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How To: Print Your Own Wedding Invitations


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

How To: Print Your Own Wedding Invitations | A Practical Wedding

Here at APW, we have a number of sponsors that sell printable wedding invitations: Printable Press, one of the original companies selling beautiful wedding printables; e.m. papers, that sells huge beautiful wedding sets; Cactus and Quail, where Jamie sells her beautiful and totally modifiable illustrations; and  Up Up Creative, that sells printable non-wedding-y stuff. Long story short, back in 2008, I pitched Kimi, now of Printable Press, on the idea that she had to start selling .jpg’s of wedding invites, for self-printing, and she listened to me, and here we are. So, needless to say I’m  a huge fan of the idea, and I have been delighted with the proliferation with printable designs.

But! I know some of you feel overwhelmed by the idea of doing your own printing. So, today we’ll discuss printing two ways: printing at home as done by me (with pictures of the many Printable Press invites Kimi has designed for me over the years, and I’ve printed at home), and printing with help as done by Ellie of Wedding For Two (remember her wedding?). So let’s get started.

How To: Print Your Own Wedding Invitations | A Practical Wedding

Printing Invitations At Home (By Meg)

As far as I’m concerned, there are two ways of printing invitations at home: one, the super-lazy-girl way, and two, the oops-I-really-care-way. I’ve spent time in both camps, so let’s review.

The Super Lazy Girls Way

In this case, you just want a damn invitation, and you don’t even care. Maybe wedding paper isn’t your thing, maybe you just need to send out the invitations this week, maybe you know no one in your family is going to ooh and ahhh over your wedding invites, so why bother. Or maybe you think, “I’ve got good design in the bag, I’m done.” I print invitations from home a couple of times a year, because Kimi is a super good sport, and she designs birthday party invitations, and shower invitations, and everything for us. So, if you’re printing at home lazy-style, do the following:

  • Order a design that isn’t super ink heavy. If you order a design with an all black background, skip my tutorial, and go straight to Ellie’s Printing With Help tutorial below.
  • Buy pre-cut card stock from Paper Source in the appropriate size.
  • Get extra card stock because your printer will inevitably eat some of the cards, leaving you yelling profanities if you didn’t buy enough.
  • Buy envelopes from Paper Source in a complementary color.
  • Buy extra printer ink, because your printer will inevitably run out of color at the most inopportune time.
  • Forget about the idea that you need a million inserts in your wedding invitation. If you need to get guests more info, put a link to a website on the invite, and give them info online. This is a lazy girls guide, not a print 10,000 inserts guide.
  • Run a test print. Make sure nothing looks wonky.
  • Sit by the printer, feed in card stock. Curse softly when the printer gets an attitude. If you’re printing lots of invites, allow a couple of hours. Don’t, however, expect this process to be complicated or require DIY skills. It’s not and it doesn’t.
  • Fin.

The Oops I Really Care Way

This morning, we posted the APW theory that really nice invitations have two elements, with everything else being extra: good design and good paper. If you’re using an APW printable invite sponsor, I’m pretty sure you’ve already got good design in the bag. But perhaps you also want good paper, and you want to print at home. Well, here is the thing. People will tell you this can’t be done. But it can. We did it. David and I printed part of our wedding invitations on our home printer, using 100% cotton paper. And they looked so good that I wondered why I’d also effed around with Gocco (well, actually, I did that because it was fun). So it can be done, and here are my tips:

  • Order a design that isn’t super ink heavy. Don’t make me say that again.
  • Order 100% cotton paper. Go somewhere with a heavy duty paper cutter to cut your paper down to size. Normally you can go to a Kinkos, or other print shop, offer to pay to use the paper cutter, and have them offer to just let you use it. Score.
  • Cut extra paper because your printer will inevitably eat some of them, leaving you yelling profanities if you didn’t cut enough.
  • Get a cheap-o paper cutter for your house, to handle the part when you inevitably didn’t cut enough. These work well, and will come in handy for years to come.
  • Buy envelopes in a complementary color.
  • Buy extra printer ink, because your printer will inevitably run out of color at the most inopportune time.
  • Go home, sit by the printer, feed your lovely cotton paper. Curse loudly as the printer yells at you about the paper. Tell the printer who is boss. Admire how professional your invitations look, and think about how cheap they are, and realize how little skill this took on your part.
  • Fin.

How To: Print Your Own Wedding Invitations | A Practical Wedding

Printing Invitations With… a Printer (By Ellie)

We weren’t originally planning to DIY our invitations, but when I saw the contest winner’s designs from Printable Press here on APW, I fell in love.  I hadn’t found anything else that was quite right for our nature centered wedding, so even though I hadn’t wanted to DIY our invites, we wound up doing it anyway, at least sort of.

All the online printers I found who would use Kimi’s designs and create a suite for us were too far out of our budget, or the printing came out really shiny, even on matte paper.  I had heard so many horror stories about trying to feed cardstock through the printer and the ink running out in the middle of the process (Editors note: see above), not to mention that printer ink runs about $50 for a full refill set for my printer, that I was unwilling to even consider printing them at home.  So finally, I checked with Staples, and found that they would allow us to bring in our own paper and would print and cut the invitations for us for about $35.

Once we had a printer, we started the process.  We placed an order with Kimi for the Woodland Love invitations she had designed for the APW contest held last spring.  We ordered linen finish paper from Paper and More.  We arranged for team wedding to get together to assemble our invitations.  I designed an invitation suite with the lazy-girl’s answer to a pocketfold – a cardstock backing with a pocket folded up on the bottom, to hold the RSVP card and directions information. (Note: this could not have been easier.  For a 5×7 invite, cut a 5.25 x 9.5-ish strip of cardstock, then fold the bottom up.) I also designed our RSVP card and rehearsal dinner invitations, because we couldn’t afford to pay for those as well as the invitation itself.  I made an epic trip to AC Moore to buy stamps and adhesive, so that we didn’t run out of anything. (For adhesives, I recommend a super-sticky glue stick or rubber cement, and glue lines.  Also, a good tip is to overbuy and then return the unused supplies later, rather than purchasing not-quite-enough and running out.)

We had a few hiccups, but even so, getting the invites printed and ready to go only took about a half a day’s work.  While the womenfolk assembled the invitations, my husband gathered addresses and printed addresses out onto envelopes.  They looked really nice and wound up being pretty low-stress.  He was also put in charge of designing a map to go on the back of the directions card, which he took a little too seriously but it looked really nice.

In conclusion, I will offer the following tips for how to have really pretty DIY-ish invites printed, without costing a lot of money or doing a lot of work.  (Or even people knowing that you did them yourselves.

  • Order fancy paper.  Textured paper will immediately take your invitations to the next level.  Also, it’s not expensive.  (Ours was $18 for 100 sheets, which printed 50 pages of two invitations, 25 pages of four RSVP cards, and 10 pages of Rehearsal invites – we used the leftover for our placecards.)
  • Get somebody else to print them.  We found that the printing that a place with heavy duty printing supplies will be able to do compared to what you can do on your home printer will be cheaper, higher quality, and faster.
  • Invest in a professional paper cutter – probably one that costs more than $100. It will be even more worth it if you are DIYing any other paper products that will need trimming. (Editors note: or go use a high quality paper cutter at a pro-printers, if you really don’t want to spend the money. That’s what we did.)
  •  Don’t care too much.  People need to know who\’s getting married, and where, and when.  Your DIY invites aren’t going to be perfect. But we’ve been married for three months now, and everybody made it to the wedding, even though our invites were slightly crooked and some were falling off the back of the pocketfolds and ::gasp:: we didn’t use inner envelopes and you can totally see the invites through the envelopes.
  • The invitations don’t have to match each other.  Nobody will compare theirs, so it’s okay if the cardstock isn’t all the same size or one invite is slightly off center.  Also, feel free to make a pile of slightly messed-up invitations to send to family members that love you anyway and you don’t need to impress.

********

And now ladies (and gents). Go forth and print, one way or another. It’s quite honestly not that hard… and so, so, affordable. And if you’re not into that. Not to worry, we have more paper posts coming your way.

Photos by Meg, of various Printable Press invites Kimi has designed for her over the years, and she printed at home.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://glutenfreetravelette.blogspot.com/ Adina

    We DIYed our own wedding invitations and you can find our story here; http://frecklesandblondie.blogspot.com/2010/10/our-invitations.html

    Our sister-in-law drew a lovely tree and stump which was then scanned in high resolution. I put together the format of the very simple invitations in Apple’s Pages Software. We purchased cardstock, a $19 paper cutter, some adhesive tape, and we were ready to go print on our home standard HP Inkjet Printer that I bought in college. The results were beautiful and it was quite inexpensive. We also DIYed the rest of the paper products for our wedding the same way including the programs, menus, seating cards, thank you cards, and signs.

    We also had friends and family help us with putting all the pieces together, you would be suprised at the skill most folks have of sticking two pieces of paper together with adhesive tape. It’s really not all that complicated.

    • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie

      I definitely glued several invitations to myself during the process. I was eventually sent to the kitchen to make dinner for everybody. Everybody else was fine though.

  • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie

    An excellent point about the ink-heaviness – the Woodland Love invites are VERY ink heavy, and they are ink heavy in all one color, so it would definitely have cost more than 2 sets of ink refills on our home printer, and looked spotty. Whereas when I did graduation party and baby shower invites on our home printer, they were really easy.

    Another thing to think about is don’t underestimate the value of doing black ink on colored cardstock – and using a laser printer (as long as it doesn’t jam or eat the paper). You can also order sample sheets of cardstock to make sure they go through your printer – and everybody should do that.

  • Cass

    “While the womenfolk assembled the invitations, my husband gathered addresses and printed addresses out onto envelopes. They looked really nice and wound up being pretty low-stress. ”

    This only works in a low-stress way if your family actually keeps addresses. Here I am 3 weeks to the wedding and I STILL don’t know where some of these people live! Some I can call, others do. not. have. telephones. Because they live in the dark ages.

    Otherwise lovely DIY. Thanks!
    Wish I had it 6 months ago when I printed my invites.

    • http://quiltonthetracks.posterous.com Margaret M.

      Oh yes, the whole address collection thing was EXTREMELY irritating.

      Probably not helpful for your situation, but I was a big fan of emailing a Google Docs form to people who were at least on email and relatively responsive. But yes, there was much hunting down and tracking of people to be had. Not fun.

      • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie

        We got very lucky in that my sister had done much of the tracking down when she got married two years prior and we sent Christmas cards regularly for the past three years to friends, so we had nearly all of their addresses, so it was just a matter of getting them all into one place. The rest were pretty much just a quick e-mail away – I don’t know that we even needed to call anyone.

        Again, we were extremely lucky to not have to go chasing. Except in the case of one great-Aunt who my Dad just tried to send our wedding URL to in lieu of sending an invite, and then he called me to complain that the time of the wedding wasn’t on the site.

        • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

          And then you can use the brand new updated wedding address list as your new Christmas card list! Having all those addresses in one place has come in handy several times.

  • KMA(C)

    We did ours this way too- printed with the help of my partner’s super-fancy work printer (with their permission!), we cut them, team wedding assembled them- partly by candlelight, as the power went out. (Go team wedding!) I will say, though, it took us a lot longer than a few hours- we estimated about 60 person-hours, by the end. So, it was fairly straightforward and fun to do with the team, but my advice to those considering this route is assume it will take twice as long as you think it will.
    Good luck!

  • http://followingmyheartsdesire.wordpress.com Nikki

    I’m seconding the Printable Press endorsement! I’m pretty sure that Meg posted along the same lines of “I told this girl to open a shop because she rocks” in 2008 or early 2009, because that’s how I found her. It was amazing, you guys. I got ‘Bearing Gifts’ for mine. I remember raving to everyone because it was so fast, painless, and turned out amazing!!

    I printed at home, as well. I would definitely agree with the paper cutter, although I just brought mine into work and did them there-I guess that’s my money saving tip :) I used plain white envelopes with a template I got from HP’s website that had flourishes around the addresses. Altogether, it was a matter of hours and probably the most stress-free thing about my wedding.

    • http://quiltonthetracks.posterous.com Margaret M.

      Also, Kimi mentions on her website and this has been something I frequently use for work (like when our industrial paper cutter is busted): getting things cut at print and copy shops? Super cheap. Like a dollar a cut. So for your invitations, that’s like $6 at Sir Speedy or wherever.

      $6 to avoid hours of paper cutting? Best. Use. Of. Money. Ever.

      • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie

        Yeah, it was $6 for Staples to cut our invites – but they actually did a really bad job, so they wound up waiving the cutting fee.

        You can also buy the paper pre-cut from Paper and More or other websites and they charge $2 a cut. $4 plus $18 for a ream of paper? Pretty good deal!

        • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

          For our San Francisco invitations (now void due to severe left turn in our plans), I got paper from several different places, depending on the purpose. I ended up buying the precut linen cardstock we used from Envelopper Inc. because they had a wider variety of sizes, and I had a pile of smaller-than-standard-wedding-size envelopes I wanted to use up (because I already had them and free is better than Not Free). I really liked the quality.

          Instead of gluing our pieces together (after my glue stick got glue all over the table from the first 2 invitations), I used Scotch brand permanent double-sided stick tape, which was a lot less messy.

          I found cheap raffia and tags online at Save-On-Crafts (among many, many of our wedding DIY supplies that I have purchased there — good deals, good service).

          We found beautiful decorative paper on sale at a local art store to line the envelopes — so don’t ignore the sale bins!

          Here’s how the invitations looked when we were done: http://mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/the-invitations/

  • http://mooseherdcreative.com Laura

    I love this post! As a stationery designer, the best tip I have is TAKE YOUR TIME. Don’t rush even one step. If you are doing the design yourself, print out a copy, trim it to size and live with it for at least 48 hours before you start printing everything. Put it on a table and walk away. Visit it a few times with a few hours in between and make sure you love it. Then print!
    Also, when you do your design, make sure your kerning (the space between letters) is set to “optical”. This will usually result in nice, even letter spacing without much fuss. Good letter spacing is one of the keys to great typography and can mean the difference between a great design and a “huh, this looks a little weird somehow” one.
    Once you’ve finished printing and you’re ready to trim, make sure your blade is nice and sharp. I sometimes trim pieces with just an x-acto and a cork-backed ruler. If you’re going that route, change the blade every 10-15 cuts.
    Have fun!

    • http://www.courtneykhailstationery.com Courtney

      I’m going to second Laura on this one. Also, I always tell my clients (repeatedly) to double and triple check spelling, addresses, names etc. and to have someone other than you check over it. There is nothing worse than printing all of these and then realizing your names aren’t spelled correctly (happened to my mother in law thanks to her invitations being translated from German), you wrote the wrong reception address, or simply wrote “accomodations” instead of “accommodations.” (That mistake showed up on an invitation we just received.)

      Then- most importantly- BREATHE. If you find yourself wanting to rip your hair out, take a step back, have a glass of wine- whatever you need to relax- and only THEN go back to them. Otherwise, you’ll just get all angry and frustrated and hate everything you make. (And then there is the possibility of freaking out, throwing everything off the table/ripping paper/other overly dramatic actions which isn’t good for anyone.)

      Oh, and please check postage before you mail. You don’t want all of your hard work being returned (or having to pay twice for envelopes.)

      Have a blast!!

  • http://hitchdied.wordpress.com Robin HitchDied

    We’re about to take on invitation printing/assembly (I also said that last week, but then I got the cold from hell. For real this time!) This is a really helpful post! Thanks.

  • http://thelittlefella.tumblr.com Jessica

    We Gocco’d the design and printed the information for our invites. I might have skipped over the Gocco part in hindsight, but it was a fun experience (especially since I could borrow the machine instead of buying it). I also printed out my own programs and wraparound envelope labels (on sticker paper). Meg’s super lazy way is exactly what I did: Paper Source for the paper, Envelopemall.com for the envelopes. The ink totally ran out two days before the wedding. My only other suggestion is if your printer allows you to choose between speed versus quality, move the bar all the way over to quality. It will take slightly longer to print out, but the results will not look like you did it on a home printer. My invitation type was all in one color (brown) and I had no additional inserts. I listed the link to my website at the bottom of the invite for more information and to RSVP. The older people had a difficult time, but most of them were good about calling the respective Moms to tell them they’d be joining us. Also we only mailed invites to family/older friends, all of our friends received e-mail invites via Paperless Post which was FABULOUS!

    • Class of 1980

      I have seen the word “Gocco” ten million times and still don’t know what it is. ;)

      • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

        Ugh me neither!

      • Irene

        It’s basically a simplified (and expensified!) screenprinting process… Gocco is the brand name for the little kit, and I think they maybe don’t make them anymore?

        • Class of 1980

          My generation mostly avoided DIY for weddings. I sort of marvel that the current generation lives in a busier world, but does more wedding DIY.

  • http://thesnarkybeagle.blogspot.com Liz

    What if I want to DIY my design and have them printed elsewhere? Anyone have any reasonably-priced, online resources for that? Or is Kinko’s the best bet?

    • http://www.wedding-for-two.com Ellie

      I would go to Kinko’s/Staples/a local copy shop – it will be cheaper than online, and you will be able to have them print a test sheet for you there, instead of taking the gamble. A lot of them also have a surprisingly decent paper selection on site as well.

      Also, a lot of the online printers only do a glossy print, so it winds up looking a little more like a postcard than an invite.

      You can also design your own invites and have them printed on Vistaprint – and if you are designing them yourself, you can design them to Vistaprint’s specs and get them done on linen paper, which I’ve heard rave reviews of, and they’re really reasonable.

      • http://thesnarkybeagle.blogspot.com Liz

        Thanks, I’ll check it out!

        • Aine

          How many of us are living & crafting outside the US? I wonder if it might be helpful to pool together a bit and find places like Kinkos and Staples in other countries (I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN trying to find a printshop in the UK. I’m probably looking in all the wrong places or something, but I finally found one and if its any good I’d like to spread the word for other lost and confused people like me).

    • http://mooseherdcreative.com Laura

      I would find a local printer to work with, if you can. IMO places like Kinkos and Staples don’t have great papers and won’t give you the kind of customer service that a small local shop will.

    • Jennifer

      I hate a great experience with http://www.catprint.com for our invitations and insert cards — used their super premium cotton (or whatever it is they call their most expensive paper option). Not nearly as inexpensive as Vista Print, and I wasn’t thrilled with the envelope options (I wanted to do inner and outer envelopes, plus reply envelopes) so we ordered those elsewhere, but all told we came in under all but the very lowest cost online sites, and they were pretty close to exactly what I wanted.

      • Rasheeda

        I second Cat Print…they were LIFE SAVERS…I tackled learning photoshop to do our own invites and when something came out wonky they were there to help me correct it. They will send you paper samples if you like so you can make sure everything matches when you get envelopes. They had a good price and a great product!

        • http://foxandtoad.com/blog Nadine

          Ooo, thank you for sharing the link to Cat Print, ladies. I’m doing VistaPrint for our save the dates, but wanted something fancier for the invitations. I’m intrigued.

  • RachelLyn

    The holy grail of our DIY invitations project was spray adhesive. I was literally about to buy some fancy glue sticks when my friend (who clearly came with me for this purpose) stopped me and insisted I get spray adhesive. The layers looked better than they would have with a glue stick, nothing came apart, and putting together 90 invites took maybe an hour.

    Printing at Staples was another life savor. We didn’t have to cut the invitations at all or worry about what our printer would do (or, you know, buy a printer because we don’t actually own one) We printed at Staples, glued, put those suckers in envelopes and were done.

  • http://www.newlyla.blogspot.com AKP

    So glad you posted about this!! I worried and worried about the cost of invitations when I was planning my wedding until I figured out that I could print my own!

    I did Paperless Post for our friends who we knew would lose the invitation, or possibly didn’t even own any magnets with which to attach it to the refridgerator. Or possibly didn’t even own a refridgerator. For everyone else, we found a design we really liked on Etsy and then had the designer customize it for us, got pretty paper (just like Alyssa reccommended) and printed them. They came out beautifully and I would totally reccommend print-at-home to anyone!

  • scientistchick

    An alternative super cheap and easy alternative that I used:
    I bought full sheets of print at home post-cards (like these http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/365590/Avery-Inkjet-Postcards-4-14-x/). I made a simple design and then printed it 4 to a page. The post cards come in one big sheet that is perforated for easy separation. This way my printer didn’t eat any of them. I made inserts from the print at home business cards. Total cost of my invitations, including envelopes and pretty ribbon was about $60.

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    “This is a lazy girls guide, not a print 10,000 inserts guide.”

    I just spit water all over my keyboard. Classic Meg sass. Love it! :)

    • meg

      Ha. Goes to show. I wasn’t even trying to be funny, just being me.

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    Best advice ever: buy extra ink! I only printed our welcome letters but that advice was SO needed. Nothing like wishing the nearby Staples was open 24 hours!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      Yes, we ran out of ink too, at crucial points. So annoying!

  • JEM

    Thank you so much for this post. I am now more sure than EVER that there is no way in H-E-DoubleHockeySticks that I want to DIT any paper products for the wedding.

    Whew.

  • http://www.ohdeerio.com Rachelle

    We did ours “half-homemade”. We ordered the invitations, response cards and envelopes online, then printed and assembled our own website inserts and belly bands. I was very happy with how they turned out and they weren’t too expensive or crazy-making. Sort of the best of both worlds.

  • Another Alice

    Oh hey, we just put our DIYed invitations in the mail yesterday. Here’s how we did it:

    1) Plan for graphic designer father to make design.
    2) Realize dad can’t do design due to health problems, but only realize it the day before you wanted the design done. Say “shit” many times.
    3) Get 2 minutes away from ordering a full set on minted.com.
    4) Realize you like the printable designs better, and like doing crafty stuff, and would feel silly paying a premium just for printing.
    5) Buy a gorgeous design from Eleanor at e.m. papers.
    6) Get dude’s parents to agree to let us use their printer (easy!), buy extra print cartridges at Staples.
    7) Open design in wrong program, have freakout when you can’t fix it, send scared email 2 seconds before realizing you still have a 2nd download and that there isn’t any problem after all.
    8) Buy paper for test printing in last 10 minutes of Paper Source being open. Do test print. LOVE THEM.
    9) Go back for more paper, learn that the paper you were sold before totally isn’t the heaviest like you’d asked for, realize why not to go to stores minutes before they close. Buy gorgeous heavy paper, and pretty envelopes.
    10) Sit by printer for 2 hours and print all your RSVPs & Invites while your partner watches basketball.
    11) Use this as a great excuse to buy a cutting mat & straight edge at the art supply store. Also new x-acto knife blades.
    12) Go back to Staples and buy clear address labels.
    13) Use the label function in MS Word to create business card sized additional info inserts and return address labels.
    14) Make *1000* cuts with the x-acto knife in the process of cutting out invite cards, rsvp cards, and business cards. Understand why people pay other people to do this, but also realize that you *really like cutting* and this is a happy healthy way to get aggression out.
    15) Get postcard stamps. Rejoice that polar bears are out and herb flowers are in! Send test mailing of 1 RSVP postcard (bride & groom have now officially RSVPed!) to make sure you didn’t cut the cards too small for the USPS. Get card back with a few smudge marks but in 1 piece.
    16) Assemble whole envelope, wonder if you should have done some sort of liner, shrug, don’t care, make partner take it to post office & weigh it. Tell him to take it to the counter when the machine says it’ll only take $0.44. Buy lots of $0.64 stamps.
    17) Have big argument over whose handwriting is better. Email tons of people to find out if their nickname is their full name so that you don’t accidentally call Harry Harold, etc. Address all the envelopes.
    18) Readdress envelopes after you learn that some couples have broken up, and old people have died.
    18) Assemble everything in ~45 min while watching TV.
    19) Send partner to post office to mail everything.
    20) HAVE BIG GLASS OF WINE and pat self on back.

    • K

      Love it. I just received our gorgeous wedding paper suite (and glo templates!) from e.m. papers (thank you Eleanor! Thank you APW!) and I’m sure the process will go precisely as listed above :)

      • Another Alice

        I didn’t realize how many steps it was until I listed them all out… I really loved being so involved, seeing the guest list over and over, and knowing that someone was at the receiving end of each step. I hand-addressed the STDs (giggle) too, and I’ve just loved seeing each name over and over, remembering who they are and why they’re important in our lives.

        Have a great time with the e.m.papers products! Aren’t they lovely?!

        • K

          They are! I’ve looked at so many invites (most way out of range) that e.m.’s simplicity was welcome and refreshing.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      We gave people the option to RSVP through a google form on a page on our website that only invited guests had the address to. My husband RSVPed no because in his words “I have the day off and want to watch a football game.”

      • Aine

        bahahahaha brilliant!

    • http://www.empapers.com Eleanor

      Um…I kind of can’t believe I hadn’t seen this post before! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for the lovely shout :-))))

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    Love the post!!

    My lazy girl way was: get Lizzie and Isaiah of Luvyourway.net to make us AWESOME (seriously AWESOME) designs, and then use their great discounts on printing.

    DONE.

    Although then I had to harass C to get addresses for his fam. :)

  • http://sawtoothandthepetticoats.blogspot.com Emily Rae

    One note on the ink costs: We get our cartridges refilled at Costco. I think it’s something like $12 per refill for our HP printer, color or bw. The only downside (for us) is that our computer doesn’t recognize the cartridges, so it always says the ink is “low”, but we deal with this and bask in our savings!

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  • Anne

    To avoid the whole insert problem, I DIT’d our invites that were inspired by this design (http://ahhh-design.com/diy-wedding-invitations/). Since they were tri-fold with a perforated postcard RSVP, we also did not have to buy envelopes. I mail merged the addresses I tirelessly tried to acquire (and somehow, a couple were still wrong…) since we were printing everything anyway. We even managed to tuck in an engagement photo and have standard postage!

    But even so, it was a tiring process and I am so glad that we did it together.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    I printed our invites in sets of ten. It helped me keep track of how many we printed and I was able to catch any ink running out issues before too many had been printed with not enough ink. It was a lot of sitting by a printer keeping a close eye on it though.

    We also printed all the addresses directly onto the envelopes (hand wrote the names on the inner envelopes). And THAT required a lot of printer babysitting. But they looked wonderful.

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      We did sets of 7 because my printer rebelled if I asked it to do any more than that at one time. Definitely a lot of babysitting. :)

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  • Aloe

    We just finished making our invites over the weekend. It worked out pretty well. I was a graphic designer in a previous life so the design and construction part was my department while my fiance handled the part I hate, the address collation, mail merging, printing part of the operation. He printed things out in sets of ten to avoid overtaxing the printer and so that we could keep an eye on the ink. I tried cutting a few out previously with a scalpel but the result wasn’t smooth enough so I bought a little paper guillotine and a gadget that cuts rounded corners, and we used double side tape instead of spraymount, much quicker and less messy and toxic! The RSVP address was an email address and the Save the Dates were a similar design but sent via email, free and just as effective.

  • Aly

    I totally agree that invites don’t have to match! We did the super lazy print-at-home method: picked up a set of blank invites from Michael’s (on clearance!) and just printed them out. They didn’t have a design on them, just a colored border and then another colored boarder created by a backing paper you glue on the back. And some ribbon. But since the sets they sold were all one color, and we wanted ours to use both our colors, we bought one set of each and mixed them together. So our yellow invites have blue backgrounds and blue response cards, while the blue invites have yellow backgrounds and yellow response cards. They all look great, and reflect the wedding better than the standard set would have done. I actually kinda want the guests to compare invites so they can see that there were two types of awesomeness!

  • Elaine

    I totally agree about not having a bunch of inserts. I had to fight my mom a bit on this one because she wanted to include a map, but I think a link to the website is more than sufficient.

  • http://lastamericangirlstanding.blogspot.com Kim

    If you’re printing your own at home, I highly recommend including a single sheet of tissue paper between the response card and the invite so that the ink doesn’t smudge in the mail! (Apparently this was the original use for tissue paper?!)

  • http://www.brindey.com brindey

    I really, really wish I had done this. I got custom printing through Paper Source. The paper is great. The custom job was a giant 6-in-store-visits, 34-emails, 8-phone-calls pain in the ass. I cannot tell the difference between my home-printed Save The Dates and my custom printed invitations.

    One side note: I highly recommend playing around with photoshop or illustrator. Get the 30-day free trial, and have a ball. If you end up hating what you design, you have wasted no money, and can go the Minted/Printable Press route.

    • Chiara M

      I used a freeware version of Illustrator called Inkscape, which was pretty fun to play around with. And downloaded fonts from dafont.com.

  • Kassy

    One of my extraordinarily talented bridesmaids made all of our invitations. She printed them on a linen-textured cardstock, glued that to a colored cardstock backing, punched holes at the top, threaded ribbon through them, and then stitched the edges with colored thread in a zig-zag pattern on her sewing machine. All I had to do was put the invitations and RSVP cards in the envelopes and address and stamp them.

    There were imperfections on most of them (I picked the closest-to-perfect one to send to my mom, since she was skeptical of the whole DIY invitation idea), but that is part of the charm of handmade things to me. And we have gotten so many compliments on the invitations, it’s insane.

    One tip, and this goes for DIY or ready-made invitations: If you do RSVP cards, unless you print your guests names on the cards for them, number your guestlist and put the number on the RSVP cards in an inconspicuous place. We had about half a dozen RSVPs returned with no name on them, which was incredibly frustrating. This tip was shared with me AFTER our invitations went out, and I so wish I had known it beforehand!

  • Leah

    Thank you! I’m in the thick of trying to get my self-designed invitations finished and in the mail this month. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. You covered many of the questions I’m currently grappling with and provided such clear thinking. I can’t wait to dive in to my project now!

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  • http://www.printcountry.com/xerox_printer_toner_ink_cartridges_main.asp susie

    Really great tips for printing your own wedding invitations

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  • Stephanie

    This was AWESOME information! My future sister in law helped design the template for us and I can’t believe how easy it really was. One tip… if you are going to order paper from Paper Source; If you sign up for their emails and then wait a day, you will get a 10% off coupon code you can use for your order! Also, the paper comes in 25 packs and envelopes in 10 packs (whoops). I didn’t realize that mistake until after my order arrived. Oh well… lesson learned. I can’t believe how amazing these invites turned out!

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  • http://forum.the-track.co.uk/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=170398 Wilda

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
    connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two
    images. Maybe you could space it out better?

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  • http://www.my-invitations.com/ Sally

    After doing DIY Wedding and Birthday invites for our friends and family, my husband came up with the idea of automating it and then put it on the web – as MyInvitations. You would be amazed how easy it is to get great results using his system.

    Just pick a design (or upload your own!) then add your details and a guest list and print. You get up to 50 Wedding, Birthday or other invites per download!

    Gone are the days of writing out duplicate invites – just let your printer do it!

    Just goto: http://www.my-invitations.com/

    Have Fun,
    Sal

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  • light0a0candle

    Very helpful thank you!

  • Hanna

    Just wanted to let you know that I was inspired to print my own wedding invitations when I found your link while searching for “affordable wedding invitations” it did take a few hours, I did have moments of sheer panic as the printer wrecked page after page (in all actuality it wrecked 8 out of 85… not too bad), but I also had a lot of fun with my fiancee and would definitely choose this option again and again over ordering expensive pre-made invitations online! Thanks for the easy tutorial!

  • Cristine

    It’s good that there are so many discounts on paper and envelopes and
    such but what about ink / toner for the parts that are printed out. It
    can become very costly depending on the type of invitation you’re
    designing and how many people are being invited to your event.

    We are 123InkFast, a Michigan based company, and would like to share the following offer with everyone. Visit us on the web at http://www.123inkfast.com and using discount code ‘123SAVE’ during the check out
    process to receive a 10% discount on our SuperReman / ECO-Remanufactured
    cartridges and 5% on our OEM cartridges. 1-877-754-0123

    Happy designing!

  • Laura

    Seriously, this post is a godsend. So happy to find this. :)

  • BeeAssassin

    Thanks so much for this post! I’d been set on printing on our own but was getting a little nervous, so this was just the step-by-step handholding I needed. I designed the cards, bought very nice textured paper at Paper Source, and had a local print shop print them because my printer sucks and buying ink would have been just as expensive, and more time-consuming, as the print shop.

    A few tips for others going a similar route. 1) if the paper is heavily textured, digital printing won’t get into the dimples of the paper (flat drum doesn’t press the ink into the paper), this will be more noticeable if you have large areas of solid ink, not as much of a problem with text. 2) Check that the printer can handle your paper – mine was 300gsm, and went through without a problem, but the printshop guy told me they’ve had problems with that weight or heavier. 3) I’d forgotten to set mine up to print multiple to a page, but the guy was nice enough to set them up 2-up, but if I really wanted to conserve paper and had thought ahead I could have 3-up. 4) The print shop might have a die-cut thing so that they can do rounded corners. It cost about $15 extra but that little extra touch made them look so much more finished.

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  • Mur

    I’m really curious to see what Ellie’s pocketfold looked like. I keep re-reading the description and I don’t get it. Are there any pictures?

  • Albert einstien

    The stuff
    written in the blogs have allured me!!!
    http://www.preciousinvitations.co.uk

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  • meow

    Very very lovely wedding
    invitation designs! I have been a part of creating simple handmade invitations
    for my friends and I was so delighted to have found more of these lovely
    inspirations. Please please allow me to pin them on my Pinterest board? thanks much!!@

    Wedding
    Invitation Designs