Part II: Maddie Gets Crafty
With the perfect logo in place and my theme in mind, it was time to start designing the invitations. Lucky for me I LOVE designing invitations. The thing about invites is they are super challenging because they need to convey a lot of information in a small space and maintain an elegant appearance. They can also run thousands of dollars if you, like me, want to have custom invitations designed and printed with all of the typical bells and whistles. Being a designer, creating the aesthetic I wanted was not difficult, the challenge for me was figuring out how to produce all of the high end finishes I wanted while keeping costs down. After much research and trial and error, here are a few tricks I learned to make an invitation look custom and pricey:
Complexity Conveys Costly
To make an invite feel more expensive, simply add steps to the opening process. The more steps it takes to get to the information, the more impressive and exclusive the invitation will feel. To do this with my invitations I printed the information on multiple pieces and then enclosed the pieces in a small folder tied with a ribbon. Then I placed the folder inside an envelope.
Even if you aren’t a designer, you can still take a portion of your invite design into your own hands. For example, instead of paying a fortune for pre-lined envelopes, you can cut costs by buying inexpensive envelopes and lining them yourself with recycled materials. Templates for cutting liners can be found online and for the lining material you can use any paper you have on-hand including newspaper or brown paper grocery bags.
Add A Personal Touch
To make a non-custom invitation design look custom made for your big day, simply add an element to the invitation that is hand done. This can be accomplished by adding an ink stamp to the envelope or tying a ribbon around the pieces of the invite.
Be Your Own em-BOSS-er
Current trends in invite design include adding texture to the paper by using letter pressed text, thermography, and foil or spot UV coatings. While these are not typically finishes you can accomplish on your home printer, you can add an equally high-end finish by incorporating an embossed feature to your invite. Embosser tools can be purchased online for a nominal cost and you can even submit custom artwork for their design. By purchasing your own embosser, you will be able to emboss not only your invites but perhaps your place cards or menus as well.
The Key to all of These Tips: Time
High end touches such as lined envelopes and thermography printing are expensive because they take time to produce. The only way to save money and have custom finishes, is to do any labor intensive touches yourself, which also means you need to invest the time to do them. When all is said and done, you will be pleased you afforded the time because not only will you save money but your guests will be impressed with your one-of-a-kind invitations.