Wedding Invitation Printing - Letterpress, Digital Metallic and Custom Envelope Liners

wedding invitation printing 101 letterpress, digital, digital metallic gold, custom
 
Let's talk about printing options for  your wedding invitations. You've started searching Pinterest and going to websites and you're overwhelmed with things you've never heard of or only vaguely have heard of - letterpress, foil stamping, digital metallic .... 

Seems like a whole new language, right? Each of them has it’s own unique characteristics and price points, we just have to figure out which one is right for you! So, let me help a little.

I hear it at least a few times a week 'I had no idea printing weddings invitations was so complicated or so expensive! Why does it cost so much more than just running a copy at Staples?"
 

Why Printing Matters

Let's break some of those options down for you today. How you print says a lot about your style and what your wedding will look like.

Wedding invitations are like a big marketing project for your wedding. You want to represent your wedding well from start to finish. If something looks sloppy, it will make your guests say 'yep, another wedding...'.

But when your invitations are well printed and have memorable details, your guests will want to see more. They'll be intrigued and they won't forget to RSVP.  A high end wedding invitation will show them that the entire DAY will be full of rich details that they will definitely want to see.

Let's go through the Kaitlin and Joseph set in my shop - I have it available using either digital printing or letterpress. Pricing on this design can range anywhere from $5.00 per invite to $15 per invite depending on what you want and need. We'll work together to sort out where YOU fall in that range and get the pieces that are just right for you!

Digital Printing

Digital printing is the most common type of printing and will be your least expensive option. Digital printing uses a laser or ink jet printer and the file goes straight from a digital file, through a printer and onto your paper.

Just because it's the least expensive though, doesn't make all digital printers equal. What you'll get from a copy shop around the corner will be different than what you receive from a printer who specializes in invitations. 

If  you choose the right printer, you'll have not only more paper choices, but better paper options and colors to choose from. You'll also have highly calibrated printers and technicians that pay close attention to details - they don't just press print and hope for the best and they aren't just the 17 year old high school girl that I once was working at OfficeMax.

The RSVP card and belly band below both use digital printing in a charcoal ink. For the RSVP card and envelope I have selected an ivory cardstock that has a really lovely linen texture to it. You can have it printed on 80 lb, 100 lb, 130 lb or 165 lb weight depending on your budget and preferences.

The belly band uses a shimmery champagne gold thinner, text weight paper. The charcoal ink shines through and is a great accent. 

digital printing luxury wedding invitation, classic and organic design
Pricing for a digital invitation will run you around $4-6 per invite depending on how many pieces you have (invite, RSVP, insert cards, etc).

Digital Metallic

This technique is relatively new to the industry. It uses a laser toner fit with either metallic silver or metallic gold toner cartridges. It is a really nice alternative to foil if foil is out of your budget.  It has just enough shimmer to catch your guests attention!

The Kaitlin and Joseph invitation uses a mix of digital and digital metallic gold. The thin gold border is shimmery metallic ink. 

green and gold wedding invitation suite 

Digital metallic also looks fantastic on colored papers! We used it on green for Kaitlin and Joseph's wedding menus to add some great color to their reception tables.

green and metallic gold wedding menu
Digital gold will add in $2-3 to your invitation design.

Letterpress

I love letterpress - it's a very hands on, tactile print method. Letterpress has been around since the 15th century and was once the only printing method available.
Printers today often still use still use the same machines from the late 1800s.

These printers 
take my custom design and turn it into a polymer plate.  They place the plate on the letterpress table, ink is mixed by hand and spread onto the press rollers. The machine pulls the paper in and presses the design into the paper.

All of this is done by hand to ensure that they find the fine balance between too little and too much ink. Each and every page hand made.

It is beautiful and amazing and I really love using it. It feels luxurious, it looks high end and your guests will notice it.

Most of the work is in the setup - the plate making, the calibraring and the ink mixing, so the larger your order, the lower your per invitation cost will.

The invitation below uses letterpress in a rich, hunter green ink on a soft and buttery bright white cotton paper. You can choose a color (or colors!) that are perfect for you and use either 120# or double thick 240#.

hunter green letterpress wedding invitation custom wedding
Letterpress will add in $4-7 depending on how many invitations you need and how many colors you design has.
  

Custom Envelope Liners

One other little detail that I love are custom printed envelope liners. Envelope liners not only add a beautiful  touch to your overall invitation design, but they also add a layer of protection in the mail. 

Add in a custom crest or monogram, or use a pretty pattern to coordinate with your invitation design.

For the Kaitlin and Joseph design we created a custom crest for them that we then used throughout their wedding day on other pieces.

custom crest monogram envelope liner
 

Pro Tips!

The long story short is that you have a lot of options when you print and you  want to maximize your budget.
 
Together, we'll look at what your biggest wants are and be really honest with your budget. We'll navigate the options together and I can help you decide what you can afford and what you'll love the most. If letterpress is IT for you, cut out all of the extra insert cards and put all your info on a website.

And the biggest tip of all - make sure you get your guest list right the first time and then add in PLENTY of extras! If you use specialty printing, there can often be a minimum order of at least 50 invitations, so you don’t want to have to order more later!

 Want to start planning? Click the button below to ask some questions and get an idea for what you'll need.

by Laura Mays
Tags: paper tips
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