Printing Options for your Wedding Invitations

With so many printing options available it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Barbara Caruso from AvantGarde Design has been good enough to break it all down. From budget friendly and flexible to formal and luxurious, it’s all here!

As you start to explore the possibilities of invitations for your wedding, you will most likely come across terms or phrases that you are unfamiliar with. Among the countless decisions you will need to make regarding your invitations, one of them is how you choose to have them printed. There are many printing techniques that are available; however, we have decided to help you by narrowing down the choices to the best options for printing wedding invitations. Below you will learn more about the printing process for Digital Printing, Letterpress and Thermography. The printing technique you choose will contribute to the overall look and feel you are creating for your event.

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Digital printing is most commonly known as “flat printing.” This option offers you the most versatility at the lowest price. Files for digital printing are sent directly to the digital printer and ink is deposited flat onto the surface of the paper. Seeing that is the most technological and up-to-date process, digital printing results in a crisp, precise look with no loss in quality. You design options are virtually infinite because there are no restrictions as to what can be printed. Your color options are endless and digital printing will have the most saturated and vibrant looks of all printed methods and can be printed on a variety of paper options. You can print your invitations in small to large amounts with very minimal cost discrepancy.

An advantage to digital printing is that it allows you to be flexible within your budget to enhance your invitations by presenting them in a pocketfold, pocket card, or even matting them to many different paper stock choices or adding embellishments, which can give the luxurious feeling that letterpress and thermography offer at a lower cost. With the money you save using digital printing, you can complete your invitation suite by adding place cards, menu cards, signage, ceremony programs, thank you notes and carry out your style and design throughout your entire wedding day and after.

Printing Options for your Wedding Invitations Photo Credit: Brooke Allison Photography


Thermography is also referred to as “raised” printing and gives the appearance to engraving, but uses a completely different process. In thermography, a special powder is added to the document with it adhering to the ink printed on the paper. After removing the excess powder the printed piece is heated and the powder and ink mixture dries to form a raised effect on the paper. Each ink color needs to be applied separately, using 1-2 colors is recommended both from a design and a cost standpoint. The thermography process takes longer than digital printing, and will be more expensive than digital printing. It is recommended for larger guests list as it will be even more expensive to print in smaller quantities. Thermography gives a formal and classic solution to wedding invitations.

Printing Options for your Wedding Invitations


Letterpress printing has become the go-to printing technique for wedding invitations, greeting cards, and business cards for anyone hoping to make an impression (pun intended) on the recipient.

Letterpress is a classic style of printing, as it is striking, sophisticated and traditional. Using this method, type and art plates are rolled with matte ink and then impressed into the paper. When you run your hand over the paper, you will feel the design indented below the surface. With letterpress, it requires a heavier paper stock to withstand the pressure of the process and to allow for the indentation.

Letterpress printing is only able to print one color at a time, which means, the more colors you want, your costs will rise. Using a 1-2 color design isn’t necessarily a bad choice. It helps keep a clean and classic design, and sticking with the simplicity that letterpress invitations evoke. This printing process is the most expensive option listed here, as the process takes much time and needs to be done by someone whois well knowledgeable. Letterpress is recommended for brides with a large or unlimited budget and is intended for events that are extremely formal. It’s more cost effective to print in larger quantities, so the larger your guest list, the better value you will get if you choose this method.

Printing Options for your Wedding Invitations Photo Credit: Brooke Allison Photography


Engraving is an older process and absolutely perfect for an ultra-formal affair. The look and feel of engraving on premium paper is unrivaled in communicating attention to detail. It also has the price to match as it’s one of the most expensive printing methods.

A copper or steel plate is created and etched with your invitation wording and design. Ink is smoothed onto it while paper is fed through a machine where extreme pressure is placed on the paper, pressing down the letters and design. Engraving requires a thicker paper/cardstock as the plate needs deep indentation, flimsy paper will break apart during the engraving process.

The ink used is incredibly thick, so you can use a light color on a darker paper and it will still show up, example, is where you see white ink of black paper. With engraving, you can incorporate multiple colors, however it becomes more time-consuming and expensive, as each color requires its own plate and a separate pass on the printing press. Engraving does take longer to complete, you can add on four to six weeks for production.

Printing Options for your Wedding Invitations Photo Credit: Envelopments

I hope the above explanations help you as you make your decision on your wedding invitations. Your wedding invitations are the first look your guests have of the occasion to come, so keep in mind no matter which option you choose, AvantGarde Design will create an invitation that is exclusively and uniquely yours.

Thank you Barbara! For more information about AvantGarde Designs, visit her WeddingLovely Profile or head straight to her website?

Do you have any printing questions for Barbara? Ask away in the comments below!