When it comes to your wedding day, there’s nothing wrong with bringing in a little bling. You can get a start on that by setting the tone with your invitation suite. A great way to add some shine to your wedding invitations is with a foil element. Whether you’re going for a modern or rustic look, there are ways to incorporate this metallic style into your invitations.
What is a Foil Invitation?
Foil is a metallic material that can come dyed in various colors like gold, silver, copper, and even a holographic style. The foiling method has been around for centuries, with stationers hand-pressing it back in the day. Today, you can get your invitations foil-printed by a machine in bulk—both in flat print and letterpress.
Foil isn't necessarily going to be the only material used in your invitation. “It just adds another level to the invite and makes them look classic and timeless. It’s super luxurious and makes a great impact,” says Joy Montgomery of The Stationery Bar. Want to know everything about foil wedding invitations? Here’s what you need to know to achieve that luxe look, according to Montgomery and calligrapher Laura Hooper.
Meet the Expert
- Joy Montgomery of The Stationery Bar has been designing custom wedding invitations since her own nuptials in 2008. With a degree in graphic design, she officially went into business in 2010. The Stationery Bar offers custom invitations in every style.
- Laura Hooper of Laura Hooper Calligraphy has been at her craft for more than 20 years. Her business offers custom wedding invitations with beautiful calligraphy as the star of the suites. She also offers handwritten calligraphy scripts.
What Are the Design Options?
Foil is a versatile printing material, not only in how many color options there are, but in how you can actually incorporate it into your invitation suite. The most common way is by foil-printing the text— all of it or just some—but you can opt for foil edges on thick card stock, beveling, a foil jacket, foiling on the envelope, or a metallic card to place behind a translucent invitation.
“On the invitation, highlighting names and venues in foil and edge foil is one of my favorite ways to use foil,” says Montgomery. Edging is one of Hooper’s favorites as it creates a beautiful stacked look. She also likes mixing styles. “I personally really love it when we’re able to combine foil letterpress printing with a secondary print style such as watercolor digital printing or a blind letterpress or emboss,” she offers.
“It can be letterpress printed, embossed, flat printed—there are endless possibilities with foil. Because it is opaque, it works well with any paper color, even darker colors such as black, navy, forest green,” explains Hooper. “It’s helpful to keep in mind as well that once you use foiling in your invitation suites, it can be tied in throughout your reception stationery as well—programs, menus, signage, custom maps, and itineraries. It’s a fun way to tie the stationery into your overall wedding design.”
Which Wedding Styles Work Best With Foil?
“I really do think it works with all styles,” says Montgomery. She finds foil to be both a classic and of-the-moment look at the same time, with trends right now skewing towards rose gold, gold, black on black, and holographic.
“Metallics overall have been in trend for a bit recently,” adds Hooper. “Gold is certainly the foil color our clients choose most frequently.” Hooper prefers foiling on either modern or rustic invitations and says, “the script style and design overall set the tone.”
“There are so many ways to make it modern or make it softer depending on the printing style and the rest of the invite,” adds Montgomery. For one couple, she used holographic foil on a natural, raw edge invitation to merge vintage and contemporary styles for the couple. “It was a nice way to bring a modern feel but keep it soft,” she says.
For a more traditional look, experts advise to go for gold. For a fresh take, use a color or monochromatic black on black. As we mentioned, rose gold and holographic (silver with hues of pink and purple) are also ultra-modern.
How Much Do the Invitations Cost?
“It’s top of the line. It’s one of your more expensive forms of printing,” says Montgomery of foil. “Engraving would take the cake, but foil is on the luxury side.” But, if you want to incorporate foil on a budget, there are ways to cut costs. First, the cost will depend on how much foil you incorporate. Adding a touch here and there will be easier on your wallet than full foil lettering.
To save a bit, Montgomery suggests looking for pre-designed cardstock that includes a foil detail (a floral design or a foil edge) rather than going fully-custom. On papier.com, for example, foil-detailed invitations sell for about $35 for 10 invites, and Etsy has some options as well. Also, digital flat printing is more economical than letterpress, which uses an actual metal plate to transfer the text to paper versus a printer.
How Do You Mail the Invitations?
While foil itself will not make a difference in your method of mailing, both Montgomery and Hooper advise to go to the post office and mail your suites rather than tossing them in your mailbox.
“As with all invitations, the most important thing to consider in regards to mailing is the weight and thickness of your suite,” explains Montgomery. “Your sealed, stamped suites should always be weighed with postage confirmed by the postal employee you are handing the sets to—and you should ask them if you can hand-cancel.”
Hand-canceling is a way to ensure that your envelope’s are not accidentally torn. It requires each stamp on the envelopes to be marked by hand rather than by the machines.