Today I am finally sending out my wedding invitations.Â First, let me apologize for the quality of the pictures shown here.Â I took them with my iphone and it does NO justice to the final product.Â I have learned a thing or two about the whole invitations process and think I have some pretty good money saving tips to share.
First of all, wedding invitations and stationary packages in general are EXPENSIVE.Â Most brides opt for high quality products which require large ‘offest’ printing presses to be set up.Â The price remains very high even though you are only ordering a small quantity since you need to cover all the costs of the press set ups.Â My family’s business, The Mailworks, prints digitally in house. Digital presses as opposed to offset presses take very little preparation to set up and are ideal for “short run” print jobs. The only difference is that you are more limited on the choice of paper stocks and over all color coverage.Â Often times wedding invites contain metallic inks that must be used on an offset press.
I decided early off in the game that I wanted to find a way to produce a high quality invitation on our inhouse equipment so that I wouldn’t have to pay to have my invitiations done. Brilliant! Yes, it was.Â I am happy to say that I think my invites are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
I started by consulting with our graphic designer, she created a beautiful theme for me.Â It started with my save the dates and carried all the way though my thank you cards.Â Next, I choose metallic paper and envelopes to print on.Â This got me the really high end look at a fraction of the cost.Â The envelopes were dark metallic blue so I wasn’t able to print or write directly on them.Â Instead I created a white label to go on the front.Â See the picture below.Â What is great about this is that I was able to print the address names in a beautiful font and it looked clean.Â Often brides will go to a direct mail company and ask that the names be “ink jetted” onto their envelopes.Â Take it from me, ink jetting looks sloppy and will always be gray scale to a degree.Â It won’t give you the crisp dark text you are hoping for.
Enough technical talk, here are the take away lessons:
1. Find a designer that can create an entire package for you or find a pre existing package that you can purchase and print independently.
2. Find a digital printer who you feel comfortable with (not kinkos or office max, please, these people have no skill. You need a person of the trade) and explain to them what you are trying to accomplish.Â Have them help you select a paper that they think will run through their equipment.Â Check out Neenah papers.Â They have GORGEOUS varieties.Â Your printer may assume that they CAN’T run a certain stock,Â if you are in love with it,Â ask that they request some test sheets from the paper mill.Â They may end up surprised when the paper does run.Â I know my guys were!
3. Look for really unique envelopes (metallic, dark linen, CLEAR!, what ever grabs your eye).
4. Find labels that can be printed on and will look nice on your envelopes (ok now you can go to kinkos)
That’s about it.Â I would be happy to share samples of my invites with anyone who is interested.Â I estimate that going this route could save you anywhere from $400-$800.
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