// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // Digital Printing

One of the biggest trends we have seen this year in the bridal industry is the use of watercolor images. Colorful flowers, whimsical brush strokes, captivating sunsets. All of these images do best when printed using a digital flat print. One of the biggest advantages of using a flat print is the ability to use multiple colors, and various shades within one color family. It is not possible to get that variety using engraving, thermography, or letterpress.

Another advantage of digital printing is the cost. It is typically less expensive than other print processes. The timeline to produce a flat printed invitation is also usually shorter. Thicker papers are usually not a great option for flat print, but we have a wide selection of card stock, felted and deckled edge papers to use.

Our in-house graphic design team has been bursting with beautiful designs for invitations. Whether for bridal showers and brunches, rehearsal dinners and welcome parties, or programs and place cards, the options are limitless!

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // Thermography

We all live in the real world (well, most of the time) and know that every occasion has its own needs. That’s true for invitations as well. Sometimes you send a text, sometimes you want a playful invitation, and other times you want a little more formality. And that same real world also comes with real budgets. Thermography is a budget-friendly alternative to engraving.

Thermography produces raised ink that gives a more formal feel than flat printing. The process is not as time-consuming as engraving, allowing for the costs to come down. The invitation is printed with ink, and then a special compound is sprinkled on the invitation and heated. The powder adheres to the ink once heated, creating the raised texture. There is no bruising on the back.

Certain papers are not suitable for thermography, and there are some visual differences between the inks, but it still stands as a very popular method for printing wedding invitations.

It is very important for all of the bridal consultants at If It’s Paper to understand and respect the budget of every bride and groom. We pride ourselves in finding beautiful invitations for every event!

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // The Revival of Letterpress

In recent years, the art of letterpress has been revived. And we couldn’t be happier!

In fact, you can often walk into one of our stores and find us swooning over a letterpressed piece of stationery or invitation. The words “to have and to hold” may refer to wedding vows, but can’t it apply to beautiful paper as well? Because we have some serious letterpress love!

So what’s all the fuss about? A letterpress invitation entices multiple senses. You see it and you feel it. The process starts when the design is copied onto a polymer plate. Negative space is carved away and the plate is fed into the printing press. The ink is mixed and spread on the roller. Many designers use printing presses that are hundreds of years old. Each invitation is individually pressed into the plate. Originally, only enough pressure was applied so that the plate kissed the top of the paper leaving virtually no indentation. Today’s brides often want more pressure applied so that the texture of the paper is emphasized.

Either way, the result is beautiful. Below are some examples of letterpress invitations from our partners at Bella Figura. Feel free to swoon!

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And if you're really captivated, you can watch this video that Bella Figura created to take you through the entire process.

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // The Art of Engraving

Timeless. Elegant. Hand Crafted; three attributes of engraving. An engraved wedding invitation is a piece of art in and of itself. When an engraved invitation arrives in the mail, it delivers with it a sense of timelessness, elegance and hand craftsmanship. Just as the design has been etched into a copper plate, the impression the invitation gives is etched in the mind of your guests.

Engraving has been around for centuries. The method has withstood the test of time because of the crispness and detail it gives to paper. The process begins when a design is etched into a metal plate (often copper). Ink is poured over the plate and quickly wiped off. Thus only  the ink is left behind in the etching of the plate. The paper is hand fed through the press and 4,000 pounds of pressure are applied from beneath. The paper is forced into the lines of the design and the raised ink is left on the paper. A beautifully intricate image is revealed.

Each invitation is individually fed through the press. The backside of an engraved invitation has a small indention, or bruise, that is left over from the pressure applied. The bruising, a hallmark of engraving, is like the fingerprint of an artist left on an original painting. Sometimes a subtle halo surrounds the image on the front side, particularly when using dark papers. But there is no other print process that will give you the same crispness and boldness that engraving will give. Engraving and letterpress, a similar method, are the only methods that can be used on thicker card stock that cannot go through a modern printer.

 At If It’s Paper, we proudly represent several companies that have a rich engraving history including Arzberger, Crane and William Arthur. Their attention to detail rivals our passion for paper, paper that is as wonderful to receive as it is to send.

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // Monograms and Duograms

Along with sweet tea and BBQ, monograms are a hallmark of the South. And what better way to incorporate a personal touch than adding a monogram to a wedding invitation. It is a sweet accent that can be added throughout your invitation suite. The design options are endless. The monogram can stand out from the rest of the text in a different color ink, or offer a subtle touch using the blind embossed technique.

Traditionally, the bride would use her maiden monogram. A woman can use that monogram throughout her life. And since she isn’t married at the time the invitation is issued, using her new monogram wouldn’t be proper. We just can’t help hearing our grandmothers whispering “it isn’t wrong, but we just don’t do it.”

 A duogram is a great option if you want to combine the bride and the groom initials together. A duogram uses the first letter initial from the bride and the first letter initial from the groom. No last initial is used.

You can go modern, traditional, funky, classic, feminine, masculine, any style, when using a monogram or duogram. Include it on your wedding invitation and then carry it through on napkins, programs, thank you stationery and more!

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // Addressing your Envelopes

Do you ever feel like you need an advanced degree in wedding planning to know everything? How do you stuff the envelope? What am I supposed to do with that tissue paper? Consider us to have a PhD in this area!

One of the most common questions we get about invitations is how to properly address an envelope.

Calligraphy by Carole 

Calligraphy by Carole 

Crane and Co., who we proudly represent, is a great reference for wedding etiquette questions. We consulted their Wedding Blue Book when coming up with the following examples of how to address an envelope.

When addressing the outer envelope, use the full proper name of the guest(s), including titles, and always spell out street and state names.

For a married couple who share the same last name:

Mr. and Mrs. George Timothy Clooney
1234 Hollywood Way
Beverly Hills, California 90210

For a married couple who have different last names:

Ms. Jennifer Joanna Aniston and Mr. Justin Paul Theroux
1234 Friends Avenue
Malibu, California 90265

If a couple is living together, but they are not married, the word “and” is omitted and the woman’s name is listed on the top line and the man’s on the second.

Ms. Oprah Gail Winfrey
Mr. Stedman Graham, Junior
1234 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Same sex couples would list their names in alphabetical order and follow the same rules regarding if they are married or not.

Mr. David Michael Burtka and Mr. Neil Patrick Harris

For invitations that have an inner and outer envelope, the above addresses are used on the outer envelope, and the inner envelope list their names again. Any children or guests that are also invited are listed on the inner envelope. Traditionally, formal names appear on the inner envelope as well:

Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris

but today people commonly use the form of address that they know the couple as:

David and Neil

If children are invited, their names would appear on the inner envelope, listed in chronological order:

Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris
Gideon and Harper

Whew! That’s a lot of info! We hope this helps. We are always here for our brides and grooms to answer any questions along the way, so comment below if you have a crazy address that you’re not sure what to do with and we will come to the rescue!

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // Save the Dates

It’s time to grab that red pen and mark everyone’s calendar- YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED! We live in such busy times, people’s calendars fill up. Save the Date cards are a great way to communicate the essential information to your guestlist. Here are some answers to common questions we receive about Save the Date’s:

Do I need to send a Save the Date card?

Save the Date cards have become more popular in recent years, but they are not mandatory. If you are having a destination wedding, getting married during the holiday season, or over a popular three-day weekend, it’s helpful to spread the word. The people most important to you can then reserve the date and begin making travel arrangements. They are also helpful if you have a lot of information to convey (including accommodations etc). With a fabulous Save the Date, your guests are sure to get more excited about the weekend.

Who should receive them?

Everyone on your guest list, including your bridal party, should get one. If you are considering having an A list and a B list of invitees (be honest, you know you do), only send Save the Dates to people you are confident will be included on the final list. You can send invitations to people who did not receive a Save the Date card.

What information do I need to include?

The date and location are the most important pieces of information to be included. Some understated Save the Dates just list the couples names, the date, and the city and state. This is a great option particularly if you haven’t nailed down your venue site yet. “Formal Invitation to follow” is usually included on the bottom. Some brides opt to list accommodations, or other pertinent information. If you have a wedding website, it may be helpful to list as well.

Does my Save the Date need to match my formal wedding invitation?

Most importantly, your Save the Date needs to match your personality! Some brides choose their Save the Date with a cohesive look in mind that will flow from their Save the Dates to their invites and other components of their paper suite. Others like to include an engagement photograph, or an illustration of the venue. Or you can be creative, depart from the traditional wedding invitation look, and choose a fun announcement that reflects your relationship.

Here are some other Save the Dates that we are loving right now:

// WEDDING WEDNESDAY // You said yes.. now what?

We want to walk with you every step of the way on your engagement journey - from save the date cards to wedding invitations, programs to thank you’s. Below is the ideal timeline for a 12 month engagement:

10 - 12 months before
  • Order Save-the-Date Cards
  • Order Thank You Stationery
8 - 11 months before
  • Mail Save-the-Date Cards
4 - 6 months before
  • Order Wedding Invitations
  • Order Rehearsal Dinner and other wedding weekend invitations
  • Contact Calligrapher
6 - 8 weeks before
  • Mail wedding invitations
  • Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Order Wedding Programs
  • Order Menus, Table Cards, Placecards and Favor Tags
  • Order Custom Napkins
  • Order Announcements
  • Replenish Thank You Stationery

If your engagement is shorter than twelve months, simply pick up at the right month and add the previous items to your to-do list. And don’t forget to make an appointment with us to start checking things off of your list.

We love the Sugar Paper Wedding Planner shown above. Print out our checklist below and tuck it inside!

 
 

Introducing... // WEDDING WEDNESDAY //

We are so excited to introduce Wedding Wednesdays to our blog!

Each week we will feature a new topic surrounding all things necessary for your paper trousseau. Letterpress or Engraving? How long do I have to write thank you notes? I've got my invitations, now how do I stuff the envelope?

Have a question? Comment below and we will be sure to add it to our list of hot topics.

// PAPER PRETTIES // Valentine Cards to Swoon Over

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, we thought we would share some of our very favorite cards to express all the love that's in your heart. Take it as inspiration.. or as a suggestion to stop by one of our stores this weekend and pick up something for your sweetheart.