Metallic colors are polished, sophisticated and super popular when it comes to wedding palettes. I got married 8 years ago and used gold in my wedding stationery, but metallics are just as popular today.

There are several ways to add that sparkle to your wedding stationery. Without going into too much technical detail, here are a few ways you can incorporate metallics:

  1. Offset metallic ink. Also called lithography, offset is a printing technique that uses a plate to imprint an image with ink. Metallic ink with tiny flecks of metal can be used. The imprint is flat, and uncoated paper absorbs some ink, lessening the light reflection of the metallic. While it does shimmer a bit when light hits it, it’s not super shiny. If you want the effect to be subtle, offset is the way to go.
  2. Letterpress with metallic ink. If you’re looking for three dimensional printing but want a light shimmer, you can letterpress your stationery with metallic ink. Letterpress is the oldest printing technique (thank you, Guttenberg!) in which the design is pressed into the paper using a polymer or metal plate. Like offset printing, the ink gets absorbed and loses some of its metallic quality.
  3. Foil stamping. Foil stamping, my personal favorite, uses heat to transfer metallic foil to the paper (see photo above). It can be combined with embossing or letterpress to make a strikingly shiny, 3D imprint.
  4. Thermography. Using metallic embossing powder that is melted to the paper, thermography offers a raised surface made from plastic. I’m personally not a fan of thermography because, in my opinion, its waxy texture is often uneven and inconsistent, and it takes away from the crispness of the typography. Nevertheless, it’s a budget-friendly alternative to embossing.
  5. Metallic paper. There are several mills that offer a metallic paper in a variety of shades. Two of my favorites are Stardream by Cordenons and Shine by Reich. Digital printing on these papers is the most cost effective way to use metallic in your stationery. Most print shops have to special order these papers. But Cards and Pockets ( is a great online print resource that specializes in small runs, plus they stock several metallic papers. You can purchase swatches and/or samples before you print your entire job to ensure you’re getting the color you want. They’re reasonably priced, and they do a fabulous job.
  6. Other embellishments, like metallic ribbon, can give your wedding stationery a metallic glow. Or lining your envelopes with glittery paper is a nice surprise for your invitees.

The beauty of a metallic is that it acts almost like a neutral, so it can be paired with virtually any other color. But if you’re not a color person, I personally love it when metallics are stacked–bronze, silver and pewter. Stylish, simple and very snazzy.