El Granto & I knew we wanted nice wedding invitations. We had dreams of 5 piece letterpress, lined envelopes, cotton paper and luxury. Then we priced those out. EEEP!
So we started to do some research. In the middle of doing research The Wedding Co. announced that there would be letterpress workshops available at the Spring Wedding Show at the Drake Hotel. We jumped, and booked a workshop with Tanya @ Snap & Tumble. One hour with Tanya and her press, and we were hooked. The heavy cotton paper, the crisp text, the tactile feeling of the deep impression. Love at first sight! Check out some pics of our workshop.
So now we knew we wanted to letterpress our invites, and I immersed myself in learning about letterpress. At first I thought I would print at home using an L Letterpress kit that I picked up at a local craft store. After spending an entire afternoon trying to print, I knew that the L Letterpress plates were terrible as was the provided roller, and that under no circumstances could I ever be persuaded to print an entire invitation suite on this thing. It had one saving grace, it did do blind impressions very well. (more on that later)
So I started to hunt for a tabletop letterpress, but all I could find were wildly priced, or required tons of work. I visited Don Black’s shop, and lusted over many a machine, but none were in the budget. Finally I contacted Tanya and asked if there was any way she would let us fools come to her studio and rent PIY (print it yourself) time on her press. She agreed! YAY!
El Granto & I then designed our save the dates (2 different versions) as well as our envelopes. Our first version was a double sided with “Save the Date ” on one side, and the info on the other. El Granto also wanted to make a more gorilla marketing version for his advertising/web friends. For that version we simply put the wedding webside address in the middle of a blank card. Hopefully the recipients of that Save the Date would know enough to visit the website! We had custom polymer plates made at Boxcar Press in New York and went to Coast Paper’s Cash & Carry store in Vaughn (now called Spicers) to purchase paper. We bought our envelopes online at LetterPressPaper.com (and paid a hefty brokerage fee with UPS.) We purchased a large paper cutter from Costco, and proceeded to cut all the paper down to size. This was a big mistake. We should have had the paper custom cut. It took so much time, and the paper wasn’t perfect.
We rolled up to Tanya’s studio with all that in hand, and printed away!
At home we printed the mailing info on to each and every envelope using Illustrator and a ink jet printer. We cut, stuffed and glued (handcut) liners into the envelopes, stuffed the Save the Dates, sealed with a wax seal, stamped and then almost got the entire project shut down by the guy at the post office. He said that the wax seals were too big, and that we had to put oversize postage on all the save the dates. It wasn’t even double or triple the postage, it was over $3 an envelope. El Granto got into a war of wills with the post office guy and decided to mail them as is anyways. It was a good call on El Granto’s part as not a single envelope was returned!
It was a labor intensive task, but so worth it.
Next up the Invitations!