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What you should know before you purchase your stationery

What You Should Know. Before you purchase your wedding invitations or correspondence stationery, you need to become familiar with paper quality. The quality of paper you select is very important. Not only because premium paper makes for a more lovely presentation for your recipient, but excellent quality paper is critical if you are using professional, handwritten calligraphy for your envelopes.

The Heirloom. Your wedding invitation is your heirloom keepsake. Choose stationery that won?t fall apart over time. For example, 100 percent cotton or linen is best. If you are hiring a professional calligrapher to address your wedding envelopes, then avoid the following: thin papers like those of inexpensive greeting card quality, papers made with wood pulp, and handmade or recycled papers. Calligraphy ink may bleed on handmade and recycled stocks.

What to Avoid. Try to stay away from dark papers or the use of liners in your envelopes. The most formal wedding invitations, at one time, were not accompanied by lined envelopes. Liners have become more popular recently, this is true. However, I often wonder if liners were introduced to create the illusion of ?substance? to mask otherwise ?thin? paper. If you choose heavy weight premium paper, then a liner is not necessary. If you are ?sold? on liners, because you wish to incorporate your wedding color into your invitations, then consider instead: a silk ribbon tied around the invitation with a parchment overlay. Or print an envelope seal in your wedding color on the back flap of your outer envelope. Monograms make wonderful envelope seals. Lastly, because dark colors and liners make envelopes opaque and can also affect writing results, calligraphers may charge more to address these flavors of envelopes.

The Toughie. How do you choose premium paper? Stationery is usually measured in bond weight. A good piece of paper is thirty-two or forty-pound bond. And hundred-pound offset is roughly equal to forty-pound bond. Heavy cards should be made of three-ply stock. Ask your vendor about their paper quality if you are unsure. Also, here are two great tests for paper quality for envelopes. Hold the envelope up to the light. Is the envelope feathery, very thin and extremely easy to see through? Can you write on it with a good fountain pen, or does the ink bleed? Professional calligraphers use fountain and dip inks. I always tell my clients, ?Exquisite calligraphy can only be achieved on the finest paper.?

In Sum. Choose a reputable wedding vendor for your wedding invitations and correspondence. And remember, if the quoted prices are ?too-good-to-be-true?, then the paper and calligraphy services most likely are not.

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This article was written by Dayna Bischof of CL - Unique Wedding Invitations.