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.)
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.
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.
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.