Wedding Invitations Over the Years

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Image | Erin Lee Allender Photography

From engraved to themed designs, the world of wedding invitations has evolved throughout history. We spoke with fabulous invitation designer, Darby Locklear of Darby Cards, about the changes that have taken place from then to now. The vintage bride had less options for her invitations, but she did have one thing – high end printing. In the seventeenth century, advances in printing gave way to engraving. Over time, additional printing processes became available, like thermography and digital printing. With the increase of options, the invitation creatives started to experiment with color, design, and accessory pieces, resulting in the plethora of options that brides have today.

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Image | SheHeWe Photography

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Image | SheHeWe Photography

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Image | SheHeWe Photography

Today, a bride can accessorize her invitations with envelope liners, pockets, and so much more until she is completely pleased with her wedding suite. Also, with themes becoming more popular, the wedding invitation has evolved to set the tone for these weddings. For example, a bohemian wedding will introduce feathers and fringe whereas a garden wedding would include watercolor or floral elements.The evolution of wedding invitations is of big thanks to the printing press. Throughout history, invitations were handwritten by a calligrapher. Today, the calligrapher will handwrite one invitation and then produce replicas that are letterpressed or engraved. 

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Image | SheHeWe Photography

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Image | SheHeWe Photography

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Image | Erin Lee Allender Photography

Invitation designs may have evolved, but most brides still send wedding invitations the old-fashioned way, through the mail. Whether it is a summer wedding in a barn or a winter wedding in a chapel, a wedding is still considered one of the most formal of events. Brides still want to give their guests the pleasure of opening their mailbox to find an invitation.Trends in wedding invitations resurface after time. Letterpress is one of the oldest forms of printing, and in the past ten years, it has come back with much popularity. “The etiquette still remains a strong aspect of the invitation. There are more modern rules that have been added to accommodate our growing and changing world, but still the wording from an invitation many years ago will still look very similar to an invitation we would see today.”

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Image | EB Photography + Artistry

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Image | EB Photography + Artistry

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Image | EB Photography + Artistry

Wedding invitations have remained an integral part of the planning process over the years. The invitation sets the tone for the wedding day; it is the first peek into the wedding! “The main thing I stress to my brides is to pick out something for yourself. When planning a wedding, you really have to focus on you and your fiancee’s desires for your big day because it is exactly that – your day! You want your day to reflect you and your style!”

For more on, “Wedding Invitations Over the Years,” view the latest Middle Tennessee issue of Enchanted Brides here!

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