Wedding invites often play a major role in creating first impressions of the wedding. The invitees tend to imagine your big day just by the look of the invitations. Nowadays, the family members are involved in giving them a personalised touch . There are monograms, illustrations, save the date and many more elements. More than just invites, they’ve become more about the story of the bride and the groom’s journey of togetherness.
Was it always the same? No.
In the 1400s, a very different way of announcing the weddings was practised. A town crier would walk around the streets announcing the invitations loudly. This was indeed a unique way and it created a sense of excitement among the citizens of the locality. Anyone who heard the invitation was invited to the wedding.
The beginning of the 1600s things started to change. Invention of Metal Plate engraving in 1642 opened up the gates for the announcement of Weddings with paper. The engraved plates were stamped on the paper so as to give a printed impression. This is where the tradition of written invites gradually started to come into practice.
The early 18th century saw a remarkable turn of events. Until then, reading and writing was a sign of education. It became a social etiquette of sending invitations but it remained limited to the elite class since only they had the privilege of obtaining formal education. Rest of the population was either illiterate or poor to afford things like these. The use of Calligraphy was encouraged in the invites and brought in the sense of royalty. To add to the family status, the envelopes were closed with wax seals of the family crest. Along with Calligraphy, a new technique was introduced called the Letterpress Printing concept. It was an ink type or engraving technique which was pressed on the paper. A tissue paper was placed on the printed side of the paper to prevent the wet ink from smudging. This would then be placed carefully into an Envelope.
The later part of the 18th century was dominated by Telegram Invitations. These invitations were easily customisable and hence were easily adapted into the culture. The colour of the font, type of the font, etc were flexible and even in some cases photographs were added at the backside of the envelope. It is one of the vintage beauties in the wedding scenes.