I’m sure you’ve realized this by now, but wedding invitations are typically printed on paper that is unlike any that most people encounter frequently. In my experience as a Philadelphia wedding invitation designer, that’s where most people’s knowledge ends, though. That’s why I wanted to take a moment to break down the different types of paper that can be used for wedding invitations.
What you’ll choose has as much to do with the kind of wedding you’re having as with the style of invitation you want. Here are a few of the criteria that you’ll have to choose from:
The weight of paper is calculated using its weight per ream–a ream is 500 sheets–in its basis, or uncut, size. There are also different types of weights–text weight papers are typically used for envelopes and documents like letterhead and brochures. Cover weight papers are used for business cards, postcards, and invitations. For a more in-depth explanation of weight, check out this table from Paper Garden.
The weight of paper that you’ll use depends on the type of invitation you want. If it’s a flat invitation made of one piece of card stock, you’ll want to go with something with a weight of 80 lb cover or higher. Letterpress invitations typically need something heavier: 110 lb or more.
Textured papers convey the type of wedding you’re having–a metallic invitation would be an ultra-modern, chic event, or maybe even a New Year’s Eve wedding. A coarsely textured paper can suggest a rustic wedding. There are also textured papers that are suggestive of fabrics like felt and linen. Glitter paper is another popular choice, although it’s better suited for envelope linings, bellybands, and backings.
There was a time when ecru and white were overwhelmingly popular choices, but no more! Nowadays, unless your wedding will be extremely traditional, you can choose paper that will match your wedding’s theme, including dark colors. If you choose those, you’ll simply need to use a metallic or white opaque ink.
The choices and combinations that you’ll have are virtually endless, and this is just an introduction. I’ll lay out all of your choices during your consultation, and supply you with samples as the design process moves along. To get started, head on over to my contact page!