Before the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1447, most weddings in England were announced by the Town Crier. The Town Crier would walk through the local village and declare the wedding along with other news of the day. As you can imagine, using this method extended an invitation to your day to pretty much anyone within earshot.
Even after wedding invitations began to be sent, reading and writing was extremely limited in the middle ages so they were normally limited to the rich and wealthy. A common means would be to hire monks, who were typically highly skilled calligraphers, to write all the wedding invitations. When sending the invitations out they were stamped with the families coat of arms or some sort of personal stamp marked on the wax seal – this is a process which still remains popular today in the upper classes and is a great idea if you really want to create an impression when sending out your own wedding invites.
Despite the emergence of the printing press, printed wedding invitations still struggled to take off due tot he low quality which was produced by the process. This led to another trend as other mediums became available and weddings began to be announced in the newspaper, again with a mass audience who were all invited – provided they were of the right social standing of course!
It was in the 17th century when advances in printing brought higher quality wedding invitations within reach of the middle classes. The invitations were printed and then a layer of tissue paper was placed on top to prevent the ink from smudging and many wedding invites to this day include the same tissue paper style, however it is more for effect nowadays. In these times, the text inside the wedding invitations was far more elaborate than it is today and normally each guests name was individually printed on each invite causing a great deal of work for the printer.
The real emergence of mass-market wedding invitations cam at the end of the 18th century with the invention of a printing process called lithography. this eliminated the need for engraving and allowed a very sharp and detailed print. After being printed the wedding invitations continued to be delivered by hand on horseback, however they were inserted into a double envelope to prevent damage during the delivery. This is another aspect which some people use today, despite the advances in the Royal Mail.
The first commercially printed wedding invites have been traced back to just after the second world war when the common man suddenly had the ability to copy the high society that had been so far removed from them for so long
Further advances in printing then pushed the popularity of invitations even further although with the reduction in price came a reduced quality as thermographed invitations became the standard for invites.
In more recent times, letterpress invitations have made a come back with brides being attracted by the higher class and boutique feel of the process and many small printing firms now specialise in letterpress printing and wedding stationery in particular.
While the styles of wedding invitations remain fairly changeable with fashions and trends, there are a few emerging technologies which may change the way wedding invitations look forever. Laser engraving has been introduced recently and wood veneered, acrylic and metal invitations are now becoming more common.
The real questions in wedding invitations remain will physical invitations remain at all as more and more people start to utilise technology to deliver eInvites to their guests, I for one hope that this beautiful medium of announcing weddings stays with us for many years to come.
Beautiful wedding table decorations can really add the extra wow factor to your wedding reception. Here are some top tips to decorate your wedding tables.
Fabulous wedding table decorations don’t have to cost a fortune. Buying a bag of wedding confetti looks great scattered over the tables or, paper rose petals are as effective and won’t break your budget.
Using your wedding favours as part of your table decorations is a great way to save some space on your tables. Placing them on a tiered cake stand will look beautiful.
There are some beautiful table cloths on the market these days so don’t just stick with white. If you choose a coloured or patterned cloth you can create the wow factor without adding any other table decorations. There are many sites where you can hire table cloths so you can be really adventurous in your choice.
Flowers arrangements make wonderful table centrepieces. But, you don’t have to stick to flowers to have a stunning centrepiece. Cookie bouquets are becoming fashionable and make a fantastic addition to your wedding table decorations. They are also edible so won’t go to waste! An arrangement of tall candles can also make wonderful table centrepieces. Candles can also double as wedding table decorations and wedding gifts for your bridal party.
Crackers don’t have to be just for Christmas. Crackers can be bought in a huge array of colours and patterns and make a beautiful addition to your wedding tables. Remember that not all the people on your wedding tables will know each other and crackers are a great way to get people talking.
Placecard holders also make great wedding table decorations. They can be sourced in all sorts of shapes and colours to match your wedding theme. Guests can also take them home to use as photo holders to help remember your big day.
With a bit of imagination you can easily create wonderful wedding table decorations whatever your budget.
Choosing your wedding invitations can seem like a daunting task so take a look at these great tips to help you make the right choice for your big day.
Wedding invitations can vary in price enormously. A good starting point in choosing your wedding invitations is to set a budget for your wedding stationery, then break that down into your wedding invitations and any other items of stationery that you might need. Printed invitations are generally at the cheaper end of the market, although there are some beautiful invitations on offer. Handmade invitations are next in line and for those of you with a big budget, bespoke wedding invitations are the most expensive on the market. And don’t forget that postage costs can add up quickly if you are sending a lot of invitations, so, this should also be accounted for in your budget.
Keep in mind that your wedding invitations are the first glimpse that your guests will have of your wedding style. If you are having a beach wedding, it might not be as appropriate to have formal wedding invitations.
If you are having a particular colour or theme for your wedding, this will really help you narrow down your choice of invitations. Or reflecting your wedding flowers is also a great idea. There are some beautiful flower wedding invitations on the market in a vast array of colours and flower types.
Or you could choose wedding invitations that reflect your personal style rather than your wedding. You could choose to reflect your hobbies or pick a photograph that has special memories. Or if you have any children in your family, ask them to draw you a picture to copy onto the front of your invitations. Whatever you choose make sure that it is unique to you.
Choosing your wedding favours can seem like a daunting task so take a look at these great tips to help you make the right choice for your big day.
Practical wedding favours are a fantastic idea for guests to be able to keep long after your wedding. Wine bottle stoppers are a fabulous practical favour and with so many on the market they are easy to tie in with your wedding theme. For those of you getting married in the heat of summer or in sunny climates abroad, an elegant silk fan will probably be the most appreciated gift you could give. There are some beautiful sandalwood or silk fans that can be bought cheaply and will double up as beautiful table decorations. And remember if you are getting married abroad, take into account the weight of the favours for your luggage allowance.
Edible favours are always appreciated, chocolates being the favourite. But, if you would rather not risk chocolates melting there is a fantastic range of cookie or cupcake wedding favours on the market. Cookie bouquets are becoming fashionable and look fantastic as a table centre piece. And, of course, there are the traditional 5 sugared almonds. Guests are always grateful of something to munch on the way home!
Placecard holders can be doubled up as wedding favours for your guests to keep as photo holders. There are many decorative placecard holders available that will look stunning as part of your table decorations.
If you can’t afford to give everyone gifts, women will be more appreciative than men – who seem more than happy with a free meal and a disco! So go girlie and just give wedding favours to the ladies. Women love things that can fit in their handbag, a pretty compact or lipstick holder are a few favourites.
Your choice of wedding favours can really add to the theme or colour scheme of your big day so remember to take this into consideration as well when making your choice.