Nancy Ray Photography | Nicole + Matt’s Brookberry Farm Wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
When it comes to choosing your perfect wedding invitation, there are endless considerations which play a part in making a final decision. After all, wedding invitations set the tone early on for your special day. Whether you are picking out each and every detail from scratch or DIY-ing your invitations yourself, the process can prove to be quite tricky, time-consuming, and a little stressful. One of the biggest issues that brides run into is how expensive invitations and paper products for your wedding can actually end up being. The type of printing process you use on your invitations will make all the difference in price. So, make sure you do your research and go into your invitation selection process as educated as possible. These tips and explanations of each of the four most popular wedding invitation printing processes are sure to take a huge chunk of the stress off your shoulders:
1. Engraving ($$$$) : Engraving is by far the most expensive printing process. It involves a lot of hand work (lining up the invitations individually to be engraved) which is a huge factor in the reason for the high cost. The invitations are fed through a machine one by one where a plate is pressed into the paper creating raised letters. They are then set on racks to dry, explaining why the printing time can also typically be longer than other processes, so make sure to take this into consideration. Engraving is most commonly used for very formal events. The highly labor-intensive process is definitely a costly choice overall for invitations. If you are looking to decrease the amount spent on invitations from the start, this might be something you may want to consider avoiding.
2. Letterpress ($$$) : Letterpress is my personal favorite print style. It involves stamping ink onto the paper, leaving the design imprinted or depressed rather than raised. A metal plate, inked with a rubber roller, is pressed onto each individual invitation. This process can prove to be very beautiful, but requires high attention-to-detail during the process and also usually requires thicker types of paper for the full effect. Another contributing factor to the higher price for letterpress is that it is typically used on handmade or more textured papers which can end up being more costly.
3. Embossing ($$$) : With embossing, there is no ink involved. Metal plates, etched with letters or designs, are stamped into the paper of your invitation leaving behind an impression. This process is more commonly seen as an accent piece in invitations (borders, monograms, return address on the flap), but can also be used in the text body as well. The process also takes a little longer to print and is an additional cost, but the unique 3-dimensional effect is simply stunning.
4. Thermography ($$) : Thermography has the look of engraved printing but at a lower price. This is definitely a popular choice among many brides as it can still look very elegant without breaking the bank. Heat that joins ink and a resin-like powder together creates the appearance of raised letters similar to engraving. The paper used for thermography is usually simpler and smoother which also helps with keeping the cost down. Colored ink is always an option with thermography and printing time is a lot quicker. Thermography is the perfect option if you are looking to keep within your budget but still get a beautiful formal feel.
5. Flat Print or Digital Printing ($) : Flat printing involves the use of high quality xerox digital printers (which is why it is often referred to as digital printing). This style of printing creates high quality results through the use of digital files that ensure no loss of quality in your images or text. Almost any color can be used in digital printing which gives a lot of options and opportunities for customization. In comparison to the other textured printing procession, the text on a digital print is completely flat. If you love heavy, thick paper, flat printing may not be for you. With all this in mind, flat printing is done on thin paper and is ultimately the most cost-effective option that still provides a professional look.