There’s one surefire way to drum up excitement for an upcoming wedding, and that’s by sending out wedding invitation cards — and that’s why National Wedding Invitation Day is celebrated on July 16 every year. The day was created to give wedding invitation card designers their due because they elevate the beauty of a wedding. It’s all about appreciating and cherishing this beautifully crafted wedding gift on this special day.
History of National Wedding Invitation Day
During the Middle Ages, people were only invited to weddings if they were within hearing distance of a ‘town crier’ — a person hired to make public announcements using their voices. This was the next best way to advertise impending nuptials because the printing press wasn’t yet available and most people couldn’t read anyway. The wealthy had their own customs, of course. They could afford a more elegant wedding invitation due to their wealth and education. They had their wedding invitations handwritten by local monks who were skilled in calligraphy, and they were embossed with the family seal and sealed with wax to avoid tampering.
The printing press debuted in the 1400s, which accomplished little more than to show people that there was another way to invite people. Because many people were still illiterate and the printing press was still in its infancy, this method was not well embraced. Invitations by town criers continued until the 1600s when newspapers began to publish notices.
The invention of the metal plate created a whole new world for wedding invitation cards. Now, people could engrave text onto the metal plates and print actual invitation cards. Further advancements in printing in the 1700s made creating wedding cards a lot simpler and easier, and common folk now had access to this tradition — although the unreliability of the postal system forced people to deliver invites via horseback.
In the post-Culture War II wedding realm, luxury invitations were prevalent, and the right etiquette for sending these invitations was being defined by well-known people in the world of manners and behavior. Cut to today, and almost every soon-to-be-married couple is sending out wedding invitation cards in a bewildering array of styles, some inspired by the magnificent luxury of the 17th and 18th centuries, others a unique blend of traditional and modern styles, and still others an entirely new expression of the happy couple’s creativity.
National Wedding Invitation Day timeline
Johannes Gutenberg's movable printing press shows people another way to send invites for weddings.
A major name in the world of manners, Emily Post, shares her thoughts on wedding etiquette and wedding invitations.
Amy Vanderbilt, another major authority on etiquette, publishes a best-selling book, “Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette.”
Couture wedding invitation company Pumpkin Coach Invites creates this day to celebrate the art and history of the wedding invite.
National Wedding Invitation Day FAQs
How do you write the date on a wedding invitation?
Most formal invites include the day of the week, the month name in full, and a hyphen between compound numbers.
When should wedding invitations be sent out?
According to etiquette rules, wedding invites should be sent out with enough time for guests to prepare. So, that’s about six to eight weeks before the wedding.
What does R.S.V.P. stand for?
The abbreviation for ‘répondez s’il vous plaît’ is used on wedding invitations to mean the recipient should let the wedding planner know if you intend to attend the celebration or not.
National Wedding Invitation Day Activities
Appreciate that wedding invitation card
Got a wedding invite recently? How about going back for a second glance at the physical card and appreciating the detail that has gone into creating it?
Share your appreciation
Attending a wedding party? Make sure to tell the wedding planner how much you loved their invites. A little appreciation goes a long way towards encouraging the creators of that wedding invite to design better and more beautiful invites for the next happy couple and the couple after that, and so on.
Design your own card
Maybe it's a wedding card, or maybe a simple invite. Exercise your creative juices by designing a fun little wedding card-style invite for a party you are throwing or a wedding you are planning. You can take help from the different design tools out there.
5 Fun Facts About Wedding Invitations
We're still using Emily Post's etiquette rules
In keeping with Post's rules about wedding invitation etiquette, even American wedding invites sometimes use 'honor' despite this not being the standard U.S. spelling.
The tissue-on-invites tradition
This stems from the 1642 invention of the metal plate when the still-wet ink on the just-printed wedding invitations would need to be preserved via tissue paper to prevent smudging.
The double envelope
Because many wedding invitations were delivered by horseback in the 1700s, individuals would double-envelope them to ensure their safety — a tradition that some people still follow today.
The U.S. Post Office issues special love stamps — stamps issued by post offices to declare love, affection, or devotion — each year that are denominated to cover the weight of the wedding invite and its reply from the recipient.
A deadly wedding invite card
“Seinfeld's” George Costanza's money-saving move — getting cheaper wedding invites — proves to be fatal for his fiancée Susan, who expires by way of licking the toxic glue on these cards in season seven's ‘The Invitations.’
Why We Love National Wedding Invitation Day
We get to celebrate wedding card creators
Each design and card is made with love, care, and meticulous attention to detail. These talented individuals and their trade deserve all of the praise they can receive.
Wedding cards help build memories
Don’t you get excited when you spot a wonderfully done-up, decorative bit of paper that invites you to a wedding? These cards are a treasured memory, not just for us, but for the happy couple too.
Wedding invites are a statement piece
Bridal invitations range from sleek and simple to extravagant and reflect the personalities and tastes of the wedding couple. Because of their bespoke nature, the couple is allowed to express themselves, and as a result, we get invites that have been painstakingly tailored to evoke the maximum excitement and responses.
National Wedding Invitation Day dates