So by now in your wedding planning journey I’m sure that you have oogled over pretty wedding invitations at some point. You’ve seen the shutterfly/minted/weddingpaperdivas invitations and been totally amazed. Until you see the price. Oh $5 per invite? That’s not too bad! Multiply that times 100 and you’re like holy crap! Luckily, this is something you can DIY also. Many stores carry their own printable wedding invites. The best place to get them is probably Hobby Lobby, their wedding items go on sale every other week (oh you didn’t know that?? Well now you do!). That brings me to another point, never buy anything from Hobby Lobby if it isn’t on sale!
So maybe you’ve perused the print yourself wedding invites and you’re like ehhh I don’t really like any of those. Never fear, Pinterest is here! Pinterest is a good place to gather ideas, especially if you are a pro at using Illustrator or Photoshop. Lucky for me my autocad and photoshop skills came in handy during this process. I found this blog post, I loved her wedding invite idea and she has free downloadable templates as well.
Since I was more acclimated with photoshop than with illustrator I just changed all the colors there to make it custom to my wedding theme. I also decided to skip the extra step of having to adhere the invite to a larger decorative piece behind it and just added the colored border in photoshop. Don’t be nervous about printing them yourself! it’s super easy and I didn’t really use as much ink as I thought I would. Probably 1.5 sets of ink cartridges and that included printing all the inserts and envelopes. You don’t have to have photoshop to make your own invites, you could certainly whip something up in Word just using cute fonts. You can find many free fonts just by doing a google search.
I got my cardstock in bulk from Amazon. At the time I think it was the cheapest I could find, but you might also check Sam’s Club or Costco. It was plenty to print my invites and inserts and to make several mistakes as well (and I still have a ton left over). To give you an idea, I sent about 75 invites I think. I also bought this sweet paper trimmer on Amazon (can you tell I’m a Prime member? ha). I had one already that I had gotten in college, it was just one of those small Friskars trimmers made for scrapbooking. I thought it would work but it just wasn’t cutting it (pun intended). The only drawback to the Swingline trimmer is that if you aren’t careful your cuts can get a little sideways. I made sure that I had separate lines to follow on my prints outs for cutting. Even so, you’ll still need scissors to kind of trim off the excess parts. I only did one sheet at a time for the invites, and I did two at a time for the inserts. I was able to fit three inserts on each page of cardstock.
You’ll want to do several test runs to make sure the color on your computer screen matches the actual printed color. I got the pocket fold invites and the envelopes at cardsandpockets.com I also liked this site because they tell you the dimensions of the inserts as well, which is what I based mine off of so they would fit properly. Make sure that you get the A7 envelopes for mailing, they are slightly larger than 5×7 so they’ll fit your pocket invites better, especially if you do a wrap of some sort. I also got the RSVP envelopes here. If you are wanting the kraft paper look, I suggest getting the color “harvest.” Make sure that you order samples of any color that you get so you know what it’s going to look like. I used scrapbook adhesive tape to attach the invite to the pocket invitation. I got my paper for the wrap at Hobby Lobby. I picked a 12×12 scrapbook paper because it was easy to divide into four 3″ wide sections. I also cut these with my paper trimmer, I folded them around the pocket invitation and secured it to its self with adhesive tape (you’ll want them to be able to slide off the pocket invite). Then I used jute string to tie a bow around it.
For the large envelopes I printed them myself, this takes a bit of trial and error also, but for the most part it was pretty easy once I figured it out. You can do this in Word. You’ll want to order extra envelopes for when you mess up, because you will. I learned that tucking the flap into the envelope was the best way to run it through the printer, otherwise it jammed up and would rip my envelopes. For the RSVP envelopes, they are too small to run through the printer so I ordered some labels from Amazon and was able to print the address on there and stick them on. These are also great after the wedding because you can make your own cutesy return address labels with their online templates with your new name on it… for freeeee!
My cutesy free return address labels
Now, as far as stamps go, don’t be stupid like me and go buy two rolls of stamps because you think you’re going to put two stamps on each invite. Even after sending all the invites, plus thank you notes, I still have like 50 stamps left. haha. Make sure you weigh your invite. I believe anything less than 1.5 oz 1 stamp will cover, if it’s over you only need a $.21 stamp for every additional ounce. So when you add that up you will be saving a ton doing the two stamps together instead of doing two forever stamps. I’m sure you already know this, but make sure that you put stamps on your RSVP envelopes as well. I should mention that I didn’t trust the adhesive on my envelopes so I used a glue stick to seal them instead.
Remember that your wedding theme should translate throughout your whole wedding, this includes your invites. Since the invites were one of the first things that I did, I was able to use elements from them to tie into other aspects of the wedding, like my wedding programs and my favor tags.
What about save-the-dates?
These you can DIY also. However, I opted to go commercial on this one. I knew that I wanted a postcard because I liked the look (and the stamps are cheaper!). I designed ours at minted.com. I didn’t send them to everyone, just those that I knew lived far away from the event and might need more notice than others that lived closer.
This is also a great way to use your engagement photos. I think I sent these out about 6 months before the wedding. The invites I wanted to send in February (I was chomping at the bit, okay?) but since our church burned down I had to wait until we knew what the new venue would be (yea, so that happened…). I already had all the invitations printed out so I was pretty devastated about everything. What I ended up doing was just printing up little slips of paper in Word that said something like, “Due to unforseen events, the ceremony location has changed, the new location is…” I made sure that these looked very plain jane so that people would know it was different from everything else and would see it first. I stuck it in front of all of the inserts so it was very noticeable. This ended up working out, I don’t think anyone got lost! Haha.
Wedding invites can be super fun. Don’t get too stressed out about how expensive the commercial ones are, making your own can be easy and just as elegant looking! I think everyone really loved ours. I also loved her idea of putting, “We promise to dance if you play…” on the RSVPs. People really loved that! Here’s what mine looked like:
I was torn on reserving rooms at the hotel because of the terms they hold you to. What I ended up doing was just suggesting a couple of hotels and letting the guests make their own decisions. And finally, here’s what the total package looked like:
Oh and as an additional note on this, I highly recommend Target for super cute thank you notes. You will have better luck finding them online than you will in store. I used a more casual looking note for our shower thank-yous and then I ordered a more formal note for our wedding. I hope that this helps you on your wedding planning journey! The DIY route was definitely cheaper than ordering some. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time for all of the printing, cutting, and pasting. Good luck!