All About Wraps | Bows, Belly Bands, Seals, oh my!

hot pink wax seals

We’re concluding our All About series by chatting about the piece that ties everything together - literally. One upgrade that we love to finish off a wedding invitation suite is some type of wrap. This helps add that finishing touch that makes your guests feel like they're opening a present (because they are!). There are so many options here, we’ll structure the post a little differently and talk about the most common ones. Read on to find out the best wrap for you!

What’s an Invitation Wrap?

The basic principle of a “wrap” is that it will hold all the pieces of your invitation suite together. This prevents pieces from being lost in the envelope, damaged due to sliding around during mailing, or being read out of order. Wrapping your suite will keep everything together in a neat little parcel, that your guests get to unwrap like the gift that it is. While it’s not a necessary feature, it’s one of our favorite upgrades to separate a normal invitation suite from one that feels a little more luxurious.

Common Invitation Wraps

watercolor venue drawing

String/Twine/Thread

Of course, you can always use a string, twine, or thread to wrap up an invitation, depending on your particular look. We love wrapping with thread, and sometimes even separate individual strands to get the daintiest possible look. You can purchase thread at any local craft/sewing store, and twine can even be purchased at a hardware store if that matches your wedding vision. We even like thin jewelry wire as a modern, metallic option. Wrap a string one or more times around your entire suite, and tie with a bow or knot. If you like a cleaner look, you can tie the string at the back of the suite.

vellum wrapped wedding invites

Vellum

Vellum has become extremely popular lately, because it’s got a soft, romantic feel without detracting from the design of the invitations. In fact, vellum can add a fun layer of semi-transparent design that serves as a beautiful frame or window to your overall look. We typically use either a whole piece of vellum to wrap the entire invitation suite, or cut it into 1” strips to use as a band around the middle. You will need to use vellum glue dots to avoid the adhesive showing through the other layers (we like to adhere them on the back of the suite).

maui wedding invite

Ribbon

Ribbon will make a bit more of a statement than string or vellum, but it can be a beautiful statement! Silk ribbon is extremely popular right now, with its gorgeous raw edges and organic texture, although there are several more cost effective options as well. You can go from 1/8” ribbon all the way up to 2 or 3” ribbon if you like, depending on how much of a statement you want to make! When ribbons are tied, however, they typically make a little knot that requires your envelope to have a “nonmachinable surcharge” added, which is usually $0.15.

marble belly band

Belly Band

This is probably the only piece on this list you haven’t heard of before - it’s a weird term, we know. “Belly band” refers to a piece of paper that’s usually around 1-2” thick that wraps around an invitation suite. It can be solid paper, patterned paper, or you can print a custom design. We like to use glue dots to adhere them (on the back of the invitation suite). Measure your invitation width, double it, and then add one more inch, so that the ends overlap. The paper has a tendency to stretch, so we like to belly band just the invitation first, and then sneak the other pieces inside so they’re snug.

invitation wrap ideas

The Stack

The stack isn’t another type of wrap, but is what we like to call it when all the pieces are stacked up together. When designing your suite, pay attention to how everything fits on top of each other, size-, color-, and design-wise. Doing this well can just add to the overall “oohhh” and “ahhh” effect when your guests pull the suite out of the envelope. Traditionally, the invitation goes first or on top, but we also sometimes like to save this most important/elaborate piece until the end - like a big reveal! It’s up to you and how your design works together, but paying attention to “the stack” can take your invitation game up a notch.

Wedding Invitation Wax Seals

Is it obvious - we love wax seals! These aren’t a wrap in and of themselves, but play a part in the wrapping game. You can’t just throw a wax seal on top of a suite - the seal has to be sealed to something. That something can be a belly band, ribbon, string, or piece of vellum (just to name a few). It can be used in place of the glue dots or other adhesives to seal the two ends of the wrap together. You can get a custom or pre-designed wax seal in many different colors. We have a whole post coming up on wax seals themselves, but our favorites are here (including our own Paper Crane design) !

wax seal invites

Budgeting Tips for Invitation Wraps

Wraps are really versatile, especially if you're willing to assemble them yourself! We use regular embroidery thread from a fabric store that’s around $7/spool (you can probably do 500 invitations before running out!). If you want to use a belly band, you can easily cut up paper that you have - 8.5x11 sheets work perfectly if you cut them in 1”x11” strips for a 5x7 invitation. If you don’t want to cut them yourself, FedEx will do it for you for under $10. Basically anything can be used as an invitation wrap, so this is one upgrade that will make a large impact on your design without a large hit to your wallet.

Alright, time to wrap up this post! Don’t keep this info under wraps - share it with your newly-engaged friends so they can figure out the right way to seal their invites as well! I don’t think we’ve left any loose ends, but hopefully you have the knowledge now to tie them up yourself (okay, I’ll stop!).