Your wedding invitation is typically the first time your guests will be introduced to your wedding style or theme. And while the design is obviously a huge focus, the quality of your invite is just as (if not more so) important.
That might sound crazy, but imagine this: You have a simple black and white invitation design with a calligraphy font, and they are printed on two different types of paper. Invitation #1 is printed on thin paper that feels like you could do it at home. Invitation #2 has the same design but is printed on thick, luxurious paper that feels sturdy like a business card. As a guest, the experience of getting option #2 is totally different, despite the same design.
The great news is that it’s easier than ever to find quality invites online that “feel” expensive without paying crazy prices. And you can even test them out before you buy!
One of our favorite online invitation retailers that offers free sample kits AND amazing quality paper and printing for an affordable price is Minted. Yes, we work with them as a trusted brand partner. But I’m here to tell you that I’ve seen A LOT of sample kits and have psychically compared invitations from a wide variety of retailers, and I can wholeheartedly tell you that their quality is second to none. (You can actually read our review of the best cheap wedding invitations here).
The first thing you should do if you’re currently shopping for Save the Dates or invitations is to order several sample kits to see for yourself. Minted offers several options (which we’ll list below) that allow you to sample all of their offerings. Or, if you know which invites you’re leaning towards, you can get personalized samples of those.
Here’s a look at the free Minted sample options you can order:
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Option 1: Free Minted Sample Kit
The full Minted sample kit includes examples of standard, foil-pressed, and letterpress invitations. They also include swatches of their premium paper options (such as their DoubleThick and Signature paper options), as well as envelope and foil colors. This is also a good time to point out that if you haven’t yet seen Minted’s assortment of gorgeous color envelopes with their white, all-script font, you’re missing out. Even in person it looks look it was done by a professional calligrapher!
As you can see in my sample kit, above, it includes:
1: Premium Paper Options (more on those below)
2. Examples of standard, foil-press, gloss-press, and letterpress invites
3. Envelope with all-script addressing
(Not pictured: Envelope colors, as well as foil, gloss, and font options)
You really do get such a great sense of all Minted has to offer with this kit!
Option 2: Personalized Save the Date and Full Minted Sample Kit
You can create a personalized sample using the Save the Date design of your choice from their curated selection, which you can personalize with your own photo and other wedding details. Plus, you’ll also receive the full sample kit outlined above.
Create a Personalized Sample Kit
Option 3: Up to 10 Individual Samples + Full Minted Sample Kit
Choose 10 of your favorite designs, which will also include a matching RSVP and the option to include a direction card and belly band. You’ll also get the full sample kit as well. This is a great way to make sure the colors on a specific design you love as well as the paper weight are exactly what you are envisioning.
Use the code 10FREE to get $10 in sample credit
Why Does Minted Paper Stand Out?
So without geeking out too much, I’ll give a brief rundown of why Minted’s quality really stands out.
Minted’s Paper Types
When you start shopping for invites online (or even at a local boutique) one thing you’ll start to notice are the weight and thickness of the paper being used. Now, not every online retailer lists this (which should be reason enough to run), but once you start to compare, you’ll find that Minted offers the best selection of thick, high-quality paper, even in their standard “Signature” version.
In fact, their Signature paper is 130 lbs. with a 19.3 thickness. What does that mean? Well, to give you a point of reference, a premium business card (which are meant to withstand going in/out of wallets, etc.) typically have the same 130 lb. weight. Minted’s DoubleThick paper, on the other hand, is a whopping 240 lbs. with a 35 point thickness.
While paper weight is measured in pounds (specifically, it means that 500 sheets of that paper would weigh 130 lbs.) the thickness also comes into play. A paper with 19 pt. thickness would be 0.016” thick.
While you can definitely tell a difference when you hold the Signature vs. DoubleThick invite samples, you realize as you’re comparing them that they’re both really great quality and it’s a matter of personal preference at that point. For comparison, I can tell you that another popular, budget online retailer offers “standard” invitation paper that is only 80 lbs. (which is a weight even most home printers can accommodate). Their “premium” version is 100 lbs.
In addition to Minted’s Signature and DoubleThick Paper, they also offer several other paper types:
- Smooth Signature: Recommended for invites with photos (137 lb. 17.5 point thickness)
- Pearlescent Paper: Has a very subtle sheen (110 lb., 14.5 point thickness)
- Premium 100% Recycled Paper: Smooth with a matte-finish, this paper is made using 100% post-consumer waste (160 lb., 17.5 point thickness)
- TripleThick™ Paper (Luxe Museum Board): This is the thickest paper they offer, and is great for seating charts and table numbers and other paper products that need to stand upright. (360 lb., 54 point thickness)
Get a free sample of all Minted’s different paper types
Minted’s Printing Methods
Once you decide which paper type is right for you and your budget, you’ll want to decide on the printing method you prefer. Minted offers several options, but there’s really two main differences to note.
Their standard printing offers invites that are smooth to the touch. The designs, images, and texts are printed directly onto the paper from a computer file. And as you’ll see once you receive your Minted sample kit, they’re simple and beautiful.
The most luxurious (and expensive) option they offer is Letterpress, which is an amazing technique where artisans print each invitation by hand on an antique printing press. As you can feel on the sample, every letter is literally “pressed” into the paper, creating a really beautiful texture. And while it’s one of Minted’s pricier invitation styles, you’ll find it’s still about half what a traditional letterpress designer would charge you.
Minted’s Foil Press is a little bit in between the standard and letterpress in the sense that the foil accents on the paper (available in colors such as gold, rose gold, silver, black, bronze, and more) are pressed onto the page, but the other text is printed similarly to their standard method.
Gloss-Press is another option, but instead of foil it’s an iridescent pearl gloss and Pure White Gloss Press that’s debossed onto the paper to leave a really pretty, subtle impression.
Once you decide which invitation type is right for you, don’t forget to use our exclusive code to get 20% off your order. Just enter WGM20 at checkout. (For first-time customers only. But don’t worry! If you’re ordered from them before be sure to check back often for one of their great sales!)