The Expert Files {The Nitty Gritty on Wedding Invitations}


Paper, paper oh sweet sweet paper. Kind of like I have a sweet spot for full bloomed flowers, and delicate cakes, I have an equal admiration for pretty paper. Kraft paper, embossed pieces, the paper from the heavens above (also known as letterpress) I really adore it all. So for today's instalment of the Expert Files it only seemed fitting that I asked Sarah from Truly Smitten to share a little insight with all of you about everything invitations for your big day. Truly Smitten, which launched in 2007 is an all around graphic design studio that offers branding and identity design, interactive (web/blog) and print design as well as creative consultation process. But here's the best part, they carry a special torch for custom letterpressed wedding and social stationary as well as other refined paper goods and above all, have a deep love for simple and elegant designs with great typography. Sign me up please and thank you. Read on friends!


{Is it true that the invitation sets the tone for the wedding?} Very true! The invitations is essentially the very first thing the guests will get to have a peek at of what your wedding will be like. Visual presentation has a profound impression and the more unique, beautiful your invitations are, it will probably be leaving the guests itching to find out more about how your wedding will be put together. Invitations and paper goods can help your bridal branding, themes, colors and designs can be carried throughout your wedding consistently and tie it all together nicely.

{What are all the different printing options available? Letterpress, offset, embossed, diecutting; help!} I get asked this a lot and I can understand how it can be a bit confusing. But out of all of these printing methods, letterpress is hands down the most sought after and everyone knows what letterpress is; so that's an easy one :) Letterpress is a relief based printing of text and image where either movable type or a plate is n a raised surface, then inked and pressed onto paper. So the text and image indents into the paper creating a pressing" look. Because this printing involves doing things by hand that has that unique artwork feel to them - truly gorgeous. Offset printing is what is referred to as "flat" printing and is a very commonly used printing technique. This is where the inked image is transferred or "offset" from plate to a rubber blanket then to the printing surface. There are no indentations or raised lettering, it's just printed on a completely flat surface and usually used for mass printing. Embossing represents pushing the image up above the paper surface level and Debossing is pushing the image below the surface level of the paper and both are really neat effects. And Die Cutting is a process of using metal-edged blade die or laser to cut custom shapes from printed sheets to wood, or other-materials.

{How can couples infuse unique details into their invitations without being too cheesy?} First and foremost, of the couples wants to be equally involved in the wedding invitation process, they have to agree on which details they want to have on it and what not to include. I'm working with a couple right now that is going through this and they can't agree with each other. If the bride-to-be is more detail orientated and wants to include an image she wants to use, then perhaps they can compromise by having the groom-to-be choose the color he may want included. There are many details that can be incorporated without being cheesy. You can do things from their initials fused into one design that can look very modern or vintage, or one element of the invite can be more the "bride" and an other element be more "groom."

{Name your fave font, colour palette and design style?} My style tends to gravitate towards clean, simplistic with understated elegance with a classic feel to it. I do like spaces, clean lines and clean combinations of typography. I have so many favourite fonts/types but my top faves are engravers, gotham, archer, mrs eaves, bodoni classic and burgues script. As for colour palette, I'm a huge fan of yellows and grays. I think it's because those were my wedding colours! I'm really liking deep plum/fig colors with blues, orange and turquoise.

{What are ways that couples can make other pieces of their invitation really stand out? Envelopes, liners, bellybands, etc} I'm a firm believer of "less is more" - at least in terms of the design. If the design of the invitation is loud and very eye-catching, I would choose more muted envelopes with muted but patterned liners and go with a classic hand calligraphy on the envelopes. If the design of the invite is more subtle and classic, I'd probably embellish more on all the extras; go with a bold envelope, even a die cut bellyband edging, wax seals/stamps, and even put it in a box mailer - make it look like a mini gift!

{What are some ways couples can still have beautiful invitations without breaking the bank?} Just because it's not printed using a fancy method doesn't mean your invite won't be beautiful. It all boils down to good design. Hire a designer/stationer that you know you can trust and that he or she has the same aesthetic as you. It may be a challenge for a designer/stationer who's only used to designing a certain style and you ask the designer to create something completely the opposite. So find someone who's work speaks out to you in more ways than just one. Also, it really helps when a client and stationer/designer share great chemistry and are on the same page.

Check out some of Truly Smitten's stunning work:


Truly Smitten {The Blog}
Truly Smitten {On Etsy}
Truly Smitten {The Studio}

15 Lovely Comments:

jacin {lovely little details} said...

could those macaroons be any sweeter? how creative! love hearing insight and advice!

chandra ~ oh lovely day said...

The macarons are so cute and I love the "Sound of Music" one!

Tammi said...

Invitations sure have come a long way since I was married :)
Gorgeous images!!

Brooke said...

So wonderful!! I actually just emailed her :)

Sophie said...

whenever i check out your blog it seriously makes me want to be engaged and be planning for a big wedding! so much inspiration :) engagement wont be happening for a few years in the least so ill have to keep imagining it for the time being. but when i am planning a wedding ill be living on your blog. seriously! haha :) xx

la petite coquine said...

Such gorgeous work, and divine advice. And so she's got a head's up, I'm going to need some of those "Then their duet did become a trio" cards in about a decade, because they're amazing!

Aleah + Nick Valley said...

What a delightful post! Talk about creativity and sweet ideas!

Alicia@CharityWedding said...

Everything I see here is fabulous! Plus great advice!

kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer said...

Those designs are fantastic!

Tamara Nicole said...

Yodel invites?! Omg that's adorable:-) great advice and tips, and her invites are perfect!

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

I'm really looking forward to picking my wedding invitations and this was very helpful...I agree that the invite will set the tone! I think my Save-the-Date will be more fun while the invite formal! Loved some of these too!

Liesl :)

Michaela said...

I just adore invitations. To anything, really, but weddings are so fun! She's right- they set the tone immediately! The ones pictured are beautiful!

{av} | {long distance loving} said...

paper CERTAINLY sets the tone for an event--and we looked at our wedding as a complete package and branded the heck out of it ;) I can't stop smiling about those macarons. They're gorgeous! Such a great post! Happy weekend--and if you need any bloggy help, you know I'm here! I saw your post today! Much love, {av}

Nikki said...

Beautiful stationary. Love the drink me tags and the macarons!

natasha {schue love} said...

Wow...I absolutely adore all this stationary inspiration! So many neat ideas!