Unless you spend a lot of time with stationery, the vast array of paper and cardstock options might overwhelm you as you try to choose your wedding invitation cards and save the date wedding magnets. Before staring blankly into the aisles at your local paper shop, familiarize yourself with some of the terms and options below.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Cardstock
Card stock is a matte paper that is available in a variety of weights and colors. Heavier stocks can be quite stiff and durable and work well as standalone inserts and as the base material for invitations. Prices vary depending on quality, weight and finish. Cardstock is available in solid colors, various textures, with metallic sheens, with sparkle details, and can be made with recycled materials.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Deckle Edge
A deckle edge, also known as a "feather edge," is the ragged edge of the paper as it comes from the papermaking machine. While this is usually trimmed off, leaving it in place creates a popular textured edging. This look can be re-created by tearing or sawing at the paper's edge. This slightly uneven effect offers a handmade appeal to more sophisticated papers.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Cotton Fiber
Cotton-fiber paper is a great option for the eco-friendly couple; the paper is made mostly (or entirely) out of cotton. This relatively tree-free alternative to pulp-based paper is both sturdy and elegant and works well with the latest electronic imaging techniques and printing processes.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Handmade Paper
Handmade paper is often custom-designed and made-to-order. Choose this option if you want your invitations one-of-a-kind and natural-looking. Flowers, herbs and vegetables comprise this textured paper. Some handmade-paper companies also offer seeded papers; these sheets of paper have seeds embedded in their makeup and can be planted in your guests' gardens after the wedding.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Laid
Papers with a laid finish are designed to emulate paper as it appeared when it was first invented. Vertical and horizontal patterns intersect to create "chain lines." This paper is lightweight, textured and projects a sophisticated image.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Linen
Linen paper is self-explanatory: the semi-rough texture mirrors that of linen cloth with slightly lifted grooves. This is a classic option and gives a traditional look to invitations. Even a standard printing job looks elegant with this texture behind it.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Parchment
Parchment paper has a translucent appearance and looks gently aged. This is another popular traditional option that is available in a variety of colors and weights. Deckle-edge parchment adds a sophisticated-yet-rustic hand-torn element to the beautiful material.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Overlays
Overlays are translucent or delicate papers that layer on top of another sturdier stock. A basic card stock is instantly dressed up with the addition of a romantic semi-sheer overlay.
Wedding Invitation Cards: Vellum
Vellum is a fine translucent paper that most often sits as an overlay on wedding invitation cards. Because of its delicate nature, guests can read through the vellum and see faint outlines of the images below. Most stationery and paper suppliers will have a variety of colors to choose from, allowing your top layer to cast a soft hue on the invitation below.