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Digital vs Printed Wedding Invitations

According to many online stationery retailers, digital invitations are socially acceptable and a great way to trim costs at your wedding. I see the allure for some couples; they can be convenient and less expensive. But are they the right choice for you? Online wedding websites will tell you they are. I consider this marketing propaganda. Let's take a closer look at a few reasons why you may regret this irreversible choice forever.


Sending a digital wedding invitation conveys the tone of extreme thriftiness and perceived tardiness on the part of the sender. That may sound a little harsh, but it is true. Is that the impression you wish to make for your wedding day? It also denies your family and friends a physical keepsake of your meaningful, beautiful, and ever-lasting union.


Just how many emails go into that dark hole of the universe, never to be seen again? The importance of your wedding day communication may end up like space trash circling the galaxy, gone forever. Even if the digital invitation does make it to your guests, the sentimentality is lost, and it becomes just another email among the thousands they receive. No matter how "casual" your wedding is, a digital invitation lowers the importance of your wedding down to an evite potluck party or email bill reminder. It is painfully true


Many couples wish to reduce their carbon footprint as the reason to forgo printed stationery. If preserving the environment is a priority for you, you can always ask for paper that is sustainably sourced and uses eco-friendly inks.


Digital invitations are virtually free for online retailers to produce, and that is why they market them to you. They tell you a digital invitation is perfectly and socially acceptable because they do not have to produce a tangible product, which means they do it for pure profit. They do not care if you have a lasting memory to mark the most important day of your life.


Think about your amazingly brilliant wedding day. You spent thousands of dollars on fragrant roses you will never smell again, on a scintillating dinner you will never taste again, on a dress you will never wear again, and on furniture you will never sit on again. Trust me when I tell you the year-old wedding cake you stored in the freezer for good luck tastes like s***. So what is left? Your darling spouse of course, wedding rings and your photos. Not much else- nothing tangible. And that is why you need a printed save the date and wedding invitation.


So now that we have decided you need printed stationery for your wedding, let's look at the two options available: a downloadable PDF you print yourself or professionally printed invitations from a Stationery Designer.


There are several things to consider when printing an invitation yourself. You will need to purchase a downloadable PDF file from an online vendor. The vendor will customize the art to your specifications and then give you a PDF print-ready file. Make sure you have the ability to cut straight lines. It is very easy to trim a stack of invitations off-center with a paper cutter. To be entirely accurate, you may have to use an x-acto knife, straight edge, and cutting matte to trim each invitation out individually. Unless you plunked down several thousand dollars for a high-quality laser printer, you may not achieve the quality of a professionally printed invitation. 


If you are not feeling up to the task of printing and trimming your own invitations, you can take downloaded PDF files to a local print shop to print and trim for you. Be sure the Designer's file is in the correct format that the Printer can use. There are several different PDF format settings available, and every print shop likes to receive files in a certain way. They may also have different "bleed" specifications. Some Printers like 1/8" trim, other 1/4" trim. If the file does not comply with your Printer's specifications, they may send it back to you, and you will have to ask the online vendor to adjust the files to your Printer's needs. Your local Printer will be using a digital printing press. Digital printing is a higher quality xerox print and can print a bit shiny depending on the papers stock you choose. You will need to ask for test prints to make sure you are happy with the quality.


Choosing to work with a Stationery Designer who sends you printed stationery is the easiest and most stress-free way to send invitations. Having a professional Stationer design and print your invitations may cost you a bit more money, but will look stunning and save you hours of hassle in the end. All you have to do is proof your beautiful designs and then open the box when they arrive. You can then focus on the other overwhelming bridal tasks at hand like whom to invite. 

Printing to me is so special- it's such a beautiful form of communication, and your wedding day should never be something that ends up in a junk mail folder or thrown in the recycling because it looks like a xerox. When you celebrate your Golden anniversary in 50 years, imagine pulling out your gorgeous invitations. The colors and tactile nature will remind you of that phenomenal day.

Gilded Swan Paperie only sells professionally printed custom wedding stationery. Invitations are inspected and carefully wrapped to ensure safe delivery. Our printing presses use vegetable oil-based inks and recycled papers from certified sustainable production systems so you can feel better about reducing your carbon footprint.

Custom Printed Wedding Stationery by Gilded Swan Paperie. Photo by


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