Who doesn’t love a wax seal? They are so formal, classy, and personalized (and you know my obsession with all things personalized 😉)!
Today’s modern twenty-first-century brides are spoiled with the lick-and-stick flaps on envelopes, but that definitely is not how it’s always been. For correspondence of yore, envelopes—or even just folded letters—were sealed by dripping some wax on it and using the seal (the metal circle press) to make an imprint and press the wax down, sealing the envelope.
Common seals would be either a motto or something novelty, a monogram/initial(s), or a family crest, each with slightly different meanings. While the most common color seal is red, the color of the seal used to actually represent the contents of the letter, as it was likely the first thing you’d see when receiving your post.
So what did the colors represent you ask? I got you:
Red seals were often used for formal correspondence, although red also tended to be what was most common, regardless of content. If you had no other applicable colors, it wasn’t considered out of the ordinary to use red wax instead.
Blue seals were commonly associated with romance and passion, representing very strong feelings for the recipient. The stronger the blue used, the stronger the feelings being conveyed. #AllTheNavy
Green wax was for casual, friendly letters; correspondence between friends. Although again, if the sender had no green, red was also likely to be used.
White was used for formal invitations, such as weddings. This put white-sealed letters into a higher category of importance—not as high as properly-used red seals, but something more than your average green or blue. Think white-tie events!
Pink was the color of praise. For example, if congratulations were in order, the recipient would already know of your praise when he/she received your pink, wax-sealed envelope.
Metallic colors such as gold, silver, or other “flashy” seals were really only used on correspondence between ladies. No self-respecting gentleman would ever use such a color. But all the super-fun girls were like, “heyyyyyyyy…let’s get some gold up in here!” 📀 🐝 😂
And finally, black. Black seals were of utmost importance, but not for a good reason. Black was the color of mourning, of death, of something of grave importance. You did not use black unless it was absolutely necessary. There’s actually a record of a black-sealed letter being sent back in the day. Inside, it contained an apology for the choice of color—the sender simply did not have any other colors available at all. For extra emphasis, a black border would be added onto the letter, in addition to the seal. A clear indication of “So…you’re gonna want to sit down before opening this one.” 😬
The fun thing about wax seals today is that you can customize them to be anything you want! You can monogram them, put something symbolic on them, or put a special message on them. Personally, I am torn between the 🐝 above and, of course, my monogram because…if it doesn’t move, monogram it!
So, if you guys could just get moving and bring back the wax seal, that’d be great!
Happy Wedding Planning!