August 11, 2011

DIY Wedding Invitations

Wedding invitations are not cheap. After dropping thousands on deposits for your venue, caterer, flowers, photographer, dress, cake, etc., invitations are not something you want to splurge on. And it is so hard to find decently priced wedding invitations that are pretty and made of good quality. After searching for hours upon hours on various websites (from American Weddings to Wedding Paper Divas to Costco) and not finding anything that I liked that was less than $500 before postage, I resolved to try to design my own. I started playing around on Microsoft Publisher, found a website that allowed you to download free design graphics, and finally came out with invitations and RSVP postcards that my mom and I both liked. It was not an easy process. I probably spent 30+ hours working on the tedious details: the size of the invitation, the fonts, the colors. At times I wanted to pull my hair out! BUT they ended up looking exactly like I wanted and for SO much cheaper. I had a family member in Greenville, SC take them to be printed at Bob Jones University Press on nice cardstock paper (it was just a really good deal to get it printed there. I'm sure there are other printing presses that have great deals). I then borrowed a paper cutter to cut them to size and ordered envelopes to fit from an online paper company. The total cost before postage was less than $150!

If you are considering DIY-ing your wedding invitations (or any invitations for that matter), here are some tips I would give you:

1. Make sure you are willing to put time into it. What you're not paying in money, you will be paying in time, and if you are working a full-time job and only have a few months to plan, you will not get these done in time.
2. Browse online invitation websites and see if you can get an idea of what you want yours to look like. Not many people can just design something on the fly and come up with something eye pleasing. I am not a graphic design artist and I knew that, so I got ideas from other people who are before I started!
3. Look at envelope sizes FIRST, then you can know how to size your invitations on Publisher. I had designed my invitations, then got around to ordering envelopes, and found they only came in certain standard sizes and I had to resize my invitations. Ugh, it is never fun to redo work!
4. Find a good printing press that will do quality printing for a good deal. Send them a proof of your work, and have them print a free sample for you. That way you know how it will turn out.
5. Have patience. Like I said, this project will take time, and it can be stressful when it's not working out like you pictured in your mind.
6. Solicit help from others. Get a second opinion from your mom, your maid of honor, or anyone else who knows the theme and colors of your wedding and has a good eye. Sometimes others' ideas combined with yours will turn into the best results.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to email me ( or leave me a comment on this page!

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