By Lisa Siglag
Invite SUCCESS: Paper, metal, wood, or leather—what look fits your celebration?
You are about ten months away from your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah; you need to start thinking about your invitation. The invitation sets the tone for your event, so it’s important to select something that reflects your child, your traditions, and your celebration. Where do you begin?
Below we’ve explained the differences between an invitation professional, a local retailer, and online resources.
Invitation Professionals – These people really know the industry. Some offer completely custom designs, while others work from books. They will have samples that you can see and touch. Often, personal invitation experts extend a discount that you won’t find other places. Debbie Kaliner, the owner of Informally Yours explains, “I give people a little education.” An invitation expert can be very helpful to guide you through the process, work within your budget, and even select the proper wording for your invite.
Retail Store – Retail stores like Papyrus and Paper Source will have books to look through as well. You will be able to see the product and the colors in person. However, most retail stores do not offer discounts.
Online – The web is a great way to see a multitude of possibilities, but you may not get the customer service or the hand-holding that you will from a invitation professional. If you decide to purchase an invitation online, request a sample first to see what you are getting.
Keep in mind, no matter which type of vendor you choose, you will most likely have questions along the way, so select an invitation retailer who is accessible, advises Stephanie Feldman, the owner of Cutie Patootie Creations.
“Create an invitation that has meaning,” says Stephanie Feldman. Stephanie, who makes all custom invitations, tells us of a Bat Mitzvah child, who is a wonderful artist. The girl created a Zentangle design, which Stephanie used on the invitation. The incorporation of the Bat Mitzvah girl’s artwork truly made the invitation unique—one that will be cherished forever.
Jeanne Woodyard, the owner of Invitations4Less.com, reminds us that you can typeset the child’s Hebrew name or even the Hebrew date on the invitation. If you can get your child involved in selecting the invitation, it will have more meaning in the end.
Papers & Materials
Do you like a heavy-weight invitation? If so, there are a number of ways to achieve this. You can go with a heavy-weight paper 220 lbs and up or a cardstock. You can also consider layering papers or having a pocket layer to create a more substantial invite. If you’re planning to print the invitation yourself, go with a lighter weight, like an 80 or a 110 stock, to make sure it goes through your printer smoothly.
Depending on the company, the type of paper may add to the cost of the invite. In some cases, you will pay a premium for a shimmer paper, rather than a flat color. If you like a traditional look, you might opt for embossed or letterpressed type that will require a soft paper like cotton in order to get that deep impression. “Letterpress has been available for years, but it has become very popular recently,” says Michelle Schwartz, the owner of Pretty Paper & Polka Dots.
If you’re looking for something a little more out-of-the-box, consider a metallic paper or even printing on metal. Wood and leather looks are popular now too, often giving a nod to a sports theme. And Lucite options are still popular if your budget allows.
Your budget and personal style will dictate which kind of type you will select. Here’s a rundown of your choices.
Engraved type: This technique dates back to the 1700s. A custom plate is made and the letters are etched onto your paper, allowing the print to be raised. This is a very formal application, mainly relegated to weddings, but it certainly can be considered for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. This type can be very costly.
Letterpress: Using a moveable type machine, letterpress gives an indented impression. Bright colors can be used or even blind embossed type. Letterpress offers a classic look. It is generally less costly than engraved type, but more than flat-printed.
Foil: Foil can be used in a variety of ways. You may see it indented or raised. Using foil will increase the price of your invitation.
Thermography: A raised-print type, but the type will have a shine to it. It usually is a mid-priced option.
Flat-printed: This is the most affordable type. It can be offset or digital. Offset works best on textured paper, whereas digital looks great on smooth stocks.
Whatever you decide, involve your child in the process. You’ll want your selection to be something that he or she will be proud to send to all of his or her friends.
TOP 5 TRENDS
1. Back printing: Custom designs decorate the back of the invitation.
2. Laser-cut invitations: A name or shape is incised in the paper.
3. Personalized liners: Names or logos are printed right on envelopes.
4. Exciting flat-printed designs: Glitter and confetti designs have become popular.
5. Monograms: Your child’s initials helps to brand your invitation.
Clever Ways To SAVE
* “Include information about the service and the celebration on one card,” says Stephanie Feldman of Cutie Patootie Creations.
* Skip the direction card. Debbie Kaliner from Informally Yours says: “Most people have GPS. This is a BIG way to save money.”
* Consider asking guests to RSVP through an email or a custom website.
* Mix and match. “Choosing a thank you note that does not match, but is less expensive can save you money,” advises Michelle Schwartz of Pretty Papers & Polka Dots. It’s also fun to use a photo from your event and turn it into your thank you note. Your guests will enjoy seeing your memory.
* Find out what the guidelines are for postage. Oversized envelopes will be more costly.
* Ask what your options are in terms of envelopes. Often a dark-colored envelope will require white ink, which will add to your bottom line.
This story is from our 2016-2017 Mitzvah Market Magazine. If you would like to request a free copy, click here.