Envelopes 101: Inners, Outers, and Liners

All of the many pieces of a wedding invitation ensemble can be intimidating for a lot of brides.

Today's post is meant to help you clearly understand the outermost pieces: the envelopes!

Oftentimes the envelopes are overlooked, but I'm here to give you the scoop on why you shouldn't discount these beauties. Not only are they functional, but they are traditional, and they can really play into the overall experience of your invitations.

Inner Envelopes

1) Inner envelope with custom liner, and 2) Outer envelope with calligraphy by Distinctive Inscriptions www.dicalligraphy.com

When I talk about envelopes being traditional, this is what I mean! You'll probably want to know first-off that many brides are shying away from this tradition, and here's why.

In the past, back when mail was delivered via horse, train, or some other grubby process, the outer envelope would often get soiled pretty badly. An inner envelope would keep the invitation suite immaculate and flawless. The outer envelope would be discarded upon opening.

Today, our mailing system is a little less traumatic on our invitation ensembles. Yes, they get tossed around and dirtied a bit, but nowhere near where they used to be. S0, you can see why many brides opt for an outer envelope only, or an outer envelope with a custom liner (we'll touch on that in a bit).

Here at Ann Elizabeth, we have a few criteria that help a bride decide whether or not to use inner envelopes:

1) Formality:

The more formal/traditional your invitations are, we recommend including inner envelopes. For invitation suites that are less formal, inner envelopes are not necessary.

2) Clarity:

Inner envelopes are handy in situations where only certain members of a household are invited to your event. The inners provide clarity, because etiquette dictates that the names on the inner envelopes are those for whom the invitation is intended. For example, this might apply to an adults only event.

3) Cost-Effectiveness:

Surprisingly enough, a lined inner envelope can be more cost-effective than creating a custom liner for an outer envelope (something many of our brides opt for, and which you have to do for any outer envelope liner). The reason this can be more cost-effective is, there are about 25 standard liners that are pre-made for inner envelopes we offer. So if you're on more of a budget, but a lined envelope is something you want for your invitations this is the way to go.

Outer/Mailing Envelopes

Outer envelopes are the most familiar to everyone. It's your typical mailing envelope with a few options to dress it up for a wedding. There are a few rules for etiquette, however.

1) Post to the hosts:

Outer envelope, return addressed to the hosts' residence

It is discouraged for the return address printed on the mailing envelopes to be different from that of "the hosts" of the wedding. If the parents are announcing the wedding, the return address should be the parents' unless circumstances prevent this.

2) It takes two to tango, with this acception:

The bride's portion of the invitations and the groom's portion of the invitations should all be issued from the same return address (ie, do not print 2 different return addresses depending on whether the guests will be on the bride's side or the groom's side).

3) If you only have an outer, watch out:

Things can get a bit tricky when you have a more formal invitation without an inner envelope. Like we stated above, certain things are traditionally written on the inner envelopes, so you have to take care when addressing your envelopes that there is

no room for questions as to who in the household is invited.

Liners: Standard and Custom

Custom outer envelope liner

As stated in the heading, there are liners that come standard for certain envelope sizes, and then there are custom liners that you can have made.

Standard liners are a great option if you're on a budget but are still looking for an extra pop of color.

However, we really love the custom option, because the paper you choose for your liner will tie in perfectly with the rest of your invitation, whether it's used as an accent piece (like you see in the suite to the right) or whether it matches your motif exactly. There is something to be said for a custom liner; it's one of the fine details that make an invitation ensemble so chic and so glamorous.


Envelope tips:

  • It's best to either hand-write (write yourself or hire a Calligrapher) or have your addresses professionally printed (called envelope personalization) on your outer envelopes. The handwriting gives an added personal touch, and the printing will be cohesive with the rest of your invitation ensemble (not to mention, you won't have to stress over writing them yourself! Saves time, and is SO worth the small cost). Oh- and did we mention that having your envelopes printed on looks a whole lot classier than labels? Just sayin'!
  • We recommend always having your invitations hand-canceled. This lessens the chance of the post office running your delicate invitation through a machine. Most post offices have what they call a "nonmachinable surcharge," which they'll apply to each invitation mailed, usually around 20 cents. So it costs a little extra, but if you ask us, this surcharge is definitely worth it.
  • Square envelopes cost a little bit more to mail. The same surcharge we mentioned above applies to square envelopes.

And last but not least, here is today's pinnable! Don't forget to share- we love it when you do!


Lost in a Font Fog?

Are you overwhelmed with all the different options when it comes to choosing a script font for your invitations?

You're definitely not the first, and you're definitely not alone!

Choosing fonts for your invitations can be a difficult task, to say the least. So today's post offers you some gorgeous selections of script fonts.

I've chosen two of our most popular types of script fonts for you to see today: Elegant/Classical, and Whimsical/Lovely. Each has their own place, and are equally stunning. To see examples of wedding invitations using these fonts, head on over to annelizabeth.com.

Elegant and Classical:

First up is Burgues Script. This font is incredibly beautiful on wedding invitations because of the graceful swirls called, "swashes" that extend from the letters.

Next is Edwardian Script. This is such a classic-looking font, you can't go wrong!

Bickham Script is what you see in the example below. This is a nice font if you're looking for beautiful swashes like you see in Burgues Script, but a little toned down.

Our next example is called Adios Script. This script font is the perfect marriage of playfulness and elegance. It's so versatile that it can be used for informal and formal wedding invitations alike.

PF Champion Pro is similar to Bickham Script, but is a little more free-flowing. I'm pretty sure it's impossible for you to go wrong with this one!

Whimsical and Lovely:

Next up is Feel Script, which is a nice hybrid between classy and cute. It comes off as a little more casual, but paired with the right block font, it could be used for a more formal invitation if you chose it.

The next two script fonts are from the same family. The first is Carolyna: a super-cute, hand-written-esque font. We love the look of this one paired with a floral paper. So pretty!

Second is Carolyna Pro Black. It's Carolyna's thicker twin. We love this font and how it is playful and elegant, kinda like Paris.

Last but certainly not least is the lively Jacque & Gilly. This font is dainty and feminine, and looks AMAZING when printed with Letterpress. Love.

Like what you see? Don't forget to share it! Here's today's "pin-able"

Graphic Credit:

Burgues Script, Adios Script, PF Champion Pro, Feel Script, Carolyna, Carolyna Pro Black, and Jacque & Gilles graphics come from their respective pages on MyFonts.com. Each photo links to that page.

3 Tips for Tackling Invitation Inspiration

So you want gorgeous wedding invitations.

Not, "Oh, that's pretty..." (then gets tossed in the trash once your wedding day is over).

You want the jaw-dropping- "This invitation is STUNNING! ... so chic I feel guilty throwing it away (so I'll hold onto it for years)!"- kind of impact.

And you want your invitations to be original. None of this fill-in-the-blank, cookie-cutter, "My cousin had that exact same invitation!" stuff. We're talking one-of-a-kind, knock-their-socks-off original.

Believe it or not, this is possible! And it doesn't have to break the bank.

Question is, where do you start? Do you sit back and just hope that luck will strike an idea into your head? We say, "No, ma'am!" Put on your big girl pants and do as author Jack London so wisely said:

Couldn't have said it better myself, Jack. That's why I'm so excited to bring you today's post: 3 Tips for Tackling Invitation Inspiration.

 Tip #1: Know what you want.

When it comes to having a flawless invitation ensemble, indecision is not your friend.

There are SO many options available to you. I know it can seem daunting at first, but colors, format, fonts, size, shape, texture, motif, folds (or no folds), enclosure cards, etc can all play a part in making your invitation extraordinary. Get your hands on as many different kinds of invitations as possible, so you can see, touch, and interact with different styles of invitations. We love having brides come in and browse our showroom, especially for this purpose. Check out our studio hours here if you'd like to come see us!

The other side of knowing what you want is knowing what you don't want. Make a written list! Sometimes your "Don't Want" list is easier to come up with, so it's a great place to start if you're at a loss for coming up with what you do want.

Tip #2: Get out of your comfort zone.

Many times, the best inspiration stems from something you never expected. Do you find yourself browsing invitations that all have the same kind of look? Delve into some that look completely different and see what you like. You may come up with a way to "marry" both looks and come up with something 100% original. Win, Win!

Tip #3: Add your personal touch

What better way to both "wow" your guests and help them feel connected to your event than to have something meaningful in your life as a theme or decorative element? This could be anything from your love for the beach (using a nautical theme), to the title of your and your fiance's song, to the color of the sunset when he proposed. Don't be afraid to share these intimate (and sometimes vulnerable) moments with your guests. It will only make your invitations more cohesive and all that much more meaningful.

For example, we recently had a bride incorporate into her invitations a watercolor painting she did herself. Not only was it absolutely stunning, it was absolutely personal. So lovely!

The bride behind the gorgeous letterpress invitations to the left chose an evergreen motif because of the location of her wedding. She felt like the colors, paper choices, and motif really set the tone for her event. We completely agree!

The Ann Elizabeth team wishes you the best of luck in gathering your wedding invitation inspiration. Remember: Know what you want, Get out of your comfort zone, and Add your personal touch! You got this.

Know someone struggling with finding invitation inspiration? Share this with them!

Where have you found wedding invitation inspiration? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!