DIY Wedding Invitations

Summer is upon us, and that means weddings are filling up the calendars for the rest of the year.
Whether you are getting married on a small or larger budget, one of the most costly items may be your invitations.

For the DIY bride looking to make her own invites, here are a few invite ideas that may help!

Invitations and some aspects of a wedding can be done beautifully on a budget and without fancy machines.
I will tell you now, I may be a craftaholic, but I don't own a Cricuit or Silhouette machine! 

Don't lose heart and think that making your own simple invites has to be costly or stressful.

1. Think about how you envision your wedding day to be. 
Get and idea of the general feel you are going for: colors, theme (if any)
The invitation sets the tone for your invited guests, and gives them a glimpse of what your wedding day is going to be like.

Your invitations should represent you and your fiance's vision and atmosphere you imagine on that special day. {I once had a bride make Celtic scroll invites for her Scottish-themed wedding. Wow!}

2. Determine your budget and what your wise investments are.
If you decide to go handmade, you can definitely make beautiful invitations that cost about $1. 
Things to not skimp on are: 
                                          paper trimmer
                                          great print quality (see your printer manual)
                                          adhesive (if you are using multiple layers of cardstock or embellishments)

Will you be wanting square invites? This will cost more to mail.

RSVP cards? This will double the postage costs and increase the weight of your invite. 

Questions like these will help you determine the average cost per invitation. 

3. Figure out what size/shape you want your invites to be. 
-folded or flat? square or rectangle? (5x7 is a good universal size you can easily find envelopes for)
Depending on the size and shape, envelopes and postage costs will vary. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box. This is your wedding, and can be done your way.

4. Get the most out of your cardstock.
I prefer heavy weight cardstock and also orange-peel textured cardstocks when I print invitations. The most cost effective way to get the most out of a 12x12 piece of cardstock is by cutting it in this fashion.
You can get four 5x7 cards this way!

5. Don't skip embellishments like
fabric- makes pretty ruffles
punches- can add detail to corners and edges
notions and lace- things sold by the yard
ribbon- a bow always adds elegance, especially organza
buttons- cut off the shank and adhere to the front of your invitation
beads- require a little patience and probably extra postage, but beautiful

6. Play with your wording.
Wording an invitation can be the most scary part. The wording is meant to clearly inform your guests where and when your event is taking place. SO,
-try to keep your fonts legible, and spell-check!
-common etiquette recommends you spell all words out (Texas vs. TX)
-Inclusion of middle names and/or parents' names isn't a must
-Use wording that reflects you and your fiance's style

7. Consider clip art and fonts
Clip art is a great way to dress up invitations inexpensively. With a small purchase and permission, you can print as many items as you want for your personal use. Use that clip art on your invites, table settings, RSVP cards...whatever you want! So easy!

Fonts can also be very inexpensive, or even free. Find ones you like and play around with the scripts or capital/lowercase versions to find what you like best. I tend to make the bride and groom names stand out in some way, so experiment with what style you like.

8. Envelopes
I actually think the envelope is very important. You don't want thin, flimsy envelopes that won't stay closed or that fall apart in the mail. Nowadays, there are many options for invitation envelopes as far as size and variety goes. You can even get them lined in a color, or in a special size.

9. Printing
Ink will most likely be one of the most costly thing about making your own invitations. If you use clip art and a bunch of colors, keep this in mind. I often am able to print 200+ invites with a moderate amount of wording/images on just one cartridge. Black ink is cheaper than color, so consider adding color with the cardstock you choose instead.

10. Mailing them out!
Generally, you would like to send your invitations out 2 months in advance. Depending on if your wedding is a destination wedding, or if you know many of your guests are out of state, you might decide to send them earlier or use a save-the-date.

If your invites have any extra weight to them from embellishments, have them weighed and hand cancelled by the postal clerk.

I know hand-making invites might take a little time and be a little stressful, but it doesn't have to be.
 Clearly inform your guests, and the rest of the invitation's style can be as unique as you are.
Not only will your guests be gifted with something handmade, you get to save money too!

Do you have any other questions about making handmade wedding invitations? Feel free to ask!