Weddings | Kara & Steve

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember a post way back in October of last year, about some very, very cool, modern Save-the-Date cards that featured some awesome blind-embossed details and letterpress printing of the handwriting of the bride.  Don’t remember that one?  You really ought to check it out here – it was just too cool to miss.  For their Save-the-Dates, awesome Seattle couple, Kara & Steve, had me blind emboss a bunch of wedding-related text on the backside of their long & skinny, monarch size, save-the-date card and then letterpress print their website and names over the top of it in aubergine ink.  On the reverse side, we still included details in Kara’s handwriting and used a modern, san-serif font for the rest of the text.  We paired the Save-the-Date with a light green (Balsam Fir) envelope from Green Paper Company.  For their actual wedding invitations, Kara & Steve wanted to keep with the same “theme” and general look that we had used for their Save-the-Dates, but really wanted to step the “cool factor” up a few notches.  The wedding invitations that we created for them definitely accomplish that goal, and, in my opinion, are quite possibly one of the coolest invitation suites we’ve printed this year (if not ever).

The above photo shows two of Kara & Steve’s long & skinny T-length invitations (which is about two inches longer than their monarch size save-the-date), one of which is open in the center and the other is all tied up on the left-hand side, the chartreuse string-and-button envelope that they were mailed in, and their 4bar size reply card and corresponding envelope.  This suite truly utilized many of the different design elements and options Twin Ravens Press has to offer.  The set incorporates blind embossing, metallic inks, belly bands, letterpress printing and something brand-new: laser cutting!!

Allow me to walk you through what it would be like to receive one of these awesome invitations in the mail.

Kara & Steve chose to send out their invitations in a chartreuse #10 size string-and-button envelope from Waste Not Paper Company.  I personally find this style of envelope kind of fun and whimsical, particularly because most envelopes you see these days don’t have the little string-and-button detail anymore. Upon first opening the invitation, this is what you would see:

For Kara & Steve’s invitations I got to design a unique, totally awesome sleeve which acts as a wrap for the actual invite.  This piece is both functional and decorative, and I’ve never designed anything quite like it before.  The chocolate brown sleeve wraps all the way around Kara & Steve’s invitation.  It features Kara’s signature handwriting of her and her fiancee’s names as well as a brand-new allium flower design, laser-cut into chocolate brown cover stock.  Kara wanted to keep with the ultra-modern feel from her Save-the-Dates with these invitations, but she also wanted to incorporate something rustic and Montana-esque into the design, without everything feeling too “Western”.  As the wedding is taking place in Kara’s hometown of Billings, Montana, we chose to create a modern design of allium flowers (a native flower to that region) and carry it through not only the above sleeve, but all of the pieces in the suite.  The sleeve was sealed shut with a small, letterpress printed medallion belly band that had the couple’s wedding date printed on it in aubergine ink and was threaded with natural jute twine.  Check out a closer view of the laser cutting:

Having seen some laser-cut paper products prior to this project, I knew that laser-cutting was an awesome option, but this is the first time I ever had the opportunity to design a laser-cut piece for a client!  I am totally blown away and completely stoked by how awesome this turned out!  The allium flower design is super delicate, while retaining quite a bit of detail.  There is literally a window cut into the sleeve with our small flowers branching up out of it.  Laser-cutting is definitely a technique that has to be well thought out and planned with great detail, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest option available, however, the results are absolutely stunning!  If you have the means, it’s definitely worth considering for your own project.

Below on the left you can see what the sleeve looks like from the back-side.  I tied the jute twine of the belly band in a small bow to seal the sleeve shut.  When the belly band is untied and the sleeve opened, the right image below is what you would see.

In order to create a “background” behind the laser cut window, each invitation was wrapped in a handmade, green, Thai Mango Leaf Paper.  I love how soft and textural this paper is, while still working with the modern, earthy feeling of the invitation suite, and I love how it adds another splash of another color to this piece without adding additional inks!  The ecru colored piece you see in the middle is the actual invitation.

One side of Kara & Steve’s invitation features a blind embossed allium flower and all of the relevant details of their wedding printed in aubergine ink.  We printed these on 220 lb. Duplex Crane Ecru paper for a super-thick card and an ability to print a fairly deep impression double-sided without a lot of show-through from one side to the other.  The back side, which you can see on the right above, features Kara & Steve’s names in Kara’s handwriting and their wedding website address in aubergine ink printed over the top of a bunch of blind embossing – just like their save-the-date.  The blind embossing has phrases like “Kara and Steve are getting married!”, the wedding date, “Billings, Montana”, and so on and so forth.  It created a really awesome texture for the back side!

Aren’t these just too cool?!?

To accompany this magnificent invitation, we also created a matching 4bar size reply card.  This card was printed on standard 110 lb. Crane Lettra ecru paper and features the same blind-embossed allium design, the word “reply” in Kara’s handwriting, and a spot for the guest’s names and their response.  I love the super-clean look of this card, which I think makes it fit in perfectly with the look of the rest of the suite.

Each of these cards comes with a corresponding reply card envelope.  The reply envelopes Kara chose are the same chocolate brown color that we used for the laser-cut sleeve and they were printed with copper ink.  I love how the copper stands out on the chocolate brown paper – it’s one of my favorite color combos!  I also love how we continued to use Kara’s handwriting and the allium design even on the envelope!  This whole set ties together so well!

Kara and Steve have been so much fun to work with!  I love Kara’s elegant, modern, and slightly-rustic, natural style and I’m so excited that we’re working with her already on more awesome paper goods for the actual wedding.  If you like this suite and are interested in learning more about letterpress and/or laser-cutting please contact us, and keep an eye out in the next month or so to see the menus, programs and coasters that we’re creating for Kara & Steve’s big day!

Thanks so much Kara & Steve – you guys rock!

10 replies
  1. Kara
    Kara says:

    Kristin — we have loved working with you! We also love how the invitations turned out and so does everyone else.

    Thanks again for your creativity and beautiful work!

    -Kara & Steve

  2. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    Aww… thanks Kara & Steve! Like I said, you two have been awesome! I can’t wait to print those programs, menus & coasters! I’ll be talking to you soon! Cheers! : )

    • Kristin
      Kristin says:

      Thanks so much Erica! I’m glad you like them! Are you back from your honeymoon? How was the trip? I hope you had a great time!

  3. barbel
    barbel says:

    These are hands down the prettiest wedding announcements I have seen in ages. I can’t wait to see what else you create for Kara and Steve…. I will be photographing their wedding and with details like this, I can’t imagine how beautiful the wedding will be.

    • Kristin
      Kristin says:

      Thanks Barbel! I’m so glad you like them! I can’t wait to see your photos from Kara & Steve’s wedding. They’ve been so much fun to work with, I just know it’s going to be a beautiful event!

  4. Lauren Michelle
    Lauren Michelle says:

    I just stumbled upon this site and think that this invitation suite is absolutely stunning.
    I too am using button & string closure envelopes for my wedding invitations and was curious if you had them hand cancelled? Please let me know if you ran into any problems with this style envelope! Thanks!

    • Kristin
      Kristin says:

      Hi Lauren,

      This is actually the first set of invites that our company has done using string and button envelopes, and I’m not sure if the bride we did them for had her invitations hand-cancelled or not. She didn’t report any problems with them going through the mail to us anyway! Glad to hear you like the design! Thanks for your compliments!

  5. Kara
    Kara says:

    Hi Lauren & Kristin,

    We had to pay a little extra postage because of the button-and-string closure, and it was my understanding that the extra postage would also mean that they would be hand canceled… but as it turned out, they were able to be machine canceled (and several in our first batch that we sent were machine canceled). However, because I preferred the look of hand-canceling, I asked that they not run them through the machine (and they agreed, but I think it would depend on the postal worker). I guess I would recommend that you talk to someone at your post office to figure it out and then go back to that same person, because we got conflicting information about whether it would be machine canceled or not. Sorry I can’t give you a definitive answer!


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  1. […] or their incredible letterpress and laser-cut wedding invitations that we posted this past June, here.  Or, maybe you saw Kara’s very cool wedding programs and menus here, in September.  At any […]

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