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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dreamy Hello Lucky Invitations

In the beginning of wedding planning I only knew invitations to look like this:

{very traditional invites}

Both of my sisters chose the same style with only slight differences in wording (as in replace one couple's name with the other). While boring, I thought this was what everyone did for their invitations. How do you stand out from all the other weddings? It's all about the details. My one sister in particular was very picky about the fonts, border, color, and every little detail you can possibly find in traditional invitations (which doesn't look like much).

Then I stepped into the online world of wedding planning, which totally opened my eyes up to creative DIY invites (people actually make their own.. wow) and something called letterpress. At first I just thought letterpress stood for pure awesome invites that attracted the eye with stunning colors and textures. It was nothing like those invitations of my past. I was immediately drawn.

Blue Dahlia Bridal Shower Invites from ilee papergoods

What is letterpress exactly? Here's the break down via my trusty Wikipedia source:
  • relief printing of text and image using a press with a "type-high bed" printing press and movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a sheet of paper to obtain a positive right-reading image
  • normal form of printing text in the West from its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century until the 19th century, and remained in wide use for books and other uses until the second half of the 20th century
  • small amount of high-quality art and hobby letterpress printing remains
  • fine letterpress work is crisper than offset litho because of its impression into the paper, giving greater visual definition to the type and artwork
  • many of these small letterpress shops survive by printing fine editions of books or by printing upscale invitations and stationery, often using presses that require the press operator to feed paper one sheet at a time by hand
  • most letterpress equipment prints only one color at a time
  • classic feel and finish of letterpress papers takes printing back to an era of quality and craftsmanship that is not often found in other printing methods today
  • recently undergone a revival in the USA, Canada and the UK, under the general banner of the 'Small Press Movement'
Take a look at the letterpress making process with Pistachio Press on Etsy

I clicked on a few links and soon realized that letterpress would never ever be in my budget =(. At around $25 per invite for the premium stuff, it costs more than I'm willing to spend on a single piece of clothing. It costs more than a dinner for two. My letterpress dreams were crushed. I did find that there were other options for around $10 an invitation, but that is still way too much. I can't even afford to buy a letterpress wedding invitation sample. They run for $5-$10 a pop.. ouch. I just have to admire the pretty invites from the computer screen and try to refrain myself from drooling all over my keyboard. Or do I?

Fast forward a couple months, and I ran into this contest on the Weddingbee boards for a Hello Lucky letterpress/digital invitation samples giveaway. Hello Lucky is pretty much the letterpress gods, and their invites can go for a pretty penny (try 2500 of them for each invite). Even though my chances of winning are always slim, I took my chances and entered.

how dreamy... swooon

With 59 people entering, I didn't have much of a chance at winning (well 1 in 59). The prize went to someone else, and I forgot about the contest. I went back to the motherland for a while, and I came home to a normal life. With little to no wedding planning happening in those 5 weeks I was gone, it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. One evening while checking my email on my phone, I came across a message from Weddingbee. Later I checked the email from the computer and saw this:

Was I dreaming? Did Bee, the creator of Weddingbee, really contact me?? I freaked out a bit, did a little dance, and had the biggest smile on my face. Of course I replied right away with all of my information, and I patiently waited for the best package to arrive a few days later.

OMG!! a package from the most famous bee of all, THE BEE!! I love the cute Weddingbee sticker!

I carefully opened the package to discover the yummy Hello Lucky letterpress invitation samples... swoooooon! Do you see my little extra bonus on the left?

I even took a little photo session with my precious letterpress samples. Surprisingly, these photos were all done by me using Hubby's camera.

These samples were such a delight, and I had so much fun touching every one of them. There were also digital invitations from Hello Lucky, which was recently introduced earlier this year. It gives the buyer the option to get the beautiful letterpress designs for a fraction of the cost with digital printing. The invites have definitely provided me with a lot of inspiration. The coordinating response cards and envelopes are dreamy, and I cannot stop looking at them.

Thank you, Bee, for making this girl's letterpress wish come true. Now I just need to enter into every contest offering free letterpress invitations. Hehe.


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