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Pieces of a Formal Invitation
The formal invitation is typically the first impression your guests will have of your special day. Invitations should be mailed 4 to 6 months in advance, so start early. Print this page
At its most formal, the invitation is a stiff sheet, folded once, with a piece of tissue protecting the type inside. In the days of varnish-based inks, the tissue prevented the type from ghosting (smudging). Today, tissue is optional. Traditionally, formal invitations and announcements were buff or tan-colored with a toothy (vellum) finish. White is generally more popular in Europe, but today any tasteful color is acceptable.

Enclosed along with the main invitation can be a ceremony program, additional information about the reception, or momentos.
Walton (4.625" x 5.875")
Monona (5.125" x 7.25")
6 Baronial (4.625" x 6.25")
Lee Baronial (5.125" x 7")
The inner envelope protects the invitation from grubby hands and dust when being passed around or stored. The recipent's full formal name is generally written on the inner envelope, but in the case of a close friend or family member, a cherished nickname can be used instead (e.g. "Grampa" or "Uncle John") Walton (4.625" x 6.25")
Monona (5.25" x 7.5")
Same weight and style as the inner envelope, with the recipent's full mailing address printed on the outside. Must be large enough and strong enough to hold all the pieces of the invitation. Walton (4.75" x 6.5")
Monona (5.25" x 7.75")
The reception card is an additional small card containing other information of importance to the guest (reception location, menu, map, etc.) Social/4 Baronial (3.5" x 4.875")
5 Baronial (4" x 5.375")
5 Baronial (4.25" x 5.5")
Each unmarried guest and child eighteen years old or older receives his or her own response card, with his or her full formal name printed on it. Married couples may share a single card. Underage children may or may not be invited; if not, their names should not appear on a response card. Social/4 Baronial (3.5" x 4.875")
5 Baronial (4" x 5.375")
5 Baronial (4.25" x 5.5")
The response envelope is large enough to contain the response card(s) and are usually pre-addressed and pre-stamped as a courtesy to the guest. Social/4 Baronial (3.625" x 5.125")
5 Baronial (4.125" x 5.625")
5 Baronial (4.375" x 5.75")