Lazy ‘n Frugal Guide – Invitations (Single Enclosure)

Wedding invitations can seem like a big, scary world where everyone speaks an incomprehensible dialect with words like 'gatefold', 'debossing' and 'pantone'. A place where the sky is the limit for choices, rendering the visitor catatonic out of sheer cerebral overload. And, most frightening, a place where money seems to slip out of your fingers like water. 

Fear not, intrepid explorer, for here is your passport to lazy and frugal invites.

First, we'll review the different parts that make up an invitation and how to maximize your greenback with them.

Single Enclosure

Single enclosure invitation
Perhaps the oldest and most basic of all invitation types, this is a single card with both ceremony and reception information included. Since they are quite formal, they are usually engraved or letterpress printed. As guests are expected to respond via a handwritten note (does anyone do that anymore?), there is no response card included. The invite is enclosed within two envelopes – the inner unsealed and with only the recipients' name while the outer is sealed and addressed. 

Engraving is the most formal of printing options and the oldest, dating back to the Seventeenth Century. The text or images are etched into a copper plate from a negative, then the paper is placed face-down on the inked plate. Pressure is exerted onto the back of the plate, creating a raised lettering on the front and 'bruising' on the back of the sheet.  Black ink usually works the best. Expect to wait upwards of 4 – 6 weeks for your order.

How to save money?

If you're having a large guest list, engraving can be cost effective. Otherwise, consider using thermography instead, which gives the look of engraving but at a fraction of the price. The process uses heat to join ink and a resin-like powder together, resulting in a raised-letter effect. Thermography works well with various ink colors, is fast and gives the look of more-expensive engraving.

Invitation by Printed Editions

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