Wedding Invitations were unheard of in the West before the 17th century. During the middle ages, there were professionals called Town criers, who would go about announcing the wedding. So anyone who hears the verbal invitation can attend the wedding ceremony.
Also literacy was less among the common folks. A written document announcing the wedding ceremony carried less meaning and hence was not prevalent among the population.
Wedding Invitations by the Aristocratic
Literacy was prevalent among the wealthy nobility and hence they employed monks who were skilled in calligraphy to hand write wedding invitations. Calligraphy was a costly affair and also served to demonstrate the affluence of the nobility. These hand written wedding invitations were presented to other royalties and nobility.
Wedding Invitations after 17th century
By the middle of 1600 metal-plate engraving was invented and this paved the way for printed wedding invitations. A translucent tissue paper was topped on the printing to avoid smudging of the ink. The translucent papers do not serve any purpose now, but they continue to be used to this day in some invitations because of their elegance.
Wedding Invitations after 18th century
Industrial revolution brought about development in lithography and printing. The rise in literacy level also saw the dramatic rise in the printing of wedding cards. The practice of placing the wedding card inside an envelope developed during this period as they were hand delivered due to the unreliable postal services.
Wedding Invitations today
The advancement in modern technology, rise of the computers and associated publishing methods have defined the wedding invitations we see around today. Laser engravings that produce fine laser-cut wedding invitations are the norm today. The availability of many applications like CorelDraw, Photoshop, with many beautiful fonts and patterns has revolutionized wedding invitation printing. The wedding invitation industry has gone one step further by making many designs available online. Choosing the wedding card with some custom designs and placing the order online has become a trend these days.