Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Guide to Envelopes for Your Wedding Invitations

I’ll admit it: envelopes probably aren’t a topic that crosses the average person’s mind on a daily basis. But to a stationery designer, those folded papers aren’t just a vessel for your invitation inside. The envelope is actually a very important element in your stationery suite, so I am going to take you through some of the common types and styles of envelopes for weddings!

The Outer Envelope

Let’s start with the basics. Everyone knows the outer envelope: the first thing you see, carrying the address and protecting the contents inside. Though you may not think much of the boring white envelopes you may receive on a daily basis, the outer envelope of a wedding invitation is the first thing your guests will see and should inspire excitement. First impressions are important, so whether you use a streamlined, classic style or play with fun details, this outer envelope will contribute so much to the entire invitation suite.

The Details: Die-cuts and Liners

One way the outer envelopes may elevate your design is through die-cuts. A die-cut can be added by cutting away a piece of the envelope flap, creating a pattern by allowing the underlying layer to show through. These die-cuts can range in style from fun shapes to monograms or even a lacey pattern; the possibilities are endless. They are one of the best ways to make your envelope stand out.

Personally, one of my favorite additions to the outer envelope is the envelope liner. This extra detail elevates your envelopes further by adding a splash of color, or even a fun design.

Many couples even opt for a custom floral liner to match their motifs and even their actual wedding bouquet!

The Inner Envelope

In my opinion, inner envelopes are a bit underrated. Placed inside the outer envelope, this layer contains the actual invitation. The inner envelope typically takes the form of a slightly smaller version of the outer envelope, and serves as a location to specifically name the invitees. Often, It can be sealed with a wax seal. This makes the process of opening the invitation feel like unwrapping a gift! When considering pricing, these inner envelopes are typically the first to be removed from the invitation set. However, when utilized, they can add an extra level of elegance.

example of outer envelope with the inner envelope inside cream and tan

RSVP Envelopes

Another important element in your invitation package is the RSVP envelope. Traditional wedding etiquette dictates that a small envelope should accompany your RSVP card. This should be pre-stamped and labeled with your address to make the return process as seamless as possible for your guests!

rsvp and rsvp envelope
Photo: Michelle Dorothy Photography

Envelope Shapes

In addition to the die-cuts and detailing added to the envelope, the shape of the envelope flap can vary as well. This shape can also contribute to the unique style of your invitation.

The Euro-flap envelope is the most common shape, with a deep “V” shape covering the majority of the back of the envelope. Largely considered to be a universal style, I often suggest this envelope to pair with nearly any style invitation. Also, this shape is optimal if you want addresses printed directly onto your envelopes.

On the other hand, a straight-flap envelope offers a different style, with one flap that closes straight across the back of the envelope. These are typically paired with more formal designs. Usually, straight-flaps do not have as many additional details such as die-cuts, liners, or wax seals, which are more commonly found on Euro-flap styles.

Finally, a pointed-flap envelope combines the styles of the Euro-flap and the straight-flap. They have still have a triangle-pointed tip, but follow a less sharp angle than the deep Euro-flap. This shape is less common, and isn’t always the right fit for every style. Luckily, professional stationers are experts on envelopes and can help you navigate each of these styles. Consulting with a custom designer is the best way to determine which envelope is ideal for your wedding!

  1. It’s great that you explained envelope shapes and types and how to choose one for wedding invitations. We’re finishing planning our wedding, and my fiance and I just realized last night that we haven’t sent out the invites yet, so we think your article will help us choose the best envelopes for us. Thanks for describing how an envelope shape could help us create a unique design for our wedding invitations.

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