Life is a special occasion

Invitations 101

I have been reorganizing my bookmarks, which led me to The Bride's Guide: Ideas from the Editors of Martha Stewart Weddings. Martha is one of my favorite people in the world, and her websites are all great to browse. This afternoon I read a post on invitation printing methods and I wanted to pass it along...

The Choice Is Yours
Posted by Jennifer Miranda, Associate Editor

Once you've decided on a date and venue for your wedding, your next big step is to work on the invitations. All of the editors here at Martha Stewart Weddings are big fans of anything letterpress, but this hardy technique isn't your only option when it comes to beautiful custom stationery. If you don't know your engraving from your thermography, don't fret. Here is a quick rundown of your printing method choices.

  • Engraving is the cream of the crop. It's the most classic, traditional way to put your message forth. It's also the most expensive. In this process, each piece of paper is hand-fed into a press, and a die pushes into the back of the paper to create raised lettering on the front (and an indentation in the back). Consider this style for a formal or black-tie wedding.
  • Letterpress does the exact opposite. Here, the lettering is pressed into the front of the paper, and the ink is filled into the groove created by the press. This is a very versatile option, suitable for formal or casual, daytime or evening weddings.
  • Thermography is a good option for the cost-conscious bride. Ink is raised by a resinous powder that also gives the text a shiny appearance. Sounds complicated, I know, but all you need to know is that it gives you a similar effect as engraving on the front of the paper, minus the indentation on the back.
  • The most cost-effective option is lithography, or flat printing. It’s the most common way to print something and leaves no raised lettering or indentation. This is best for a more casual wedding.

    Still confused? Check out this primer on planning your stationery.

    Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings
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