I need ideas on how to customize my invitations. Help!
We want our invitations to reflect you and your celebration, so all of our designs are totally customizable. You can change a vertical design to horizontal, a square design to a vertical, move or resize illustrations, or base your invitation on that design's save the date or thank you card. You can change the fonts, the size of the fonts, or the ink colors. You can make a 1 color design to 2 color, or a 2 color design to 1 color. The cost of these customizations is included in our pricing. If you're looking for inspiration and want to chat about your options, give us a call or email us and we'd love to talk. For more inspiration: check out our blog, where we feature our favorite customizations. See how other clients have made our designs their own. check out the detail pages of your favorite invitation designs. Many of our designs now feature a “view our favorite variations” button, which showcases the latest customizations of that design.
(Know that it's okay to fall in love with a design as-is and want your invitations to look just like the sample too! Our clients do this all the time.)
Can I change the wording on your wedding invitation designs? Can i add additional wording?
Of course please use whatever wording you'd like! Additional text can be added to any piece at no extra cost. We're happy to add meal choices to response cards, reception information to the invitation, and so on. It's rare that we'll have difficulty fitting your text on a particular piece, but this does happen on occasion with programs, menus, and direction/hotel cards. If we're having difficulty fitting your text, we'll certainly work through options with you—editing the text down, adding an additional piece, or printing that piece double-sided, with text on both the front and the back. We're always happy to assist with wording as well! (Check out our etiquette section of this site for wording suggestions.)
Can I change the font of a design? and can i increase the font size in an invitation?
Yes! That's part of the design customizations that we love to do for you, and there is no charge for this sort of design work. All of our designs allow you to choose a different font from our Bella Font Library, increase or decrease the size of the fonts, and even change the size and positioning of illustrations too. Our font library contains 30 of our favorite letterpress typefaces, and we're certain that you'll find one or two that you'll love. If you're looking for something truly unique, we offer hand- calligraphy accents for certain lines of text that deserve additional attention (like the names of the bride and groom!). (There is an additional cost for these calligraphy accents). You'll have several different calligraphy styles to choose from. If you'd like to increase the size of a font from the sample design, let us know what percentage larger you'd like the font if you can, or feel free to send over sketches as well.
Can I see a sample in this or that size and or color combination?
Because of all the time and work that goes into letterpress printing (printing plates! ink mixing! setting up a press!), we can’t print samples in specific colors or sizes. To keep samples affordable, we can only offer them as shown on our website. Of course when you place your order, we can print then in any way that your heart desires. You might want to check out our blog to see how previous customers have reimagined our designs.
How different is 1 ply paper versus 2 ply paper?
Our 1-ply 100% cotton paper (350 gsm) is thick and lovely; the 2-ply (700 gsm) is thicker, like a lovely unbendable board (2-ply is twice as thick as the 1-ply). Please note that the 2-ply paper may increase your postage costs due to the weight and thickness - we think it's totally worth it! We include letterpress swatches of our four papers with every sample order.
Can you print on the inside cover of the program? What are my printing and binding options for programs?
We can print on the inside of program covers and on the backside of any of our flat pieces for an additional 50%. If we are printing on both sides of our 1 ply paper, please know that in order to maintain the legibility of the text we will lessen the impression on both sides to accommodate the added impression. You wouldn't want the impression from one side detracting from the impression on the other! We can print both a folded program cover and a flat program panel. The program cover will require you to print the interior pages and assemble on your own, but we can drill holes in the fold if you decide to assemble with a ribbon. The panel does not require any assembly and can be printed single or double sided (an additional 50%).
What’s the difference between a reply card and a reply postcard?
Reply cards with envelopes are a more traditional option, but reply postcards are a great eco-friendly (and budget-friendly) option to consider. Reply postcards don't require an envelope, and they are less costly to mail. Aesthetically, there are several ways to set up a reply postcard. We can design your card so that one side looks like a traditional reply card, and the other side looks like the traditional reply card envelope. Or, we can set your postcard up like a “real” postcard, with a phrase or artwork on one side, and the reply information and return address on the back.
I want an envelope liner that contains certain design elements of my invitation. Can you create a custom envelope liner like this for me?
Of course! We love taking our invitation designs and creating the perfect accompanying envelope liner - and with 300+ designs that makes for a lot of design-inspired liners! Check out our Hailey Modern design - see what we mean? There is an additional charge for creating the custom design but we think its totally worth it.
Do you offer colored papers?
We do! In addition to our Bella Letterpress Cotton envelopes (converted from a luxurious text weight version of our exclusive paper) we also have really lovely colored envelopes in versatile colors like silver, jute, and opal that are eco minded as well. We have new pocketfold colors for 2012 too - a pair of gorgeous golds that we think are super sophisticated. Metallic envelope liners are here now too - and they’ll add just the right amount of sparkle to any of our designs.
Can you letterpress or foil stamp my guests names on our place cards?
Unfortunately we’re not able to letterpress or foil stamp each guest’s name on place cards, since each card would require a unique printing plate and a separate run through the press. Many of our clients choose to have a calligrapher write their guests names by hand, and we can’t say enough about the beautiful handiwork of our Bella Figura calligraphers! It’s also possible for you or a friend with nice handwriting to hand write the names, or you can print them using an inkjet printer (some models work better than others - we are happy to send paper samples for you to try a test run).
Can I use a different ink color for a design?
Yes! You can choose any of our 50+ Bella signature inks for no additional charge. For an additional cost, we do offer custom ink colors that can match anything: Pantone numbers, fabric samples, ribbons, paint chips.
I don’t know what inks will look good together. What help can you give me in choosing colors and color combinations?
Our client coordinators and designers are well versed in the selection of ink colors, and we’d love to help you find the color combinations that work best! Just chat, email, or call, and tell us all about you and your wedding, and we can make recommendations. We also post many of our favorite customizations weekly on our blog. We hope that showcasing the creativity of our past brides will inspire you!
I’m using a lighter ink for my text (like pale gray, champagne, etc.) – but the text is really hard to read on the proof. How do I know th
We occasionally work with brides that want the contemporary look of very light colored text. Some will even blind deboss (printing without ink) the text (this adds a lot of modern drama to the invitation!). We typically don't recommend text that could be hard to read for guests— but this edgy, nontraditional look may be just what you are going for. We recommend requesting ink chips with your sample order of whatever inks you’re considering, so you can review the inks in person, to make sure you are happy with the legibility of the lighter inks.
I printed out my proof and the color looks off–the colors look lighter or darker than I expected. What’s going on?
Your color PDF proof is only a digital simulation of your letterpress invitations – on-screen color varies from monitor to monitor depending on your screen settings. Your best option, and the option we strongly recommend, is to view your letterpress colors in person through our ink chips (you can request ink chips of any of our colors when you order samples). The ink chips are a great way to see the colors you’ve selected, and you can mix and match them to come up with any color combination that your heart desires.
Can you print with no ink?
We can! Blind debossing (printing artwork without ink, or with trans white ink) is one of the cool things about letterpress printing. A blind deboss is subtle and sophisticated and just plain special.
What is the cost for adding a second color?
Any of our designs can be printed in one or two colors, depending on your style, preference, and budget. To add a second color to any of your pieces, please see our pricing information here.
What is foil stamping?
Foil stamping is also known as “foil embossing” or “hot foil stamping.” We love foil because it gives great solid coverage, and because it allows us to incorporate true metallics into our custom invitation printing. Our foil stamping gives a great impression into the paper, just like our letterpress printing does. Foil-stamped invitations can be recycled like any paper, though we bet your guests may hang onto theirs as keepsakes.
How are foil stamping and letterpress different? Which one should I choose for my invitation?
We love foil stamping. But we love letterpress, too. We eat, dream, think, and sleep letterpress. So when it comes to choosing between one or the other there are some factors that can help make the decision a little easier. Foil is shiny. Flashy. Really, really gorgeous. Perfect for a lush, sophisticated affair but maybe not for the understated, simple garden wedding. Letterpress is perfectly suited for just about anything—and that is why we can’t get enough of it. When in doubt talk to us—we’ll help you figure out the perfect invitation. We can print any of our wedding invitation designs in letterpress or foil stamping. You can choose to print your invitation in both foil and letterpress; you can print your invitations totally in foil; you can create an all letterpress wedding invitation, it’s totally up to you. Note that foil stamping is a slightly more expensive printing method than letterpress (though it’s worth it, trust us!), and the foil printing process doesn’t allow for rush turnarounds.
I’m on a budget. What can I do to keep the price down?
We're happy to talk over creative suggestions to keep down the price of your letterpress invitations without sacrificing style. Just call or email us to discuss! In brief: change a 2 color design to 1 color; use a reply postcard instead of a reply card + envelope; use a 2 color invitation but 1 color accessory pieces; downsize and use a sweet smaller card (such as a reply card size for your save the date, for instance); put your rsvp information in the lower right hand corner of the invitation (no rsvp cards or reply envelopes are necessary then!); and use a website card (the size of an escort card or reply card) to replace your accommodation & direction cards.
What are some alternatives to traditional reply cards? I’m on a budget and would like to use less pieces in my set.
While the reply card is still the most traditional option to ask for your guests’ replies, we have a few other ideas for you!
- The reply postcard is a great money saving option, since you don’t need a reply envelope. (view our reply postcards here)
- You can print your reply information in the bottom corner of your invitation, eliminating the need for a reply card. We’ve seen this idea become more popular as clients approach letterpress wedding invitations with both budget and the environment in mind. Printing your reply information in the bottom left hand corner of your invitation is an acceptable alternative that can save you money. Reply cards are a relatively modern invention, so by placing reply information on the invitation itself, you are still being traditional. See our etiquette page for wording ideas.
- You can print your reply information on the flap of your outer envelope. While this approach is less traditional, it is becoming more and more popular with contemporary brides.
How far ahead of time should I order my invitations? And when should I mail my invitations out?
Invitations are generally sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. Our standard turnaround totals about 3-4 weeks (3 days for the design, and once the design is approved, it takes us 10 business days to do the printing). Designs featuring hand calligraphy will take 3 additional days in design. We recommend ordering your invitations from us as soon as all your information (time, date, location, etc.) is firm and complete. In an ideal world, you would place your order with us 3-6 months before your wedding date, but we always do our best to work with our clients’ turnaround needs.
Do you offer rush turnarounds?
We totally sympathize with your need to receive your invitations as soon as possible! Our rush service allows us to ship five business days from final proof approval for a 50% upcharge. Please call to confirm availability of rush turnaround before placing your rush order, but know that we do our darndest to accommodate our clients’ turnaround needs.
I’m inviting 98 couples/families. How many invitations and envelopes should I order?
Keep in mind guest lists have a way of mysteriously expanding. So the decision of how many extras to order really depends, in part, on you and how certain you are of your guest list! If you're pretty certain that your guest list is set, we recommend ordering an extra 15 invitations. If you're inviting 98 couples/families/individuals, you should order 98+15 = 113! Unlike other invitation companies, we don't force you to order in quantities of 10 or 25, so you can order whatever odd number that you need. Remember that ordering additional quantities now is much less expensive than having us reprint 10 more invitation sets closer to the wedding date. And remember to order based on the number of families or couples that you're inviting - not the number of actual people invited to your wedding!
Also, keep in mind calligraphers often need additional envelopes. Even if you're hand-addressing your invitations yourself, you may want extra envelopes for your own peace of mind. With your order, we include an extra 10% addressable envelopes (and inner envelopes if you order them). You can order extra envelopes on top of this if you need them.
Do I need to send out Save the Dates for my wedding? And when do I send them out?
Save the dates are sent out 6-12 months before the wedding. They're especially useful if you're planning a destination wedding; if you're inviting many out of town guests who will need to travel; or if your guests are simply very busy people whose weekends get booked up months in advance. Save the dates can look just like your wedding invitation; they can hint at the wedding invitation style to come; or you can choose a totally different design. They are often less formal too, meaning you can be as adventurous and playful as you want on the color and design—whatever reflects you and your excitement for your wedding. We've designed save the dates as postcards; as panel invitations; or as more elaborate sets with pocketfolds and additional pieces, such as a welcome letter from the bride and groom, a schedule of events, and hotel/travel information.
Can I see a letterpress printed proof of my design?
While we don't offer letterpress proofs of your order, we will email you a color PDF to review, which contains all the pieces in your set. You'll also receive three free rounds of changes to the proofs, to make sure your design is absolutely to your liking before we go to press. All of our clients have found our electronic proofs to be totally adequate in showing what their design would look like on press. We do suggest, however, that you purchase samples of the design that you love—so you can see our paper, see the design in print, and also see what our inks look letterpress printed (with your samples, you'll receive ink books that showcase all of our Bella inks, letterpress printed). If you have specific concerns about the design and letterpress process, give us a call or email us and we would love to talk.
Am I charged sales tax?
We charge 9% sales tax only on orders shipped to a New York state address. Shipments to addresses outside of New York state are not charged sales tax.
Do you offer any discounts or promotions?
We do! See all of our promotions.
How do I place an order?
There are 3 ways in which to place your order:
Visit one of our lovely dealers.
Order online via our website. You can create a quote based on your desired quantities, ink colors, etc. You can then proceed to order. Through the process you will be asked for your credit card information and text. You will be billed the 50% non-refundable deposit within one business day of submitting your order.
Fill out the PDF order form and email or fax that into us. Once we receive your completed order form we will put together a contract and send you a request for your text. Once we receive the approved contract (by fax or email), your text (attached as a word document or in the body of an email), and a 50% non-refundable deposit you will move on to design.
I received an invitation sample, but how do I know what the other pieces look like? I’d like to see the menu, coasters, save the date, etc.
Because we have 300+ designs, we only print the invitation and reply card for our samples. But each of our invitation designs has a full wedding suite of pieces—save the dates, wedding thank you notes, menus, place cards, coasters, postage stamps, and more. To see a design’s full wedding suite online, go to that design&rquo;s web page. You can also browse through our various galleries to see all 300+ designs in a particular piece—check out the save the date gallery, for instance, or our reception card gallery. If you want to see all the various pieces we offer in person, we do offer a full wedding suite sample of our Traditional Script design, featuring both letterpress printed and foil stamped pieces—you can purchase this sample suite on our website.
How do I know when my order is shipping?
Once you have approved your final proof, we will be in touch with you via email to confirm your shipping address and let you know the date your set will ship. If you have any special requirements (shipping to an alternative address, requests for Saturday delivery (additional fees apply), or requiring that your package be signed for) this is the time to make those arrangements!
Do you ship internationally?
We do! Wherever you live in the world, and whatever language you speak—we would love to create your letterpress wedding invitations. We’ve designed and letterpressed invitations in an endless array of languages, including Hebrew, Vietnamese, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, French, and German (in calligraphy!). If living outside the U.S., we can take care of all details via email, though you’re welcome to call us as well of course. You’ll receive our attentive care and enthusiastic love throughout the invitation design process. We offer free ground shipping of invitations to Canada. View our shipping information for other countries here. If you’re an international customer, please know that you will be responsible for all import duties and taxes. We would be happy to provide an estimate of your landed cost (including duties) upon request. View some of our bilingual and international invitation designs here.
Are there extra fees to ship internationally?
We offer free ground shipping of invitations to Canada. View our shipping information for other countries here. If you’re an international customer, please know that you will be responsible for all import duties and taxes. We would be happy to provide an estimate of your landed cost (including duties) upon request.
How do I word my invitation?
We’ve been coordinating and printing wedding invitations for years and years now, and we love to offer our wording expertise to our clients. If you're stumped on how to handle a delicate situation with parent names on the invitation, or if you're wondering do you really need to include your middle name on the invite, we can help. Also check out the etiquette section of our web site for wording suggestions that covers all sorts of situations and all sorts of pieces, including invitation wording, reply card wording, reception card wording, and more.
How should I establish my reply by date? What is traditional?
Typically the reply date is 2-4 weeks prior to the wedding, but this may vary depending on your caterers and venue. Check with your caterers/venue just to make sure!
Many of my guests have titles that do not start with “m,” such as “Dr. Johnson”. What are some alternatives that i can use on
You can omit the “M” and just use a simple line, or you can leave the card blank in the hopes of receiving a personal message from your guests. Just for your own peace of mind: guests with titles that do not start with “M” can still work with a reply card that features an M line. It's perfectly appropriate etiquette-wise for them to simply draw a slash through the “M” and write out “Doctor” or whatever their title might be.
Should I use an inner envelope?
More traditional and formal invitations tend to use an inner and outer envelope. On the inner envelope, you'd write the name of the person or persons invited, such as ”Ms. Keats and guest.“ More modern invitations—or couples looking for something more streamlined—often forgo the inner envelope (though in some regions of the country (i.e. the South), an inner envelope still seems to be a “must”). In most cases, it really depends on what you and your family prefer. Our rectangular Bella envelopes, which we custom made just for us, have beautifully snug inner and outer envelopes. Our modern square sizes do not offer inner and outer envelopes yet.
If lining your envelopes, we do recommend using an inner and outer envelope combination. If you only use an outer envelope, and that envelope is lined, guests will tend to tear that envelope open and miss the perfect burst of color that an envelope lining gives a set.
How should I assemble my invitation set?
- First invite some friends over, put on some music, and have fun! This is a momentous occasion—an official milestone on your way to your actual wedding! Secondly—you can use this traditional way to put a wedding invitation set into an envelope.
- Invitation is on the bottom of the stack, text side up
- All other pieces should be arranged by size, smallest on top. Slip the reply card under the flap of the reply card envelope (which should have a postage stamp on it of course!).
- Insert everything into the envelope, text side up. The right-hand side of the invitation should be closest to the envelope flap.
- Slip the inner envelope (if using one) into the outer envelope. When guests open the outer envelope, they should see their name written on the inner envelope.
Is there anything I can do to make sure that my invitations reach my guests in pristine shape?
Here are some tips on how to ensure that your guests receive your invitations in pristine shape.
- Request that your invitations be hand-canceled at your local post office. That will save a lot of wear and tear on your outer envelopes.
- Make sure to weigh your invitation to make sure you've put adequate postage on each envelope!
- Because our Bella envelopes are smooth and lightly textured, applying a light layer of moisture to the adhesive will be enough to seal them. But remember to check each invitation before you mail it to make sure the flap is securely sealed.
What does an average invitation set weigh?
When quoting your wedding invitations on our web site, we'll tell you the approximate weight of your invitations set! (please note that square sizes and the F-8 size require additional postage because of their size). But before purchasing postage, just to be sure, we recommend taking your final set to your local post office and asking them to determine the correct stamps(s) based on the dimensions, weight, and thickness of your finished set (or check out www.usps.gov for specifics).
Are you able to print my guests addresses on the envelopes?
Unfortunately with letterpress and foil stamping it’s not really feasible to print each of your guests names and addresses individually, since each envelope would require a unique printing plate and a separate run through the press (this would be VERY expensive!). Many of our clients will choose to have a calligrapher address their envelopes by hand, and we can’t say enough about the beautiful handiwork of our Bella Figura calligraphers. It’s possible to print the addresses yourself using adhesive address labels or by running the envelopes through an inkjet printer (some models work better than others—we are happy to send envelope samples for you to try a test run).
Can I get postage stamps that coordinate with my invitations?
Yes you can! We offer postage stamp designs to coordinate with our invitation suites—we’ll supply ready to go files that you’ll submit to a postage website like Zazzle.com. Custom postage stamps are available to order in select U.S. postage denominations. Ink colors and other design elements are customizable on all of our stamp designs. Read more about how our custom postage stamps work.