Stephanie Zaitz, owner of Signed & Sealed by Steph relates, “I’ve done quite a few weddings where we’re going back to the traditional ways—hand calligraphy, double envelopes.” Jenna McKinlay, owner of Fleur de Lis Custom Paperie says, “Last year I had a lot of brides wanting fun, informal invitations. This year I see more brides go back to traditional formalities, but with modern colors or modern twists.”
Roger Maynor, owner of Flourish Letterpress states, “Something that I have really noticed this past year is many more brides are loving the vintage and rustic looks in their weddings. It works really well with the techniques I use, blending antique letterpress with new age laser engraving and a variety of materials.”
Zaitz relates, “I did grey paper with white ink instead of black. On another we embossed a design in the inside. We used a tulip design of two tulips intertwined on each piece to brand the wedding.” Branding is that integral part of the process from the first piece to the final details. Consistent themes, colors and styles provide an unbroken stream conveying the mood you want to impart.
Maynor looks to many sources for inspiration. On a recent trip to East Asia he states, “I collected many new ideas just from viewing their traditional temples, fabrics and woodwork. Eventually you will see some more template designs people can choose from in this style as well.” McKinlay relates another trend toward the use of glitter. “I have created a lot of invitations this year using glitter accents, gold foil and gold confetti designs.” Zaitz would concur adding, “Glitter ink is trendy with Bat Mitzvahs; we use it on acrylic and plastic.”
On the more traditional side she adds, “I’m doing simple letterpress invites. People appreciate the heavy cotton stock. Eco-paper is obviously important as they are more eco-conscious.”
For a traditional printed invitation will it be letterpress or engraving? For a formal wedding, engraving is the most traditional and the most expensive. Text is etched onto a copper plate, inked and high-quality paper is pressed hard against the plate resulting in raised, crisp text. Letterpress involves metal letter plates pressed into a sheet of paper, providing slight variations in each invitation. This gives a vintage feel and many people like the tactile nature of letterpress. Either method provides a distinctive look.
Paper is not the only material choice, though. For her sister’s wedding, McKinlay says, “In line with her look of rustic chic, we did letterpress printing on pieces of plywood for her invitations.” Maynor’s creations include letterpress stickers on wood or bridal shower invitations printed on vintage handkerchiefs and even custom laser-engraved wine bottles. Zaitz continues to explore unusual materials adding, “Wood, acrylic, plastic and metal continue to be popular. We made plastic look like a playing card, used a grommet to join four cards that folded out like a fan. For a wedding save the date I used a roadmap of the couple’s relationship, like a trail guide detailing each stop along the way.”
Joy Lawrance is a freelance writer in Golden. She writes regularly for the Colorado Expression family of magazines.