Wedding Invitation Printing Options & Techniques

The writing on your wedding invitation is almost always printed. The process of getting ink on paper can be done many ways. The result of these techniques, is the print on your wedding invitation. Some of the prints may have subtle changes and others will have a big difference in quality and texture. The most popular and vastly used techniques used for wedding invitations are listed and explained in the following section. Engraving, thermography, letterpress, blind letterpress, foil stamping, lithography, embossing, debossing and digital printing are all included in our list.

Engraving (Most Formal)

Engraving is the oldest and most formal forms of printing. It is created by a custom-made printing plate (individually made for each invitation) which is pressed onto paper and then filled with ink. Some things to keep in mind when choosing the engraving technique are as follows:


Thermography is newer printing process which mimics the look of engraving without the extra cost. This is a printing process that causes the letters to be slightly risen off the paper giving it an elegant look. There is no indentation on the other side of invitation and it is highly smear proof. Things to keep in mind when using this technique are as follows:


Letterpress is an old printing process is inking the surface of adjustable stamps in reverse which is then pressed onto paper from one side. This type of printing leaves an impression on the invitation giving it an elegant look and feel. Letterpress printing can be done with the use of ink or without, giving the impression of the words without any color. Not ideal for wedding invitations with more than 3 different colors.

An example of letterpress printing

Blind Letterpress

Blind letterpress is referred to letterpress without the use of ink. There is simply an impression or depression on the paper without any color. The difference between a blind letterpress and an embossing or debossing is simple, with a blind letterpress the impression is not visible on the other side.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is a printing process which has an impression on the invitation like letterpress but uses a metallic design instead of ink. The degree of shine on the design can range from a slight glare to shiny. Foil Stamping gives the invitation more distinct without the excessive price tag. Color options are limited.

Lithography (Also know as Offset)

Lithography printing is the process of transferring the text and images desired from the metal place onto a rubber roller and then transferred onto the paper. This method allows for a raised or flat printing. This is a great option for use with textured invitations such as canvas, linen, bamboo etc.


Embossing is the process in which raised lettering is produced by pressing on both sides. There is no ink involved in this process and the depression of the letters are visible on the opposite side. This means the back side of the paper will have debossed printing An example of embossed card stock


The process of debossing is very similar to embossing. Paper is pressed from both sides, but the result is a depressed image on the invitation. There is no ink involved in the process. Debossing leaves an impression of the printed material which has an embossed image visible on the opposite side.

Digital Printing (Flat Printing)

Digital or flat printing is the process in which prints are transferred to paper without any impressions or raised images. There is no need for plates in this printing process therefore a big variety of colors can be used.