Unless you’re particularly crafty, you probably aren’t aware of the different wedding invitation paper options available to you. Like the design of your paper suite, the actual paper stationery it’s printed on can add to the look and feel of your wedding. When going through your wedding invitation checklist, one of the first decisions that you’ll have to make is the type of paper you’ll use. Make a lasting impression with wedding stationery that elevates what you’re mailing out—from save the dates to invitations and enclosures. Read on for eight types of wedding invitation paper and how they can be best used. Then, order right here at Zola.
As one of the most common types of paper for a wedding invitation, this wedding stationery has a smooth, clean finish, hence its name. It's thin and modern, with a hint of sheen, making it ideal for designs that feature photos (giving you an excuse to share more stunning shots from your engagement session). Even if you decide not to spotlight a photo, the same subtle luster lends itself to graphic designs and bold, beautiful fonts.
Both delicate and durable, eggshell paper is reminiscent of watercolor paper. On the thin side, it possesses subtle texture and a matte finish. Read: No shimmer. However, that doesn't mean that it doesn't contribute to a gorgeous presentation. Eggshell paper shines when it comes to making colors appear more rich and intense, adding dimension overall. If your ideal design includes touches of vibrant or deep color, this paper type is one to consider.
We’re big fans of eco-friendly wedding ideas. This easily lends itself to stationary with recycled paper. Zola's recycled card stock, specifically, is a carbon-neutral paper 100 percent made with wind power. It has visible fibers and a subtle fabric-like texture, making it soft to the touch. Although it's slightly thicker than our smooth paper, it's surprisingly lightweight. Appearance-wise, this paper type is great for the ever-popular rustic wedding invitation theme. Really, though, it's just as suitable for any style of wedding looking to be a bit more eco-conscious.
On the other hand, we have pearlescent paper. Unlike eggshell or recycled, this card stock is smooth to touch. Its glossy surface appears iridescent, lending a shimmering affect to both sides. With just a touch of sparkle, it's eye-catching and glamorous—perfect for a sophisticated paper wedding suite. Note that, like all glossy card stock, it isn't highly absorbent. This isn't important though, so long as you don't plan on painting or adding illustrations on top.
Linen paper is meant to give the appearance of—you guessed it—linen fabric. This wedding invitation trend elevates the traditional wedding suite. The paper has a similar crosshatch (or basket weave) pattern, closely resembling the woven material. This gives it a nice texture, while also providing some more visual interest to your wedding stationery. Despite its name, don't expect linen card stock to be overly soft or flimsy. Slightly thicker than eggshell, it's on the thinner side, while still being durable. Intricate designs, such as illustrations, florals, and elaborate framing, look beautiful on linen, but ultimately it can elevate any classic or rustic design.
If a high-texture experience is what you're after, look into felt. This isn't the wool-like textile you crafted with as a kid, rather, it's a thick card stock reminiscent of watercolor paper. Texture-wise, it's somewhere between canvas and cotton, course and smooth. This middle ground gives it a velvety feel, similar to that of felt fabric. Since felt paper is comparable to watercolor paper, it's ideal for wedding suites with watercolor details or similar painterly designs.
As implied by the name, double thick card stock is twice as thick as standard card stock. Think the same weight and feel as a sturdy postcard, with the same smooth texture. This is done by printing your design on a single thick card stock, then mounting it to another piece. The result is a premium invitation with the weight of letterpress or thermography, while still being able to be designed digitally.
That being said, it's your best option for invitations or cards that don't require an envelope (like save the dates, which often aren't sent with anything else). It's also ideal if you do plan on letterpressing or using embellishments. The deep impressions you can make in this paper create a classic appearance that every guest will notice. Moreover, it's durable without being too cumbersome or heavy.
Sensing a trend? Triple thick card stock has the same smooth surface and premium feel as the above, only it's extra thick. To get an idea, imagine (or reach for) the cover of a classic hardcover notebook. Cards printed on triple thick are the most durable and long lasting, meant to be proudly displayed for years to come.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to save money on your wedding stationery, purchase different paper weights. Your invitation, for example, can be triple thick. It's arguably the most important element and the one you’ll hold onto the longest. Meanwhile, the rest of your enclosure cards can be printed on a thinner paper. You'll make a great impression, save money, and still be able to fit everything into a single envelope.
While cardstock may seem like a small detail, it largely adds to the experience—and, in some cases, longevity—of your wedding invitations. Consider your wedding style and paper suite designs when it comes down to deciding.
Need a quick sheet to reference when ordering invites? Right this way.