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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Invitations

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is the next most expensive method, requiring made-to-order metal dies that can stand the heat required to impress the image onto paper. However, the results are stunning, with very clean, sharp edges and crisp colors in a high-polish, metallic effect. It gives a certain glamorous effect that you just can’t duplicate,” says Montgomery, even while being uniquely suited for any kind of paper, adaptable to any design aesthetic, and easily combined as an accent with other printing techniques.


Letterpress is another custom die format, but it’s slightly more affordable than foil stamping since the printer is able to use a plastic die instead of metal, which brings the cost of production down. Many couples love this style due to its soft, romantic feel—a direct contrast to the clarity of the other styles. “With letterpress, you’re stamping ink into a nice, soft cotton stock, so the ink is absorbed,” Montgomery says. This results in a bit of bleed and blur around indented edges that give it its distinctive vintage vibe.

Premium cotton paper is recommended to best show off the ink and texture of letterpress.

UV and Thermographic Printing

Next up is UV, a newer technology well suited for acrylic and thermographic printing. The effects of these heat-based methods are the same: a slight plasticine shine to raised lettering for plays on light. Montgomery’s couples love the flexibility of thermography, as it’s great for all types of paper and is available in a tremendous range of colors, including metallic hues. “If you want a metallic aesthetic but don’t want to pay for foil, this is an excellent alternative,” she suggests. “Lettering comes out crisp, but I would recommend combining this with flat printing if you want to incorporate line drawings, like an outline of the church, since fine details may become lost with the thickness of the ink.”

Flat Printing

To that point, for image-driven invitations, budget-friendly flat digital printing shines. Although this style of production doesn’t add tactile dimension, what it can offer is freedom, flexibility, and affordability. After all, the illusion of dimension can be added with visual effects by a skilled designer or with embellishments like rhinestones layered paper, wax seals, and more. This printing style can also let you play more with paper textures and finishes as well.

And don’t confuse professional flat printing with inkjet or even laser printing with non-commercial equipment. “Custom stationers print using high-quality digital presses, so as long as the image is high resolution, sharp, and clean, it will come out that way,” Montgomery assures.

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