices when it comes to your wedding invitations paper.
Paper Choices – Traditional
If you are having traditional wedding invitations, then you’ll most likely select a heavy card stock for them. This is very standard and is available from all commercial printers and in most craft or party supply stores. You’ll want to choose either an cream, ivory, off-white, white, or ecru color paper since these are the traditional colors of choice.
Of course, you do have some other options for your traditional paper. Some couples choose vellum, for example. Vellum is a lightweight paper which appears frosted. While it can be used simply as an overlay on the invitation, the wording can also be printed on the paper. It adds a soft touch to the invitation.
Another option is parchment paper. Parchment paper is very traditional for important announcements; it has been used for centuries to pass royal messages. Because it is made from animal skin, however, some couples may be less than thrilled with using it.
You can choose from a wide variety of textured papers. While some of these papers are made from woven fabrics, others are unique for other reasons. For example, one online stationery site like MyExpression.com sells paper that has flower seeds embedded into it.
Linen paper is another option, although one of the most expensive ones. This very fine, soft paper adds a sense of elegance and formality to the invitation: it’s ideal for very traditional, elaborate weddings.
Paper Choices – Less Traditional
As more couples look for contemporary invitations, more paper possibilities become available. For example, if you have a hefty budget for your invitations, you might want to pick cotton paper for your invitations. Although cotton can be an excellent choice for formal invitations, it works well for contemporary ones as well. One huge advantage of cotton is that it is durable. Cotton invitations will last for decades.
Another pricey option is handmade paper. Yuzen (also known as Chiyogami), for example, is a Japanese paper which is created by silk screening. The paper already bares a design, usually something very Asian, such as bamboo or flowers. You could also choose rice paper which has a different texture and feels more fragile. Rice paper usually lacks a pre-printed design.
Environmentally conscious brides and grooms might be interested in using recycled paper for their invitations. Recycled paper is available through many stationery providers online. Before you dismiss the idea of having ugly brown invitations, you should take a look at what’s available. The paper actually comes in a number of colors and styles.
If you want something even more unique, you may want to consider imported paper. While it may sound strange to think of people importing something as simple as paper from other countries, many couples have adored the idea of choosing a unique paper for the basis of their wedding invitations. With a simple online search, you can find imported paper from Egypt, India, Italy, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, and more.
Of course, if you’re on a budget or you don’t want something incredibly fancy, you can also make wedding invitations cards from heavy card stock paper that comes in more unusual colors. Bright, bold colors that make a statement – orange, blue, pink, etc. – can help you create invitations that stand out and which suggest a more casual and fun ceremony. You might want to choose brighter colors for a spring or summer wedding; darker colors for fall and winter weddings.
Some couples prefer to choose a plain paper style, then decorate it themselves. For example, you could purchase stamps and ink, then decorate each sheet of paper yourselves. That means each invitation is going to be one-of-a-kind.
Another idea is to purchase a few paint colors, some stencils, and very thin paint brushes. With these supplies, you can paint your own designs on the paper. You can even create your own versions of the imported and handmade paper for a fraction of the cost.
Of course, there are other ways to add style to your invitation paper, including dried or silk flowers, ribbons, translucent overlays, and more. You should be able to find plenty of options by browsing through your local craft or scrapbooking store.
As you try to wade through all of the paper options at your fingertips, there are some guidelines you need to keep in mind.
First, you should get a look at what you are ordering. If you are going through a commercial printer or “brick and mortar” stationery store, then make sure you ask to see a sample, not just a picture of a sample. If you are ordering online, go to a stationery store in your area and ask to see a sample. Remember that pictures can often be misleading. You want to know exactly what to expect when you receive your paper or your finished invitations.
Second, whether you are having your invitations professionally made or you are making them yourself, you should purchase the highest quality paper you can afford. Good quality paper is going to look better and is going to be easier to work with. Plus, you want to make an amazing impression on your guests from the moment they get a glimpse of your invitation – you can’t do that with inferior or cheap paper.
Finally, choose a paper that is going to complement the style and tone of your wedding. If you’re having an outdoor wedding at the beach, don’t send out linen invitations. Linen invitations are more formal while a beach wedding is anything but informal. You also wouldn’t use bright yellow card stock for your invitations to an evening winter wedding that is going to be very formal. Remember that your invitation is setting the tone for your guests. It’s helping them decide how to dress and how to compose themselves. If you send the wrong message with your invitation, you may not prepare them properly for what to expect.