Question: What happens when you apply gold foil onto a wedding invitation?
Answer: You get optimum lux that takes a ho-hum invite from everyday mail to something that makes one think of gold, wealth, and royalty!
Combine gold leaf with a beautiful personalized design to create a wedding invitation that each guest will distinctly remember.
Andrew and I got married at an early 20th century mansion in Vancouver. Naturally, we chose a roaring twenties theme with gold accents. So, when we stumbled upon Minted’s Foxtrot gold foil wedding invitation, we knew we’d found the wedding invite for us.
Thick, foil-pressed, luxurious, and exuding a 1920’s style. It makes my stationery meter register a 10 out of 10 just thinking about it. After all, truly well done stationery is like a cherished piece of art that could be hung on a wall.
What is Foil Stamping?
Foil stamping is a specific type of printing process. In the simplest form it involves three things: foil material, heated metal dies (aka plates), and pressure. The end result is a luxurious, slight indentation effect in the form of your design that adds a little glitz to whatever surface you apply the foil.
What about price?
We’ve gotta be honest, foil stamping can be an extravagant printing method, which means the price can fluctuate greatly depending on the invitation design and paper type. You could spend $1,000 or more on foil stamped stationery.
With that in mind, we’ll look at the exact process of what goes into a gold foil invite, the different pricing you will come across, along with pros and cons. Of course, afterwards we’ll take a peek at some pretty gold foil invites that we found on our hunt for gold foil invites.
The foil printing process is a beautiful way to really impress guests with an elegant, luxurious wedding invite.
The Gold Foil Printing Process
In this article we’ll talk about gold foil. When it comes to foil color options, there is no shortage of additional variety such as copper, silver, white, red, green, and blues. Furthermore, there are wonderful finishes like matte or holographic. The end result is similar to that of letterpress in that the pressure it takes to transfer the color onto the paper will leave a faint indentation behind.
Foil stationery requires heavier, high quality paper to withstand the indentation of the print, much like letterpress.
Foil stamping is a specialty printing process that is considered a ‘dry’ technique because there is no actual ink required within the process.
Once the design of the invitation is agreed upon, your design will be put onto a custom made die (i.e., metal plate features the raised reversed image of your design). When the metal die is ready to go to print, the chosen foil color is positioned between the paper receiving the foil and the heated metal die. Pressure is applied to the die onto the paper and the heat activates an adhesive within the foil. The result is a thin layer of foil transfered onto the paper, revealing a beautiful foil stamped invitation.
How much does it cost?
Although foil stamping is the perfect way make your wedding invites look expensive and glitzy, it is only a little more expensive than letterpress printing.
You do have to consider the paper quality. As with letterpress, you will need to choose a slightly heavier paper grade for printing, which is one of the things that can drive up the overall cost of foiled invites.
There are 4 different options when it comes to gold foil:
- Foiled Stamped
- Personalized Foil Text
- Custom Personalized Foil Invitations
- Faux Foil
As with most wedding stationery, the the price can fluctuate depending on factors such as how many pieces you order, or the degree to which you customize your invites.
We decided to compare a few different companies offerings with regards to gold foil and look at how much the company charges for 50 invitations, with a basic paper option.
Many online stationers offer beautiful wedding stationery that incorporate real foil in their design elements with digitally printed personal messaging. As there is no need for custom text, you end up with beautiful gold foil detailing on your wedding invites, for a lower cost. At least, that is what we thought …
Personalized Foil Text
You can find online stationers offering beautiful wedding stationery where you can personalize your text – everything from names, times, ceremony and reception details – all around the same price as the less customized versions.
- Invitations by Dawn – $5.33
- Wedding Paper Divas – $3.64
- Basic Invite – $3.51
Custom Personalized Foil Invitations
Custom anything usually means pricer. In the case of personalize foil invites, the average price increases substanitally. As you can see from the per invite prices below, you better have a large wedding stationery budget if you wish to go this route.
- Foiled Invitations.com – $12.50
- Bellafigura.com – $17.90
- Steel Petal Press – $10.60
A new and cheaper option we stumbled upon while on our hunt for gold foil stationery is faux gold foil by Zazzle. The finished effect appears as a shimmer, without using any real foil. No gold foil was hurt in the making of these invites!
- Zazzle – $1.42
- Considered a ‘dry’ technique because it doesn’t use ink. It is also known as an opaque medium because no matter what colored paper you choose to print on, the foil will not change color (unlike lithography, letterpress or thermography). So, you can create dramatic effects on dark colored paper using lighter foils like white or silver.
- A variety of finishes including metallic, glossy, pearlescent, holographic and matte.
- A variety of effects like marble (hint: marble is trending for 2017).
- Foils are available with a semi-transparent tint, which allows the paper color to come through.
- Foil offers a lustrous, shiny finish that will impress your guests from a distance
- Combine foil printing with other printing techniques such as letterpress, digital printing and engraving.
- Can create all different looks with foil invites from lux formal and traditional to modern and bold
- Cannot mix gold foil with thermography printing because the heat will melt the thermographic resins
- Foil can be labor-intensive and expensive for custom made wedding stationery
- Best to restrict foiled text to borders, intricate designs and key words, as it can be difficult to read foiled text.
Modern Gold Foil Wedding Invites
1. Remarkable Frame
2. Gilded Shore
3. Modern Gold Foil
4. Charming Love
5. Opulent Lines Wedding Invitations
6. Painted Canvas
7. Watercolor Delights
9. Whimsical Rose
Luxury Gold Foil Wedding Invites
4. Aubergine Calligraphy
Budget Gold Foil Wedding Invites
1. Faux Marble and Copper Geometric
Rose Gold Foil Wedding Invitations
1. In Bloom
2. Rose Gold Foil Wedding Invitation Suite
3. Rose Gold Flowers
4. Flourishing Joy
DIY Gold Foil Invitations
If you are up to the DIY stationery challenge, I found a fantastic tutorial video by Swell & Grand on how to DIY your gold foil invitations. For 100 invitations, including supplies, she was able to create gorgeous personalized for a total cost of $68.95 or $0.69 cents per invitation! Amazing!
If you are interested in doing a similar project, you’ll need the following supplies to create your own DIY gold foil invitations:
Gold foil stamping complements all sort of wedding themes, everything from luxe and romantic to whimsical, contemporary and casual. Not sure if gold foil is for you? Check out all the other techniques in our Ultimate Guide to Wedding Stationery Printing Techniques