One might say that I’m a busy little bee over here as I create patio sideboards, paint rugs, and work on an assortment of other blog projects, but I’m also preparing for one of the biggest days of my life – cue the drumroll – my wedding day! Our December wedding is fast approaching, and as my fiancee and I are diehard DIYers, we’re taking on a lot ourselves. I’m talkin’, we’re actively doing things like building our own tables, coordinating our own handmade decor, and making our own wedding favors.
One big thing that we assumed personal responsibility for was the design and production of our Save The Date cards, Wedding Shower invites, and Wedding Invites. Pete’s a graphic designer, which is the biggest reason we were able to create something custom, but there are lots of ways you can achieve DIY invites too. First things first, check out this post on DIY Network – it offers many lovely options as editable PDFs, and you’re sure to be inspired. I really like the ones shown below (you can download them here):
If you’re in the market for making DIY invites (for any occasion!) this might be just the post for you.
1. Find a design you like (or make it yourself).
There are lots of customizable well-designed options online, ones like I showed above and others wherein you can fill in your information and have your pre-printed materials mailed right to you. This can cut down on the timeline and costs associated with hiring a designer, be aware of markups for special paper stock, extra costs for different sized invites and envelopes, and limited color palettes.
Our approach was to design our own invites using fonts and graphics that we bought online. As a graphic design pro, Pete used Adobe InDesign, but with a little know-how and experimentation you can likely create your own layout in other programs yourself. You can read about our custom Save The Dates here.
By copywriting and designing our own materials, we were able to create custom pieces that we knew would all flow together nicely, and more importantly, really represent us and set the tone for how our big day is going to be. Our invite was only printed over the weekend and hasn’t even hit mailboxes yet, but here’s a sneak peek.
2. Buy your own paper.
You don’t have to be a printer to buy fun paper in bulk, and you don’t have to be relinquished to what you find at the craft store wedding aisle with your 40% off coupon either. If you’re thinking of printing your own invites at home, shop around online for different suppliers. We had a lot of luck buying sheets of kraft paper for our invites and coordinating envelopes on amazon.com. Consider how much paper you’re going to need, and gain efficiencies by ordering in bulk. If you’re ordering large pieces of paper, your stock will go further if you print 2-3 invites per sheet of paper and then trim the cards to size. Always order with at least an extra 10% in mind. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we saved hundreds of dollars by buying all of the paper for our coordinating invites at the same time for just $125.00, be on the lookout for good deals.
Quick tip: Know what weight paper your at-home printer can accept. Ours printer is a little light-duty dude and wasn’t strong enough to feed the 100# stock that we bought online. Fortunately for us, FedEx Office did an amazing job printing all of our invites and trimming them to size in less than a half-hour.
3. Consider the personal details.
We added an illustrated peony to our invites, a little touch because it’s my favorite flower and representative of the fact that we’re getting married in a flower shop. The graphic was a vector art file that we purchased from istockphoto.com. Vector art is something important to consider, as Pete was able to scale it big and small without it losing shape or becoming a poor quality (beware using jpg files in your designs, they don’t always look high-quality when printed if they’ve been resized!).
We also considered adding a commissioned calligraphy detail at one point. Proper shout-out to the gal who inspired us dearly: Melissa Esplin.
I’ve also been working on the wedding shower invites and envelopes, adding little personalized touches where I can while still letting my mom run the shower-show. Ombre-dyed envelopes, anyone?
Most of all, just take the time to consider the alternatives to buying bulk pre-made invites, and embrace the idea of making your own wedding materials and adding customized touches. It’ll make the planning process that much more joyous, and help to set the tone of your wedding for your guests. Let your style shine!
Have other great tips for creating your own invites or adding custom touches? Feel free to share them in the comments!
Catching the home improvement bug at an early age, Emily Winters is a now a devoted DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects she covers on her blog Merrypad range from painting a wall to building a deck, so it’s only natural she landed at DIYNetwork.com. You can follow Emily on twitter at @merrypad and like her on facebook at facebook.com/merrypad.