By the way - there are two types of embossing I'm looking at. One is blind embossing, where the image is raised on the sheet of paper but no ink is used (like a notary stamp). The other is heated stamp embossing where you stamp an image in ink, and use embossing powder and a heat gun to get a raised image on the paper - that's the one shown below.
I went and bought a Martha Stewart starter embossing kit (it was roughly $20 at Michael's without coupons, but since I'm all about the coupons, that definitely helped out!). It included embossing powders, an ink pad, stamps, and a stamping block. I then bought the heat gun and had some leftover cardstock at home that I used to stamp on.
After I had all my materials ready to go, I took one of the stamps, affixed it to the stamping block (for this kit, the stamp just clings to the stamping block, but I've read up on other kits where you have to tape or glue them on - the cling stamp is much cleaner to work with in my opinion). I stamped it in the ink pad, stamped that on my paper, and then covered the clear stamp image with a ton of embossing powder (shown here).
I then picked up my piece of cardstock and tapped off all of the excess powder, revealing the image that I stamped down (shown here). I took the excess powder that I stamped off and put it back in it's original container, since it can be used again. After this, I took my heat gun and positioned it over the stamped image until you could visibly see the image gloss over. Note: I had originally tried this once with a blowdryer instead of one of the heat guns you could buy at the store (since I'm cheap and thought I could do the shortcut). It doesn't work, I promise. I held the blowdryer over the image for a good five minutes and nothing happened (and maybe that was just my crappy blowdryer). As soon as I sucked it up and bought the heat gun, the image embossed almost instantly - it's totally worth the investment if you're going to do this.
The Final Product
(sorry for the crappy camera work)
What you can't see from the photo is that the flower is glossy and the gold part actually raises up from the paper. It's a really cool finish, so I think this is the route I might go! I think Allen was pretty impressed with my craftiness, but is also slightly concerned about what this will do to our house - and possibly our kitchen table. I promise I will find a better work space for when this rolls out for the real deal. :)
I highly recommend this because it's so freaking easy, and will help anyone out that needs it for their own wedding! The catch is you have to find a stamp (or stamps in my case) that you love and want to incorporate on all of your materials. Another option is to make your own stamp, but we're going to see how the stamp hunt goes first.