So here's a look at the final product, along with more info on the invites and the little shop they came from:
- I got them from Ho Tai Printing located in San Francisco Chinatown.
- They have a website, but it's pretty crappy.
- Half the people working in that store speak English. Don't worry, just start talking to them and they'll point you to the right people to talk to if they don't understand you.
- They probably can design whatever, pretty much however you want, if you are patient enough to explain it to them.
- They use quality cardstock (they don't photograph well but all of mine are pearlescent).
- Print quality is good, a few had minor blemishes (mine were metallic red on the cards, and metallic gold on the red envelopes)
- They don't have a catalog, they have boxes of 'samples' which are basically prints of stuff they have done in the past (I would not at all be surprised if you find mine in there).
- They can email you an unlimited number of PDF proofs for you to mark up and fax back for correction. They're pretty good about getting new proofs out in a timely manner. Make sure you check the proofs thoroughly, I almost had a recestion instead of a reception.
- After signing off on the final proof, it only takes 2 to 3 weeks to print them.
- They give you a small discount if you pay in cash.
- RSVP cards are $30 per set (whether you want postcards or card&envelope) which match the number of invites you order ONLY IF you use one of their templates (which means use their premade print plates), otherwise you'd have to pay additional for extra plate cost. I requested a couple different RSVP dates, and they always gave me some other date that was close to it. So I just went with it, since I didn't think a couple days make much of a difference. Flexibility saved me $40.
If you're not Chinese and dare to venture in there, I suggest bringing with you a very open mind and/or a Chinese speaking friend. I hope I didn't scare you, they actually don't bite and are quite nice. I just don't want to be cuzzed out for not giving the warning! Good luck!