6 ways to keep your letterpress suite on budget

We know. You know. Letterpress ain't cheap. But there are ways to make it more affordable. We're all about showing you how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to your dream invitation suite. That's why we created this quick guide for you! (and because we get this question a lot from our brides!)

 

Here are 6 tips to help get cost down, without skimping on what's really important to you.

 
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1. Skip the extras

You know how sometimes you get a wedding invitation and there are 14 pieces that fall out? Cards, bands, additional envelopes... a lot of that stuff is totally unnecessary. Sure, they're fun to look at before they get tossed in the trash, but your guests really only save the invitations. Sticking to the essentials keeps your suite pieces to a minimum and allows your few pieces be more impactful.

 

Our Essentials Are:

  • Save-the-date
    THE INVITATION SUITE
  • Invitation
  • Reply Card
  • Reception Card
  • Thank you note
  • Envelopes (save the date, invitation, reply card, thank you note)
  • Return Address

 

But you can really get by with:

  • Save-the-dates and Envelopes
  • Invitations and Envelopes
  • Reply Cards
  • Thank Yous and Envelopes

2. Keep it to one color

Remember, even if we just print one color,  your invitation has 2 colors - the paper color and the ink color! Adding more than one print color can be nice, but it isn't necessary, and it is one of biggest ways to reduce cost.

Each color adds a new plate and adds another run through the press. Going from one color to two doubles printing production time, so you can see how the cost can add up quickly. 

If you are sold on a two-color design but want to cut cost, keep the two colors on the invitation, but simplify to one color on the other pieces. Or try using different colored papers.

 

Your guest will never remember your reply card was one color but your invite was two!


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3. Use a rubber stamp

If your up for a little DIY, a rubber stamp is a great way to save. 

Getting a custom rubber stamp made is a great way to add your return address to all of those envelopes (because trust us - there are a lot of them).

 

save-the-dates | invitations | reply cards | thank you notes x your number of guest


4. Choose the right stock

 

Stock is just our word for paper..

So don't let that intimidate you. So many brides worry about picking their paper, but we make that process as easy as possible.

We only use premium stocks, so even our thinnest stock (1 ply) has more texture and is thicker than your average stock. 

We offer 1 ply and 2 ply stocks for our wedding suites. Choosing 1 ply stock for your wedding suite will stretch your dollar the most. 

If you're really loving the thicker feel use it for your invitation, and then keep your details and reply cards on the thinner paper.
 


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5. Save on postage

 

#POSTCARDS

We are totally crushing over some beautiful postcards lately, and we think it is such a fun way to send out your reply card. Bonus it saves you money in envelopes and postage! Which makes it much more environmentally friendly.

The reply card is a great place to save some money - they're only in your guest's hands for a short period of time before they mail them back to you.

 

TIP: We don't recommend save-the-date postcards however because they get damaged in the mail, and won't look as nice on arrival to your guest!!


6. Include your website

 

Whoever says putting your URL on your invitation is taboo is living in another century. Everyone uses wedding websites for all the info from booking rooms to buying gifts. Including your wedding website URL somewhere in your invitation suite can be a great way to streamline the info you need to print. Which may may mean you can print less cards, or smaller cards, saving you money.


We hope you learned a few ways to make your letterpress printed wedding suite more affordable. If you found this blog helpful let us know what tips you liked most in the comments below.

Our Holiday Cards- Twenty Eighteen

Everyone loves seeing what goes on during production here at the studio. So for this blog post we are giving you a sneak peak into our process as we make our 2017 New Years card!

A behinds the scenes of our 2018 New Year's card!

2018 Letterpress Printed New Year's Card

 

You probably know this by now, but we have a thing for letterpress (e.g. Wedding Invitations & Suites, Envelopes, Greeting Cards, Stationery). It is an obsession.

We’ve even shared a little about our letterpress process before! But when we have the opportunity to make something for ourselves, we couldn’t help but share our most recent letterpress obsession: OUR NEW YEAR'S CARD!

 

Custom Letterpress Printed Card

 

Our New Year's card is something we both get so excited to design and produce during the holiday season! In the beginning, we always start in one direction and land in a different world it seems. 

During our process of designing and working through several ideas, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to collaborate with one our friends and a local designer and artist, Reed Knauth. (Check her out more of her work here) Knowing we wanted something soft yet playful she went to work creating us some beautiful watercolor art. 

 

Check out more of Reed's wonderful work here:

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Stack of letterpress printed + flat printed cards. 

 

Deciding the details

After narrowing down to our favorite watercolor image (don't worry you will see our other favorites soon!), we began to set different lockups of typography and exploring different accessories. 

We have been really loving grommeted tags, wax seals, and diagonally tied string this month, but next month is sure to bring new favorites. 

 

Vandercook letterpress printer with polymer plate. Holiday Card printing. 

 

Once the invite is fully designed we send all things to be flat printed to the printer, and all designs to be letterpress printed off to get plates made. 

We duplexed the flat printed piece, so that every invite would be thicker, and feel a little nicer on every hand that it touched. 

 

ON THE PRESS

We letterpress printed all of the tags on our Vandercook press, cut them all down to size, and then the invite was ready for assembly.

 

Letterpress printed tags & ink.

 

PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER

During this time of year, we love putting on a sappy holiday movie as we assemble our holiday cards, enjoy the season, and spend time crafting something we have put so much time and thought into! 

 

Letterpress Printed New Year's Cards with grommeted tag. 

 

We will be sending out our New Years card soon, and hope you enjoy having one in your hand as much as we enjoy making them! Want to be on our mailing list for next year's card? Join our mailing list at the bottom!

xoxo,
Amanda & Melissa

 

5 ways to tag your invite

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We love adding something a little special to every wedding invitation suite that is created in our studio. One of our favorite ways to add that "something special" is by adding a tag to an suite piece. Adding that simple element takes the whole suite to a new level of detail. 

 

5 ways we love adding tags

 

1. mark it with your date

A great way to remind all of your guests to mark their calendars is to attach a tag with your wedding date. It is simple and fun. 

 

2. add your monogram

If you are already wanting a monogram on your invitation, this may not be the way to go, but if your not, it's your lucky day. Adding your monogram can be a great way to add that extra detail.

 

3. hashtag it

We love couples who include this detail on their tags! It is a great way to incorporate that you want your guest to help record your day without printing in on the invite or on a details card. 

 

4. show your wedding location

Some weddings are a hop and skip away for their guest, and some are a bit further away. In either scenario, a tag letting your guest know where to join you is a great way to mark your invite. Our personal favorites are with coordinate degrees or by state. 

 

5. say something special

A quote is a great way to set the mood for your wedding. It is a sneak peek into your personalities, and a fun way to greet your guest as they dive into your suite. 


There are so many other ways to tag your invite, but hopefully, we introduced you to a new idea and a way to add a little something special to your suite. 

We have included a little something special for all of our readers. Click the link below to download your free printable gift tags. 

 
 

A Tour of Our Studio

Before we jump into the lovely images of our studio, here is a quick intro.

 

Here's our timeline:

2008 | alee & press was founded in Midtown Atlanta
2009 | alee & press moved to a new location in Chandler Park
2012 | alee & press moved to its current location in Brookhaven
2016 | the impressionist was founded and launched under the same roof as alee & press

The impressionist is a paper + invitation studio that specializes creating custom letterpress wedding invitation suites. Meeting with brides in person at our location inside alee & press allows us to really get to know their vision. And also, we get to show off the presses!

 

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR SPACE: 

A quick peek inside the letterpress production room of Alee & Press.

A quick peek inside the letterpress production room of Alee & Press.


Now let's jump into the pretty paper and our presses!


Alee & Press | where all of our printing and production work happens.
 

OUR TWO PRESSES ARE: 

Vandy | Vandercook Proofing Press
   (SP-15 for anyone out there would like that tidbit of information)
Herman | an original Heidelberg

 

VANDY IS OUR BREAD & BUTTER. We print daily on this guy, and the majority of our projects through The Impressionist are printed here. 

VANDY IS OUR BREAD & BUTTER.

We print daily on this guy, and the majority of our projects through The Impressionist are printed here. 

HERMAN IS OUR BEST MAN.  He is our go-to for our larger runs, and where most of our larger wholesale orders through Alee & Press are printed.

HERMAN IS OUR BEST MAN. 

He is our go-to for our larger runs, and where most of our larger wholesale orders through Alee & Press are printed.


Our production table rarely looks like the image above though! It's typically filled with paper waiting to be pressed, orders that are ready to be cut down to size, invitations ready to be shipped, and boxed orders ready for delivery.

 

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Mixing Colors

All our colors are custom mixed ink to match Pantone colors, and it is a pretty mesmerizing process. 

If you want to catch some videos follow us Instagram and check out our stories.
~link here~

 

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The Impressionist | our paper studio

This is the space where all of our consultations, brainstorming, and the start of every suite begins.  

Check out one of our recent blog posts here to see how we go from meeting brides to creating custom suites for their weddings.

~A Suite Story of Adventure~

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Our Archive Wall

On our archive wall, we have a few of our favorite pieces displayed so our brides can browse for inspiration, or just to give us a feel for what they are drawn to.

 

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We hope this brief tour has given you a small glimpse inside the studio, and the environment. 

We always joke that the only thing formal here is our invitations. We keep all of our consultations relaxed and informative. Ensuring that each bride gets the suite they have been dreaming of, even if they didn't quite have a vision when we first met.

We always joke that the only thing formal here is our invitations.
 

How to find your wedding inspo

First of all, stop looking at other weddings!

No, really! Hear us out: Searching for wedding inspo in today's world means scrolling down the rabbit hole of other people's pinterest boards and wedding blogs, right?  But THEIR wedding is not YOUR wedding!

Your wedding day should be unique to you as a couple, which is why we beg of you: PLEASE, stop sending us to someone's else's Pinterest wedding board and instead, let us help you find your own wedding vibe.

Look for inspiration in other avenues - textiles, seasons, locations, and even other events. That way you won't end up with a knockoff of someone else's wedding.

So here we go...

 

5 ways and reasons to find inspiration without looking at other weddings.


1. Use good keywords

Using keywords that resonate with your style will make your search much more fruitful.

Here are a few ideas for keywords:
- minimalist
- modern
- simple
- elegant
- bohemian 

The KEY here is to find your own keywords :) Don't just use these!

Mix and match your keywords with anything wedding related ("bohemian + flowers" or "minimalist + table settings").

Hot tip: do an image search to get a whole bunch of visuals quickly.


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2. Look at other events for inspiration

There are many different kinds of stunning events - weddings are just one. That means, by narrowing your search only to weddings, you're missing out on so much possible inspo!

A few of our favorites when on the hunt for inspiration are:

  • Birthday parties: even children's birthday parties can be packed full of inspiration
  • Seasonal based events: Bonfires, thanksgiving, harvest festivals (just to name a few for fall)
  • Location specific events: having an outdoor wedding? pair a keyword + outdoor events and you have a whole new page of inspiration.

3. Find color palette inspiration in artwork & textiles

This has to be one of our favorite secrets to developing a killer color palette. Artists know their color palettes, and their artwork is a great way to find unique and beautiful palettes. 

Don't be afraid to get a little specific here either! 
And pay attention to artwork and textiles you are drawn to.


*WARNING*

Searching color palettes takes new keywords. Such as:

  • muted
  • rich
  • pastel
  • nude
     

Search Examples: muted textiles | minimal nude color palette
*if you have a specific color in mind do a little research on more names for it, and then search them.

*our biggest tip here is really avoiding the typical picture with 5 blocks of color underneath them. These are typically not very sophisticated palettes. 


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4. Search your season

Anytime we am digging for some inspiration, seasons are one of my go-to places! 

Go beyond "fall", but rather think about the things during that season you could draw inspiration.

Here are a *few* examples for Fall:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Fall Leaves
  • Pumpkin
  • Gathering

Searches Examples: Modern Fall Event Decor | Modern Thanksgiving


5. Paper inspiration

We know we are a little biased here, but to us, paper is a HUGE deal.

We were on the search for some new inspiration for our wholesale album for Alee & Press, launching soon (check it out, it's gonna be great!), and needed some fresh new vibes before the work could flow out of us.

We didn't want "wedding" or "letterpress" inspiration but rather wanted other influences to show up on our work. 

Cue mad full-out search for all resources! 

We won't give away all of our secrets here, but our search words included some of the following: 

  • typography
  • layout
  • publication
  • branding

Thanks for sticking in there with us...

STOP SEARCHING "WEDDING"

It is not about finding all of your inspiration outside of weddings, but rather finding it in ways others aren't. 

By searching keywords that represent you the most you will discover more meaningful inspiration. 

Even if your inspiration doesn't paint the whole picture. Your professionals are there to help your inspiration become your wedding reality.
 

YOU DESERVE A DAY UNIQUE TO YOU

When you search wedding anything, you are looking at the exact same inspiration as thousands of other brides. That's all well and good, but we believe you deserve a day more special than that. 

Sure there are hundreds of thousands of weddings a year, but this is your one big day, look for inspiration others aren't.