Your wedding invitations will be the first impression that guests get of your big day. That's why you want them to shine! If you're thinking of making your own DIY wedding invites, this is the guide you need to make sure you don't miss anything, and make your invites are a hit. There are a lot of things to consider when going the DIY route, but this guide will keep you organized and give you some fresh ideas before you get started, along with som general Do's and Don'ts.
Wedding Guest List & Budget
The first step is to figure out who you're going to invite. This can be tough! You don't want to offend any friends or family, but you also need to keep the guest list within your budget range. This can mean being selective. If there are people you think expect to be invited who you can't include, you might want to just reach out to them and tell them you'd love for them to be there, but due to financial restraints had to keep the guest list very tight. Either way, making your guest list is your first step.
Since the headcount is tied directly to budget, it makes sense to do both of these steps at once. Keep in mind that the average wedding invite costs almost 50 cents each, as long as the invites come in at under one ounce. This is important to know when you're deciding on things like what type and thickness of paper to use. A typical total, just for invites and postage, comes to somewhere around $425 to over $600 dollars.
Brainstorm Style and Theme
When you pick a style and theme for the invites, think of the visual elements of your upcoming wedding. Is it a rustic wedding in a renovated barn in the countryside? A church wedding? A beach wedding? Something else entirely? You want your invites to reflect this. Also think about the color palette you are going with for your big day. You want everything to tie in, so if you're going to have a lavender wedding, earth tones might not be a good fit for your invites. Will your wedding be funky and fun, or formal and somber? Think about this when choosing fonts and other design elements so that the theme of your invites feels like a good match!
Consider colors, fonts, the size and shape of the card, the layout of the text, any additional patterns or decorations, and even the card material and the appearance of the envelopes the cards will be sent in. There are even differnent ways to print them that should be considered part of the overall theme. Do you want raised text, engraved text, letter pressed, printed online, or done some other way? These will all come out with a different look and feel!
Of course, before you make your choices, you need to know what the options are. To that end, we'll get into more detail on some of the key elements next.
Your wedding invitation paper options are so varied as to be overwhleming. However, here are some of the most common types:
Cotton paper is soft and pleasant to touch. It has a luxurious feel that is a good fit for a wide variety of wedding themes. It's considered a higher-end type of paper. Thicker paper means a softer touch and a fancier vibe, but ups the cost.
Linen is another high-end option, with a soft touch that some prefer to cotton. Like cotton (and all invitation paper), a higher thickness will feel fancier, but come at a higher pricetag.
For couples seeking the soft feel of a fabric paper, but can't afford cotton or linen, felt is a great lower-budget alternative!
Parchment doesn't give you any of the softness of cotton, linen, or felt, but is excellent if you want an old-fashioned feel (and want to spend way less). It's one of the most affordable paper options for wedding invitations. For 1920's or Gatsby-themed weddings, old timey-looking parchment could be perfect. It also works great for rustic or country weddings. You can use parchment invites without sacrificing elegance.
Vellum is a material that can be laid over parchment paper to give it a fancier look and feel. Vellum has a texture that is usually sort of rough, or eggshell-like. It's not too expensive, and has a versatile look and feel that fits a variety of wedding themes.
Metallic paper is glossy and brilliant, bringing out bright colors and lending a deeper, almost 3D look to imagery. These tend to be a little pricier, but are more durable than other types and really make images pop.
If you want to make an environmental statement, you can't go wrong with recycled paper. It's also affordable, so you can save money and save the planet at the same time.
What Goes Inside Wedding Invitations?
Most wedding invitations have a few different components. First off, for each element, make sure you get samples and/or mock-ups from the printer so that you know it all fits, looks and feels the way you want it to, etc! Now, onto what to include.
You'll want to include an RSVP card and pre-addressed return envelope for recipients to send back their RSVP. You may also want to include a card with directions to the venue, information on local accommodations, a brief schedule of the wedding day, and your wedding website. This way, your invites contain everything each guest needs to plan their trip and know what to expect. As for the cost, ordering online usually gets your envelopes included in the price. Even if this is the case, however, make sure to test one out to make sure everything fits! Envelopes need extra space for all the elements, and should close fully with an elegant seal that you'll have to pick out as well.
Wedding Invitation Extras
There are tons of options for extras, and while some are low-cost, others will add substantial cost to your total. Calligraphy is a popular one, but since it requires an expert to do your invites by hand, it adds a huge premium. Glitter is also popular. Foil stamping is another option that lets you add some extra definition to your invites, making them shine (literally) without adding too much to your total. Combining a simple, low-cost paper card with a low-cost extra like foil stamping is a great budget trick to make your money go farther.