Wedding Wednesdays: Wedding Invitations & Printing Options

As a little girl, when you talked about your wedding invitations we are pretty sure the conversation did not go like this: 

“someday when I get married, my invitations will be letter pressed, no wait, embossed, wait, maybe engraved…no, no, no, foil stamped, that’s it…they will be foil stamped!”

Yet, when it comes to deciding on your wedding invitations, these are the words and choices you will come up against.  For some brides, deciding what type of invitation they want is easy. For others, style and budget are big deciding factors. One thing is certain, for all brides, this is the first impression of the wedding that their guests will see so the decision is an important one. It sets the tone for what’s to come!

To help make your decision a little easier, we have created a glossary of stationary definitions to help you sort through your stationer’s verbiage and pick the look that is right for you, your wedding and your budget. 

Letterpress: is a printing method that requires characters being impressed upon the page using special plates, typically done in a single color. Motifs or designs may be added as many letterpress machines use movable plates that must be handset. Your type or image will be indented into the paper. Using a raised surface printing plate or type, the depth of the resulting "bite" will vary depending upon the type of paper. Thicker and softer papers will carry a deeper impression than harder or thin papers.

Letterpress requires that special plates be made and each plate typically needs to be hand set, making it a fairly expensive option of printing.

{letterpress examples}

Offset: is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When the printing plate is exposed, an ink receptive coating is activated at the image area. On the press, the plate is dampened, first by water rollers, then by ink rollers. Ink adheres to the image area and water to the non-image area. Paper passes between the blanket cylinder and the image is transferred to the paper.

Offset printing is extremely popular and cost effective.

{offset examples}

Embossing: is the term used when the shape of a printed image can be seen on both the front and back surfaces of the paper. The surface of the paper is raised by pressing the paper between an engraved female die and an “accommodating” male die.

“Blind” embossing is the term used when embossing and it is not covered with ink.

{embossing examples}

Debossing: is the term used when an image such as a logo, a title, or other design is heat-pressed into the surface of the paper with a die, creating depressions or indentations rather than raised impressions as in embossing. 

{debossing examples}

Digital Printing: is a method in which an image is printed directly from the computer onto the paper. The ink sits flat on top of the paper.  This printing has no texture and a variety of color ranges can be achieved using this method.

Digital printing is extremely economical and most printers can do this type of printing. 

{digital printing examples}

Engraving is a process that requires a design to be cut into a plate made of a relatively hard material. It is a technology with a long history and requires significant skill and experience. The ink is applied to the plate where it fills the cavities. The plate is then wiped clean leaving the recessed areas full of ink.  Intense pressure is then used to transfer the image onto the paper.

The result is a design that is slightly raised above the surface of the paper. 

Engraving results in the sharpest image of all the traditional printing methods. Yet, due to the cost of the process and require expertise, many people opt for thermographic printing which produces similar results.

{engraving example}

Thermography: is a process that involves five stages but can be implemented in a low-cost manufacturing type process. The process involves printing the desired designs or text with an ink that remains wet, rather than drying on contact with the paper. The paper is then dusted with a powdered polymer that adheres to the ink. The paper is vacuumed mechanically or by hand, to remove excess powder, and then heated. The wet ink and polymer bond and dry, resulting in a raised print surface similar to the result of an embossing process.

Thermography is an affordable imitation of engraving but it should not be used with designs that require great detail. This process is also very sensitive to type of material used.  If you go this route, your best bet is to use the highest quality paper you can. 

{thermography examples} 

Foil Stamping: is the application of pigment or metallic foil to paper where a heated die is stamped onto foil. Heat and pressure bond the foil to the paper the design.  The “foils” are often gold or silver, but also come in a large variety of colors and patterns. They can be transparent or opaque and really pop with a shine.

{foil stamp examples}

Woodblock Printing: is where the wood block is prepared as a relief matrix, meaning that the printing parts are left level with the surface of the block and the non-printing parts are removed. The areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. 

This type of printing yields an old fashioned or rustic look.

{woodblock printing examples}


Wedding Wednesday: Go for the Gold!

The Olympics may be over but our love for the gold hasn't waned a bit.  After watching our fellow Americans win 46 gold medals we knew our end of summer wedding inspiration needed to be dripping in gold too. The metallic hue is so bright and inspiring.  As we look forward to Fall (did this Summer go by faster then usual?), we do so with the warmth of summer at our heels and the glint of gold in our eyes. We may not have a shiny gold metal but there are plenty of other ways for us to bring home the gold!


Wedding Wednesdays: Save Money on Your Wedding with These 7 Tips 

One of the questions that pops up in our inbox quite frequently is “How can we negotiate with our vendors to save money on our wedding and stay on budget?”

Negotiating can be stressful when you are trying to juggle all the details of a wedding but we have 7 tried and true tips that we will help you save money, stay on budget and be confident during the process.


Do your homework:

Don’t start negotiating until you have a few quotes from various vendors (within the same field: florists, photographers, etc.).  You should know exactly what competitors are offering for the same price.  This way, if your first choice has the highest quote, you can point this out to them and see if they will lower their price or throw in some extras. 


Know your budget:

It may seem obvious but knowing what you CAN spend will be helpful when bargaining. 


Get an itemized list:

Ask the vendor for an itemized list of what the quote includes.  This will allow you to see exactly where your money is going. It may even alert you to services and items being charged for that you may not need (8 types of appetizers for a 70 person wedding).  And, on the other hand, there may be items on the list that you need but didn’t know you needed (like a second shooter for a photographer to capture more moments and moments from different angles).  Understanding exactly where your money is being spent will help you feel in control and will allow you to more clearly see where you can trim expenses. 


Always ask:

Remember that most things are not set in stone and prices are almost always flexible. But if you don’t ask for a discount, then you’ll never receive one. 


Be Nice when negotiating:

As the saying goes, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar.  Being polite and phrasing your requests nicely will go a long way towards getting what you want.  It’s not always what you say but how you say it. 

Instead of saying: Your fee is a lot higher then we intended to pay for a photographer.

Try saying:  We love your work but our photography budget is $2,500. Do you have any packages in this range or is there perhaps a date when you’d consider giving us a lower rate (i.e. a Sunday)?

Instead of saying: The flowers need to be cheaper.

Try saying: Your ideas are beautiful but the quote is about $500 more than we have budgeted.  Is there a way for you to help us stay within our budget while keeping the look and feel we want?


Don’t be intimidated:

Wedding vendors have a business to run but you have a budget to stick to. If they cannot work within your budget they will tell you, after all, a vendor doesn’t want to harm their reputation by offering more than they can provide within the allotted budget.  Most professional vendors will be able to refer you to someone within your price range if they are unable to meet your needs.  


Don’t sign the contract:

Do not sign the contract until you are 100% comfortable with the wording and everything is spelled out in plain-to-read language.  Have an expert (like a detailed family member, lawyer or your wedding planner) give the contract a once over to make sure everything has been included and nothing forgotten.  If it’s not on your order/contract, then it will not show up! Only when you feel comfortable that all your needs have been put down in writing should you sign the contract.

If you follow these tips, we have no doubt you will save money and still have the wedding of your dreams. Yet, remember, getting a lower price isn’t always the only (or best) option.  Vendors will often throw in extras to sweeten the deal, like free delivery, decorating the cake with leftover flowers or an extra ½ hour of music from the band.

Happy negotiating!

Want to share a negotiating tip that saved you money?  We’d love to hear it in the comments below.  


Wedding Wednesdays: Two Weddings in ONE Week!!


This week is ALL about weddings! Tonight we had a small backyard wedding in LA (so intimate and a total success!) and tomorrow we head to Park City for a wedding weekend--rehearsal dinner, kids' activities, adult activites (hiking, biking and the great outdoors), bridal party pampering, ceremony, reception and brunch! We are in full party mode! 

Take a look at some of our favorite images of summer weddings in Park City. We can't wait to add ours to the mix when we return!  

For behind the scenes sneak peeks be sure to follow us on Twitter @









Wedding Wednesdays: August "Summer Lovin'"

Welcome to August!  We have a pretty full schedule this month filled with weddings, family vacations and keeping up with the Olympics.  Yet, even though our month is busy we are determined to squeeze every last bit of summer out of it that we can. 

Here is what's inspiring us for August:

{The interesting and theatrical Olympics Opening Ceremonies--love these 'rings of fire' from a production standpoint}

{St. Regis, Park City Utah - we are headed there next week for a wedding}

{outdoor movies at the Hollywood Cemetary - a Los Angeles summertime tradition; one of us is hosting a backyard movie night too!}

{taking full advantage of summer's delicious white peaches with this cocktail. Get the recipe here}

{The "JO" of JOWY's favorite winter and summer spot, Sun Valley, and getaway for her family! }

{grabbing our girlfriends for a final summer weekend getaway}


What will you do with your last days of summer?  Tell us in the comments below!