The Printing Pro: Julie Pike of Fête Collection

Whether you’re hosting a backyard bash or a swanky city soiree, Fête Collection cofounder Julie Pike’s bespoke wedding stationery will help make a statement.

Photographs by Jim Brueckner. Hair and makeup by Laura Dillon.

Not interested in the cookie-cutter invitations of yore? Julie Pike isn’t, either. As co-owner of Fête Collection, the Southie stationery boutique she launched in 2016 with her friend Eileen Sherman, the former event planner helps couples dream up highly customized big-day paper goods you won’t see anywhere else—think vibrant save-the-dates with custom maps and cocktail napkins boasting fun facts about the newlyweds. “Each and every couple’s story is different—how they met, what’s important to them, and what they envision for their wedding day,” Pike says. “We get to make that come to life.”

“A wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire day.”

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What are the benefits of working with a custom stationer versus ordering your invitations online?

Working with a good, experienced stationer is going to save you time and potentially costly mistakes. People get bogged down trying to learn about printing methods and things like that, which we can help you navigate. Too often Pinterest, magazines, and blogs do a disservice by showcasing very luxurious, high-end wedding invitations, which creates unreasonable expectations from the outset for everyone. It’s very important for us to inform our couples about the varying costs and printing methods so we can create an invitation suite that’s within your monetary comfort zone.

Any tricks for staying in budget?

Pricing for letterpress and foil stamping is determined by how many colors of ink you’re using and how many times a piece is going through a press. So using two ink colors instead of three, for example, is an easy way to bring that down. Or maybe the actual invitation is three colors, but your RSVP card is just one color and printed on thinner paper.

What does a typical wedding-paper timeline look like?

We like to say that you should order your save-the-dates seven to 13 months before your big day, and send them out anywhere from six to 12 months before the wedding to get everyone excited. We recommend ordering invitations at least 12 to 14 weeks before your wedding, and sending them eight to 10 weeks in advance.

Are save-the-dates always necessary?

This is really about timing! Save-the-dates give guests advance notice of your wedding date, and no one will complain about having extra time to plan and add that date to his or her calendar. If you’re planning a wedding that’s only a few months out, you can probably pass on them, but you should maybe send out your invitations a bit earlier.

In your opinion, what are the biggest invitation faux pas?

It’s our job, we feel, to inform you of the guidelines and make recommendations about etiquette, but at the end of the day we’ll print whatever feels comfortable for you. One “don’t” has to do with registry information: Including a registry card in the shower invitation is totally okay, but we strongly advise you not to print it on a formal invitation—you don’t ask for gifts in any situation. Another etiquette thing that comes up often is kids. People want to print “adults only” or “no children,” and that’s a sticky line, too. You can make that very clear on your wedding website. People are not shy, and they will ask if they don’t know.

What’s the difference between beginning the invitation with “request the honor of your presence” and “request the pleasure of your company”?

By convention, ceremonies held at a place of worship use the line “request the honor of your presence,” reflecting the solemnity of the ritual, and those being held at a nonreligious, secular location use the warmer “pleasure of your company.” But there’s nothing inappropriate about wording the invitation to reflect your own personality or to suit your occasion. A wedding on the beach, for instance, might invite guests to “participate in the feast and festivity of the occasion.”

Is it ever okay to send out an e-vite?

Is this a trick question? Just kidding. Imagine each of your guests finding a beautifully addressed envelope in their mailbox. Can you envision their reaction as they open the envelope and slide out your wedding invitation? Are they racing to their calendar to reserve the date for your wedding, or are they yawning, adding the invitation to the stack of other mail on the counter, or ignoring an e-vite? A wedding invitation sets the tone for the entire day, signals the formality and style of the event, and reflects the personalities of the couple. You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

What are your clients most excited about these days?

Ninety percent are going with letterpress and foil stamping. People are also looking for traditional, text-based designs with contemporary twists, whether that’s a fun envelope liner or a colored RSVP envelope. And we’re seeing suites where not everything is matching. That’s one of my favorite things, when I get to play around with patterns. Everything goes together, but it’s not all exactly the same.

345 D St., South Boston, 857-496-1350,


Julie Pike breaks down four popular printing methods.

FOR COLOR: Try Digital Printing

Far less labor-intensive (and therefore less expensive) than other printing methods, digital printing is ideal for stationery with multiple hues or large swaths of ink coverage.

FOR TEXTURE: Try Letterpress

Polymer plates are used to press ink into the front of each piece, creating subtle indentations you’ll want to run your fingers over.

FOR SHIMMER: Try Foil Stamping

Prepped with metallic foil instead of ink, heated copper plates emboss stationery with ultra-shiny text. The result? Maximum sparkle factor.


Weighty metal plates press into the back of each card to render thin type, soft swirls, and other delicate features.

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