As you’re starting to plan your wedding, you’re beginning to develop a wedding style, which means you’ve probably already determined whether your wedding is more formal or informal. Couples choosing a more formal wedding will likely want traditional wedding invitations but may not know what that means. What makes them traditional? Can they still be modern? What about the wording? We’re here to help!

What does a traditional wedding invitation look like?
The definition of what a “traditional” wedding invitation looks like will vary from person to person. Modern and traditional is possible! Luxurious and traditional is possible! Affordable and traditional is possible! We suggest talking it over with your future spouse as well as anyone who is heavily involved in the wedding planning process to get an idea of what traditional means for your wedding.

In the meantime, here are a few print and finishing techniques as well some common design themes you might find on traditional wedding invitations.

Embossing – embossing is a specialty print technique you will find in many traditional designs. Embossing is something you can feel because it’s raised above the surface of the paper. In traditional invites, it’s often paired with pearl foil.

Foil stamping – foil stamping is incredibly popular right now but pearl foil is more of a classic, understated look that’s very elegant and commonly used on traditional invites. You will find many patterns that are foil stamped and embossed for a look that’s absolutely stunning.

Letterpress printing – letterpress was developed hundreds of years ago and it’s so beautiful that it’s still used today! Wording and design are heavily impressed into thick paper, which leaves the design and wording crisp and sharp.

Wording-only layouts – This is very much a traditional look. Very common in the south, wedding invitations with wording-only rely on the quality of the paper and the beauty of the fonts chosen.

Layers – layers add depth to the invitation while often remaining clean and simple, which draws attention to your wording.

Symbolism – many couples that want a traditional look also want symbolism on the invitation. Symbols that represent love and faith like wedding rings, hearts and crosses are beautiful choices.

Multiple enclosures – enclosures aren’t really a design element but they are needed to create a traditional wedding invitation suite, which almost always includes the invitation, a response card and a reception card. Some couples add other enclosures like accommodations cards and directions cards, both of which are very common in a traditional ensemble.

What does a traditional wedding invitation say?
The wording is actually very important for traditional wedding invites. Since they’re more formal, they require formal wedding invitation wording. We have entire posts dedicated to wording your wedding invitation whether you’re planning a formal or informal affair. Some common rules for formal wording include spelling words out in long form, excluding most commas and periods, who is listed first on the invitation and so much more. Check out 10 tips for Wording Formal Wedding Invitations.

You can also read How to Word Your Wedding Invitations: Formally or Informally for a complete approach to the ensemble. This article includes tips for wording the invitations, response cards, reception cards, thank yous and envelopes.