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DIY Wedding Invitations: Everything You Need To Know


All the basics to get you from start to finish without crying (too much)

by Lucy Bennett

As a graphic designer and someone who pulled out all the stops designing her own wedding invitations, believe me when I say you can make DIY wedding invitations as simple or as complicated as you want. A lot of people go into making their own invitations hoping to save money, but I’ll tell you up front: there are plenty of affordable places to get nice invites with less work than it will take you to DIY wedding invitations. However, if you have specific reasons to go DIY on your paper (like, you want to bring your specific idea to life, or you want to get creative) read on. (Fun fact: Every APW editor DIYed their wedding invitations, so we’ve got your back here.)

how to diy your own wedding invitations

Printing Options For DIY Wedding INVITATIONS

There’s huge variety when it comes to the execution of DIY wedding invitations these days, so before you start buying paper or ink, you need to think about the final form of your invite: how will it look, and what process do you want to use to make it? Here are just a few options, and their pros and cons.

Related: Wedding Invitation Wording Samples (For Real Life)

Letterpress: The designer and paper lover’s dream, letterpress is visually lovely and highly coveted all over Pinterest. However, it is expensive because it is a fine art that requires some heavy machinery. Letterpress is the option to use when you want to support the artists making it, not because you think you should. Thomas Printers is a great option for people looking for letterpress invites on a reasonable budget. The other option to letterpress is to build your own, but you better have a serious love for the actual craft. The majority of your guests, sadly, won’t know or won’t care that your invites are letterpressed.

ONLINE PRINTING: There’s a pretty wide variety when it comes printing via online companies, so always make sure you can get a proof of your invitation. With some companies, that may cost extra, but it’s usually not very much. Much like with at-home printing, your paper options will usually be limited to whatever the company carries, and each company’s paper set is going to be slightly different. You can usually request paper samples for free. Here are a few companies I’ve used with good results:

AT-HOME PRINTING: By far the most accessible, this is easiest option for tackling the project in smaller chunks on weeknights rather than spending hours in a studio or waiting at a print shop. However, you should test paper before buying a ton of it, printers can be especially finicky, and your can’t exactly change the ink your printer uses. If your printer isn’t higher end, you may have very limited paper options. Here’s a little more on at-home printing.

LOCAL PRINTING: When it comes to short run printing, the local option is my favorite option. Local print shops may not be able to match the price of many online vendors, but you get to have more of a hand in the process, and therefore a little more control over the end result. Some will even let you bring in your own paper, and most will let you use their paper cutters for free (sometimes even if you haven’t printed anything through them). Unfortunately, not all local shops are created equal—some FedEx Office shops are great, others not so much. You’ll need to do your due diligence to find a good match. InkerLinker is also a good place to find amazing, non-FedEx print shops near you.

GOCCO: Gocco printing is a pretty, small-scale version of screen printing, which is why the Internet loves it so much. However, gocco is also an almost entirely dead art at this point, so if you’re taking it up simply for your invitation printing… maybe step back from the Internet for a week, and then decide. (Editor’s note: Both Meg and Maddie did this and… uh… probably wouldn’t advise it to anyone.) You can look up screen printers in your area for a similar style of printing, but it’s a pricier option, much like letterpress.

white wedding invitations with black type

Design Tips (And Options) For DIY Wedding INVITATIONS

Now that you’ve covered how you’ll be printing or creating your invite, let’s talk about how you’ll put your information together in a pretty way.

Designing Your Own: If you’re choosing to design your own DIY wedding invitations, you probably have a good idea of what you’re hoping it will look like. You might even have a grasp of some of the skills you’ll be bringing to the table to make that vision a reality. Or, you’re hoping to learn a little more about the process and designing in general. Or maybe you just want to get a little crafty. All of these reasons, and more, are good reasons to do your own invites. We’ve got a whole bunch of extra tutorials, in case you want to brush up on a few skills before you put proverbial pen to paper.

Buying/Finding A Design: If you don’t have design experience, and you’re not fond of pushing images and text around on pages (aka, does the idea of designing a flyer for a Bake Sale or some other event excite you, or does it make you hide under your desk?), you’re going to need to find someone to design your DIY wedding invitations for you. Fear not! Thanks to the Internet (and Etsy, bless), there are tons of places to get an invitation design. Some are even our sponsors! Here’s a short list of places to check out.

white wedding invitations with flowery red type

Paper Choices For DIY WEdding INVITATIONS

There’s enough variety in paper types, weights, and finishes to make your head spin and keep you busy for weeks. Here’s the basics on what you need to know for choosing what paper you’ll print your DIY wedding invitations on.

Finish: Your paper finish will affect how you’re able to print and how much ink your invitation will take. Glossy papers take a lot more ink and longer to dry. Linen papers and papers with more texture have a much higher tendency to bleed, and so they won’t work with some at-home printers where you can’t change your ink settings. If you’re not interested in researching finishes because you’re not a weird nerd (like myself) who likes to feel on paper, a matte card stock is an easy, relatively foolproof option that will more than likely work for the printer you’re using.

Weight: Paper thickness is measured by weight. The higher number you see, in pounds, on the packaging label, the thicker your paper is. This doesn’t mean you have to find the thickest paper you can—most card stocks are a great weight for invitations and can hold up to being mailed.

If you’re buying your own paper, you can find a good selection at local office shops when it comes to card stocks and glossy photo paper. However, if you’re looking for linens or specialty papers, you may have to go online. Always get a sample before buying a huge stack of paper, and do a test print, to make sure that whoever or where ever you’re printing from can actually use the paper you’ve selected with your design and medium. Here are a few other places to buy paper from.

white and black diy wedding invitations

Tips For PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Paper cutting: The Internet loves to tell you that if you are doing your own DIY wedding invitations, you need to invest in a professional paper cutter, or at least a rotary cutter, along with a tape gun, and the list goes on. You can skip this by ordering paper that’s cut to size—always double check to make sure you can print said format of course—and skipping any taped on embellishments. I promise, a fancy invitation need not have three layers of cardstock and the ability to stand on its own.

However, if a paper cutter sounds like a useful thing that has a place in your office, buy it! You don’t need to shell out $100 for a good one. This $25 trimmer has been a great little workhorse for me for about four years now, through invitations, photo albums, and many, many other late night print jobs.

Packaging And Embellishments: If you’re adding embellishments, or you’re mailing more than just an invite plus an RSVP card (we opted to mail more info, because of the destination aspect), keep track of the weight of your invitation suite once it’s all packed up. Depending on its size, you may be facing more postage fees than a simple stamp will cover. You can get a postage estimate using a kitchen scale and checking on the USPS website. Through the USPS website I also learned that square invites and envelopes cost more in postage, by a significant amount. It’s not worth it.

ADDRESSES: You can choose to address your invitations by hand, or you can decide to print labels. Don’t let the WIC bully you into thinking your own handwriting isn’t good enough, or that the convenience of labels is tacky. As for the actual addresses, here are a few tips on how to address invitations formally, accounting for a whole host of last name conventions.

POSTAGE and Quantities: The number one tip you need when it comes to sending out your invites, is that your guest list number does not equal the number of invites your sending. Do the math on how many couples you have ahead of time, and you won’t make the common mistake of ordering about double the invites you need.

RSVPS: Whether you choose to include a card for your guests to drop in the mail, a phone number to call, an email address to reply to, or a website to visit in order to collect your RSVPs, prepare yourself to have to hunt down more than a few people, regardless of your chosen method. We saved paper by only sending physical RSVP cards to our older guests (i.e., those who do not, and never will, own a computer or a smart phone) because we knew we’d have to chase down responses anyway. So we saved a little bit of money where we felt it might be thrown away otherwise. Here are a few more tips for collecting RSVPs.

Have fun, and happy printing.

(And obviously, if you designed or printed your own DIY Wedding invitations, share a picture in the comments, stat!)

Lucy Bennett

Lucy a freelance designer/writer hybrid. When not coming up with weird self-challenges, she can be found marathoning TV shows or playing board games. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, her moderately internet-famous pup, and two cats. She takes herself very seriously.

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  • Bethany

    Thank you! This is *exactly* what my fiance and I needed. We wanted to do it somewhat ourselves but gathering the information was a bit overwhelming. Thank you so much for this!

  • Sarah

    So as I’m rounding the corner about to send out invites, I realized that some of the stuff we are sending is portrait-oriented and some is landscape-oriented. Is this wrong? Do I pack it so its all right side up or so that the dimensions match up? Why did this never occur to me sooner?

    • kate

      personally, i don’t think i’d even notice. i’ve seen fancier invites that have everything tied together, all facing the same way, with a belly band, but i’ve also seen plenty that are just each piece together in the envelope facing whatever way the senders have deemed logical and that’s how ours will be. so, as with most things invite: someone might think it’s tacky, but do whatever you’re comfortable with that doesn’t make you nuts and i think you’ll be fine. :)

    • Kayjayoh

      I wouldn’t worry about that even a little bit. For one thing, as soon as the envelope gets opened, everything will scatter. Invite stuck on the fridge, rsvp in the mail, info card somewhere on the desk, etc.

      • kate

        exactly.

      • Sarah E

        And variety is the spice of life ;-)

  • Lulu

    To my judgmental, old-fashioned heart, the convenience of labels IS tacky. It takes about 30 seconds per envelope to be human and personal instead of making your lovely invitation look like junk mail.

    • Meredith

      No matter what you do, someone is going to think you’re tacky.

      • K.

        Yes, seriously. I have family members who would find calligraphed invitations “gauche,” I have family members who don’t understand why we aren’t just emailing people, and I have family members who will freak that the paper we choose isn’t a certain, proper weight. Just gotta do you, as the kids say.

    • K.

      Eh, lots of aspects of my wedding are going to be human and personal; I’m not going to lose sleep over whether my envelopes are! Different strokes. :)

    • Kayjayoh

      Fine. Hand label your envelopes. But what *is* actually really tacky is coming around and telling people that a reasonable time and labor-saving thing (not to mention a thing that saves on mistakes and hard-to-read addresses) is tacky.

      • Kayjayoh

        I liked having a list of addresses that we were able to double and triple-check for accuracy, and know that when the labels were printed, no new errors were being introduced by someone handwriting the wrong info and that everyone at USPS would be able to read them.

        • Kayjayoh

          Also: the envelope gets torn open and tossed within the first minute most of the time.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Dude, it took me houuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurs to hand address our invite envelopes. By the end of it, it looked like a five year old was writing addresses on the front and I just DID NOT CARE.

    • Bernice

      They might be tacky, but the computers at the post office can read them, meaning they get there faster. We did an elaborate craft with our address labels and I’m thrilled with how it turned out, but it means all our addresses have to be hand-read by a person and entered. We had some other delays (postage issues, east coast weather Armageddon), which meant our invitations got there even later. I’m happy with the decision we made. But if you are crunched on time, this is something to consider. Printed labels cuts your mailing time down considerably (by at least a day according to our post office guy).

      • Meg Keene

        God, and USPS is getting worse all the time. I suggest adding a few WEEKS for mailing, because I keep seeing stories (and having the experience) of mail coming back to you SIX WEEKS LATER, for no real reason. (Though had addressing and calligraphy will for sure make the situation worse). Nothing like finding out the week before the wedding your friend across the country didn’t get their invite.

    • Sarah

      My printed addresses looked amazing (and not like junk mail) because we used the same script font that was on our invitations, thank you very much.

      • bket

        Me too! Courier New font library envelopes with clear labels in the same typewriter font FTW!

    • Meg Keene

      HA. Look, I have a judgemental old fashioned heart, but I’ve also been doing this a long time. The reality of writing 100 addresses, on top of… I don’t know… having a job, maybe making your invitations, having to plan your wedding with no help—NOT REALISTIC FOR MOST PEOPLE. (Save yourselves.)

      If you feel strongly about hand addressing your envelopes, do it. But please don’t tell other people making reasonable choices that they’re tacky. That’s not how we do here.

      • Lulu

        I think everyone to some degree has their irrational, visceral “oh hell no, not if you have to wrench the calligraphy pen from my dead cramped shriveled hands” etiquette or tradition hill that they will die on. So sorry to have stated mine so poorly and offensively– seriously, I apologize.

        (But, yes, I do have a job, am making my own invitations, and planning with no help, and will still prioritize this– so let it be noted, from the other perspective, that one person’s “NOT REALISTIC” to do is another person’s not “reasonable” to skimp on.)

        • Meg Keene

          Sure. And I guarantee that you’re saving time or money on something else that someone else might judge you for. Because that’s how it works in reality!

    • bket

      My invitations are library cards in Courier New font, so clear labels in Courier New were a perfect accent. This is a complete non-issue. It’s an envelope, not a text message thank you note, for goodness’ sake.

      • KJS

        Library cards are a great idea!

    • KC

      We hand-addressed our Christmas cards this year, and it took longer than 30 seconds per, and had a lot more screw-ups and wasted envelopes (or, um, some where we just crossed out the screw-ups and re-wrote that part of the address, which is probably not something I’d prefer to do on wedding invitations). We also had hand-addressed wedding invites, but that was because I was an idiot and did not question conventional wisdom on that point – I did refuse to chuck a little sheet of tissue paper in front of the invitation in the envelope, though, so, um, ecological points for that? (“we” was a giant party of friends in my living room assembling invitations off all the different lists we’d gotten. The party was human and personal; the invitations were not realistically any more human and personal for having a pen put to them instead of a label, though. The friends with the least chicken-scratch-y handwriting did the addressing, and everyone else was assembling.)

      I also enjoy receiving envelopes addressed by hand by my friends more than ones with labels, but no, I’m not going to say my enjoyment thereof means that other people who are probably already overwhelmed must put in a chunk of extra, hand-cramping work (either for Christmas cards or for invitations). And if someone gets overwhelmed and ends up hiring out the hand-addressing, then you’re talking a complete stranger’s human and personal touch, which does not mean all that much to me…

    • Jules

      I hand-wrote my envelopes purely as a labor of love. I kind of relished the excuse to buy myself $15 of calligraphy supplies and spend the whole day on that project rather than interacting with the visiting future-step-mother-in-law. : )

      I think there a lot of ways to make invites look nice without doing that though, whether you print on envelopes or labels, and wouldn’t bat an eye at receiving one of those.

    • Lindsey d.

      I have horrific handwriting and my husband’s is not any better. The labels we bought for $12 off Etsy looked a gazillion times better on our invitations than anything we could have done ourselves, especially since they were wraparounds that included our return address. And I wasn’t paying for calligraphy. Judge me if you want; I don’t care.

      • Rebecca

        Can you share the etsy link where you bought the labels?

        • Lindsey d.

          Sure! I bought these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/166856055/christmas-wraparound-address-labels?ref=shop_home_active_14), which are actually Christmas labels, but I had the seller remove the Merry Christmas.

          And they were actually $15. I misremembered.

          • Rebecca

            Oh my gosh these are GREAT. I might do it. SO GREAT. And you printed them on your home computer?

          • Lindsey d.

            Nope, printing was included, so I received a package with all the printed labels and a few blank ones in case of errors or additions to our guest list.

          • Rebecca

            Genius, epic, thank you.

          • Lindsey d.

            Glad to help!

  • I also want to mention the site Vista Print. While it has the reputation of being a cheap, commercial online print site (and yes, their site is horribly designed), I basically decided to use them for our wedding invites because I just couldn’t spend any money at all on them. When they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the linen quality of their paper, which was quite good! And a full-bleed photo on one side turned out really well. Even better, they’re always having sales and discount codes throughout the year for even more savings! So if your invites are fairly simple and you can DIY your design, definitely give them a thought.

    • Kayjayoh

      I had really good luck with VistaPrint for every part of my stationery, from small save-the-date magnets to thank you cards. (And then holiday cards, since we had the mailing list.)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Yeah, I’ve heard some VistaPrint badmouthing before but we used them for Save The Dates and was just so pleased with the value. I even used the VistaPrint online design software which was mega basic but really got the job done.

        I wouldn’t use them for a wedding album, necessarily, but postcards get pretty dinged up in the mail anyway…

    • Jade

      We did our invitations through Vistaprint as well and were never disappointed. They actually screwed up the direction cards the first time around (through some ambiguity in their website) and when we told them they shipped over replacements within a day at no extra cost.

      We DIYed a fancy fabric band with embellishments over the whole invitation package, which looks amazing but I am not a DIY person and the process made me a very cranky and annoyed person.

  • Brittany

    I was just about to search for more information on how to do our own invitations! Thank you for this. What perfect timing!

  • Bernice

    Also, be prepared that even if you checked with the post office, you may not have enough postage. We just sent our invites three weeks ago. We have a p.o. Box and are in our local post office often, so when we went in with a huge paper grocery bag of invites, they knew us (I had checked the weight twice) and weren’t surprised. They were busy and instead of making us wait in a long line, just told us to leave the bag and they would take care of it. A couple of days later, a note shows up in our box that some of the invites need more postage. Turns out, they reached the first one that was over and stopped, so like 90% of the invites didn’t go out. I’m busy studying for the bar so by the time my fiance got there to take care of it, our invites went out a week late. I still don’t know why my first two measurements at the same office were wrong (some needed a few extra cents, some were fine). But it was an extra cost and an extra hassle, plus a delay that we weren’t counting on. Add in a huge storm on tree east coast and some of our guests will definitely not get their rsvps in on time. So, definitely measure, but expect and budget for extra postage anyway. I think paper is not necessarily all the same size/weight and that’s what got us. Also!! We got our invites through minted. They’re lovely and we’ve received SO many compliments!

    • jspe

      We also asked at two post offices about proper postage, and when we went to a third to buy the stamps, we discovered that we needed 70 cent stamps, even though the first two told us forever stamps would be fine. Totally annoying. Glad your invites (and mine) got out, if not in the way we expected.

  • jspe

    Another way to find local printers is through this tool: http://www.cwaprintshops.com/ or http://thegloofactory.com/. To be fair, I haven’t used either, but both come highly recommended, and I would have used them if I knew they existed.

    Instead, we grouponed (or Gilt City?) Wedding Paper Divas for our invites, printed Vistaprint Business cards for our RSVP notice, and I taught myself Inkscape (open source adobe illustrator) for our Save the Dates, which I then printed in Vistaprint. Without valuing my time, the Save the Dates were the cheapest. Valuing my time (even at $10/hr), the save the dates were the priciest. That’s fine, but just the reminder that if you don’t have a graphic eye (like me), DIYing invites is a labor of love, not necessarily a cost saving or time saving project.

  • kate

    we’ve only sent save the dates so far, but bought a customized design from an Etsy seller (who was AWESOME) and got them printed at online – this was a GREAT combo of easy and affordable for us who are neither interested or skilled enough to design our own from scratch, but wanted something a little specific and unique.

    • jspe

      If I did this again, I would Etsy Seller + Printer for sure.

    • bket

      Same here, almost. Etsy seller + local printer for printing.

    • BB

      where online did you get them printed?

      • kate

        we got the STDs printed at UPrinting and while they turned out just fine and the site was super easy to use, i think we’ll use Cat Print for the invites because they have some more paper choices so we can order envelopes and all in one go.

    • Audrey

      Hi, what would you search in Etsy to just get the design? Thanks

  • Sarah E

    We used Printable Press for our design (Modern Carnivore), then had it printed at a local shop. The design was $55, printing was about $33. We luckily snagged some pretty, softly printed paper from a grab-bag sale at a local paper-making and letterpress studio (it wasn’t anything they had made themselves, just extra from some other project). Our paper was nice quality, but not any heavier than normal printer paper. The print shop we used had everything printed and cut for us, which was so convenient. What helped us save money was shopping in advance– we bought paper and envelopes a year before our wedding, for maybe $10 total, getting nearly twice what we needed just in case, well before we had decided on any design– and purchasing a non-wedding invitation design. It suits our casual wedding much better, but also fit our envelopes (a 5×7 design wouldn’t have), and was about $20 cheaper (which means fewer proofs to review, but no sweat, PP had it exactly right the first time).

    They’re all going in the recycling anyway, with only a handful of folks who may want to save them. And we bought three different stamp designs because hearts and flowers aren’t our thing (and again, they’re only going in the recycling! Not enough people notice to bother!). I think the only other person who is going to care about the stamps is my BFF because I texted her my plans to buy odd, un-related ones, and I know she’ll adore the commemorative design of the Battle of New Orleans from the War of 1812.

  • FancyPants

    “As best friends become husband and wife”
    I love this line, Lucy! Your invites look very pro.

    • Aww thanks! Spoiler: they look pro because I am in fact a trained pro. I knew I was going to drive some poor designer crazy unless I did my invites myself.

  • Jules

    Tip: mail out a test invitation to yourself (or to a friend – we sent mine to my dad). I wanted to be sure I was putting the correct postage on, even though I’d weighed it with our food scale and calculated the postage on the USPS website.

    …Also, you can calculate postage on the USPS website! That comes in handy when things are going overseas, weight over 1oz, or are a funky non-machineable shape.

  • Lindsey d.

    I used Wedding Paper Divas and loved the ability to customize, but not necessarily design from scratch. I changed fonts and type sizes, played with wording and was able to make this already cool design look just how I wanted it, without having to explain to someone else and having to wait for a gazillion proofs. My kind of DIY.

    • Maggie V

      This is exactly what I did and it was perfect for us. I had them designed and ready for when they sent through a good coupon, so easy.

      • Lindsey d.

        Yes! I definitely waited for a sale and stacked another offer they had given on top of that. I think I saved 30 or 40% that way. Definitely worth it.

  • Caroline

    I DIYed our invites. They cost way more than DIYing them in a less intense manner, and took SO much time, but I loved them. I water colored each invite, response card, and welcome dinner card by hand, then printed them all on my mom’s printer. It was a ton of work, and I love them so so much. (there are a few water drop smudges on this one from being on our fridge, but they looked perfect when we mailed them out.)

    • Meg Keene

      That’s how I felt about our invites. They were a huge (and joint) labor of love. A few people loved them, which was nice. But the honest point is that I’m looking at my invite right now, because it’s on my desk. I keep meaning to get a glass frame thing to make it into a paperweight. My mom had their invitation as a paperweight on her desk when I was a kid. It’s a good touch stone for me. Particularly on bad days ;)

  • We did our own invitations and loved them. It was so fun to do them from start to finish on our own even though neither of us have any training in the graphic design industry.

    But doing them on our own meant when I had the sudden brilliant idea to hide an image of a monkey on our RSVP postcards (because the idea of getting postcards with chimpanzees in the mail made me laugh out loud when it struck and still makes me smile), we were able to easily do that.

    And it means that the binary graphic I designed has shown up in a whole bunch of other places, like the border on our family blog, and will continue to show up since we plan to put it on our grave stone when that time comes.

  • I have always loved paper crafts, so I couldnt imagine not DIYing our invitations. Also, it would save us a lot of money. I have done layout and printing for work, so in the end only a few hours were spent fighting with the printer to get it right on the envelopes! I loved making them, including the whole process of buying vintage stamps and lining envelopes. We had less than 50 invitations sent out, if it had been a lot more I would probably have had to simplify the design. We got lots of compliments, and some thought I had learned calligraphy for the addresses. I wish… The cute illustration was made by one of my husband´s friends.

    • Edit: We used Paperless Post for Save the Dates and Rehearsal invites, and they were really fun too, but a lot easier to make!

      • Gildola

        I love the font you used for the addresses, what is the name?

    • FancyPants

      They are so beautiful! The inside envelope floral design is charming- And I love the type-set (font?)… what I mean to say is “the words are pretty too” :)

    • Gege

      I saw these invites on pinterest couple of weeks ago, and followed them to your blog. Your wedding was beautiful! And, you inspired me to talk to my man about having our photos done in the morning, which turned out to be the perfect solution for us, which neither of us had ever thought of. Thank you!

      • Thank you so much! We loved doing our pictures early, but were also lucky to get some stunning sunset photos since our photographers were with us all day.

    • Your invitations are so cute! I really like them – actually I can’t belive that is’s DIY !

  • EF

    DIYed them too. I’m lucky enough to have a close friend who’s an artist, so we asked her to draw a skyline of Oxford for us (known for its spires…) for the artwork!! Printed at home on recycled cotton paper, in black and white using an inkjet printer. Instead of cutting, tore the edges, as cotton paper tears quite easily and neatly, but the slight raggedness looked better on it. Finally, used recycled pocket cards from PDA craft, which were quite affordable in the UK!! http://www.pdacardandcraft.co.uk/pocketfold-cards/140x140mm-pocketfold-cards-en/recycled-card-pocketfolds-en-2.html

    Oh, and everything was sealed with a logo sticker done by A Printable Press. Definitely worth it, as we also used the logo on other wedding stuff, and it brought it all together.

    Anyway, a big reason for DIYing it was because we’re both pretty passionate about environmental causes, and wanted 100% recycled paper, etc. So things worked out pretty well.

    • Hannah

      Oh my golly, that is gorgeous! Love the dreaming spires….

  • Stacy {Woodsy Weddings}

    These are great tips! We couldn’t afford better paper, so we ended up using tea to stain it and then burned the edges to get a vintage looked.

  • Mandi P

    “your guest list number does not equal the number of invites your sending. Do the math on how many couples you have ahead of time, and you won’t make the common mistake of ordering about double the invites you need.”

    We bought wholesale postcards for our save-the-dates and made the mistake of thinking our guest list number equaled the number of postcards we’d need! Luckily, we’ll be able to use the postcards as casual thank you notes after the wedding. Haha — gotta laugh at yourself sometimes.

    I’ll try to add a picture of the postcards… we’re getting married in the beautiful, remote Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!

  • lori

    I sat down one night and watercolored a border. I didn’t think about paper size. Just… don’t touch anything until you think about paper size. I was obviously a rookie – don’t know what I would have done if the graphic designer/printer at my mom’s work didn’t step in and save me from myself. As in all things wedding, use (and appreciate) your people’s KSAs!

    Loved my invites though, and loved doing them.

    • Rebecca

      I LOVE THIS!

    • Christina A.

      Hi Lori! We loved your invites too. :) I also love that we both read APW — I never knew, but probably should have guessed!

      • lori

        Hilarious! Of COURSE you’re here :D Don’t you have a bachelorette party or something to get to?

    • Sabrina Leigh Wheeler

      I love your watercolor border! I would like to watercolor my own wedding invites… but I don’t know what the best way is to upload and print a physical, tangible design. How did you do it?

  • Laurel

    I stamped all our invites (invited guests = 175). I got a stamp on Etsy and blue ink and kraft paper and did about 10 a day. It was lot of work for sure (and not really that inexpensive), but each one was just a little bit different from the others. Also, I had my mom do a watercolor of where we got married, and we had that printed and wrapped it all up with baker’s twine. Definitely took some time but it was worth it!

  • Rebecca

    I’m smack in the middle of designing our invitations right now! If anyone has ideas on how to make it look a little more polished, that’d be great. My eyes are starting to swim from looking at too many fonts.

    • Rebecca

      And it seems like my pic didn’t post, so here it is.

  • Massiel

    We used Paperless Post to send digital save-the-dates and Wedding Paper Divas to design formal invitations. You’re not really starting from scratch on either but both platforms have a pretty decent amount of customization they offer so you don’t really feel like you’re just regurgitating mass-produced content. However, in retrospect (both in terms of cost and peace of mind) I would hands down recommend going strictly digital across the board to anyone who is considering it. It. Was. Awesome. I caved to WIC/my mom’s peer pressure at the end with regard to sending paper invites, but I would have done it all online if I could do it over again. The final design on our paper invites was really beautiful, but some got lost in the mail, some were printed crooked, weird family drama had people living the same house requesting personal invites that we just could’t accommodate because we could only afford to print a limited amount — all in all, just for the cost, we could have easily spent that money elsewhere. Anyone who says online invites are tacky can suck it. They were beautiful and really a blessing for an organization-loving bride. Sure, you can’t scrapbook it. But whatever.

  • meeliebee

    After weighing our options and having my sister take a crack at the design, we ended up just using word for our invitations and I really loved the way they turned out. We used heavy cardstock and had them printed and cut at Kinkos. We used a heart stamp with red ink to jazz it up a bit and ordered standard sized cream envelopes from Amazon. They weren’t the fanciest by any means, but they worked perfectly for our rustic wedding.

    • lori

      Really like this. What is the sans serif font you’re using there?

      • meeliebee

        Thanks! We used Futura (a little nod to our love for Wes Anderson)

    • Lindsay Carlisle Shay

      Those are beautiful! I love the combination of simple printed invitation with a DIY touch. We had a really simple invite with a small, vintage photo we attached. I didn’t want to do completely handmade, but so many designs we looked at seemed flat or impersonal. We racked our brains for so long trying to figure out a way to add texture or color or some other visual interest.

  • Julia Eckhardt

    DON’T FORGET ABOUT FREE TRIALS! I’m designing and printing my own. I’m a graphic designer, so it isn’t super hard since I already have the know-how and the software too. But a tip for those who don’t have Adobe Creative Suite (meaning InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator mainly – and really only InDesign if you want to keep it simple), you can usually find a 30 day free trial on their website! There are literally BAJILLIONS of great free fonts out there on the internet, and free graphics too! A good way to find cute ones is Pinterest – search free graphics, “your keywords”. Like free handdrawn wreath graphics, etc. You’ll find tons.

  • Julia Eckhardt

    Oh, and search for free high resolution downloadable botanical prints! SO AWESOME and amazing free art that’s super luxe. If you can, take the print into photoshop and erase the background. For example, the invitation in the top image of this post would be insanely easy to make if you get a botanical for the background. You’d take the image into InDesign and literally just slap a white box over it, and then have another box(es) for text. Insanely simple and totally sweet. Just make sure the white of your background matches your paper, or make sure you order super stark white paper.

  • Grace

    I took the DIY to the extreme, and handwrote and hand illustrated each of my invitations. I couldn’t figure out printing, and I really just didn’t want to deal with buying illustrations off etsy. I found an illustration online that I liked and modified it. The main expense was buying the cards, envelopes, and stamps!

  • FancyPants

    I’m late to the party, but just received our invitations from my mom. She, being the wonderful woman she is, volunteered to do our invitations. She loves painting and graphic design, and this was the part of wedding planning she was most stoked to work on- so, Voila! We are so thankful and psyched!
    My mom painted a water color of the barn where we are getting married, scanned the image at Kinko’s, hand wrote the words, then printed them all at Kinko’s. She was reliant on the enthusiastic staff at Kinko’s, but in total, the printing was very affordable, she is happy to have contributed (in such a huge way!), and is now totally over the wedding and relieved the invitations are done. Which is great, because she is much more mellow about all the other decisions being made!

  • Joy

    Thanks for writing this super helpful article, Lucy! Yesterday I was working on my wedding budget, and suddenly I realised there wouldn’t be enough for custom invitations. DIY it is! I ran straight back to your article.

    I have a question about printing. For my STDs, my dream is to make a multi-paneled M-fold (is that a thing?) extravaganza. See a gorgeous version here: http://www.shhhmydarling.com/2015/01/kristen-eric-panama-this-past-year-weve.html. I have all the panels and watercolours planned out!

    And then I realised – can we even print that as a single sheet? So before I go through all the design, does anyone know if it’s possible? Thanks in advance!

    • Ilora

      I’m DIYing pocket fold invites and plan to use poster board from the dollar store (two posters for $1 and each will give me 3 invites, woohoo!), it’s not the nicest quality obviously, but I’m counting on the “oooh cool!” factor balancing that out. I can’t speak to the printing aspect though, probably it would work though. Good Luck!

    • papergirl

      We’re using http://smartpress.com/ to print a similar wedding brochure. I believe they will do any kind of fold that you want.

  • papergirl

    Are there any online printers that will print on nice cotton/textured paper? I don’t know if I’m using the right vocabulary, but it’s the nice paper that’s sort of like water color paper. I’ve ordered some samples from online printers but most of them seem to only offer uncoated or matte, both of which seem to still have some sheen to them.

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  • Great tips for the DIY bride! We love all the ideas and tips you have!

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  • I like diy wedding invitation cards. It’s really awesome ideas and post thnak you for share unique ideas and post..
    http://www.inspired-design.com.au

  • Amy Wang

    Your diy wedding invitation cards are not bad. If you have a video tutorial like as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bkLJ0L0Z_4 , it will be better. Come on!

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  • BadgerinSF

    APW to the rescue! I found this article just as I realized how expensive invitations were. I bought my design from Etsy (Vintage Sweet shop) and had them printed through CatPrint. CatPrint will send you a free sample pack of their different paper and envelope types, plus send you a free proof of your invitations. The main reason I went with them is that they will also print envelopes with each guest name (just remember to ask them to print your return address if you want it). Their customer service was awesome and always responded quickly. I went with Extra Heavy Card Stock – Cream Linen and Cream shimmer envelopes. I had my response cards printed as postcards with my address on the front, so I didn’t have to worry about an extra envelope (not ideal but it works). To finish them off, I wrapped lace around them and secured with glue dots. I paid $200 total for the design and printing (invitation, welcome reception, response cards and envelopes) for 70. I’m thrilled with how they turned out and wouldn’t change a thing.

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  • Mitchel Terrible

    It’s trendy for designing digital wedding invites. Have you ever heard of? Have a try with https://www.amolink.com/.

  • juancarlos

    Love these invitations. I love how you can personalize it with whatever font you like. I love the idea of writing on the bottom of the painting. Maybe I can write the date or our names. I also might use the idea to print it out as a background and print on top of that. I have been making a few custom envelopes uk in the past, they will be corrected this year!

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    Valuable piece ! Just to add my thoughts , if your business is interested a TSP-20 , my business partner filled out and faxed a template version here https://goo.gl/kLQggL.

  • Susan LeStrange

    I need help.
    My fiance drew a picture for us to include on our invitations.(This is still a rough draft and the picture needs to be cleaned up.)

    I saw this great idea where you print all of the little items on 1 sheet of paper and then cut it apart.
    When you place them together they form the picture like a puzzle.

    I like this idea but…. I wanted to spice up the DIY invitations by printing it on white paper and then gluing it to black cardstock….

    Do you think that the picture will be lost if I do this…..or does anyone have any other ideas?

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