Save The Date: Letterpress & Vellum

Idea & Inspiration:

GZ deserve only the best so the pressure was on when they put their trust in me to make their Save The Dates.  The two are having a rustic, waterfront wedding in Maine (dreamy!) and after browsing through a few of my previous projects, they opted for letterpress with a vellum insert to unclutter our little 3.5″x5″ Save The Dates.


I always start with a clean design slate with every couple but I do ask that they provide inspiration projects and after a few Q&A’s and prototypes, we get to the finished design.  Typical things I ask to help get the design juices flowing:

  1. Composition of package: Number of sheets?
  2. Size/Shape: 3.5×5? 5×7? square?
  3. Wedding Color / Theme


GZ wanted something:

  • Small
  • Would not require anything more than standard postage
  • Matches their wedding colors
  • Not girly colored (one of her wedding colors is dusty rose)
  • Incorporating and image of something Maine is commonly known for
  • Subtly implying a nearshore destination wedding.

Here it is!


Wedding Invitation: Letterpress Coasters


It’s been 3 months and a day since my cousin, her husband and their parents hosted a beautiful late summer wedding.  Invitations were put in the mail 7 months ago.  And, it’s been an entire year since we decided to keep with their Save the Date Letterpress Coasters and designed letterpress coaster wedding invitations incorporating the U.S. Navy, their wedding colors, and a nod to the wedding venue  – a bird sanctuary.

All this time has passed but it still warms my heart to have had the opportunity to contribute to their wedding planning journey.  I freakin’ love these two people.


Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters Etc Part 2 – Assembly

The letterpress order is submitted, all printing items are printed, all shapes are cut.  This included addressing the envelopes (whether it be hand written, printed or affixed with a label), the accommodations card, the envelope liner and the anchor.

  1. Sit back and savor the fruits of your labor. Then contact the bride and encourage her to recruit her closest family members to a night of arts and crafts a la Penny Blossom Assembly Line.
  2. Prepare all raw materials. You should already know what it takes to complete the assembly if you made prototypes. These next steps are unique to this project but I think all paper projects follow the same principals.
  3. Complete one full assembly as a demonstration to the team.
  4. Assign one person to cut the required pieces of twine to the required length.
  5. Assign one person to glue the envelope liners.
  6. Once twine is cut, re-assign the twine cutter to tie the knot and bow around the cards.
  7. Once envelope liners are glued, re-assign the liner to stuff the envelopes.

Interesting Points:

Between me, my cousin and brother, we completed steps 1-6 for 75 save the dates and also fit in pizza for dinner in just 2 hours.





Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters Etc Part 1 – Prototype

Previous large scale projects have taught me the importance of prototyping an entire design. I made sure this project for 75 Save the Dates had iterations of design and prototype before we procured the supplies and production.

After final digital designs and several protptypes the Letterpress Coaster Save the Date Project comprised of the following:

– 5×5 kraft envelopes
– White envelope liners
– 4.75″ circles with double-sided printing
– 4″ circle double-sided letterpress coasters
– kraft paper anchor cutouts
– twine

Interesting Points:

– Weight: Thick cardstock and coasters make great statements but one thing we forget to take into consideration during design is the weight of the entire package. 80lb stock vs 120lb stock could mean a difference of $1 per mailing. At 75 mailings, you can save or spend $75 based on your paper stock choice. We took the prototype to the post office to determine if the weight was within our budget.

– Mailable Envelopes: Our visit to the post office proved to be more valuable than expected. Our earlier design was a 4×4 envelope with 3.5″ coasters which turns out to be non-mailable. 5×5″ is the minimum square-sized envelope the USPS will deliver.

– Cohesiveness: The prototyping phase gives the bride a great opportunity to see the package come to life. Yes, your wedding is really happening because we have the papers to prove it! Now that the digital design has passed the brides approval, most of the critique during this phase will be on color, font and packaging. A change in paper/envelope color, adding an image, tying the package in twine or changing the font can make all the difference. We had the challenge of having a 5×5″ envelope USPS limitation and 4″ circle being the largest coaster size. To keep the coaster from rolling around haphazardly in the envelope, we decided to tie it to another piece of paper that would include the accommodation information and a map of the wedding venue’s surrounding area.

– Proof Read: A detriment of designing into the night is the increased likelihood of making spelling mistakes. Words like ‘Accomodations’ and ‘Benajamin Franklyn’ slip through. A second set of eyes or reviewing the printed prototype after a good night sleep can nip the embarrassing error before they become 75 embarrassing errors.

– Content-driven wedding planning: There will always be pieces of information that you or the bride will include in the design but may not have 100% ready. With the blessing from the bride this kind of information can be omitted from the save the dates or placeholder text can be temporarily added for the sake of prototyping. Interestingly, even if the bride is super organized, I’ve been able to help her get a few more to-do items on her list. Examples are creating the wedding websites and securing discounted rates with the hotels.

– Double-Sided Alignment: It took several tries to get the print alignment for the 4.75″ round information page right. All I can say to this is keep trying until you succeed. Adjustments can be made in many places other than the digital file (I.e. Printers paper feeder, size of paper)



Save the Date: Letterpress Coasters

Two months ago I dreamt up the idea of wedding invitation coasters for my cousins wedding. She loved the idea so much she decided to use the same concept for her save the dates. She also wanted to incorporate a ‘tie-the-knot’ theme so off we went to for inspirations.

If you Google ‘save the date coasters’ I guarantee you will find this set of invitations and save the date coasters designed by Ross Clodfelter for Brittany Brown & William Goncharow and this save the date calender by Gwyneth Paige. For a ‘tie the knot’ inspiration our bride-to-be loved this ‘tie-the-knot’ save the date. The design challenge lied in how to incorporate the coaster and tie the knot ideas. Stay tuned for the next steps.


Baby Shower Invitation: Pooh Letterpress Part 3 – Assembly


And now for the finishing touches.  I affixed small sequins to add some depth to the invitations. Once that was done, I wrapped the registry notice to the invitation using twine from the The Twinery.  They carry a beautiful color called ‘Caribbean’ that closely matches the Tiffany blue on the print.






Interesting Points:

Affixing the sequins requires steady hands and I recommend a set a tweezers.  Because I started late in the evening, that meant I was up in the wee hours of the night affixing the sequins.  I overslept the next morning so to meet my deadline of having the invitations in the mail that day, I spent my 1 hour train commute tying the twine to the invitations.  The deadline was met with creative use of time.