Throughout the 10 plus years I have been working in the paper industry, I have seen the good, the bad, the ugly and unfortunately, the DIY disasters. In a new world of DIY everything, your invitations should not be one of them. Please hire a professional for this timeless piece of your marriage as your invitations will be something you treasure for many years to come. Here are my top 5 reasons to hire a professional to design or print your wedding invitations.
Thinking about printing your invitations at home or at work? My guess is your printer doesn’t provide archival inks and offset printing quantity. What does that mean? 5 years from now, you’re going to look at your wedding invitations only to discover the ink has started to fade and turn yellow or brown. Over time, the design will mostly disappear leaving you with a faded piece of paper that has also started to yellow and fade. Stick to offset printing, letterpress, thermography or letterpress and 100% cotton papers so that in years to come, you can share your invitations with your children and they will see it in the same way you intended: classic, timeless and representative of your wedding day. I still have a copy of my grandparent’s folded traditional wedding invitation – still in the same condition from almost 75 years ago.
Graphic designers and Stationers have specific software they license to create invitations and graphics. This software is extremely expensive and they are trained to use this properly. When it comes to the artwork on your invitations, a seasoned designer can properly illustrate graphics for your invitation – either from scratch or from trusted libraries of design elements. Attempting to use clipart from your word program or pulling images from the internet will not result in a good quality image. All images on the internet have been reduce in resolution so they will often appear blurry. Images needs to be at least 300 dpi in resolution to be used in graphics and printing, while all web images are only 72 dpi in resolution. If you do choose to design your own invitations, please do not take artwork from other designers’ websites and samples – this is highly unethical and unfair to these professionals.
Graphic designers and Stationers have extensive libraries of fonts available for commercial use. Their sources will far exceed the font selections available on your computer. We take time to study font trends, purchase updated versions and new scripts to make available to our clients. From choosing a classic font designed by a calligrapher or a block print that will stand the test of time, we know what will best in the design and what will not look dated after a couple of years. Chances are, if you can find fonts on a free font website, they have been in the market for quite a few years and are starting to look dated. Best to stick to classic fonts and hand-rendered lettering.
Oh, how this is SO important for your wedding invitations. Referring back to my blog post a few weeks ago, this is just the icing on the cake – there are many layers to the correct wording on wedding invitations. So many in fact, that a true professional will know all of the proper etiquette rules for your wedding invitation wording. Through their experience, resources and etiquette guides, they will provide you with the correct name order, host lines, time, date and location specifics. I cannot tell you how many wedding invitations I have seen over the years with improper wording and etiquette. A few of the most common mistakes are: 1) Using “Requesting the honour of your presence” while getting married outside of a church setting. This is reserved for a house of worship ONLY. 2) Including the Zip code in the address line, 3) Not including full spelled out names of parents and bride/groom and 4) Not spelling out the state on the envelopes – this is just to name a few! In addition to wording etiquette there are specific ways your invitation should be layered in the envelope, addressed and mailed.
The paper industry is a very broad industry – there are hundreds of paper options available to the public, trade-only and designers. We have the experience to know how designs will look on specific papers with chosen printing techniques. In most cases, the printers you have at home will not be able to support a thicker stock appropriate for wedding invitation. Paper and envelopes often get stuck in the printer leaving you with frustration and an unsuccessfully printed invitation. It is also important that all of the paper is purchased from the same company. Paper runs can vary at times leaving you with varying shades of whites or ecrus. Buying from discount sites can sometimes leave you with mismatched envelopes and paper.
Whether you work with me at EMMA J DESIGN or one of the many talented stationers available to brides like you, please let us assist you in designing a unique and timeless invitation for your wedding day.