Envelopments: Real Answers to Real Questions
We talk with brides every day who have specific questions about creating their Envelopments invitations. These are some of the most common questions. We’ve also included a few that you may not know to ask, but really do need to know.
Q. I want to do a monogram seal to close my Envelopment Invitation. How do I print on the 2 x 2 squares?
Q. What if I want to design the layout for my pocketfold invitation, but I want EnvelopMe.com to print my invitations. Can you take my artwork?
If you have questions, call us, chat or use the contact form below (in the dark gray footer) to email us.
A. Whether you order printed invitations or you plan on doing everything yourself, a great way to save on costs is to assemble them yourself (or have an assembly party with the bridesmaids!). If you’re using a pocket fold or a portable pocket, the actual pocket itself comes assembled. By “assembly required” we mean that you must mount the printed layer and any backing layers to the base. Then, you would any enclosure cards, and seal, either with a sealing square or double-layered seal, a foil wedding sticker, a wax seal, or a ribbon. (Note: we now carry stickers/labels, wax seals and ribbons, but some are not yet on the website. If you’re looking for pricing on any of these sealing methods, just let us know and we can give you an estimate.)
To assemble, we recommend using double-stick tape to mount the layers to one another. The tape we carry comes in 36-yard rolls, and can be used with an applicator gun or alone. The tape has a backing so you can just unroll and cut to the length you need, apply to the layer, then peel off the backing and mount to the next layer. Best Method: We recommend taping all around the edges on each layer to secure it to the next layer. For centering, we’ve found it’s easiest to start with the smallest layer, tape the back and adhere to the next biggest layer, etc., until you attached the whole layered invitation section to your pocketfold or other base. Please see our “How To Assemble Your Pocket Invitations” video here.
Lightly position so you have an even border on all sides, then press down and the pressure-sensitive tape will tightly adhere to the surface below (once you’ve applied pressure, it’s fairly difficult to remove so be sure it’s right.) You will drive yourself crazy if you try to measure all the borders—just do it by sight. After a couple, you’ll get the hang of it.
If you are using a translucent overlay: The double-stick tape used for mounting the other layers will show through. Here are some solutions: 1) You can make holes in the translucent paper and the backing below and attach with a ribbon. 2) You can use glue stick or special vellum tape (available at craft stores). Test the glue stick and let dry for a few days to be sure it will hold the vellum to whatever base you’ve selected and does not show through. (Glue stick does not stick as well to metallic surfaces. ONLY use with Vellum and allow it to dry for at least a week to make sure it stays put. Often, once it dries, the stock slides apart.) 3) Use glue dots or double stick tape and cover with a self-sticking ribbon (we have these in limited colors) or use a coordinating paper tab to cover the taped part and tie a ribbon around as decoration. 4) Order the backing custom cut with “photo slits” (available under additional services), then just slide the corners of the overlay into the slits. 5) Spray Mount (by 3M) is a wonderful product. It’s a spray adhesive that leaves just a thin, invisible layer of glue on the paper. This is a great solution if you know how to use it, but not the easiest for beginners. It must be used in a professional ventilated spray booth or OUTSIDE. (Be very careful not to breath it in or it will glue your lungs shut. I am NOT kidding!) Spray Mount is available in art supply stores and some craft stores. DO NOT USE SPRAY MOUNT ON ANYTHING WITH THERMOGRAPHY OR YOUR PRINTING WILL FALL OFF THE PAGE. Please note that any chemical adhesive, such as spray mount may have a negative reaction with the paper or ink, so test on one or two pieces and allow to process for a few days before proceeding with your entire assembly project. We will not be responsible for any incompatibility between our printed products and liquid chemical adhesives should you choose to use them.
A. You don’t. You’ll need to print these on a larger sheet, then cut them out yourself or have them cut to size by a print shop. You can probably get around 12-20 to a page, depending on the size you want and how close your printer prints to the edge. We usually do them as 2 x 2 squares if using a single layer, or as 1.75 x 1.75 if you want to mount them onto a 2 x 2 backing layer. You can also do rectangular styles if you prefer, but you would need to order custom-cut backings if you’re planning to have a multi-layered seal.
A. Having them Printed: If by printing on your own, you mean that know a good printer, that’s the best route to take to do it yourself (and by printer, we mean the print shop down the street, not the printer on your desk). Different printers specialize in different styles of printing (offset, web, thermography, engraving, letterpress, foil embossing…). Most smaller print shops will have a small off-set press (flat printing) in-house and will often offer other services such as thermography as well, although many shops outsource thermography printing. If you go to a large commercial printer, they will often not be able to run a small job (under 500-1000 pieces) at a cost-effective rate as they are set up for larger print runs. Prices and services differ greatly from shop to shop, so be sure to ask what they can do for you and discuss your invitation and paper ideas before ordering. (And be sure to check out our printed invitation prices here at EnvelopMe.com—quotes are free and we’re often less expensive, plus we save you all the hassle of doing the layout and taking it to a local printer and ordering more stock when they mess it up:-)
Printing At Home: If, by printing your own invitations, you mean that you want to print them at home, here are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, consider how many invitations you need to make and what type of printer you have. If you need to make under 50 invitation ensembles, an inkjet printer will probably be fine (but do see the next question about paper selection). If you will need more invitations than 50 or so, the time and ink involved may be more costly than other options. If you have access to a laser printer, these tend to be much faster at printing, and offer a better quality imprint on many paper stocks. You might also consider going to a copy shop and having them done on a commercial color laser printer. Note that you will want to contact the copy shop ahead of time to be sure they will take your paper (some stores will not accept paper from other sources). Also keep in mind that you will probably need to order 8.5 x 11 paper, as smaller sizes often jam the commercial laser printer. Be sure the location you select has a machine cutter so they can cut your cards to size from the 8.5 x 11 sheet if they cannot print on pre-cut sizes. And remember, many of our clients find that it is less expensive to have us print than to take to a local copy shop. Request a free quote for printing here.
If you’re practicing at home, you may also want to try out your ideas on some cheap cardstock from an office supply store to see if your home printer will accept smaller sizes of heavy paper. (But don’t skimp and use this for your invitations! It might look nice to you, but you’ll see and feel the difference when you compare it to quality paper.)
Some home printers work much better with full size sheets and some work better with cut sizes. You can order your paper cut to size or at full size (8.5 x 11 to have cut down after printing) depending on what works best for the type of device you will be printing on. Commercial printers (offset, thermography, and letterpress) can print on cut sizes, down to about 3.5 x 5 or so, but when printing at home or on a commercial laser printer, many couples find that printing on full size sheets saves a lot of headaches from jammed printers. No matter where you are printing your invitations, remember to order 10%-25% extra for mistakes and printer setups, and ALWAYS discuss with your printer before ordering cut cardstock. If you are using a professional printer, ask how much extra paper they will need (it may vary by paper type and printing method). Generally, you’ll need more for traditional printing methods for setups, but not as much extra for laser printing. Plus, be sure you order approximately 25% more invitation supplies than your guest list, just in case you forgot to send one to Great Auntie-Lou or your Cousin Artie twice-removed. (Also remember, you don’t need order one invitation for every person, as couples and families with younger children will share an invitation.)
A. Yes! At EnvelopMe.com, our cardstocks are very high quality paper, so they will be appropriate for your beautiful invitation. Don’t ruin your design by using cheap paper to print on. Note, however, that some of our papers are much better suited to ink jet and some really work best with laser printers. For example, many papers with textured finishes do not hold ink well from lower-end laser printers—it tends to flake off—but they work just fine with inkjet printers. And the ink from inkjets tends to sit on top of metallic papers, but will smear as soon as you touch it…very messy! Almost all of our cardstock and papers are acceptable for offset printing, but please ask or order a sample to be sure.
A. We use a commercial graphics software to create your wedding layout, but this program is not really designed for the casual user and will you cost as much to purchase the software, if not more, than ordering printed invitations. Many couples successfully use Microsoft Word, Publisher, or even PowerPoint to do their layouts. You can even do two cards per page to save on paper. The important thing is to pay attention to the point size, spacing between the lines of text, and be sure to cut it so that the text has an even border all the way around. If you’re not sure, you can practice on plain paper before you order to see how you feel about your skills in this area and if you’re comfortable doing this on your own. (Be sure to PRINT IT OUT—don’t just look at it on screen.) Your success depends on how comfortable and proficient you are with your computer. See the “verses” link under the “toolbox” header for wording help. No matter what software you use, it is very important that you PROOFREAD everything—and better yet, have someone else proofread all your pieces before you begin printing on your invitation paper. You should always spell-check, but the spell-checker can’t tell you if you have the wrong wedding date listed. Also remember that we can do the printing and layout for you if you don’t feel comfortable or have the time to do this on your own.
A. If you are a graphic designer, we can most likely take your files. The best way to create them is in a layout program like Adobe InDesign or Adobe Illustrator. You will need to create outlines of all your fonts and output each file as a PDF or EPS with press settings for best results. (Please contact us and we can walk you through it). Creating your text files in Photoshop is not recommended as your fonts will be rasterized and the printed text will be bitmapped. Call us to discuss sizes of cards and file preparation specifics. Please do not use Photoshop for designing if you are having us print your files. See more information on designing your own invitations here.
Quark Users: Quark is also a great layout program, but we have had some importing issues with native Quark files (we use InDesign). So it’s best to export your Quark layout as a PDF or EPS file, then open in Illustrator and convert your fonts as outlines. If you want to use your own artwork, we’ll work with you to be sure your artwork is printed as you intend.
Q. What if I want to do my own layout, but I have no idea what you meant by the previous answer?
A. If you are not familiar with the terms above, then you are welcome to submit your layout ideas as a Microsoft Word document, or even hand sketch and fax them in, but we will recreate it using our fonts and software to prepare a professionally printable layout. We’re happy to see your ideas and incorporate them into your invitation’s design, but we won’t actually be able to use “your file” in printing unless it has been created in a professional layout program as specified above. If you have a graphic designer friend who has created a monogram or symbol that you would like to incorporate, please send us the original artwork (preferably in the format specified above) and we will let you know whether the file will be suitable for printing.
A. The font is an integral part of your invitation in setting the mood for the entire event. Obviously, for a very formal affair, you’ll want to select a font that is very formal. And, a more casual event would warrant a more casual font. Many couples are choosing to use a combination (generally a fancier/ “swirlier” font combined with a straight font). The most common pairing is having the body of the invitation in the straight font, and using the fancy font to highlight the names. However, the reverse works well too (just pick a fancy font that is legible if you want to have most of the text in the fancier font.) We don’t recommend mixing two fancy fonts as they will compete for the reader’s attention—plus it just doesn’t look as clean. Perhaps the easiest way to pick is just browse our list and write down all the ones you like as possibilities, then go back through your shortened list and look for those that more closely match the mood of your event, paying close attention to the capital letters used in both of your names. Also look at the way the type flows and the overall readability (especially if you will have older recipients who have a hard time reading more ornate fonts.) But do go with what you love. E-mail proofs are included with all of our printed invitations, so you’ll get to see it before it’s printed. If you really hate it, we’ll help you pick something else. (And, if there’s a font you simply must have that is not on our very extensive list, call us and we’ll discuss adding it to our library for your invitation.) Click here to see our wedding and celebration font options.
A. This depends on the size and style of the card. If you plan to insert cards into a pocket, you need to know the maximum size card the pocket will hold. For example, the 5 x 7 pocket fold holds cardstock is up to 5.125 x 7.125 for the backing/main invitation, but this size won’t fit in the pocket. In this case you would need to order the cardstock custom-cut to size or cut it down yourself. See our sizes and style chart to see pocket capacity and actual dimensions of the different enclosures.
Take the size of the border into consideration as well. (We don’t really recommend using the pocket fold or envelopment base as a border. If you’re just doing one layer, your invitation card should be sized to exactly 5.125 x 7.125 for a 5 x 7 pocket fold. Use the standard cardstock sizes in the chart to determine the correct base layer size for your invitation.) And if you want a 1/4” border, remember that you’ll need to take 1/4” off both sides, plus the top and the bottom for an even border (so you’d cut it 1/2″ smaller on each dimension). If you have multiple borders, consider using a thicker border on one layer and a thinner border on another to vary the look of the card. If you’re using a special paper or one of our patterned stocks, be sure to leave a large enough border that you can really see the paper. These are more expensive stocks, so you’ll want to show them off!
If you are planning to stack your enclosure cards, increasing the height of each consecutive card by about .75” works well for many of the pocket fold sizes. For your reply card, be sure to size it so that it can be mailed, either in an envelope or as a postcard. We generally make the response cards (with envelopes) at the 3.5 x 5 size. To be mailed at the postcard rate, cards must be between 3.5 x 5 and 4.25 x 6 to qualify for the discounted rate. Larger cards (5 x 6.25 for example) make for a nicer stack, but will increase your postage costs. When we create your custom invitations, we have some standard sizes we like to use, but we are happy to vary the size of the enclosure cards somewhat to meet your needs. If you are making your own invitations, see the recipes under our “Inspirations” tab for a good starting point for your card sizes.
A. We strongly recommend that you mail pocket fold invitations in an outer envelope. The sides of pocket folders do not seal completely, so there is a chance something could fall out. Besides, the envelope protects and preserves your elegant card as it travels to your honored guests. You can send the Envelofold-style (4 corners fold in) or pocket envelope invitations without an outer envelope, as all the sides are closed. Just be sure it is sealed well, so it doesn’t pop open. (We still prefer all enclosures mailed in an envelope, just to protect them from the grime of the post office machines.) If you like the look of your invitation without an envelope, consider using a translucent or crystal clear envelope to show off the contents while still protecting your card. (Note: Crystal clear envelopes may incur additional postage fees. Check with your post office for details.)
Also keep in mind that we can help you with printing your return addresses or guest addressing, or you can create labels (pretty ones!) that enhance the look of your invitation. We can even help you with custom postage to create the perfect stamp for your invitation.
Please contact us via e-mail, phone or chat if you have additional questions we can help you with. We have REAL, LIVE people standing by to help!