This DIY Wedding Invitations guide will walk you through each step of making your own wedding invitations, including selecting the right paper and envelopes (with quantities), design tips, crafting tools, printing options, and mailing.
Be sure to print our DIY Wedding Invitations Checklist and Timeline (coming soon!). It will help you keep on track and eliminate a lot of unneeded stresses with fitting wedding invitations in with your other planning responsibilities. You can also check out dozens of fabulous custom wedding invitation designs compiled by Jonathan Ivy Photography, created by That Absolutely Fabulous Paper Emporium. Thank you to both for sharing these inspiring samples with us!
Paper & Envelopes
There are many paper options to choose from for your DIY wedding invitations. You will need to decide on color, weight, size, and more. To avoid getting too stressed out, we recommend contacting a few stores or paper suppliers that can council with you through the decision making process. Just remember as with everything else, shop around and make sure you’re comfortable whatever you decide.
For the Eco-Friendly Bride!
For some brides, going Green on DIY wedding invitations is a big deal. If this is the case for you, then you will find plenty of options for high-quality, recycled paper.
How Much Paper Should I Order?
Even the most savvy brides struggle with this question. You want to make sure you order enough so you don’t run out, but you don’t want to waste your money on supplies you don’t need.
A good rule of thumb is to order 25% more than you need to get each guest an invitation. If you are inviting 100 guests, then you would order 125 cards and envelopes. This extra 25% will allow you to practice and cover mistakes that are inevitable. It also gives you a few extra for those last minute invitations that you didn’t think of when you made your list. Trust me. All couples forget someone!
Layout and Design
There are a few basic things to consider when designing your wedding invitations. Do you want to incorporate any artwork, or do you want just text? Do you want a more formal, or a modern look?
These decisions are important and can be stressful to make, but honestly ladies, Pinterest is amazing and will help a ton! Within a few hours of searching on Pinterest, you’re going to have more examples than you’ll know what to do with. You’re going to love different aspects of different designs, and you just need to mix and match ideas until you get YOUR perfect invitation design!
Now it’s time to bring all your ideas and preferences together and put together a sample file that you can play around with. Try different fonts and sizes. There are a ton of elegant fonts on the web (beware that some are free, and some you need to pay for). Try different alignments and spacing between the lines.
Save some of your favorite designs during the process, and share them with your family and friends. Working on the design with people you trust will work wonders to relieve your stress during this process, and you’ll end up with a beautiful design that fits you perfectly!
Printing DIY Wedding Invitations
The one important thing to understand with printing your invitations is to consult with you paper supplier prior to purchasing the materials. The paper suppliers know more than anyone about specifics of printing on their products. All in all, the printing should be pretty straight forward after consulting with the supplier.
If you prefer to just do the design and have your invitations professionally printed, that’s fine too. It’s a good idea to get some recommendations and get quotes from various companies. To save on costs, you can have your invites professionally printed, but then you do the assembly yourself.
Decorating Invitations (Accessories)
Many couples don’t add any embellishments to their invitations and just stuff them and put them in the mail. Some choose to put in the time and add additional decorations or accessories to their invitations. We’ve listed some common additions that any DIY bride should be able to handle!
Whether you’re enclosing a map, reply card, or wedding itinerary, there are various ways to design and insert the cards with the invitations. The key to working with enclosures is that you use a card that will fit with the invitation without any need for trimming.
Invitations with Backing
A flat card that is slightly larger than your invitation can be used as a backing. You mount your invitation onto a flat card, which creates a thin border and adds heft to the invitation. We recommend working with your paper supplier to get coordinating paper and cards so you don’t have to do very much cutting, if any. This is what they do for a living, so it shouldn’t be hard to figure out!
Ribbon can add color and style to your invitation or enclosure. You can be creative with the colors and patterns, and even the knots you tie with them. Just make sure that you test a completed invitation before doing all of them to make sure you can seal the envelope without any problems.
Paper sashes are another great way to add elegance to an invitation. They can be permanent, or they can be removed. Wrap them around the invitation itself, or you can also use sashes on any invitation enclosures. There’s no one way to create a paper sash for invitations. Feel free to hit up your best friend Pinterest for some paper sash ideas!
Envelope liners will add a very custom feel to your invitations. You can create your own liners using available kits or templates available, or you can purchase the liners pre-cut.
Please note that f you plan to emboss your return address to the flap of your envelope, you must do this step first before adding your liner.
The main purpose for using outer envelopes is to protect the inner envelope from getting smudges, and to keep the contents of the invitation neat and in place. Outer envelopes are completely optional. Some couples use them, others do not. They add to the overall feel for the occasion, but they obviously add costs and time.
Embossed Return Address
Do you want to emboss your return address on your envelopes? A desk embosser will save you a lot of time, and make your envelopes look more elegant. Embossers are fairly inexpensive, or you can probably track someone down who already owns one. You will just need to get a custom metal plate for the embosser.
Helpful Tools to Have On Hand
To save time and simplify the process of making DIY invitations, it’s important to have the right tools on hand. When possible, have multiples of each of these available when you have the help of bridesmaids, family, and friends!
You may or may not have need to make any cuts to the invitation, but it never hurts to have a paper cutter on hand. Many brides purchase coordinating invitation paper and envelopes to avoid the need for cutting. However, if you need to cut custom card sizes or make your own sashes, a paper cutter is a must!
Very Sharp Scissors
If you’re using ribbon with your invitations, it’s critical to have a pair of really sharp scissors on hand. Ribbon edges will fray if your scissors are the least bit dull. We recommend that you purchase a pair of new scissors and only use them for the ribbon. After you’re finished with all the invites, use them how you’d like, or course!
Xyron or Other Adhesive Machine
Not everyone is familiar with the Xyron Machine. It’s probably the easiest way to apply adhesive to your invitations. You can use it when mounting the invitation to a backing, or even apply it to paper sashes or ribbon. It’s not essential, but highly recommended for the DIY bride!
I love the bone folder and recommend it for DIY Wedding Invitations! It is an inexpensive tool for most paper cutting and folding. To use it, just figure out where you want the fold on your paper and mark it. Then line a ruler up against where you would like the fold and simply run the bone folder down the page using the pointy tip at the end.
It’s a good idea to have a few rulers on hand available for everyone helping. Rulers will help maintain consistency in the placement of your various pieces, like sashes or ribbons.
Assembling Your Invitations
Once you have your printed invitations and accessories ready to go, it’s time for assembly! Now would be a good time to call up your mother, bridesmaids, friends, or whoever. As the saying goes, many hands make light work!
Start by completing a full invitation from start to finish so you know the exact steps. Show everyone the finished product and walk through it a time or two with everyone. Once you know the steps, we recommend making an assembly line to divide up the work evenly amongst you.
Depending on how you’ve designed your invitations, what is going in the envelopes, and how many people you have, you’ll need to set up the assembly line accordingly. Once it’s set up, you’re home free!