Assembly, Tissue Paper, and Envelope Stuffing
Updated: May 5, 2021
Get organized about a month before your desired send-out date. Allow yourself enough time to have the envelopes addressed and assemble invitations and stuff envelopes.
Some invitations come assembled and some not. Invitations with ribbons typically ship with the ribbons flat for you to complete. Rest assured that the beautiful results of individually tied bows are worth the effort. Assembly includes but is not limited to affixing layers, adding embellishments, folding, ties, etc. If your order comes unassembled, it will need assembly. Please consult with your invitation consultant for this additional service pricing if you would like to have them assemble on your behalf.
TISSUE PAPER – A THING OF THE PAST?
All wedding invitations were once shipped with small pieces of tissue separating each invitation. Thus it prevented the slow-drying ink from smudging. Before mailing invitations, the bride removed the tissues as they were merely packing material and served no point of etiquette. Many brides were not aware of the impropriety of sending invitations with protective tissue left in use through the years. As this practice grew, the use of tissue inserted on top of invitations became as proper as non-tissue invitations.
Today, either with or without tissue papers are acceptable ways to mail invitations. If you are using the tissue papers, place the copy on each invitation and enclosure. If you are sending invitations without tissues, you may be able to ask your local post office to hand-cancel them. Hand balancing also prevents the postal service from printing their advertising, disguised as part of the cancellation mark, on your wedding invitations.
Address outer envelopes, inner envelopes (if applicable), and the response envelope by hand. Use calligraphy if possible.
Invitations typically come unassembled; however, some vendors may offer a stuffing service at an additional charge.
Assembling your wedding invitation for envelope stuffing is quite simple, albeit time-consuming. Enclosure cards typically are printed in the same method and on coordinating papers; traditionally, there is a specific order for assembling invitations for mailing. Here is the recommended stacking order:
- Flat Invitation: Printed side up, so guests see lettering
when they open the envelope.
- Single-folded invitation: Place printed side up
(enclosures go on top)
- Front Design invitation: Fold with design on the outside
and the printing on the inside (enclosure cards go
- French-fold, Double-fold, or Tri-fold Invitations: Fold
with printing on interior (enclosure cards go
2. PROTECTIVE TISSUE (Optional)
Protective Tissue - If you use protective tissue
(originally used to prevent smearing), Place it
on top of the invitation, folded edge first.
3. ENCLOSURE CARDS
a. Stack all other inserts on top or inside the invitation
(depending on fold vs. non-fold – see above), in
order size (with the largest enclosure near the
invitation and the smallest on top), usually you
i. Reception card (facing up)
ii. Response Set (card tucked under the flap on
the pre-printed stamped envelope, and guest
card facing up, and consequently guest
address facing down)
iii. All other card inserts, such as a map or
directions, should go in last and in order size
(smallest on top)
b. Pick up the pile in your right hand. Pick up the inner
envelope in your left hand.
c. Inner Envelope (Optional)
Stuff the stack into the envelope with your first fold
of the invitation at the *bottom* of the inner
envelope and write on the invitation facing the
*back* of the inner envelope. If there is no inner
envelope, pick up the pile in your right hand, print
side up, and go down to the next section
(d. Outer Envelope)
d. Outer Envelope
Put the inner envelope in your right hand and turn it
over, so the writing on your inner envelope is facing
you. Stuff the inner envelope into the outer envelope
with the bottom of the inner envelope to the bottom of
the outer envelope and the front of the inner envelope
facing the *back* of the outer envelope.
The purpose of this whole elaborate scheme is to ensure that when your invitees receive the invitation, they open the outer envelope and immediately encounter the inner envelope with the writing facing them as they withdraw the inner envelope. Then when they flip the inner envelope over and pull out the invitation itself, the envelopes are on top (so they won't get lost hidden in a fold somewhere), and the writing on the invitation will be in the appropriate orientation for them to read without twisting.
No inner envelope – Pick up the pile in your right hand, print side up. Pick up the outer envelope in your left hand. Stuff the stack into the envelope facing the *back* of the outer envelope. The print side will be facing guests as they open the envelope.