When it comes to planning your wedding, there are numerous decisions to be made. One crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is choosing the right paper for your wedding invitations. The paper you select will not only set the tone for your special day but also convey the style and elegance you desire. In this post, we will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect paper that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
Understanding Your Options
Before diving into the different types of paper available, it is essential to understand the terminology associated with wedding invitation paper. Here are some key terms you should be familiar with:
The weight of the paper refers to its thickness, usually measured in pounds (lb) or grams per square meter (gsm). Heavier-weight paper conveys a higher level of quality and durability.
Pounds (lb) You have probably noticed that text and cover stock paper have an 80lb weight, which might have you wondering… What is the difference? This has more to do with how the paper mill produces and packages the paper than the actual weight of each sheet.
So, what should you be looking for when shopping for the right paper for your wedding invitations?
GSM (grams per square meter) is a much better gauge of the quality and thickness of any given sheet of paper. For example, 80lb text might be 118 gsm while 80lb cover might be 216 gsm. This is why you will find 500 text sheets vs. 250 cover sheets in a ream of paper.
The finish of the paper determines its texture and appearance. Common finishes for wedding invitation paper include matte, glossy, metallic, and textured. Each finish has its unique appeal and can enhance your invitations in different ways.
While white and ivory are the traditional choices for wedding invitations, you are not limited to these options. Nowadays, wedding invitation paper comes in a wide array of colors, allowing you to customize and coordinate with your wedding theme.
Factors to Consider
When choosing the right paper for your wedding invitations, several factors should be taken into account. Let’s explore each of these factors in detail:
Theme and Style
Consider the overall theme and style of your wedding. Are you planning a traditional and formal affair, or is it a casual and modern celebration? Ensure that the paper you choose aligns with your desired ambiance and complements your wedding theme.
Think about the printing technique you intend to use for your invitations. Different paper types work better with certain printing methods. For example, if you plan to use letterpress printing, you will need a thick and soft paper that creates a deep impression.
Establishing a budget is crucial when making any wedding-related decision. Determine how much you are willing to allocate for your invitations, including the cost of paper and printing. This will help you narrow down your options and find a balance between quality and affordability.
You also want to keep in mind that postage is determined by the shape, weight, and thickness of the invitation suite. The threshold for a standard letter stamp is 1 ounce / 0.25 inch thick. See postage guidelines here.
Durability and Handling
Consider the durability of the paper, especially if you will be including additional inserts or if your invitations require extra handling, such as wax seals or ribbons. You want to ensure the paper can withstand these elements without tearing or losing its integrity.
If sustainability is important to you, opt for eco-friendly paper options. Recycled or tree-free papers are excellent choices that minimize your environmental impact while maintaining a beautiful aesthetic.
- Paper Weight: 24 to 80lb / 35 gsm to 118 gsm
- Most commonly used at work/home, your basic copy/print ‘letterhead‘ paper.
- Used for envelopes, envelope liners, programs, card/bottle/candy wrappers, and personal stationery.
Cover / Card Stock Paper
- Paper Weight: 80 to 110lb / 216 gsm to 298 gsm
- It is most commonly used for business cards and postcard stock.
- Used for invite cards, response cards, programs, gift/favor tags, signage…
- Paper Weight: 110 to 220lb cover / 298 gsm to 595 gsm
- Used in letterpress printing where the ink is pressed into the paper leaving an impression.
- Used for business cards, postcards, invitations, response cards, gift/favor tags…
Once you have chosen your printing method and paper we can move on to my favorite part – design and presentation.
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