Printing Your Own DIY Wedding Invitations
If you’re looking to do something different with your wedding invitations, taking the DIY approach and printing your own invitations from scratch is a great way to do that.
Printing your own wedding invitations can be a more personal option, but it can also be far more affordable than having them professionally printed. While it may be a lower-cost option, you will still need to spend some money in the process.
To help with the project, we’ve compiled this DIY guide to printing your own wedding invitations that should help keep the costs down and streamline the process.
Get Started Early
The first thing you need to know about DIY Wedding invitations is that they take more time to make than traditional invitations. After all, you need to design them yourself, source materials, and then set about printing enough for every one of your guests.
Wedding invitations should ideally be sent out 2 months before the wedding date, so factoring in a month for printing and addressing them, you should start out at least three or four months before the big day.
Carry Out An Equipment Check
If you’re printing invitations at home, you need to ensure that all of your equipment works. So first and foremost, do a test print. It doesn’t have to be of your final invitation – a template will work just as well.
Once you’re sure your printer is working, use this time as an opportunity to see how close the colors you print are to those onscreen. Often the printed version of a document is a shade or two darker than it appears on the monitor and knowing this will help you with your design.
You’ll also want to buy samples of the paper or card stock you’d like to use for your invitations so that you can ensure that it fits through your printer without getting jammed (card stock over 80lb often gets stuck in home printers) and to ensure that the ink takes to the paper effectively without bleeding.
Choosing Your Materials
You want your DIY wedding invitations to look amazing, right? That’s why you’re going to want to spend a fair amount of time choosing the right materials. Spend some time with the samples that you source. Get opinions and feedback from friends and family. Make sure that the materials you’re using are up to your standards.
When you’ve decided which materials will make the best invitations for you, buy at least 10 percent more than you need to account for any errors
Paper or Card Stock?
Choosing the right material for your invitations is really important. Your main choice will be between paper and cardstock. Paper is obviously the more affordable choice, but card stock is more sturdy.
Which one should you choose? That depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your DIY wedding invitations. If, for example, you want to create something simple and glossy, stationery paper would be ideal, whereas if you want to create something more solid and expensive feeling, a thick card stock will do the job well.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you’re doing the whole print at home thing, there may be a maximum thickness limit that your printer can handle, so be sure to investigate that before you make a purchase.
Which Ink Should You Use?
Your choice of ink can make or break your DIY wedding invitations. Ink is also expensive, so you’ll want to get it right the first time.
Most inkjet printers use dye-based ink, which is great at being absorbed into the paper and creating beautiful vivid colors, providing you use glossy paper. It tends to look duller and less pretty when you use duller paper.
Pigment-based toners like the ones made by Primera are typically used with laser printers. It is made from a fine powder, which is deposited onto the surface of the paper, which means that it lasts longer than dye-based ink, while also being more vibrant. Of course, it’s more expensive too.
Another factor to consider is the print speed. Inkjet printers are going to print much slower than laser printers will.
It’s really up to you what type of ink you use, but you should aim to buy the best ink you can afford.
Go for a Full- Bleed Design
DIY brides still want their wedding invitations to look amazing, and one way you can ensure this is the case is by using a printing technique known as full-bleed printing. This is a trick often employed by professional invitation printers.
When using this technique, the design reaches right to the edge of the paper with no margin. You can achieve this look by creating a design that’s a little bigger than your invitations, then you can trim off the excess, leaving a design that encompasses the page.
Usually, you don’t need to overdesign by more than an eighth of an inch or so, so even if you’re looking to save money, this can be done.
Avoid White Ink
White ink may look beautiful and delicate, but it is really hard to pull it off effectively at home. Most printers simply cannot print white ink and home printers, in particular, are very unlikely to be able to deal with it. If you really want to have white space in your design, create a layout using colored ink with spaces that let the text show through.
Using Wedding Invitation Templates
If you want to create DIY wedding invitations, but you aren’t really the creative type, there are lots of templates out there as a quick Google search will show you. Take some time to look through them until you come across one that you love.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer to customize templates either. Having a basic knowledge of Photoshop will enable you to change, add or remove images, play with color and crucially add the details of your wedding.
Design Your Invitation Freehand
If you are the creative type, you may feel up to the task of designing your own invitations. You can use programs like Inkscape and Photoshop to create your own invitations completely from scratch.
This will make them far more personal to the bride and groom than using a template. However, make sure that you really know what you’re doing. The last thing you want is for your wedding invitations to look cheap or unprofessional.
Choosing The Invitation Fonts
Fonts might seem like an insignificant part of the picture, but think about it: when you look at wedding invitations, a lot of what you’re looking at is text and that means that if the written portion of your DIY wedding invitations aren’t up to scratch, your design won’t look good.
You need to find the perfect font to match the style and tone of your invitations. Luckily, there are numerous places where you can download free fonts, including:
- Google fonts
- Font Squirrel
If you aren’t sure which fonts work with your theme, take a look at Pinterest for inspiration. The creatives over there are often very good and matching fonts to images and designs, so you can learn a lot from them.
Proofread Before Printing
Just like with anything else you create in your professional life, make sure to give your wedding invites a good proofread. Look for typos, grammatical errors, punctuation that’s placed incorrectly, and anything else that may just be “off”.
Not only should you proofread your DIY wedding invitations several times, but you should get as many other people as you can to do the same. The more eyes on the document, the more likely it is that any errors will be picked up before you spend a fortune on printing.
Remember the Extras
If you’re handling your wedding invitations yourself, don’t forget about the extras. Things like envelope liners to keep your wedding invitations safe and presentable, and choosing the most interesting postage stamps you can find will help to make your DIY wedding invitations even better. Oh, and remember that you’ll need to include an RSVP card in every envelope too.
It may take more time to print DIY wedding invitations, but it will save money, and more importantly, you will have a unique keepsake to treasure forever.