Tips for Printing Your DIY Wedding Invitations

DIY wedding invitations are a simple way to cut the cost of your big day while making a strong style statement. The average set of wedding invitations from a design studio starts at about $1,200, but DIY wedding invitations are a far more inexpensive option and can be printed for as little as $150.

Picking a Design

The first step in creating your own wedding invitations is to choose a suitable design. One Heart Weddings has many wedding invitation templates to choose from, including both contemporary and traditional looks. Most also have matching response cards, programs, and thank you cards to help you pull together a coordinated look for your big day.

Square invitations cost more to mail, so sticking to a standard print size is recommended if you're on a tight budget. The A7 and A9 sizes are the most popular. The A7 card size is 5x7". The A9 card size is 5 ½" x 8 ½".

Designs without colored backgrounds are generally the best choice for printing at home, since they'll use less ink. If you choose a design with a dark colored background, you may experience streaking once your ink cartridge starts to run low.

Keep your inserts to a minimum by creating a wedding website with important information such as where to reserve discounted hotel rooms or directions to the reception hall. Include a small card in your invitation that lists the website address and what information guests can expect to find.

Choosing Your Supplies

Pre-cut textured cardstock in the appropriate size can be a great timesaver when it comes to printing your wedding invitations. This cardstock typically comes in a full rainbow of colors, as well as the slightly more expensive shimmer finishes. Most places also sell matching envelopes. If you order from a stationery shop that specializes in invitations, you may also be able to find pre-cut envelope liners to add a polished touch to your project.

If you don't want to buy pre-cut cardstock, look for high quality 110 lb. cardstock. Many brides like the traditional elegance of 100% cotton paper, but kraft stock can also be a great choice for a more casual wedding. You should also invest in a quality paper trimmer to help you accurately cut the printed invitations to the correct size.

Regardless of whether you buy precut cardstock or cut your own down to size, buy 20-25% more paper than what you think you'll need. Your printer will inevitably jam once or twice during this process or you'll end up smearing the ink on a few invitations. If you have extra paper, this isn't a big deal. Depending upon where you purchase your supplies from, you may even be able to return the unopened extras at a later date.

Other optional accessories that you may want to consider include a return address embosser so you don't need to write out your return address by hand on each envelope, a bone folder for making neat creases in your paper, and a Xyron machine to apply a thin layer of adhesive to ribbon or other added embellishments you wish to use.

Printing Tips

If you have an older printer or one that uses very expensive ink cartridges, consider an upgrade before you begin. The newer printer models are faster and ink is generally cheaper. For example, select HP printers are eligible for HP Instant Ink, an automatic ink replacement service that lets you print 300 pages for $9.99 per month -- even if these pages are full color wedding invitations!

If you're not replacing your printer, at least invest in the proper ink cartridges. Although off-brand ink cartridges are fine for everyday printing, you'll get sharper colors and crisper graphics using the correct name brand ink cartridges. Printer manufacturers go through an extensive testing process to make their brand name cartridges produce top notch results.

When it's time to print, make sure your paper is loaded straight in your printer so your design doesn't print off center. Remember to choose the "Best" or "High" quality setting on your printer. You should also select the appropriate paper type in your print dialog box.

Print only few invitations at a time so you can check to make sure they look right. If possible, lay the invitations out flat and unstacked to dry to prevent smearing. Do not add sashes or ribbons to your invitations until you're positive the ink is completely dry.

Professional Printing

If you need a large number of invitations or don't have time to print them out individually at home, seek out a professional printer with heavy duty printing supplies. If there's no independent printer in your area, both Staples and Office Depot will print wedding invitations starting at about $1 per invitation. This can still represent a substantial cost savings over ordering from a specialty wedding invitation printer.

The Benefits of DIY Invitations

Even if you don't consider yourself a "crafty" person, creating DIY wedding invitations is not a difficult task. A small investment of your time can result in a significant savings. If you invite friends or family over to help you assemble the invitations, the experience can even double as a chance to share your excitement for your approaching nuptials.

Written by: The Printable Wedding Team