graphic showing the standard paper sizes used for printing wedding invitations

Printing wedding invitations – 3 things you don’t know about the card & paper I use

Printing wedding invitations – I’ve been doing it since 2006. Sometimes I forget that you might not know what some of the more technical jargon I use means. Things like GSM, ISO A series and FSC certified card for example. So, to help explain things a little I’ve put together this little blog post. A sort of glossary of terms, with some more info about the terms that I use when talking about printing wedding invitations.

What does GSM mean?

When we (I mean stationery nerds and us printer type people) talk about the weight of paper or card, we refer to it in GSM. GSM stands for Grams per Square Metre. But what does this actually mean? Well, basically, the higher the gsm, the heavier & thicker the paper (or card) is. I use around 300gsm card for invitations. It’s a good, stiff card that is also easily printed. Most of the paper I use is 120gsm, this forms that pages inside order of service booklets and some other pieces that I make. And finally, for envelopes I usually choose ones that are made from paper between 100gsm and 135gsm envelopes.

What is FSC Certified paper and do you use it for printing wedding invitations?

FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council*) certified paper is paper that has been harvested in a responsible manner. That means it has been made from wood pulp produced from trees in responsibly managed forests. Although FSC certified paper often contains recycled paper, it does not have to contain it to be certified. I use a mix of card and paper that is both FSC certified and recycled.

A2 wedding table plan board with navy floral design
Wedding table plans are usually A2 size, this is perfect for displaying on an easel

What are those A sizes you talk about with invites?

Heard me talk about A6 invites or A2 welcome boards? Well, the A series is an international standard (ISO stands for International Standards Organisation) for paper sizing. You’ll probably be most familiar with A4 – the popular home printer paper size. If you take an A4 sheet and cut it in half across it’s shortest edge, you now have A5 size. Cut it half again and you get A6, this is the size I use for the majority of my pocketfold and flat invitations. Smaller again is A7 and I sometimes use this size for save the date cards, or folded in half to make tent style place cards. For the bigger sizes, two A4 sheets put together make an A3, two A3 sheets gives you A2. A2 is the most popular size for table plans, welcome signs etc. It’s about 60cm x 40cm. Bonus tip – the corresponding envelope size for an A6 card is C6, C7 for A7 and so on – genius right!?

a graphic showing the ISO standard A series paper used for printing wedding invitations
A guide to the ISO A sizes that I use for printing wedding invitations

So there’s a little insight into some of the more technical language I often use when I’m talking about printing wedding invitations and stationery. GSM is essentially how thick the paper or card is, FSC certified means that it’s from responsibly managed forests (and is more sustainable) and the sizing is all A numbers – the smaller the number the bigger the sheet size.

When we’re working together I want to be sure you understand exactly what I’m talking about all the time. So, if I ever overdo the jargon and you’re not sure what I mean, just ask. I’m always happy to talk more and explain about printing wedding invitations

I’ve written another blog post about some of the different materials I use to create wedding invites and stationery. You might like to have a read of that too.

Five materials I use to create sustainable wedding invites and stationery

pinterest graphic for printing wedding invites blog post
Pin this graphic to your wedding planning boards so you can find this post again later

*If you’d like to read more about the Forestry Stewardship Council and FSC certified paper and card, you can do that here.