If you’re familiar with wedding stationery trends, you may have noticed that wax seals are having a moment. This timeless accent is perfect for adding a personal touch to your invitation suite, escort cards, and more! But where did wax seals come from, and how can you incorporate them into your wedding paper? As a stationery designer, I’m here to help!
Wax seals have been used for centuries as a means of securing important documents. An unbroken seal (usually stamped with an official symbol, monogram, or family crest) meant the document had not been tampered with. Today, they’re purely decorative!
If you want to elevate the look of your wedding invitation suite, the best way is to add a wax seal. You can even ask your stationery artist to create a personalized seal in your wedding color palette to display your custom monogram or artwork!
If you’re in love with the elegant touch wax seals can bring, you’re not alone! There are so many beautiful ways to incorporate them into your wedding paper. Here are a few popular options:
Sealing a vellum enclosure around your invitation suite
Sealing a belly band or ribbon around your invitation suite
Sealing your outer or inner invitation envelopes
As a decorative element on your wedding invitation
On escort and/or place cards and menus
However, wax seals aren’t just versatile in terms of their use. There are also different kinds of wax seals! Depending on where and how you’d like to use them, you have a choice between two options:
This is the traditional method of melting wax and stamping it onto paper. It’s both time-consuming and messy—but the results are stunning! Using a glue gun at a low-temperature setting can speed up the process. However, you do NOT want to use this method when affixing ribbon or twine around your suite. The wax will stick to your invitation and ruin it!
These are far easier to use because they are peel-and-stick—simple as can be! You can choose between two kinds of adhesive: professional-grade backing and resealable backing. While the latter has a light hold (so it can be reapplied until you find the perfect placement), it isn’t mailable. Whereas, the professional-grade is!
That’s why I always recommend this option if you’re planning to affix wax seals to your outer envelopes. It will hold tight and is specifically designed to withstand the rough handling of the postal system’s machines. Resealable backing is better suited for inner envelopes.
In addition, here are some best practices to keep in mind when mailing wax seals.
You MUST hand-cancel your envelopes if you’ve placed a wax seal on the outside. If you’d rather avoid the hassle of hand-canceling, we recommend doubling up on envelopes and placing resealable seals on the inner envelopes ONLY. This way they’ll be protected by an outer envelope, so they’ll be good to go through standard mailing procedures.
Adding wax seals to your invitation suite could affect your postal costs in two ways. If your suite weighs more than an ounce, you’ll need to purchase extra postage (always take your suite to your local USPS and have it weighed BEFORE your order stamps). Additionally, invitations weighing more than one ounce are considered “non-machineable.” This means your envelope can’t be processed through the postal machines. Instead, it will require extra postage and hand canceling by a postal worker.
I hope this has given you a better idea of how to use wax seals and what to look out for when including them in your invitation suite! For more in-depth information on postal costs and hand-canceling, see What to Know About Wedding Invitation Postage.