CREATING WEDDING INVITATIONS - WHAT TO KNOW
Beautiful wedding invitations are our specialty no matter how formal or informal the affair. When you want your guests to be excited, and to know just a little about what is in store for them, investing in an expert to guide you is key. When guests are confident about how they should arrive and what to expect—they are much more excited to join you in the festivities.
A Quest for Your Beautiful Wedding Invitation
Each custom invitation suite is it's own quest. Personal consultations, whether they are in a hotel suite as we tour cities to meet clients, in our own Bell"INVITO Lounge, or on a video chat, lead our designers to a keen understanding of what is to be created for your specific event. You don't need a wealth of knowledge in this little known field of fine custom printing to create something truly inspiring and memorable—that's what we are here for. However, it always helps to have a few tips in your pocket so that you are comfortable as you dive into a very old-world technique and process.
What to Bring
Ideas and pictures! Words, especially when describing concepts, are easily interpreted differently by two different people. Show and tell always works best. If a process can't be accomplished they way you imagine it, an expert from our department can tell quickly and help you find a beautiful solution.
How Much Will This Cost?
In a frustrating nutshell—it all depends. I'd love to make it easier for you! We can simplify the cost factors into three things that make all the difference.
Design Custom design costs significantly more than designs from a book or existing template. If artwork is pre-generated in a stationer's resources it is ready for an entry-level designer to cut-and-paste, change color, and maybe do some re-sizing. Many times this minimal personalization is complimentary with your printed order.
At Bell'INVITO, this complimentary design work is available by referencing any of our samples available in our studio or Partner Stores. We can drop in your personalized information and designs are ready for you the next day, with no extra charge.
Elements that require multiple hours of design time, and require a more expensive design professional are calligraphy (this term means words penned by hand and not just a pretty computer script), custom pen or watercolor illustrations, heavily styled fonts, freshly concepted graphic design, and some monogram styles. At an industry average of $150/hour, tailor your requests to your budget.
At Bell'INVITO, an expert is trained to assist you in getting quotes for pricing just about anything early in the process so you can keep all your dollars-in-a-row. Our rates for this kind of design are $180 per hour. It's a little higher than the industry average—but the expertise tied to getting the designs ready for vintage presses is extremely valuable. It's also why we don't accept any artwork from unvetted outside designers.
Touches Specialty printing is defined by the details and finishes that separate it from 'normal' printing. What you are used to from your home printer and online mass-printer differ greatly in quality, price, and turnaround time from specialty printing. Specialty printing is a process that requires artists to set up each aspect of your individual invitation on separate machines, and in many cases run each card through each machine by hand. How does this relate to cost? In a word—significantly. Each aspect of your card, from thickness to edge, to shape to number of colors printed, requires a separate 'touch' by a production artist. Lets take 2 cards with the same design. The first costs $10 each with a digital process on regular thick paper. The second costs $85 each with a 3-color letterpress + engraved printing combination process, extra thick paper, and a color painted on the edge. See where we are going? Ask about the processes, and if you are price-conscious, limit the number of processes to keep your costs within your budget.
The Bell'INVITO mantra is 'under one roof' for a significant reason. Our designers, pre-production, printers, and finishers are all constantly collaborating on every process. A Bell'INVITO designer knows if your requests are possible, what the actual outcome will be for that your color on your specific special paper choice, and what obstacles we might need to discuss up front so you don't have unexpected delays or surprises. It's a little like building a house. Anyone who has done it knows that you don't minimize costs by cutting corners. Our competitive pricing comes with an extra edge of expertise from daily collaborations on the highest quality printing in our industry. I think you can definiely say we're beaming with pride about that feat. And we absolutely love sharing it with our clients.
Timing We're such a fast-paced, instant-gratification society. There's nothing wrong with that—however rest assured that this expectation will cost quite a bit more when applied to any specialty printing order—anywhere. Paper is heavey and costly to ship. Speed it up, and you're adding hundreds of dollars in many cases. Add to that speeding-up a tricky, all-hand-done process, and you have costly waste. Wether it's disappointment due to the impossible, or disppointment due to a spike in price from rushing assets and paying overtime labor, a word to the wise: start eariler that you think you should. If it's already too late for that, reduce youthe number of processes and special requests to on-hand, ready to personalize papers. Often you can get something just as breathtaking by asking your stationer what is available in-house for quick turn at the onset of the project.
The Bell'INVITO studio has the fastest turnaround times we've heard of—and that's because we're all here working together. Stocked papers are on hand, as are an enormous number of inks and custom papers to add uniqueness to your personal order. We are always willing to call in the special order papers and details. In a pinch, however, we are happy to show you what we have that might get you what you want a little faster. For specialty printing (letterpress and engraving), expect 9-14 days minimum for best pricing. Adding processes (colors, embossing, die-cutting, edge painting, etc.) adds between 2-6 days per process on average to most timelines.
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