Archive for the ‘weddings’ Category

Summer Wedding Gift Guide!

Ahhh, it’s Summer time which means there isn’t only humidity in the air… LOVE IS TOO!

What we’re trying to say is: IT’S WEDDING SEASON. Couples everywhere are celebrating the warm and sunny weather by celebrating their love for one another with friends and family.

As a time honored tradition, it’s important to give a gift as a token of affection and support for this new journey in which the bride and groom are about to begin (also, what’s a big life moment with out gifts, right?!). Well, here at Steel Petal Press we love weddings and have put together some of our top picks from our store that will make any couple’s special day just a little bit more special.


Item Guide:
1. Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit For Brides, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
2. Chronicle Books Bride Ideas Stick Notes Set, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
3. Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit For Bridesmaids, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
4. Slant Collections Wifey/Hubby Stemless Champagne Glass Set, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
5. Chronicle Books The Newlywed Cookbook, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
6. Adulting For The Win One Penis For The Rest Of Your Days Award Ribbon, available at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location

Card Guide:
1. So Much Yes Illustrated, available online and at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
2. Open Bar, available online and at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
3. Holy Shit You’re Married!, available online and at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location
4. Crazy Ride, available online and at Steel Petal Press brick & mortar location

Working with Steel Petal Press on Wedding Invitations

Anchor Wedding Invitations

To give you a sense of what it will be like to work with Steel Petal Press as your wedding stationer, we’ve put together a step-by-step breakdown that explains the specific process of working with Steel Petal Press so you’ll know what to expect every step of the way.


  1. We’ll meet in person or over the phone to discuss your style and your vision for your wedding stationery. You don’t need to know all the specifics such as exact colors and design. All of these things can be worked out during the design process. You can just come in with a few ideas. That said, if you know exactly what you want from the get-go, that’s great, too.
  1. You can place your initial deposit directly through our website. Please choose your printing option (if using a combination of both, choose letterpress) and fill out all the appropriate information and details of your order.
    Also please send the wording. You can find sample invitation wording HERE;  and response card wording HERE.
  1. Once I receive your wording and initial deposit, I’ll send you the initial proof within a few days. For custom orders, you’ll get the initial proof within a week. If you didn’t have a specific design or colors in mind, I’ll include a few different options in different colors for you to choose from.
  1. For custom designs, you send in the changes you like to see. If needed, we can go through up to three rounds of design edits. Anything beyond three rounds costs extra.
  1. You sign off on the approved proofs and send in your final payment.
  1. Once I have the final proof approval I will require payment in full before I go into production.  At that point the turn around time is 2-3 weeks for production.
  1. You get your invitations. Happy dance!

There you have it. Easy-peasy. The timeline for this process depends on whether or not you choose a custom design, how long it takes for you to review proofs, how many design edits you need, and how long it takes for me to receive your payments. In general, non-custom orders takes three to five weeks from start to finish. For custom orders, it’s around 4­­–6 weeks.

Still have questions about the process? We’re here to answer any additional questions you may have. Please feel free to reach out anytime through our CONTACT page.

How to Pick Your Wedding Invitation Vendor

How to pick your wedding stationery vendor

Wedding invitations give your guests their first taste of your big day, hinting at the formality (or not) of the occasion. And they’re often the first item on the to-do list that kicks off wedding planning. You want them to be a reflection of you as a couple, and of your wedding day. For these reasons, picking a stationer for your wedding is a big deal. Find out what you need to know to find the right wedding stationer.



The price per invite can vary a lot depending on the design, paper, ink, printing method, quantity and decorative extras. Know your budget and know your priorities, whether they’re letterpress printing and a custom design or multiple extras and day-of stationery. If you’re planning to hire a calligrapher, include that in your stationery budget.

If you have a few stationers in mind, check out their pricing to see if it jives with your budget. Many independent stationers will be happy to work with people of different budgets, but you’ll want to find out if that’s the case beforehand.


To get a sense of stationers’ aesthetics, the best thing to do is see sample of their work. You can visit their website or oftentimes you can purchase sample invitations to see their design style and quality of work. Make sure their style—classic and elegant, modern and minimalist—hits the same note as the style you want for your invitations. For customized design, it’s essential to have a conversation with the stationer in order to find someone who gets your vision. You also want to get a good understanding of how they work and the process of customization so you can be sure it fits into your timeline.


Local vs. National

Do you want to support local business? Check out wedding stationers in your area. If you want to work with a small independent business, but there aren’t any in your area, you can still support these folks elsewhere. Etsy is a great resource for finding indie wedding stationers all over the United States. Then again, if you’re not tied to working with a small business, it’s good to know that as you start your search.


Independent vs. Big Box

What kind of experience is important to you in working with a stationer? Do you want the personalized experience of working with an independent operation or a less personalized experience with a big-box outfit? There are advantages of each option.

If you don’t care as much about the personalized aspect of things, you might think about choosing a big-box stationer. One of the main advantages of choosing a bigger company is that you’ll get more variety in the styles and designs available. However, there might be fewer options to customize your design, such as changing the colors and switching out fonts. For example, with companies like Minted, you can pick from a ton of design options, and it’s cheaper, but you may have to format the invitation yourself. The other potential downside is the lack of one-on-one personal contact.

With an independent stationer, you’re going to get more of a personalized experience. You’ll have consistent contact with one person throughout the whole process, and, most likely, that same person will meet with you in person, take your order, design your wedding stationery, work with you on design edits and even do the printing, too. This kind of individualized experience creates a personal connection with how your wedding suite is going to be made. Also, with a small company, you’ll have more options for customization, but—and here’s the potential downside—you’ll have a narrower range of styles to choose from. That said, you might want an independent stationer even if you’re not creating a custom design just because you really want that personal experience in which you interface with a person, not with a company.

Letterpress Studio Chicago - Steel Petal Press

What to Know Before You Meet with Your Wedding Stationer

If you’re meeting with your wedding stationer soon, and you want to make the most of that time, here are the things you want to have worked out or have given some thought before you go.

1) Your Budget
Before you meet with your stationer, you’ll want to have a clear picture of the budget you have to work with for your wedding invitations. Many independent stationers like Steel Petal Press are willing to work with you to help you create invitations you’ll love and that also fit in your budget. Knowing what your budget is will help guide other decisions, such as which printing method you’ll choose and which invitation items you’ll include in your suite.
At Steel Petal Press, the production cost is based on three things: 1) which invitation items you order, 2) how many of each item you order, and 3) the printing method you choose.


2) Number of Invitations
In order to get an accurate price quote, you’ll need to know approximately how many invitations you need, and in order to get an accurate number of the invitations you need, you’ll want to remember that you don’t need an invitation for every guest. Rather, you need an invitation for every household.

Gold Foil Wedding Invitation

A good rule of thumb is to get invitations for 50% of your guest list + 15%. For example, if your guest list is 200, you’ll need approximately 130 invitations. That said, this approximation may go up or down if you know your guest list contains a lot of single people versus families or vice versa.


3) Timeline
It will be helpful to know how much time you have from start to finish to create your wedding stationery. Once you know the time you have available to you, you’ll know the best time to meet with your stationer so you have plenty of time to create and address your invitations without having to pay extra rush fees.

Design & Production Times from Start to Finish

1 week proofing
2-3 weeks production
3-8 weeks design
2-3 week production

Save-the-date cards generally need to be sent out 5-8 months in advance. Invitations need to be sent out 2-3 months in advance.  You need to consider the design and proofing time PLUS the production time

Calligraphy Letterpress Save the Date

If you’re planning to send out save the dates six months before your wedding, you’ll need to meet with your stationer seven to seven-and-a-half months before your wedding date. Similarly, a typical deadline for sending out wedding invitations is 2-3 months before your wedding date, so it’s a good idea to meet with your wedding stationer 4.5 months before your wedding date to allow enough time for proofing, printing and production.

Custom design times can vary. If you choose to work with a stationery to custom-create a design from scratch it’s a good idea to allow up to 2 months for this process.

Of course, there’s always the option for a rush order, in case you need your invitations within a short time frame.


4) The Wedding Invitation Items You Need
Before you meet with your stationer, it’s good to have a general sense of which invitation items you want and how that fits in to your budget. Do you want a save the date? Do you love the look of envelope liners? Do you need day-of stationery?

If you’re on a budget, you might parse out the items in two groups: the ones you need and the ones you want. If your ceremony and reception are in different places, you’ll need a reception card. If it’s important to you to have a traditional wedding suite, you’ll want an invitation, RSVP card and reception card. If you’re planning a destination wedding or you have a lot of out-of-town guests, you might need to include an information card with directions and places to stay or visit. Consider any other information you need that may require add-ons.

Letterpress wedding invitation suite

Knowing which items are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves will help when you’re trying to get a sense of the pricing. Here’s a brief list of items to consider:

save-the-date cards
RSVP card
reception card
information card
envelope printing
website card
escort card
thank-you card
belly bands
envelope printing
envelope liners
inner envelopes

5) How Your Stationer Works
Different stationers work in different ways in regards to their pricing, customization and production. At Steel Petal Press, everything is priced out a la carte, so you can pick and choose what you want to include in your suite based on your needs.
Does your stationer do customizable designs? If that’s something you want, you’ll definitely want to know that beforehand. At Steel Petal Press, everything is customizable, even set designs. You can pick and choose design elements from different pieces to combine them into a semi-custom wedding suite. You can also change the colors and fonts to make them more custom. If you see a design on the site that you like, you’re not tied to that. You can incorporate elements from two or more different designs.


6) Custom or Not
For custom wedding invitations, it’s a smart idea to bring a few different ideas of things you want to incorporate into the design. Pinterest is a helpful tool for getting ideas. You can also collect samples of wedding invitations you like, selecting elements from each and making them specific to your vision.

In working with an independent operation like Steel Petal Press, you have the option to work one-on-one with an artist to incorporate very specific design elements. For example, if you have lace on your dress, you might want to incorporate that into the design. If the location of the wedding has a feature you want to highlight, you can have that incorporated into your invitations. For example, past clients have asked to have things like the stained glass from the wedding hall or the depth chart of the lake where their wedding was taking place incorporated into the design of their wedding invitations.

Maine Wedding Invitation

Lace Wedding Invitation


Whatever you choose, it’s a good idea to bring in a few different design elements to have incorporated in your invitations. You can also brainstorm a few loose descriptors to describe the style you’re looking for, such as whimsical and romantic or modern and minimal.

Last but not least: colors. You can get as specific or as general as you want here. If you have an idea of very specific colors, you can bring a color swatch to be sure the colors on your wedding stationery will match your flower arrangements, linens or bridesmaids’ dresses.

And there you have it. If you think through these six items before you meet with your wedding stationer, you’ll be in a great jumping-off place for a productive meeting toward creating a wedding invitation suite that you’ll absolutely love.


Save the Dates Explained

  Save the Date Etiquette


So, you’re planning a big celebration and you want your favorite people to show up, right? That means you’ll probably want to send out save-the-date cards. What exactly is a save the date, also known as an STD (no joke, friends)? Save the dates are pre-invitation mailings that announce your wedding (or other celebration) and let guests know they’ll be one of the lucky ones to be invited. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors and styles. There are save-the-date postcards, photo save the dates, cards mailed in envelopes, and even save-the-date videos.

Save the Date Etiquette

When it comes to wedding save the dates, lots of questions arise about if they’re needed, when you send them, who to send them to, and beyond. We’ve answered a few of the most frequently answered questions below:

To Send Or Not To Send:

According to Offbeat Bride, there’s only one situation in which you are required to send a save the date: you’re having a destination or holiday wedding AND you want people to show up. Why? People need time to save money and make plans to get there.

You should also consider sending save-the-date wedding cards if you’re planning your celebration in a location that gets a lot of visitors at the time you’re having your wedding, like a summer wedding in beach town, or if you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests. Sending a save the date will increase your guests’ chances of attending.

That said, you just might want to send them out anyway because they’re super fun.

Destination Save the Date

When To Send:

For destination and holiday weddings, send your save the dates 6 months before the ceremony. For faraway destinations, up that to 8 months. You want to give your nearest and dearest plenty of time to book travel, request time off, and plan hotel room shares.

Who To Send To:

Send them to the people you really, really want to come to your wedding.

The Knot also suggests being clear and specific about whom the wedding save the date includes by writing out the actual name of every intended guest on the envelope. This strategy will help prevent confusion about whether kids are invited and stray plus-ones, e.g. your third cousin’s new boyfriend. If kids aren’t included on the envelope, this also gives parent’s time to find a sitter.


Save-the-Date Wording

The basics: Include your names, the date (duh!), and the event.

You can also add other useful info (if you have it) to help your guests with their travel plans, such as hotel info, local area details, and your wedding website.

Lastly, you’ll often see a note that says “invitation to follow” just so recipients know that the save the date is not the formal invitation.


Save-the-Date Ideas

Looking for one-of-a-kind save-the-date ideas? Check out Steel Petal Press’s offerings. We can make custom letterpress save-the-date cards with your colors or themes—if you know them that far in advance. If you don’t, no worries. Your save the dates don’t have to match your invitations.

You can also pick from our already-created and gorgeous save-the-date designs, including destination wedding save-the-date cards.

Cape Cod Save the Date

Chicago Skyline Letterpress Save the Date


Calligraphy Letterpress Save the Date


Think Outside the Card

Save-the-date cards can be used for events beyond wedding, too. People send save the dates for anniversaries, birthdays, family reunions, bar and bat mitzvahs, storefront openings and any other event that might require advance planning on the part of your guests. If you really want people to be there and you think they might need to do some advance planning to help them get there, send a custom save the date.

Get in touch with Steel Petal Press® to create the perfect letterpress save-the-date card for your special celebration.

How To Assemble Wedding Invitations

How To Assemble wedding invitations

How To Assemble Wedding Invitations from back to front:

1 – Invitation words face up
2 – Reception card (if applicable)
3 – Reply Envelope with postage stamp pre-applied
4 – Reply Card tucked into Reply Envelope
5 – Information Cards (Directions, Accommodations, Website cards)

Place all the cards in this order into the inner envelope, belly band or ribbon.
Put them facing up in the outer envelope so your guests get to see the invitations as they open their invites.

Find more information like envelope addressing etiquette and other wedding advice and inspiration on our blog HERE.  Also view our full letterpress wedding invitation collection in our online.

Art Deco Wedding Inspiration

Art deco is a popular trend both for weddings and other parts of life. It mixes vintage glam with modern lines, which makes it look balanced and sophisticated. We’ve compiled some awesome Art Deco designs to get you inspired.

Art Deco Letterpress Wedding Invitation Art Deco Letterpress Wedding Invitation

Being in Chicago makes it really easy to be inspired by art deco design, given the vast array of art deco architecture. Steel Petal Press has three different art deco inspired letterpress wedding invitation packages for your vintage inspired event.

But that’s only one part of the wedding, right?

Art Deco Cake Inspiration

(image source 1, 2, 3)

Cakes are one of the best (and coolest) parts of weddings. They’re the visual centerpieces of a whole reception, and these ones really take the cake (not sorry for that)! You can see how detailed they are, but that doesn’t take away from the glamour and they still look totally modern and completely delicious.

Art Deco Rings

(source 1, 2, 3)

And we all probably think about the ring when we think about any wedding. These are all vintage, but with today’s artisans, it wouldn’t be hard to find something custom and perfect for your own art deco taste. Again, the mix of geometric shapes and well-placed curves make these rings look incredibly balanced, glamorous, and, most importantly, special.

Art deco design is timeless and beautiful. If you love vintage style that’s both stylish and classic then maybe Art Deco is they style for your wedding or next get together.

Wedding Envelopes: Guest Addressing Etiquette

Calligraphy Guest Addresses

(image source)

All beautiful wedding invitations should come in a beautifully addressed envelope. Some couples choose to hire a calligrapher to write out guest names and addresses, while digitally printed “faux calligraphy” although not traditional, has become a more budget friendly accepted alternative.

Below you can find advise on how to properly format your guests names and addresses on your invitation envelope.

Do not use abbreviations

123 S. Main St, Apt #777
St. Louis, MO, 34567

Instead, spell out state names, directions, cities and addresses completely.

123 South Main Street, Apartment Number 777
Saint Louis, Missouri, 34567

Do not use initials

Example: Carl M. Martin

Instead spell out middle names completely.
Example: Carl Michael Martin

Use titles when addressing formal wedding invitations.
Example: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe

For informal invitations, you can use first names, but use the woman’s name first.
Example: Jane and John Doe

Traditionally, couples use inner and outer envelopes to address wedding invites.

Now let’s get to the common formats of addressing guests.
Here are some great examples for addressing singles, married couples, children, and professionals:

Single unmarried couples living together should be listed on separate lines
Ms. Joan Williams
Mr. Ben Jones
5678 Lovers Lane
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Single guest bringing a plus-one
Ms. Brianna Smith and Guest
388 North Anytime Street
New York City, New York, 09876

If you don’t want guests to bring a “plus-one” to your wedding, don’t write “and guest” on the envelope.

For a married couple with the same last name, both spouses’ titles are on the same line and the husband’s title goes first.
Mr. and Mrs. Bob Robinson
762 South Drake Trail
Los Angeles, California, 90201

For a married couple whose wife kept her maiden name, the names should be on the same line and the wife’s name goes first.
Mrs. Beth Johnson and Mr. Bob Robinson
762 South Drake Trail
Los Angeles, California, 90201

For a married couple with children, the children’s names should be listed on a separate line.  You may want to use “Mr. and Mrs. Walter Scott and family” if there are a lot of children to squeeze in.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Steve, Adam, and Ashley
38 West Wall Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60694

If children are not invited, simply do not include the children’s names on the envelopes.

For same sex couples, you can put either guest first
Mr. Bill Harris and Mr. Jose Sanchez
384 West Lincoln Highway
Chicago, Illinois, 60601

When you address invitations to professionals, you should ALWAYS spell out professional titles such as Doctor, Reverend, Colonel, Lieutenant, etc. For judges and mayors, use the title “Honorable.” You don’t need to use “Attorney” and “Esquire” on wedding invitations. For instance, if the husband is a professional but the wife isn’t, use the husband’s name first because professional titles outrank social titles.

When the husband is the professional
Doctor and Mrs. Charles Reed
478 Martin Luther King Drive
Houston, Texas, 72892

When the wife is the professional
Doctor Mary Reed and Mr. Charles Reed
478 Martin Luther King Drive
Houston, Texas, 72892

When both spouses are doctors
The Doctors Reed (or Doctors Mary and Charles Reed)
478 Martin Luther King Drive
Houston, Texas, 72892

If the wife decides to use her maiden name, address her first.
Doctor Mary Brown and Doctor Charles Reed
478 Martin Luther King Drive
Houston, Texas, 72892

Addressing judges when one spouse is a judge but the other isn’t
The Honorable Ava Taylor and Mr. Ray Taylor
9834 West Cherry Road
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 57628

When both spouses are professionals, but in different professions
The Honorable Janet Jone and Lieutenant James Jones
636 Russell Street
Atlanta, Georgia, 37618

Custom Wedding Programs

Folded Wedding Program

Your wedding program will be one of the first things your guests will see at your wedding. Wedding programs are basic guidelines of what takes place during the ceremony. Plus, they are a way to thank your guests for coming to your wedding. What should you include in a wedding program?

1. Include the wedding date, name of the couple, and location and time of the ceremony.
2. Ceremony order of events
3. Names of officiates
4. List of events that will happen during the ceremony
5. Names of the wedding party
6. Songs, prayers, readings, exchange of vows, ring ceremony, or any other relevant information in regards to your wedding ceremony.

At Steel Petal Press you customize your wedding programs to your liking.

Flat is the more economical option as opposed to folded. You can get them Tea-Length (4”x9”) or A7 (5”x7”). Depending on how much information you have, they can be printed single or double sided.  Digital printing is more cost effective while letterpress and foil is a boutique handmade process and will cost more than digital.

If you have a lot of information to include in your program, you may want to use a folded program. Folded programs can digitally printed and double sided. You also have the option to print a program cover, pair with an inside page. Your cover sheet can be digital, letterpress. or foil.

Have fun designing your wedding programs!

4 Tips for Mailing Wedding Invitations

Tips for Mailing Wedding Stationery

(image via)

Here are a few tips you might not have known to help when mailing wedding invitations.

  1. Square invitations need more postage due to their shape. To cut costs, use a rectangular envelope. Another way to save on postage is to use an RSVP card instead of the traditional mail-in response card.
  2. Don’t lick the adhesive on your envelopes! You can risk having your envelopes open in the mail or getting a paper cut. Plus the adhesive doesn’t taste good. Instead, use a strong adhesive such as glue. Jazz it up with some washi tape!
  3. Take your cards to the post office. They are less likely to get damaged in transit, and you can make sure the postage and addresses are done correctly.
  4. Ask the post office to hand cancel your stamps. A special ink stamp is used to mark your invitations and they will be hand sorted. Your envelopes are less likely to be damaged using this method as opposed to machine sorting, which marks thick lines in the top right corner.