Monday, February 18, 2013
Every detail in a wedding is something people tend to agonize over. Partly, it’s just human nature to want every detail to be perfect and, of course, many people are keeping an eye on the bottom line as well. Although invitations make up a small part of the overall cost of a wedding, many couples are a bit surprised when they learn how much professional, letterpress invitations can cost.
Professional, high-end letterpress invitations have become more popular since the 1990s, when people began to place a higher value in the overall quality of items as opposed to just the final price. Offset and digital printing may have made printing easier and more widely-accessible, but they simply cannot match the quality and craftsmanship of traditional, custom, letterpress printing.
What is Letterpress?
Letterpress is the act of relief printing and, until the later half of the 20th century, it was the leading way everything was printed – from books to invitations. Printing with letterpress means placing individual letters on a press and then pressing the paper against the type. When offset printing was introduced in the 20th century, it made the process quicker thanks to advanced technology. Later, digital printing took it to the next level and made printing accessible to everyone. This meant printing services were able to lower their prices and now it’s possible to get invitations fronted for mere pennies – so why bother with letterpress?
What You’re Paying For with Letterpress Printing
Letterpress printing is, quite simply, beautiful. Letterpress printing involves a vast array of equipment – from the individual letters and type blocks to the ink, press and paper stock. What’s more, it involves a level of skill and quite a bit of time both for the printing process itself, as well as the experience needed for someone to become a skilled printer.
Although the rise of digital and offset printing have become popular, traditional letterpress printing has seen a real revival in the United States, UK and Canada since the mid-1990s. Letterpress printing offers a level of quality not matched elsewhere and, perhaps most importantly, it allows for a great degree of control when it comes to fine typography.
Finally, there is the sheer impact of a letterpress invitation. The act of letterpress printing leaves a distinct impression on the paper itself. Often a thicker, creamier paper stock is used for letterpress invitations and, as a result, once printed, people can run their fingertips over the invitation and literally feel the impact of the press. It brings a new tactile dimension to invitations which goes a long way to making them a richer part of the celebration.
Choosing to use letterpress printing for your wedding invitations is a choice of quality and style over bottom line pricing. While it’s possible to make nice invitations using digital or offset printing, letterpress brings an added dimension to the invitations – literally. These hand crafted, unique and tactile invitations can truly set the tone for your entire wedding as the first impression your guests will get of your wedding and the entire celebration.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
When it comes to planning a wedding, it can be easy to overlook the correspondence angle. This is especially true since so much preparation is done online, over the phone and through texts or emails. But a wedding supported with old school printed correspondence is one that not only becomes a special series of milestones for the happy couple, but for their guests as well.
Save the Date
There was a time when people met locally – in bars, libraries, churches and other places that meant their relationships depended a great deal on their location. Just as internet and long distance dating has expanded people’s options and ability to find the one for them, it has also meant that wedding guest lists now include people from all over the country as well as all over the world. Save the Date cards have become fairly standard practice, often sent out a year or more in advance to let all your guests know the date of your upcoming wedding well before you’ve decided on just about anything else.
Invitations & RSVP Cards
Once the Save the Date cards have been sent out, you now have a chance to begin the long process of ironing out details such as the venue and time, invitations and RSVP cards. These are sent out several months in advance in order to give people – particularly those who will need to travel – plenty of notice. The invitations also set the true tone of the wedding. Your Save the Date cards may have been a bit more informal or reflected the rough ideas you had for color scheme or theme, but the invitations should be a true reflection of how you want to present your wedding. This can mean using traditional or Victorian script and style or updating the look to reflect the modern or artistic wedding you plan to host. RSVP cards should be entirely separate and leave plenty of room for guests to indicate how many are coming as well as any special needs they maybe have, such as dietary restrictions or the need for handicap access.
Guest Book with Memento
Generally, most guests will stop in to sign a guest book at some point during the reception. However, some couples do choose to have the book sitting out before the ceremony as well so that it is seen by all guests, even those who do not stay for the reception afterwards. Guest books are produced in a variety of styles and printing options have expanded to make it fairly easy to print one customized with photos of the couple or in a truly unique style created just for their wedding. A small post card style memento can be placed to one side which guests can take. These usually feature a professional portrait of the couple, the details of their wedding date and some personal touches such as the lyrics to their special song, a poem or even just a personal message from the couple on the back.
Programs, Menus and Keepsakes
Programs of the ceremony and reception activities, as well as menus and printed keepsakes are an excellent way to keep your guests informed of what lies ahead and they compliment the entire day. Special quotes, a story of your first date and other personal touches can be added to a program in order to make it a special keepsake. Menus, too, can get a personal touch if the couple wants to encourage guests to take them away but are useful regardless as they spell out dining options (certain dish options for those who eat Kosher or Vegetarian, for example). Small keepsakes for guests to keep are also a common touch and couples have been choosing everything from retro matchbooks to printed napkins for years. Technology has advanced so printed keepsakes look more professional than ever and can include a surprising variety of items such as:
- Linen handkerchiefs
- Small photo books
- Custom bookmarks
- Shadow boxes
- Playing cards
Thank You Cards
Once the ceremony is done, the party cleared away and the honeymoon pictures developed, it’s time to turn your attention to the classic and timeless art of writing Thank You cards. These are the final touch to your wedding and so should be the final bow on the package, so to speak. Your color palette or theme should be incorporated in these final pieces of correspondence and they can be used to not only thank guests for specific gifts but also for anything they may have done to help you prepare in the run up to your wedding. Small acts of kindness which may have been overlooked along the way – the supportive phone calls, the special lunches or helping with picking out dresses, choosing flowers and any sort of help and support can be mentioned in these notes. These will be your last contact with guests as far as your official wedding correspondence goes, so don’t be shy about thanking them for anything that comes to mind. Not only will you make them feel good, it will also give you the chance to reminiscence about your special day while it’s still fresh in your mind!