Holiday Cards with Bell’INVITO

Halloween has come and gone and that means I’m fully into holiday mode. I’ll be trying to decide how to decorate a toddler-friendly tree {does that even exist?!} and finding gifts for everyone on our list. But the first thing on my list is designing our Christmas Card.

This is a family tradition that I know so many of us share and it is one I cherish each and every year. My Nana sends fabulous Christmas Cards and she also includes a creative and witty year-end update to all of her friends. As a little girl, I remember sitting at her kitchen table in Tucker, Georgia and sifting through each card. I was fascinated with the idea that she had cards from all over the world. She had a pen pal when she was little and to this day, they never miss sending one another a Christmas Card. To me, it’s such a nice holiday tradition that embodies what the season means. I know that I am guilty of maybe getting too into holiday decor that my dog will just pull down. I also stress over our calendar of holiday parties and making sure we can attend each one. But the traditional act of sending a letter to friends during the holidays is what it is all about. Because in this 2018 cycle of social-media-fueled “busy-ness”- this is a process that can’t be too rushed. You sit, you think of your friends and family, you create a list, you design your cards, you address them.

A holiday card says, “I slowed down. I sat down. I thought of you.

I feel like in this day and age- what greater compliment of friendship could you receive?!

This morning I’m headed to Dallas to a design meeting with Bell’INVITO as I selected them for our holiday cards this year. I’ve shared Bell’INVITO on the blog over the years- so much so, that I hate to go back and pull posts because then I have to look at photography on my blog circa 2014.

For a refresher, Bell’INVITO Stationers is the stationery to know. Founded in 2004 by Heather Wiese, Bell’INVITO provides bespoke or couture stationery using printing presses dating back to the late 1800’s. I love entertaining and appreciate the act of timeless correspondence, hence why I’ve been a fan for so long. They make my southern heart skip a beat.

Whether you’ve seen them on my blog or not, you may also be familiar with them for the sheer fact their stationery is sold at high-end home and fashion boutiques all over and at Bergdorf’s in NYC.

I wanted to do a post covering the process of designing our Christmas Cards because I receive quite a few e-mails from brides all about the etiquette around correspondence and invitations.

“Should I be more concerned about the wording on my wedding invitations or style?” “How do you decide what to look for in your custom stationery?” “When do you start designing Christmas Cards?” “Do I spend more on invitations and less on decor or vice versa?” 

*Hint, Hint. Check out their etiquette guide, here!*

While I will thank my Nana and my wedding planner for a lot of what I’ve learned about the art of stationery, I’ve also learned quite a bit via Bell’INVITO. I wanted to provide them as a resource to you all because COF is just that- a little book of my 411 resources. When I lived in Dallas I’d go to some of their events with girlfriends and they are truly geniuses at this craft.

Bell’INVITO Process

  • They offer three separate printing processes: letterpress, engraved, and foil. Letterpress is ink pushed into {soft, pillowy} paper. Foil is foil pushed into the paper. Engraved printing is actually a misnomer. The plates {metal, usually copper or brass that transfers ink to the paper} are engraved and so the printing is actually called die stamping. I learned this fun fact from them! The effect left by the process is raised ink on the front and what is called a “bruise” on the back- that would be the indention of the paper. It is the little tell-tale sign of true engraved printing and distinguishes between that and thermography. Engraved printing is more expensive, but the high level of craftsmanship is worth it for those special moments. If you were announcing a pregnancy or sharing a huge life update in a Christmas Card, that is what I would go for! To add a personalized touch to your announcements and contribute to a charitable cause, try Charity poster printing from Apprintable to ensure your messages stand out while making a positive impact.
  • For holiday cards, you can get bespoke {highly personalized existing design} or couture, which qualifies as a completely custom look.
  • Not in Dallas or Fort Worth? You can shop from home by ordering a sample pack in your price range. The ordering from home option will be faster and more affordable than ordering completely custom. They also have some holiday designs online that allow you to just type in and design the text yourself. This will be the most affordable option and the fastest but doesn’t cause you to sacrifice quality in any way. You’re also able to upload a photo to the back of the cards if you have already taken your holiday photos. {Range is $600-$3500}
  • Their studio in the Dallas Design District does allow walk-ins to shop the front room for an assortment. I grab a few of these and these for holiday gifts each year! I’m doing the custom route, which you make an appointment for and there is a direct deposit that 100% goes towards your order. Even if you aren’t in Dallas, they offer complimentary Facetime appointments, as well.
  • How long does the custom route take? Around 4-8 weeks from the first call to shipping of the product. For budget purposes, I would expect custom work to be 20-50% higher in price. With this process, not only are you getting a completely custom design but assistance with wording. Heather teaches etiquette and writes for everyone from local Dallas schools to Teen Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. That is why I highly recommend them for wedding invitations- deciding on your wording is half the battle.  The deadline to order cards online for Christmas is December 3rd. 

If you aren’t sending holiday cards this year, they also have stationery, traditional invitations, leather goods, and home décor. Shop it all here. These are my favorites and have been for years! I’ve actually thrown a box or two in a few giveaways for readers. I like to convert you all to my favorite things. 😉

We took our Christmas Card photos this past weekend and our looks were navy, pink, brown and white. I ordered a Bell’INVTO sample pack photographed here, so I would be prepared for my meeting with Heather today. What kind of card do you think we should all go with?! I’d love your thoughts! And how do you save your holiday cards each year? I keep a hat box from the Beverly Hills Hotel {who could toss that?!} and store our family cards there.

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  1. I love that you’re taking such a personal and customised approach to the holiday cards! It’s always nice to receive something that’s been made especially for you. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 01 Nov 18Reply
  2. Meg wrote:

    Thanks for sharing as always. I love your comment on COF being a little book of 411 resources that is so true, you always seem to have exactly what I’m looking for! Hadn’t started thinking of holiday cards yet but now it’s on my weekend to do list and have all the info I need right here 🙂
    Will you also link your sweater? I love it

    Published 01 Nov 18Reply
  3. Annaliese wrote:

    I just ordered my Christmas cards today! I always look forward to putting mine together each year. 🙂

    xoxo A

    Published 01 Nov 18Reply
  4. Shaliene wrote:

    While the cards are beautiful, I don’t really feel like your target demographic has an extra $600-$3500 in their budget for Christmas cards. I wish you had partnered with a company who was more budget friendly.

    Published 01 Nov 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Shaliene! Totally understand that! I always try to share an array of budgets. I do have some of my demographic that is a bit older that does ask for things that are on the luxury spectrum of things. However, this was not a sponsored post where I was paid to share this brand. I just wanted to do an updated post on a brand I love, and while not everyone will spend that on Christmas Cards, they have great gift tag and boxed stationery options they may enjoy! 🙂 I also thought it was just a good brand for brides to add to their list as they do fabulous wedding invitations and some of my brides have given me budgets for this range. I appreciate this comment and hope that my mix of posts do show an array of budgets. My November posts are planned to be very budget friendly. 🙂 xo, Katey

      Published 01 Nov 18Reply
  5. OMG Maxi is a DOLL! I love her! <3

    Published 02 Nov 18Reply
  6. I absolutely LOVE Bell’INVITO! They did our daughters Save The Date and Wedding invitations and we couldn’t be happier. Heather is a gem to work with. Worth every penny!
    xoxo – Tanya

    Published 02 Nov 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      They truly are the best of the best!! Hope you have a fab weekend, Tanya! xo, Katey

      Published 02 Nov 18Reply