Glossary of Terms for Wedding Invitations

So you know what your stationer is talking about!


The idea of sending out wedding invites can seem quite straightforward at first. You pick an invite, write it, address it and send it off, right? Unfortunately it’s a bit more complicated than that. A wedding invitation demands a lot of time and effort to get right, and to top it all off sometimes it can seem like the stationer is talking a foreign language. There’s a lot of jargon that goes with making wedding invitations, so we have provided a glossary to help you understand what the stationer means and what you want.

  • Blind Embossing — this is a type of printing which involves the design being pressed on to the paper, making the end result appear as a raised image. It is called ‘blind’ embossing as no ink is used when creating the design.
  • Calligraphy — this is a form of writing developed from old italic script. It is traditionally done by hand at looks stunning and very elegant. You can buy calligraphy kits so you can write your own invites in this style, or it can be done by machine.
  • Informals — ‘informals’ refers to the stationery that is sent out for less formal purposes, such as thank you notes.
  • Rain cards — usually used with invites for an outdoor wedding, these invites inform guests of an alternative location for the wedding should it rain.
  • Ecru — this is a creamy beige color that is very popular for wedding invitations.
  • French Fold — a type of fold that is often used in wedding invitations. It involves folding the paper once horizontally and once vertically to form a four part invite.
  • Short Fold — the paper is not folded from the centre which results in a short front fold and a longer back fold.
  • Vellum — vellum is a type of paper that has a smooth, shiny finish, often used for wedding invitations.
  • Envelope Lining — this is where a piece of tissue paper is used to line the envelope, often used for very formal invitations.
  • Ceremony Program — also known as an order of service, this is used often for a church ceremony, to give you the order of songs and prayers, as well as the lyrics. It also names any key speakers or musicians.
  • Pearlised — this is a procedure which involves having a shiny pearl-like finish applied to the invite, usually on raised designs, to provide a luminous sheen.


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