e.m. papers: Printable & Affordable Wedding Invitations

It occurred to me as I was sitting down to write this post about long time APW sponsor e.m. papers that, if e.m. papers had existed earlier, APW might never have existed. (Crazy but true.) I just finished touring the country telling everyone, including NPR, that I started APW in 2008 after coming home crying when I found a “budget invitation option” on a blog… and then figuring out that the “budget option” was $2,000. For invitations. Which? Possibly lovely, clearly not budget. Cue the tears, the mini-breakdown, and the suggestion from David I start APW. Which is a long way of saying that I’m so grateful to Eleanor and e.m. papers and the affordable and gorgeous invitation options that she’s creating for all of you. This means that, unlike me, you should be spared a sobbing meltdown, and it will be replaced with a happy paper goods buzz.

Here is how it works. Eleanor (who you’ll remember from her beautiful international wedding) designs simple and lovely invitations. You can go to her website and browse and find something you love. You can buy wedding invitations, save the dates, programs, menus, and basically everything you could possibly want on their own, for super affordable prices (wedding invitations are just $29)—or you can buy full wedding sets with everything you’ll need for $69 or $129.

Each template is a PDF form in which you just type in all of your wedding information, you can download the templates directly from the site and be ready to go immediately. And yes, you can totally change the colors. Send Eleanor an email with the color(s) you want, she’ll work with you to create the custom templates and will then send you your files via email.

And! In case you’re worried about printing invitations, it’s totally not scary. In fact, we at APW have already done a two-part How-To tutorial for you where we walk you through printing your invites at home, or printing them using a professional print service. So go forth and save money (and stop fretting!) Plus, e.m. papers is offering 15% off on all APW orders until the end of March with the code apwem, either punch it in at checkout (if it’s a custom order, mention it in the email). Which makes all this just about perfect.

As a long time member of Team Practical, Eleanor totally gets you. She told me, “I like working with APW couples because they are so down to earth and well, practical. All of my experiences with APW customers is that they have been fun, easy people who communicate well, and appreciate working with small vendors.” (And did I mention that she provides a free wedding invitation template, just because she knows a few of you will need it? Yes, she’s totally a doll.)

She says, “My artistic philosophy is that good design trumps all and form follows function and keep it simple! I try to make sure that the design is lovely, cool, and awesome enough so that even if you print the templates out on bargain bin cardstock from Staples and a ream of copy paper your partner stole from the office supply room it’ll still look great. I also create my designs in a way that doesn’t require having a printer with fancy features like borderless printing and that don’t have too many massive fields of color or full bleeds (where the color goes off the page); this helps to not use so much ink. All templates are designed to minimize any fussiness and difficulty. Where I can reduce the amounts of cuts and folds on a template, I do. Any design feature that has a chance of resulting in tears and frustration at 2 a.m. is studiously avoided!” Right? Right.

Eleanor is also hard at work on a bunch of interesting projects. She’s one of the designers for the APW+Glö partnership, so you can also get a matching wedding website with her designs. She’s also rolled out a lot of (gorgeous) new wedding invites in the last year. (Hint: If you see an invite design and want other templates that match, just ask, and she’ll make this happen.) Plus! She launched an international site, and all of her items are also available in A4/ISO compatible templates with fonts that support all European based languages. She says, “I have customers from Norway, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, and South America and many other places and they’ve all been able to type in their ø’s, ö’s, ç’s, ß’s, and ñ’s on the international templates with no problemos!” Hurrah!

So, APW-ers. There doesn’t need to be any more sobbing meltdowns over $2,000 “budget” wedding invitations because now we have Eleanor and the lovely e.m. papers. The meltdown that started APW is meltdown enough. So go, print wonderful and affordable wedding invitations, and enjoy.

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  • I LOVE the garden one! I would be so delighted if the host of our engagement party used those :)

    I’m printing ALL our wedding stationary at home, and it’s been great! I was still shocked at the cost of paper and envelopes, but I’ve spent about 10% what I would have otherwise. Ladies, you can do this!

    PS: Ask your FMIL to help you cut it all out!

  • sb

    OK, this is going to sound grumpy and some of you are going to hate me for it. But I read the comment policy and it is something I would calmly say to someone’s face, so here goes.

    There are several typos in these invites. Some are nit-picky (comma splice) and some are spelling errors (marragine). Maybe it’s on purpose to keep people from copying their work from pictures on the internet, and this is clearly not a problem unique to this vendor, but it’s worth reminding people to really really read their invitations before they’re printed–or to have their favorite grammar-nut friend do it.

    • meg

      Well, in this case, the user puts the information into the wedding invite. So! Yes, a good reminder to edit those. However, as a dyslexic, I’d like to remind us to not make value judgements around typos, yes?

      • sb

        I totally agree–typos are errors, not signs of moral weakness! Most people would prefer to avoid them, but most people would prefer to avoid all the crazy things that can go wrong with a wedding (and of course, none of us can!).

    • Hi SB,
      Thanks for pointing this out! I would love to say that is intentional so that people don’t copy my work, but er, that wasn’t it! It is just plain old typo-blindness from looking at my own work too long!

      Your advice is golden! Sometimes it is not even typos. On our California wedding invite we wrote that it was on Saturday, August 7th – problem is there was no such date it was August 6th. I, my husband, my dad and my step mom all reviewed the invite and we ALL missed it. So yes you are right REALLY read it, so thanks for the reminder.

  • I found a free invitation template online that I am messing with in Photoshop to make it a bit geekier, and then having them letterpress printed. All for around $300 (maybe slightly more if we have the corners rounded). My fiance pointed out that I am *such* a perfectionist, and our current printer at home is *so* crappy, that trying to print them ourselves would just be more stress than we really need to deal with. AKA, he didn’t want to have to deal with me crying and swearing at the printer, and agonizing over which paper to print them on. Plus I am a geek for letterpress and LOVE it, so finding affordable letterpress was a godsend. (To help cut down costs, we’re having the link for our wedding website/RSVP printed at the bottom of the invitation, and just having one side of one page printed. I feel like letterpress will make it feel fancy enough while still keeping costs manageable, especially since we’re designing the invitation ourselves.)


    These are lovely, and a great price!

  • Katy

    LOVE LOVE LOVE e.m. papers! I used her product for our engagement party. Everything printed so nicely and it was soooo easy to use!

  • Richelle

    I am blown away

  • Kathryn

    I just finished a HUGE monster of a project for work that involved writing, designing, and printing 60 copies of 5 documents with a total of 65 pages, each finished in different ways (spiral binding, laminating, color, etc). I worked with a local print shop (holler if you’re in RTP and want to know where), and was beyond thrilled with every aspect of their service. They were polite, professional, knowledgable, patient, and quick. They answered all my nit-picky questions and made judgement calls when I didn’t know enough to have an opinion. They took more than one panicked phone call, got the work done according to my very tight timeline, collated everything for me (with divider papers to make my life easier!), and delivered it to my office for no extra charge. Every single piece had vibrant color and looked sharp and professional, everything was done exactly to my specifications, and wonder of wonders, the lamination had no bubbles! All that, with super-reasonable prices.

    What I’m saying here is to go find a local print shop. Don’t stress yourself out with buying fancy paper and a Martha Stewart craft punch. You’ll just end up wandering the aisles in Michael’s and doubting your choices. Don’t trust Zazzle (seriously, they’re okay for some stuff, but it’s not exactly Detail Central over there). Find a professional you can talk to in person, and prepare to be dazzled. You won’t be paying that much more, and you will be SO MUCH happier with what you get.

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