Are letterpress invitations worth it? That’s the question we’re answering for bride-to-be, Kendall. She writes us with a question about letterpress invitations and wonders if the extra cost is beneficial for her stationery. She asks,
“Hi Emmaline Bride, I’m shopping for my wedding invitations and I’m interested in letterpress. I have always loved letterpress, but I’ve noticed they cost more than regular invitations. I guess my question is, are letterpress invitations worth it?”
Are letterpress invitations worth it?
Hey, Kendall — great question. First of all, I adore letterpress printing as much as you do. I always take notice when couples go the extra mile and choose letterpress invitations vs. regular printed ones. But that’s probably because I am obsessed with the details. ;) Without knowing more about your budget, it’s hard to tell you whether or not letterpress invitations are worth the extra cost for you, simply because I don’t know how much you’ve allocated for your invitations.
However, there is a good reason why letterpress can sometimes be more expensive. Letterpress costs more because it is an entirely hands-on process. It requires additional time and detail to get the printing just right. Since it is an entirely custom and hands-on process, the cost is sometimes higher; however, the result is also better quality and a more customized look and feel of your invitations.
What is letterpress invitation?
First things first: what is a letterpress invitation?
Letterpress is a method of printing — the oldest method of printing to date. It is a type of relief printing where text and elements are on a lifted surface (similar to a metal plate); ink is applied, paper is pressed against the metal plate directly, and it makes an impression into the paper which you can feel with your hands.
If you’ve ever felt an invitation or save the date with a raised texture on the printing, that’s letterpress! Here’s an example, close-up:
When you order pressed invites, you’re getting hand-printed stationery with each piece gets checked individually to ensure it is the most luxurious quality.
Is it worth the cost? Yes! If you want the most luxurious invitations available and like the style, it is worth it. But it has to do most with your own budget.
Luckily, it’s not like you need to choose between serving food at your wedding or letterpress invites. Ha! It’s not as expensive as many people think vs. traditional stationery.
How much do letterpress invitations cost?
How much are letterpress wedding invitations? The price varies by printer, the number of colors you use, and the type of paper you choose.
For one example, Minted — which offers the best letterpress wedding invitations, in my opinion — offers pricing as follows:
• 100 invitations: $485 (in a one-color design) or $4.85 each
• 145 invitations: $673 (one-color design) or $4.62 each
If you wish to add a second color, it is an additional $90 for 100 invitations.
This is reasonable pricing for the cost of letterpress, as I’ve seen it upwards of $1000+ for 100 invitations from other retailers. That’s a huge savings without sacrificing quality.
You can add up to three colors for letterpress invitations. Note: Each color requires a separate plate per ink, so you’ll pay more if you add more than one color ink to your order.
How to Save Money on Letterpress Wedding Invitations
If the cost of letterpress printing is too high for your budget, there are a few ways you can get the look without the price tag.
Here are some ways to save money on your invitations and still achieve the letterpress printing quality you crave.
1. One Color Ink
To save roughly $90 per 100 invitations, you can opt for single-ink printing.
2. Standard RSVP Cards
If you need to cut costs, you can choose standard printed RSVP cards instead of paying more for the letterpress RSVPs to match the invites. That’s perfectly acceptable to do! You can choose a simple style here to coordinate with your invitation card and only pay for standard printing.
3. Skip RSVP Cards Entirely
Whaaaaattt? Yes, this is an option and many couples don’t even know they can do this. One clever way to save money on letterpress invites — or any invitation for that matter — is to skip physical RSVP cards completely.
Instead, order enclosure cards like these:
On the cards, include your wedding website address (don’t have one? get one free here) and instruct guests to submit their RSVP online.
Another option: get a QR code here and make QR code rsvp cards or use QR code stickers.
Then, guests simply scan the code and enter their RSVP and meal choice online via your website. It’s so much easier — and more cost-effective! — digitally!
(Read: How to Make QR Code RSVP Cards for greater clarity on this topic.)
This will save money by eliminating the RSVP card, the RSVP envelope, and the return postage stamp. Brilliant!
4. Letterpress Save the Dates
If you adore the style but cannot commit to a full invitation suite, go with letterpress save-the-date cards. You don’t need to send as many save-the-date cards as invitations, which costs less money.
Letterpress save the date cards cost approximately:
• $221 for 100 cards (or $2.21 each) in a 5″ x 7″ size,
Or for a photo card:
• $293 for 100 cards (or $2.93 each)
Letterpress Invitations for Weddings
If you’re wondering what letterpress invitations look like, here are some examples we spotted at Minted.
Borrow elements from nature in your design, like this card:
Prefer greenery? This is a gorgeous design!
This is a fun storybook-themed invitation:
Planning a wedding in the mountains? Breathe fresh air into your invites with this themed invitation.
This printing style can make your wedding date big and bold, like this unique example:
Letterpress Wedding Invitations with RSVP
Similarly to regular cards, your letterpress invites include an RSVP card for guests to respond if they can attend your wedding.
If you are choosing this printing style for your invitations, you should also match the printing style with letterpress RSVP cards. Here are a few examples of letterpress wedding invitations with RSVP cards for a complete suite.
Do I need extra postage to mail letterpress wedding invitations?
Generally, the printing effect doesn’t increase the weight of the invitation card, so you likely will not need to add additional postage to mail letterpress wedding invitations.
However, if you choose square letterpress invites you may incur additional postage charges. Why? As a rule of thumb, square invitations require more postage due to their unique shape. This is not exclusive to letterpress invites but applies to any invitation you choose.
PRO TIP: For both instances, bring one example of an assembled invitation to your post office and ask them to price it for you exactly so you do not apply insufficient postage to your invites.
Can letterpress printing include a photo?
Yes, you can include a photo on your wedding invitations! Letterpress printing is able to include your favorite photo, depending on which invitation template you select. Here are a few examples of letterpress invites with photos that look beautiful.
This style is another option if you wish to include a picture on your invitations. This is a great way to utilize your engagement photos!
Or this climbing vines invitation… so pretty!
How early should I order letterpress invites?
The printing takes longer than traditional invitations, so you will want to order your letterpress wedding invitations online 4 to 5 months before the wedding date. This will also give you plenty of time to assemble them, add postage, and mail them.
If you choose letterpress invites online from Minted, your envelopes will arrive pre-addressed for free, which is pretty much the coolest freebie ever. That saves so much time!
To explore more about what letterpress is, how it is used, and shop letterpress invites here!
So… is letterpress worth it? The quality of printing is conducive to the cost, so letterpress is more expensive than standard invitations. Whether or not the cost is worth it depends entirely on your wedding vision and your budget. If you like the style and your budget allows it, I say go for it!
If you’re unsure, you can order a free letterpress invite sample here (find the design you like and click ‘get a free sample‘ underneath it), see the quality for yourself in hand, and make the best decision for you.