Ceremony Etiquette and Wording Suggestions

  1. I. Selecting Your Invitation (Invitations 101)
  2. Ordering
    • When to Order
    • The Value of a "Preview"
    • How Many to Order
    • When to Mail
  3. Wording Your Invitation
    • Basic rules of etiquette
    • Traditional Wording, line by line (Weddings)
    • Wording For (nearly) Every Social Situation of Weddings
  4. The "Did You Remember" Checklist
  5. The Invitation Ensemble
    • Two envelopes or one?
    • Envelope Return Address
    • Lined Inner Envelope
    • Tissues
    • Reception Cards
    • Respond Card and Envelope
    • Map and Direction Cards
    • Accommodation Cards
    • Within-the-ribbon Cards
    • At-home Cards
  6. VI. Additional Items
    • Engagement Announcements
    • Gift received Cards
    • Informals
    • Menu Cards
    • Place Cards
    • Programs
    • Save-the-date Cards
    • Table Cards
    • Wedding Announcements
  7. Assembling the Invitation Ensemble (including diagrams)
  8. Addressing the Envelope
    • Basic Rules of Etiquette
    • Sample Wording for (nearly) Every Situation
  9. Glossary of terms

  1. Selecting Your Invitation (Invitations 101)

    Your commitment ceremony or party invitation and accessories set the tone for your special event firmly establishing your style and taste. It is the first official message about the event, which a guest will receive from you, so make it special.

    If this is a commitment ceremony, begin by determining whether you and your partner want a formal, traditional or more contemporary style ceremony and make your invitation selection accordingly.

    The traditional invitation is elegantly simple usually in black ink printed on a heavy white or cream colored card. The card may be either flat or folded with the printing traditionally on the front. The formal couple who loves tradition will find a wide array of suitable papers, plain or variously paneled, and be able to distinguish their personal style through the large selection of beautiful typestyles.

    If you choose a more contemporary invitation, you have an immense selection of exciting possibilities. Many contemporary couples love the freedom modern invitations give to tailor the invitation uniquely to their personalities. If you have a theme or color scheme in mind (Garden Tulips, Gold, Silver...), look for invitations that echo this.

    Last, but not least, determine your budget. Remember to include reception cards, response sets and thank-you notes (informals) in your calculations along with additional items like place cards, table cards, menu cards and so forth.

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  2. Ordering

    When to Order

    Order your invitations as soon as your date, time and place have been confirmed. Three to six months before the ceremony is what most expert planners suggest. The more time you give yourself, the less harried you'll feel and the more carefully you'll make decisions. Give yourself or your calligrapher at least a month to hand address, assemble, and stamp the invitations and reply envelopes.

    The Value of a Preview

    Look for a printer or on-line dealer who offers CheckMate™ Preview technology so that you can see an actual copy of your invitation – with all your custom changes – before you order. CheckMate™ lets you personalize the invitation of your choice with your own wording, ink color and lettering style, and then shows you an actual copy of your creation almost immediately! If your store does not offer CheckMate, ask the staff to request a paper proof from the printer before the ensemble is printed. There is usually a charge for each proof you order and it takes a few days to a week to receive. If you don’t like what you see, you’ll need to make changes and order another proof.

    How Many to Order

    To calculate the number of invitations to order, count one invitation for each of the following: a) couple (married/partnered or living together), b) family with children under 18, c) each child 18 years old or older and still living at home, d) single guest, e) friend of a guest. For example, in a house with one set of parents and five children (one child 17, one 14 and three children 18 and older), four invitations would be sent. One would be sent to the parents with the name of the 17 year old and the 14 year old on the line below the parents’ names (on the only envelope if using a single envelope or on the inner envelope if using a double envelope set), and one each to the three siblings 18 and older.

    After calculating the number of invitations as noted above add approximately 25 invitations to your order: 10-12 more for keepsakes, plus extras for the last-minute guests (and there will be last-minute guests.) Reorders later can be costly. Also, depending on how large your order is, add 25 to 50 additional envelopes** in case of mistakes in addressing.

    When to Mail

    Most established wedding planners agree that you should plan to mail your invitations six weeks before the wedding. Make sure you have one completely assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine the correct postage .When you return with your invitations stamped and ready for mailing, ask to have them hand canceled. After all the care you put into selecting and addressing your envelopes, you’ll want them to arrive in pristine condition for your guests’ full enjoyment.

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  3. Wording your Invitation

    Basic rules of etiquette

    1. All phrasing is in the third person.
    2. Punctuation is not used at the ends of lines (commas, periods, colons, etc.); however, commas are used within lines to separate the day from the date, the city from the state and a man’s surname from "Jr./junior/II/III", etc.
    3. No abbreviations are used. Either spell out a name or leave it out: "Mark Claude Manet" not "Mark C. Manet." Also, "Road", "Street", "Avenue", "Reverend", "Doctor", and all military titles should be spelled out. Exceptions are: "Mr." and "Mrs." Many etiquette specialists prefer that "junior" be spelled out. When it is spelled out, the "j" is not capitalized.
    4. If both Mr. and Mrs. Smith are doctors, they can be referred to as "The Doctors Smith."
    5. Days, dates, and times are always spelled out.
    6. Only proper nouns are capitalized (names of people and places, cities, states, name of the day of the week, month name, etc.) Exceptions are the year line("Two thousand") or where the noun is the beginning of a new sentence or thought ("T" in "The favour of a reply is requested" or "Reception to follow")
    7. Be consistent with your usage of "honour/favour" or "honor/favor." Traditionally the formal, British spelling with the "u" is preferred in proper wedding etiquette but whichever form you choose, use it in both words.
    8. It is considered socially incorrect to write, "no children please" on the invitation or any part of the wedding ensemble. "Black tie" does not traditionally appear on the invitation. If the event takes place after six o’clock, your guests should assume that it is a formal event. If you are concerned, however, you may write "Black tie" as a right footnote on your reception card. Note: the "B" in "Black tie" is capitalized, but not the "t."
    9. It is considered extremely socially incorrect to make any mention of gifts on invitations on the theory that we should expect nothing from our friends except their presence, therefore never list where you are registered, the name of a charity for donations or your desire for money rather than presents. The only slight exception to this strict rule is for shower invitations where it is permitted to list the theme of the gifts ("Linens", etc.) but never where one is registered or any mention whatsoever of money.

    Traditional Wording, line by line: (Commitment Ceremonies)

    1. Begin with the full, formal name(s) and title(s) of the event sponsors. These are not necessarily the people who are paying for the wedding. While the celebrating couple themselves are often the sponsors, anyone can be a sponsor, including friends or parents.
    2. Following the name(s) is the phrase "request the honour of your presence" for a service held in a house of worship. The variation "request the pleasure of your company" is used for a wedding held in any other location.
    3. The next line reads "at the commitment ceremony of their daughter" or whatever the relation is between the sponsor(s) and the couple (or one member of the couple).
    4. One partner's full name follows but often excludes her surname. If his/her last name is different from the sponsor name or both sets of parents are doing the inviting, include it; otherwise, omit it. If you use optional personal or professional titles (Ms., . Dr., etc.), then include his/her last name.
    5. Generally "to" is used on the line separating the partner’s name from the other partner’s name. The exception would be the use of "and" when both parents are doing the inviting.
    6. The other partner’s full name – first, middle and last-is next. If one partner uses a personal or professional title, so should the other partner.
    7. On the next line, spell out the day and date with the spelled-out number inverted before the name of the month and a comma separating the day from the date: "on Saturday, the first of May." Using "on" before the name of the day is optional but if you do, do not capitalize the "o."
    8. Listing the year is optional. If you choose to do so, it appears on the line following the day/date line. Only the first letter of the first word of the line is capitalized: "The year two thousand" or "Two thousand and nine."
    9. On the line after the date comes the time. List this spelled out: "at six o’clock" with the word "at" preceding the time. You do not need to put "in the morning" or "in the evening" since it should be obvious but you may if you would like to and must if it is not obvious (for example, a sunrise wedding "at six o’clock" would be more likely to get people there on time if you said "at six o’clock in the morning"). In any case, never put "a.m." or "p.m." on a formal invitation.
    10. The name of the place goes on the next line: "Grace Cathedral", "The Belser Arboretum" or simply the address if the wedding is in someone’s home.
    11. Listing an address for the place is optional (unless the wedding is in someone’s home). If you do include it, place it on the line immediately below the name of the place.
    12. Generally the last line lists the city and state, separated by a comma: "East Greenwich, Rhode Island." Note that you never put a zip code here.
    13. If you are not using reception cards, you may include the information here as the last line of the invitation: "Reception immediately following", "Reception to follow" or "and afterwards at the reception." These sentences indicate that the reception is in the same place as the wedding. If it is not, reconsider ordering reception cards so that the important wording of your invitation will not be reduced in point size to accommodate the several extra lines of the reception information.
    14. If you are not using response cards and envelopes, in the lower left hand corner include "The favour of a reply is requested", or "R.s.v.p.", and a response address; however, if you have a reception card, put the R.s.v.p. corner line there in order to leave the invitation uncluttered. Note that properly only the "R" in "R.s.v.p." is capitalized since this is an abbreviation for a French sentence, "Répondez s’il vous plaît." Likewise, since the sentence means "Respond please", never say "Please R.s.v.p." since that would be redundant.

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    Wording for (nearly) every social situation of Commitment Ceremonies

      1. Invitation Issued by both partners

        Louisa Marie Parker
        and
        Susana Buczko
        request the honour of your presence
        at their commitment ceremony
      2. Invitation Issued by Friends

        Steven Jacobson and Randoph Macon
        request the honour of your presence
        at the commitment ceremony of
        Angus McMillan
        to
        Kevin Richard Arnoldson
      3. Invitation Issued by one partner's Parents(Standard form)

        Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Adam Chase
        request the honour of your presence
        at the commitment ceremony of their daughter
        Mary Lou
        to
        Ms. Agatha Hugh
        on Saturday, the twentieth of March
        at two o'clock in the afternoon
        Arlington St. Church
        351 Boylston Street
        Boston, Massachusetts
      4. Invitation Issued by both partners' Parents

        Mr. and Mrs. Jullian Alfred Dexter
        and
        Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mason Smith
        request the honour of your presence
        at the commitment ceremony of their children
      5. Invitation Issued by Adult Children

        Matthew Manning Smith
        Daniel Joseph Smith
        Angela Smith Richardson
        request the honour of your presence
        at the commitment ceremony of their mother
        Josephine Manning Smith
        to
        Martha Jamieson Darnell
      6. Other Wording Options

      7. Union Celebration

        Join Michael Russell and Stephen Goldfarb
        as they celebrate their union
        in the company of friends and loved ones
      8. Recognition of Long-term Relationship

        After eight years of happiness together,
        we're making it official!
        Please join us as we pledge our vows
        of lifetime commitment.
      9. Vows

        Friends, Lovers, Partners
        Lorraine Healy and Martha Raymond
        invite you to join them as they celebrate
        their lives together and vow a future of love and commitment
      10. Jewish wording

        I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine
        Becky Goldstein and Susie Gold
        invite you to celebrate with them as they
        take their vows under the chuppah
      11. Family Celebration

        Together with their families
        Tom Klein and Jake Claiborne
        invite you to share in the joyous beginning
        of their new life together
        The celebration of their commitment and love
        will be held on
      12. Family Celebration

        Please be a part of our celebration
        as family and friends gather
        to witness our commitment to sharing our lives
        and raising our family together

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  4. Did You Remember?

    • Name of Sponsors
    • Establish the purpose of the printing (inviting to a commitment ceremony? Celebration of long-term relationship?)
    • Name of honoree (Partners)
    • Day/Date (spelled out – e.g. Saturday, the twenty-third of March)
    • Does the day definitely correspond with the date? (consult a calendar)
    • Year (Two thousand)
    • Time (at six o’clock in the evening)
    • Name of Place (Arbor Crest Winery)
    • Location of Place (city and state but no zip code – street address is optional)
    • Ask several friends to read it for mistakes!

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  5. The Invitation Ensemble

    Two envelopes or one?

    In bygone days when invitations were hand-delivered, an outer envelope was used to keep the invitation envelope clean for a more impressive presentation to the guest. Whether or not you opt for double envelopes is your decision. Today, many invitations are sent with single envelopes for a variety of reasons, including less paper waste and because some of the fancier custom-made envelop styles (like the French and Bavarian envelopes) are designed to be singles. If you order double envelopes and you also choose envelope linings, the inner envelope will be lined.

    Envelope Return Address

    Be sure to order your envelopes with your return address (excluding your name) on the back flap. This not only looks nicer, but also saves addressing time! If you are ordering double envelope sets, this address is on the flap of the outer (larger) envelope. Make certain you order additional envelopes in case you make mistakes while addressing.

    Lined Inner Envelope

    For selections that include an inner envelope, a lovely envelope liner adds that special elegant touch. You can select a liner that brings out the beauty of your invitation for a slight additional cost.

    Tissues

    Tissues were originally put on top of the invitation to prevent the old, slow drying inks from smudging. Today it is no longer necessary, but many people still prefer the traditional look of tissues.

    Reception Card

    Reception cards are included when the reception is held at a different site than the ceremony or if you have different guest lists for the ceremony and the reception. The reception card wording either reflects the wording of your invitation or simply reads, "Reception immediately following the ceremony" with the location.

    Sample Traditional Wording

    Reception
    Immediately following the ceremony
    Moss Creek Winery
    Napa Valley, California

    Response Card and Envelope

    Response cards provide a simple and painless way for your guests to reply. The cards have a space for your guests to write their names and indicate whether or not they will be attending. A printed return envelope is always included in the price of a response set. The face/front of this envelope is preprinted with the name and address of whoever will be receiving your replies. To make it even easier for everyone to reply, put a stamp on this respond envelope. If you are using the traditional wording shown below, remember to spell "favour/favor" the same way as you have spelled "honour/honor" on the invitation. As most party planning budgets require exact numbers, it is socially acceptable to call, or write, those guests who have not responded.

    Respond Card Sample Traditional WordingRespond Envelope Sample
    The favour of a reply is requested
    before the twentieth of May

    M_____________________

    Will __________ attend
    Jason Hepner and Leigh McPherson
    1717 La Jolla Avenue
    West Hollywood, California 90038

    Map and Directions cards

    Preprinted enclosure cards providing directions to the ceremony and the reception site can be exceptionally helpful to your guests, especially those coming from out-of-town. Photocopied directions blemish the beauty of your beautiful invitation ensemble and are often very difficult to read.

    Accommodation cards

    Your guests will appreciate the convenience of a preprinted card that lists recommended hotels in your area, along with the phone numbers.

    Within-the-ribbon cards

    Another tradition is to designate special seating for select guests. The guests receiving these cards present them to the ushers, who will escort them to this special seating (usually in the front) that has been sectioned off by ribbon.

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  6. Additional Items

    Engagement announcements

    These are the formal announcements of your engagement.

    Gift received cards

    Preprinted cards acknowledging that a gift was received may be sent ahead (never instead of) personally written thank you notes. This allows the newlyweds to wait until after their honeymoon to thank their guests more personally.

    Informals

    This is the personalized stationery on which to write individual thank-you notes.

    Menu Cards

    Menu cards provided at the reception describe the dishes you have selected – a nice touch.

    Place Cards

    If you are planning assigned seating at your reception, put a place card handwritten with each person’s name at the place you have designated.

    Programs

    Guests appreciate an outline to follow along with at the ceremony. It also makes a nice memento of the event.

    Save-the-date cards

    These preprinted notes are sent at least three months (but preferably six months to a year) before the wedding date and are invaluable if you plan to invite long-distance guests.

    Table cards

    If you are planning assigned tables for the reception, these cards have a place for you to write the names of each couple or single guest and their assigned table. These should be awaiting everyone on a table at the entrance to the reception. (see also "place cards" above)

    Sample Wording

    M __________________
    ______Table No.______

    Commitment Announcements

    Announcements let you share your news with friends, distant relatives and colleagues that are not invited to the ceremony (you can’t invite everyone!) They should never be sent to those who have received an invitation to the ceremony or reception and should be mailed right after the event (never before.) Your announcement should look and read like your commitment ceremony invitation. Instead of requesting the honour of their presence at the commitment ceremony however, you would say "have the honour of announcing their commitment to each other".

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  7. Assembling the Invitation Ensemble

    When inserting a foldover invitation into an envelope, the fold goes into the envelope first. Insert the basic components of the ensemble into the envelope (inner envelope for those items with two envelopes) in the following order from bottom to top: Invitation, reception card and respond set. Place the respond card face up on top of the respond envelope, which is face down, with its flap overlapping the respond card (see diagram 3). Accessories are never inserted inside a foldover invitation. Remaining pieces (directions, accommodations, within-the-ribbon, etc.) are usually layered on in ascending order of size from largest just above the respond set, to smallest on top. If your item comes with two envelopes, write the names of the guests, including children, on the front of the inner envelope using only the surname prefaced by Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc. Insert the inner envelope into the outer with the names facing the flap of the outer envelope.

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  8. Addressing the Envelope

    Basic rules of etiquette

    It is traditional to use the complete, formal name and address of your invited guests on the outer envelope of a double envelope set and on the outside of a single envelope. Do not use abbreviations other than "Mr." or "Mrs." Spell out Avenue, Road, and Street as well as the State name. See the "Basic Rules of Etiquette" section under "Wording your Commitment Ceremony Invitation" above for more detail on how to write titles and suffixes. Include zip codes on the same line with the city and state.

    The inner envelope of a double envelope set carries only the last name preceded by titles (Mr., Mrs., Doctor) of the primary person or couple being invited. There are no addresses. Invited children’s first names appear under the parents’ names. (Invited children over 18 or older still dwelling with their parents should receive separate invitations.) If you are allowing single people, who are not dating anyone in particular, to bring a guest, you would say so on this inner envelope by adding "and guest" to their title and surname. If you are using a single envelope, you must put this information on the outside of the single envelope by adding the children’s names below the parents’ names or the "and guest" line beside the single guest’s name.

    Remember! Before purchasing stamps, have one fully assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine proper postage. Don’t forget to purchase stamps for the respond envelopes as well.

    Sample Addressing Formats Wording for (nearly) Every Situation

    1. Invitations with a single envelope

      If you elect to use a single envelope with your invitation, here are some suggestions for addressing the outside of the single envelope.

      1. Unmarried Couples

        Unmarried couples living in the same house should be listed alphabetically

        Ms. Elaine Alla
        Ms. Susan Zaph
        40 Sparrow Drive
        Dallas, Texas
        75341
        Ms. Caroline Parker
        Mr. David Randolph
        Three Greenleaf Lane
        Huntington Beach, California
        94640
      2. Married Couples

        Married couples in which the woman has retained her maiden name or professional name
        Some experts say the woman's name appears first

        Ms. Elaine Austin Rogers
        Mr. Edward Paris Whittemore
        Three Greenleaf Lane
        Huntington Beach, California
        94640

        Others suggest the names be listed alphabetically

        Ms. Judy Paris
        Mr. Benjamin Jeffery Straton
        etc.
        Mr. Bernard Dawson
        Ms. Anne Fisk
        etc.
      3. Family Invitation

        A parent with young children

        George Smith
        Hank and Sophia
        800 Park Avenue, 3C
        New York, New York
        10025

        It is considered correct to send a separate invitation to each child 18 years or older.

      4. Single Individual with Guest

        If you wish to encourage a single friend to invite a guest, find out the guest’s name, especially if the couple is engaged, living in the same house, or seeing each other on an exclusive basis. If they live at different addresses, it is considerate to send an invitation to the guest directly.
        Otherwise address as follows:

        Mr. Adam Applegate
        Mr. John Wesley Eight
        Beaver Dam Road
        Seattle, Washington
        98110

        If you cannot obtain the name ahead of time, it is also correct to address

        Mr. Adam Applegate and guest
        Mr. John Wesley and guest

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    2. Invitations with double envelopes

      If you elect to use two envelopes with your invitations, here are suggestions for addressing the inner and outer envelopes:

      1. Unmarried Couples

        Unmarried couples living in the same house should be listed alphabetically

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mr. Calvin Parker
        Mr. David Randolph
        Three Greenleaf Lane
        Huntington Beach, California
        94640
        Mr. Parker
        Mr. Randolph
      2. Married Couples

        Married couples living in the same house

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mr. and Mrs. George Smith
        800 Park Avenue, 3C
        New York, New York
        10025
        Mr. and Mrs. Smith

        Married couples in which the woman has retained her maiden name or professional name
        Some experts say the woman’s name appears first

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Ms. Elaine Austin Rogers
        Mr. Edward Paris Whittemore
        Three Greenleaf Lane
        Huntington Beach, California
        94640
        Ms. Rogers
        Mr. Whittemore

        Others suggest the names be listed alphabetically

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mrs. Elaine Austin Dogers
        Mr. Conrad Hemenway
        etc.
        Ms. Dogers
        Mr. Hemenway etc.
      3. Family Invitation

        A family with young children

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mr. George Smith
        Mr. Hank Zoulner
        Martha and Susan
        800 Park Avenue, 3C
        New York, New York
        10025
        Mr. Smith
        Mr. Zoulner
        Martha and Susan (by seniority)

        It is considered correct to send a separate invitation to each child 18 years or older. You may also use the title Master if the young man is under the age of 13.

      4. Single Individual with Guest

        If you wish to encourage a single friend to invite a guest, you should learn the name of the guest, especially if they are engaged, living in the same house, or seeing each other on an exclusive basis. If they live at different addresses, it is considerate to send an invitation to the guest directly.
        Otherwise address as follows:

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mr. Ethan Phelps
        Mr. John Wesley Eight
        Beaver Dam Road
        Seattle, Washington
        98110
        Mr. Phelps
        Mr. Wesley

        If you cannot obtain the name ahead of time, it is also correct to address

        Outer EnvelopeInner Envelope
        Mr. Walter Robinson
        126 Woodland Creek Drive
        Dallas, Texas
        75225
        Mr. Robinson and guest

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  9. Glossary of Terms

    Applique
    A decoration or ornament applied to a larger surface.
    Bavarian Flap Envelopes
    A Checkerboard brand exclusive, these beautiful envelopes are custom-made for Checkerboard's slender, vertical invitations. They feature a squared flap on the narrow end of the tall envelope and are available only as Single Envelopes.
    Beveled
    Used to indicate that an edge is slanted (not at a right angle).
    Blind Embossing
    Same as "embossing" defined below, only blind embossing uses no color of any kind other than the color of the paper itself.
    Calligraphy
    Literally this simply means "beautiful writing" but today is used to mean wording created by hand, not with typesetting machinery. Many of our elegant invitations utilize calligraphy as part of the design.
    Double Envelopes
    The traditional set of two envelopes used with formal invitations and announcements. The Outer Envelope is addressed to the guest and has the senders return address printed on the back. The inner envelope, with the invitation and accessories, is placed inside the outer envelope so that it arrives in pristine condition. The inner envelope carries only the guests' names. Since the Inner Envelope is thought of as the primary envelope because it holds the invitation directly, this is the one that will be lined if you choose a liner. The Inner Envelope is not gummed, therefore is not sealed shut.
    Embossing
    Raising in relief from a surface. In printing, to press paper into the cavities in a metal die leaving three-dimensional words or designs on the paper. Embossing can be combined with Foil-Stamping or printing methods using ink.
    Envelopes
    • Bavarian Flap Envelopes – (see Bavarian Flap Envelopes)
    • Double Envelopes – (see Double Envelopes)
    • French Flap Envelopes – (see French Flap Envelopes)
    • Inner Envelopes – (see Double Envelopes)
    • Liners – (see Liners below)
    • Outer Envelopes – (see Double Envelopes)
    • Single Envelopes – (see Single Envelopes)
    • Square Envelopes – (see Square Envelopes)
    • Wallet Flap Envelopes – (see Wallet Flap Envelopes)
    Faux
    A fashionable term from French to indicate something made to look like it is something else. Literally this means "false."
    Foil Stamping
    Colored foil heat-stamped into the paper. Foils usually have a metallic finish in either matte or high gloss.
    Folded
    Used to indicate paper that is folded either at the top or along the left side. On a traditional, side-fold invitation, the wording is printed on the outside cover with the inside right and left panels entirely blank. If decoration is on the cover, the wording is printed on the inside right panel of a side-fold paper and the bottom panel of a top-fold. One item, “Under the Chuppah” is tri-fold with a fold on the right and left sides allowing three panels of printing when fully opened. Another, “L'Amour”, is folded twice from the bottom, then opens from below to reveal vertical printing along the entire inside.
    Font
    The font refers to the style of lettering, also called "typestyle", or "lettering style."
    French Flap Envelopes
    Custom-made for the Checkerboard brand's slender, vertical invitations, these uniquely beautiful envelopes feature a stunning, long, pointed flap on the narrow end of the tall envelope. French Flap Envelopes are available only as Single Envelopes.
    Inner Envelopes
    See Double Envelopes.
    Layers
    Generally used to indicate layers of paper tied or glued together. If the top layer is transluscent parchment and the lower layer is decorative, you see a muted version of the lower layer through the parchment.
    Liners
    Decorative papers used to line the inside of an Inner Envelope or a Single Envelope. Some brands honor the age-old craft of lining envelopes by hand and line the full length of the envelope.
    Line Spacing
    Also called "leading", this refers to the space between the text lines. During the customization process, you can increase or decrease the space between the lines by clicking on the line spacing link on the customization pages.
    Lithography
    Technical term for what many people call flat printing. Lithography creates watercolor effects and pale background designs. The ink is literally flat with a matte finish.
    Monograms
    A decoration using the initials of a name. When the middle letter of a person's monogram is larger than the side two, the sequence of initials is first name on the left, surname in the middle, then middle name on the right. When all letters are the same size, the sequence of initials from left to right is first name, middle name, then surname. If you are combining the bride's name with the groom's, you must use the format with the middle letter larger. In this case, the sequence of initials is the bride's first name on the left, mutual surname in the middle, and the groom's first name on the right.
    Outer Envelopes
    See Double Envelopes.
    Panel
    A raised section of the paper created by pressing the middle section where the words will be printed down leaving the raised area looking like a frame or matt. Alternately, the term is used to indicate pages facing each other such as on a tri-fold invitation which, when opened fully, has a left panel, middle panel, and right panel.
    Parchment
    A translucent paper made to look like the original parchment. This lovely paper adds a softening effect to any invitation and can be used either singly or as a layer. Other companies may call this paper "vellum."
    Single Envelopes
    A single envelope with a gummed flap into which the invitation is slipped directly and then sealed shut. Single Envelopes may be printed on the back flap for social correspondence and lined for added elegance.
    Single-Layer
    used to indicate a single card without a fold.
    Snow
    Term used by the Checkerboard brand for a handsome, textured, white and sturdy paper covered with tiny, bluish-gray flecks. The paper was designed to simulate hand-made paper.
    Square Envelopes
    Any envelope sized to fit a square invitation. Square Envelopes are available only as Single Envelopes.
    Thermography
    A contemporary printing method using heat and a fine resin to create a rich, raised effect with the ink. A clear powder is dusted onto the flat ink of lithography just after it is printed, then heated to give the raised effect. eInvite uses the highest quality thermography to print your wording on many of the designs.
    Trapunto
    A decorative design in high relief.
    Trompe l'Oeil
    A French term meaning "trick/deceive the eye" used to describe a visual effect that looks like something it is not.
    Vellum
    An opaque, smooth-finish, sumptuous paper. Other companies may use this term to refer to parchment paper (see above).
    Wallet Flap Envelopes
    A standard rectangular envelope with the opening along the long side and a squared flap. Wallet Flap Envelopes for invitations are available as either Double Envelope sets or Single Envelopes.

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