When it comes to wedding stationery there are thousands and thousands of beautiful photos online but what may not be clear is what all the pieces are called. This can be challenging when looking to order your own invitations because you may not know how to describe to your stationer what pieces you are looking for. Today we are sharing with you some of the most common pieces that make up most wedding invitations as a little glossary list so that you can better know what to look for when ordering or looking to order your own wedding stationery. This is in no way a complete list but should help get you started.
Envelope Liners: In most cases envelope liners are not automatic. As with some of our studio designs, we do have packages that come with envelope liners but when building more custom packages, there is an additional cost when including them. They can be specialty paper like glitter or marble paper, they can be solid paper colors or they can be custom printing with a design or pattern. While any envelope can be lined, when it comes to wedding stationery, envelope liners are typically for the mailing / outer envelope only.
Pocketfolds: Pocketfolds are the folded, pockets that are so popular with wedding invitations. They often come in many colors and styles and now can even be purchased with pretty laser cut designs in them. They typically include the wedding invitation mounted on the inner panel and the additional enclosure cards such as the RSVP card are stored nicely in the pocket.
Panel Pockets: Similar to pocketfolds in that they have a pocket to house your additional enclosures, these pockets are not folded. Meant to have the invitation mounted to the back, we also often design invitations that fit inside the pocket.
Belly bands: These are the paper, ribbon, lace, fabric, burlap, etc. band that are wrapped around an invitation to keep all the pieces inside the envelope wrapped up nicely.
Tags / Hangtags: Seen attached to belly bands or tied with ribbon or tine around a wedding invitation, tags, whether stationery or hanging make a great, inexpensive extra detail that instantly adds a more custom look to an invitation. Often used for names or initials they can be in a variety of sizes and shapes. Here at Raspberry Creative, we love using them as an extra added detail to dress up an invitation.
Backer / Matte: Some invitations, whether mounted to a pocket fold or on it’s own are layered with two or more pieces of paper that create a border around the outer edge of an invitation. These “backer” pieces are called mattes or backers and can be fabric, paper, glitter paper, or anything that you can imagine.
Digital Printing: A printing technique similar to what you might get on your home printer but at a higher quality. With digital printing, tiny dots are laid onto the paper and together these dots form images and text that to the naked eye appear as solid print. While this is a very affordable option for printing, this technique is limited to thinner paper options.
Foil Stamping: Silver, gold and even colored metallic foils can be pressed onto paper leaving beautiful results. This technique requires a copper plate that is heated and then pushes the foil into the paper leaving an impressing with the foil design. This requires specialized equipment and is typically much more expensive than digital printing.
Letterpress: A printing technique dating back to Gutenberg, today plates are made from designs onto photo polymer plates with raised areas where the design to be printed it. These plates are inked and then transferred to the paper by pressing the plates onto the paper leaving an impression. This process only allows for one color to be printed at a time. The more colors in a design, the more expensive this process is. This technique requires special printing presses, often very old and due to the equipment and additional labor involved, this process is generally much more expensive than digital printing.
Laser Cutting: A printing technique that uses a later to cut designs and words out of paper. When done well, it leaves almost no trace of burn marks on the back of the paper and the cuts are clean and precise.
Offset Printing: This is one of the most common forms of printing and what you would see most often day-to-day such as magazines, brochures, direct mail pieces and even stationery though it can be more expensive. In this process ink is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket (kind of like a stamp) and then back to the printing surface. It is the most high quality flat printing method available.
Screen Printing: A process where a screen is made and then pressed against your printing surface. Ink is then pressed through the screen onto your fabric or paper leaving the design. Most commonly associated with making t-shirts, screen printing can also be done for stationery.
Thermography: With this technique a resin powder and ink are put onto your printing surface and heat fuses the materials creating raised surfaces where the printed area is. This process leaves a slightly shiny look and sits directly on the top of the paper. Usually cheaper than letterpress or foil, this is a great option to add texture or dimension without the higher cost.