Wedding Invitations - A History

January 9, 2017

A time before Stationery Printers

Prior to the invention of the printing press in 1447, weddings in England were typically announced by the Town Crier, a man who would walk around the town announcing very loudly the invitation, so nothing very personal about those wedding invitations. Anyone who heard the invitation was invited.

In the Middle Ages, illiteracy was widespread, so the practice of sending written luxury wedding invitations emerged among the nobility. Families of means would commission monks, skilled in the art of calligraphy, to hand-craft their notices. They often carried the Coat of Arms, or personal crest, of the individual and were sealed with wax.

Wedding Stationery Printing Presses Arrive

Despite the development of the luxury printing press, it still produced a poor result for stylish wedding invitations. So this is where the tradition of announcing weddings in the newspaper became established and is a tradition to this day.

Printing Wedding Invitations finally became more mainstream from 1642 with the invention of metal-plate engraving and so higher-quality wedding invitations and stationery were now within reach of the emerging middle classes. Engraving means the printer had to hand write the text in reverse into a metal plate using a specially designed carving tool. It was this engraved plate which was used to print the wedding invitation. The ink was prevented from smudging by adding a tissue interleaf to each design.

During the Industrial Revolution the invention of Lithography made it possible to produce much higher quality wedding invitations with very sharp and distinctive designs. This then brought luxury wedding stationery to the mass-market.  


Mass Market Luxury Wedding Invitations

In more recent times another explosion in the popularity of wedding invitations can be traced back to just following World Was II. The combination of the speeding up of the industrial growth and democracy gave everyone the ability to join the worlds Elite with luxury wedding invitations.

As wedding stationery became far more popular the printing technique of thermology became popular. Thermology allowed raised print to be used on stationery without the time consuming engraving.

So many options for your Wedding Stationery

With the emergence of modern mass printing techniques, even at home there has been a turn around in the popularity of traditional printing techniques. This is seen as a sign of higher quality and more attention to detail. Therefore Letterpress printing techniques have made strong resurgence. Here at the Letter Press of Cirencester you can order your Luxury Wedding Stationery using classic high quality printing techniques with the benefit of modern day by ordering them to you specific requirements, colours, text all via the internet at

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