With money tight, many bridal couples are seeking ways to economize on their weddings. Very often they opt to create their own wedding invitations. While this may seem a wise decision, it often ends in frustration or a wedding invitation that doesn’t quite rise to the importance of the occasion.
It is most disappointing to see the anguish that ensues when couples realize that their “inexpensive” DIY wedding invitation has turned into a logistical nightmare. Before deciding to craft and print your own invitations to save money, we strongly recommend that you consult a stationer in your neighborhood. They generally have several lines of attractively priced wedding invitations and can provide expert advice on styling and etiquette. You will not be sorry you have done so. Also, many of these stores carry card stock that may be used for your wedding invitation in the event you decide to fly solo.
DIY Wedding Invitation Tips
- Always start with the paper. Many people start with the design only to realize too late that they can’t find the “right” paper stock. Papers come in a variety of sizes and weights. Some stores carry pocket folders to hold your invitation, directions and accomodation cards, reply card sets and other wedding stationery.
- Use the heaviest paper weight possible. Weight matters. Neverthless, paper stock above #96 (ninety-six pounds) will generally not go through an ink jet or laser printer.
- Seek matching envelopes. We recommend including a reply card set with your invitation and, as such, it is wise to insure that there are matching paper stock and envelopes in the stock you select for your invitation.
- Avoid being too cutesy! There is a tendency to incorporate all kinds of design elements into a DIY wedding invitation. Remember, it is a wedding invitation, not an arts-and-crafts project. The key is moderation and a clean design.
- Maximum of two font styles. More than two font styles is confusing and detracts from the elegance of the invitation. Try to restrict the number of font styles to two.
- A Question of Etiquette. There are few things more disturbing than the lack of proper etiquette in the wording of your invitation. While customs change, proper etiquette is never out of fashion. A few big don’ts:
- Do not put the URL of your wedding website on the invitation
- Please, no gift registry information on the invitation
- Resist using a combined monogram of the married couple no matter how cute (after all, you aren’t married)
- Color. There are many ways to incorporate color into your invitation. Envelope linings, borders and font colors to name a few. Like font styles, too much color tends to cheapen the look of the invitation. If in doubt, go with black.
- Motifs. The judicious use of motifs can often create a sense of ”place” “time” or “energy.” For instance, a sea shell motif for a beach wedding; or an acorn for a fall wedding. You might want to use theme motifs on different elements of your wedding papers ensemble. For instance, a palm tree on the wedding invitation and a sea shell on the reply card set. Use your imagination, but don’t go overboard. Too many motifs can be as distracting as colors and font styles.
- Postage. Before you mail your invitation and reply card set make sure you take it to the Post Office and have them weigh it to insure that you have the correct postage. Don’t forget to stamp the reply envelope. Nothing is more embarrassing or costly than having them returned.
If you are committed to doing it yourself, following these tips won’t lead you too far astray. Again, there is more than meets the eye in crafting a wedding invitation and you are well advised to consult a stationer in your neighborhood for expert advice.
For other helpful suggestions, please enter your name and email to download a free copy of our Wedding Invitation Guide.