I DIY-ed my own wedding invitations and you probably wouldn't be able to tell
If you’re looking for printed wedding invitations, read my post on printed luxury handmade invitations!
As a bride (what a strange term I would have never imagined using on myself), I understand the pain of wanting everything to be perfect within sanity. With a million and one things to budget for, spending a good $500 dollars or more on something that guests might not necessarily appreciate is possibly the last thing you'd want to be splurging on - AKA wedding invitations.
I initially thought of going the fine art wedding invitation route; the fanciest hand lettered stuff dreams are made of. When I started becoming more involved in the planning process, I dropped the idea. Gaining more practical sensibilities, I thought OK we could purchase a design online, and just get them printed at a shop.
Little did I know that wasn't easily achievable or exactly cheap either.
The problem with print shops
With 4 different invitation designs to get printed, each in various small quantities of tens, most printing shops charged for a minimum quantity of 100. Scouring for print shops on the internet, in Singapore and Hong Kong - a place which I thought would provide me a luxury of affordable options - , I was disappointed to find out that the quotes were still above what I'd like to pay for.
Fine art wedding invitations were an absolute no-go given the high cost, and wedding invitation shops in Singapore and Hong Kong felt like quite a rip-off for the small quantity I required.
Then it hit me. I'd remembered printable invitations seen on Etsy but always assumed they'd turn out pretty unprofessional and possibly ugly. Plus all the work printing and cutting. Scrolling through Etsy though, I didn't find a design that I particularly liked; most designs were either very 'preppy' or didn't match the vibe of our wedding theme and style.
So I did it myself. I designed my own wedding invitations.
Making your own wedding invitations
Truthfully, making your own wedding invitations make the wedding preparation process that more special. It isn't actually as much work as I had imagined. Particularly if you're someone who enjoys DIY-ing things, you'll find it actually satisfying.
I personally loved every bit of the design process, from picking the fonts to choosing the exact type of textured paper to print the invites on.
As you can see, above are some samples of invitations I have designed to give an indication of how my actual invitation designs turned out. Pretty fantastic I think! (Sorry, my actual wedding invitation designs will remain private!)
Still considering whether to DIY your wedding invitations?
The thing is, if you're a hands-on kind of bride/groom, why not? You get creative control. Designing it yourself or having it custom designed to your liking means it's unique and you can be sure no one else would have the same wedding invitation card design as you! You also get to personalise it to every detail and have it in a style congruent to your wedding theme.
How to DIY your wedding invitations:
1. Design your invitation or get them custom designed if you're not so savvy with design.
For designing your own invitations, there are plenty of applications like Photoshop, Adobe Spark, InDesign. I’ve even seen some brides who managed to use Microsoft word apparently. If you want to skip the trouble, you can alternatively purchase ready-designed invitation sets on Etsy. I personally offer my digital files for just US$11-15; such as those featured in this post, hoping it’ll help other couples looking to keep within budget.
2. Once you've settled on your invite design and gotten all the details sorted out, you'll need to get it printed either at home or at a print shop near you. A print shop will obviously cost you more, but may be the way to go if you have plenty of invitations to print.
To give you an idea, I managed to print invitation cards on my own quite easily using our home inkjet Canon Pixma iP8770 printer (similar to the Canon iP8720). All the printed samples you see above as well as on my Etsy shop are printed using this same printer. In terms of paper cardstock for my invitations, I used a mixture of linen paper and laid paper that I found at a bookstore. The textured cardstock gave it the rustic look I was aiming for with my invitations. For reference, the cardstock used was 200 - 220gsm. If you're doing the printing on your own, do check what maximum weight cardstock your printer can manage.
If you are looking to get 50 or more invitations printed, I recommend going to a reputable printer shop to have it done. Places such as Cards & Pockets offer a wide variety of cardstock and paper sizes, along with textures you can choose from. Best of all, they are extremely affordable, starting at just $0.40 each if you are on a tight budget!
Some important things to consider when DIY-ing/ designing your wedding invitations:
1. Consider the font style and size. Is it legible? There are plenty of beautiful calligraphic style fonts that you may like to use, but are often not very feasible for use. You may want to consider whether older folks will need to squint if the words are minute, and whether the average person is able to decipher the words printed on your invite if you're choosing fancy fonts. Sometimes, after looking at a design for an extended period of time, it's hard for you to judge; so show a printed sample to a family member and ask them for feedback.
2. Details, details. Have you got all the important details on the card? Bride & groom names, the event, date, time, venue, address, RSVP date, wedding website...
3. Etiquette. Whose names will be on the card? While in this modern age, most couples host the wedding and usually have just their names on the wedding invite, some couples/ families may require or choose to have the bride/groom's parents' names on the invite as well. This may be something to consider especially for the ethnically Chinese couples.
To give you an idea, when designing our wedding invite, I ended up designing separate parental invites. One set with just our bride & groom names as hosts - given out to our own friends -, and another set including our parents' names as hosts - for them to send out to their friends and family. (This may sound strange to you if you're not ethnically Chinese. But to explain it briefly, it is tradition to have invites which include both the bride and groom's parents' names, because parents of the bride and groom will invite their own friends and family to their children's wedding. This is also practised in some other Asian cultures.) Of course, this is totally dependent on how traditional or particular you/your partner or your folks are.
4. Size of the invitation card. How big or small do you want the invitation to be? The standard invitation card size is around 5 x 7 inches, while my own invitations and the ones I featured above are about 4 x 6 inches as I wanted something a little handier. If you have lots of details, or the font you use is rather large, you may want to opt for a bigger size. From my experience, looking for cardstock in a particular size plus weight & texture may not be easy, so be prepared to compromise on some aspects if you're going for something special.
If you need a little hand with invitation designing, check out my Etsy store Annadria Studios! I design invitations at affordable prices for their digital files, and I work with you from start to finish in the design process to ensure you are happy with your invite. I personalise all desired text for you so all you need to do is get them printed on your own home printer, or at your local print shop!
I also do custom design work if you'd like something one-of-a-kind. Contact me at email@example.com for any requests or questions.
As it seems many couples are still a bit nervous about DIY printing and have requested if I could help them with it, I am happy to announce that I now sell printed invitations as well! You can check them out on my Etsy store. I work with the loveliest Japanese cardstock that I handpick and source directly from Japan as well as other premium paper supplies. For a price idea, my most basic invitation and envelope set costs just around USD2.60-3.30, depending on your choice of cardstock. Then you can add on save-the-dates, RSVP inserts, details cards, thank-you cards, menus, program booklets, as extras if you like.
But if you want to keep your costs down, I recommend going for the minimal and get the basic set. I hope what I offer at my store will help other couples solve the problem of finding quality invitations at a reasonable cost. Plus free shipping included! You can find out more via my post on printed luxury invitations.
Oh. And if you’re looking around for beautiful wedding jewellery and accessories, I invite you to spend a minute or two browsing my artisan jewellery store Annadria Luxe Bijouterie. (I am still a full-time jewellery artist before I delved into stationery design!) I offer custom and bespoke craftwork starting at the same fees as ready-made items, as I believe all brides deserve the experience of bespoke luxury for their wedding. So if you’re looking for unique accessories for your wedding, I can help.