Wedding stationery is one of the first things you need to consider as a wedding planner, and is often made in the early stages of planning, while still getting to know the couple and newly forming a vision for the day. This can make it a tough decision. There are three important things you need to work out first:
- What cards do you need over the course of the wedding? Usually the absolute basics are save the dates, wedding invitations, RSVP cards and thank you cards, but you may also want engagement invitations, wishing well cards, an order of service, place cards and other bits and pieces. Read up on the purpose of the different cards and consider which ones will suit your needs.
- What style are the couple interested in? Is there a specific wedding invitation theme that your client likes best and that will tie in well to other wedding details?
- What print type is right for the cards and styles you are considering?
The third one is what we’re covering today: what do you need to think about when choosing between digital printing, letterpress, foil stamping and other cool printing options? What’s the difference? What pricing details and time factors should you consider? Wonder no more. Here’s what you need to know.
Digital printing is what you might think of as ‘normal’ printing. It’s ink on paper, transferring what you see on screen straight to the page. The paper may be coated or uncoated, with either a gloss or matte finish.
Digital print is the most affordable invitation option, but if printed by a skillful printer onto a high quality paper stock, it will look anything but cheap.
Expect to pay between $2 and $4 USD per invitation depending how many you are printing and what sort of paper you are using. The higher the print run, the cheaper the cost per invite. Once your design is finalized with the company you should be able to receive your delivery in 3-5 working days depending where the printer is located.
It is possible to print with white ink (usually on kraft paper or other dark background) with digital printing, but it is usually more expensive and requires more time to complete. Expect to wait about 7 days for your order if it involves white ink printing and to pay a dollar or two more.
Letterpress printing creates indentation on the page for quality you can feel. Designs or text can be stamped in letterpress, and may have ink embedded in it or be left ‘blind’ for a different effect. Letterpress also requires a thicker card stock to hold what is pressed into it, so just touching the paper is a treat.
Expect to pay around $5 - $9 USD per card for letterpress printing, depending how many invitations you are ordering. Letterpress takes longer than digital print, so factor in a 7-10 day wait for delivery from when the order is finalized.
Foil stamping makes use of hot stampers to apply foil pigment to the page, leaving a beautiful metallic shine that just oozes luxury. Gold and silver are the most common choices for foiling, but many others can also be chosen. Rose gold is a particularly popular choice at the moment, but you may also see bronze, black, copper and various other tones.
Depending on your print run you will pay between $4 and $9 USD per invitation. Expect to wait 7-10 business days from the finalization of your proofs to having the product in hand.
Some people also choose to combine foil stamping with letterpress to really hit all the sweet spots of luxury stationery. This often means foil-stamped names with a letterpress patterned border, or a similar combination. This sort of combination will set you back somewhere between $5 and $10 USD depending how many units you order.
Raised foil uses foil stamping but is not embedded into the paper. Instead, the foil bubbles up to create embossed luxury that stands out. This leaves you with all the sheen of foil stamping and all the texture of letterpress (but raised instead of lowered!).
Raised foil is not much more expensive than regular foil stamping. You can expect to pay about $3 - $9 USD. It will take longer, though, so make sure you factor in about ten days once the order is finalized.
Metallic printing is much like standard digital printing but it uses a special metallic ink that gives a subtle sheen to the design. It is a way of achieving metallic features without the price and time involved in foil stamping. This is perfect for when you want that bling but also need to save money for the perfect wedding reception DJ! The metallic pigment is printed onto the paper rather than being stamped into the page.
Metallic printing is only fractionally more expensive than standard digital printing, at about $3 - $6 USD per card. It can also take slightly longer than regular printing, so make sure you allow 5-7 working days for the order to be printed and shipped.
Printing on Wood
Printing on wood uses digital printing methods but on a specially crafted wood paper. As thin as paper but made with real wood, these invitations are perfect for a rustic occasion or for any bride and groom that want something out of the ordinary. When choosing a wooden wedding invitation, keep in mind that grain and colour can differ somewhat from the image shown on screen, so be prepared for slight variation in the finished product. Of course, this individuality is all part of the charm of printing on wood.
Wooden prints cost between $4 and $9 per unit and should take 5-7 working days from final proofs to arrive at your door.
Those are the main print options to choose from. Deciding between them is difficult when they’re all so beautiful, but like everything with wedding planning it all comes down to the fine balance of budget, time, and taste.
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