Technology has become an integral part of weddings these days. From personalized wedding hashtags for social media sharing to online gift registries, modern couples are utilizing technology more than ever to make planning and celebrating a breeze. So why are printed wedding invitations still so common?
Wedding stationery is a huge cost, and while some couples are embracing digital invites, many are sticking with traditional printed wedding invitations. Our wedding photographers break down how this tradition started and its impact to this day.
Before the invention of the printing press, all major announcements, such as marriages, were made by a town crier. Anyone that was within earshot was welcome to attend the wedding, and those that weren’t around generally heard through word of mouth later on. People were largely illiterate during the Middle Ages, so this was the most efficient way to make a wedding announcement.
Written announcements were only used by England’s aristocracy. They hired monks skilled in calligraphy to hand-write announcements. The invitations would include the family crest or coat of arms. The tradition of double envelopes also began around this time.
Even after the invention of the printing press in 1447, printed invitations didn’t become popular. In the 1600s, when newspapers became popular and commonplace, the wealthier, literate class began printing wedding announcements in the local paper.
As paper and printing became cheaper and easier, and literacy became more commonplace, handing out printed wedding invitations became the norm. Today, most people still expect a formal, written invitation to weddings.
While some couples do opt for digital invites or make announcements through social media, most couples still opt to carry on the tradition of physical invitations. Digital invites are still thought of as cheap or tacky by many people. However, these sentiments are slowly starting to change. With stationery being so expensive and the general costs of weddings rising, many couples are starting to prioritize what matters most to them. They’d rather spend money on food or photography rather than invitations.