Wedding invitations, if you haven’t already sent out your save the dates, are the first glimpse of the theme and feel of your special day, and no one can introduce it better than you. Here’s our easy guide on DIY wedding invitations, and how to make them as unique as you are.
Where to Start
Before you even start to think about finishing touches, planning your wedding invitations is essential. Write down all the information your guests will need—names, dates, RSVP info, map, optional menu options, etc. After all, informing your guests is the main purpose of the invitation, so the design, materials, and typography should address the following points:
1) Theme and colours are some of the most important parts of the invitation, and it’s a good idea to match the theme and colours of the invitation with the theme and colour scheme of your wedding. This will give your guests a taste of your wedding months before the big day and may even offer a ‘heads up’ to what colour they should or shouldn’t wear.
2) Consider if you want pictures on the invitation. Some couples love the idea of including a classic and romantic picture of themselves, while others prefer a funny caricature, an elegant motif, or even a personalised monogram. If you do choose a picture, consider using transparency for a great effect. Transparency involves making the image slightly see through, giving softer edges and lighter colours to avoid taking attention away from the detail.
3) Consider the font you’d like to use—bold fonts draw attention, while fancy italic style fonts add elegance to your invitation.
4) Think about which orientation you would like, landscape or portrait.
5) Make sure you include the relevant information. It’s all well and good that they look pretty and professional, but guests need to know who, what, where, and when at the very least. Here’s some advice on choosing the right wording for your wedding invitations, complete with wording examples.
6) Think about the whole contents of the envelope—some couples may choose to have a simple folded invitation with all the information on one sheet, whilst others may choose to have an outer envelope, an inner envelope and inner envelope lining, as well as tissue paper, RSVP cards, reception cards, RSVP envelopes, a map, directions, tissues, and even some glitter or confetti thrown in for good measure. Read up on 8 things to include in your wedding invitations, including plus one options, accommodation arrangments, and dress code.
7) Make sure you choose an envelope colour that fits and, ideally, compliments the invitation. The general trend is to use opposites: if your invitation is very light in colour use a darker envelope, and likewise if the invite is dark, use a lighter envelope.
Once you have the basics and specifications of your invitations covered, now it’s all about design. The hand-made look is still extremely popular, with vintage and rustic looks as some of the top favourites. Such self-made invites are unique because you can use anything you fancy to make them look professional and modern yet personal—dried flowers, ribbon, embossed stamps, various paper textures and colours, and much more. See our DIY wedding stationery section for all the useful bits and bobs!
Creating Your Invitations From Scratch
- When making your invitations from scratch, make sure you have good strong paper. Consider the thickness and whether you would prefer it to be glossy or textured.
- Choose a good quality ink or toner; don’t be afraid to splash out, as the higher quality you get, the more professional your invitations will look.
- Remember to buy extra paper and extra ink, just in case; this will also come in handy for any last-minute guest list changes where you may need to print a few extra.
Featured above: Lace Medley Folded Program Cover with DIY Lace Paper Doilies, Natural Wooden Buttons with Craft Paper Twine, Glass Globe Votive Holder with Reflective Lace Pattern. and a Rustic Wire Basket
Depending on what you’re used to, Microsoft Word is a good option to design your invitation due to the ease of use and the limitless choice of fonts you can download online. Make sure you set the size of the invite first—A6 is generally enough space to demonstrate graphics and colours while keeping it petite and elegant. A6 is also convenient as it fits twice onto A4 paper, so you can set it up to place two invites on one landscape A4. Do this by going to the Page Layout tab in Word and setting the size to A6 (105 mm by 148 mm). Then, when you’re going to print the document, set the Pages Per Sheet to 2 Pages.
When you’ve inserted graphics into the document (through the Insert tab and Picture button or by simply copying and pasting an image into the document), make sure you wrap them as Behind Text, so they can be positioned anywhere on the document. Do this by right clicking the inserted image, hovering over Text Wrap and choosing Behind Text. Only then can you move the image at free will. If you’re using multiple graphics or inserting text over an image you may need to layer them by right clicking and selecting Bring to Front or Send to Back.
When it comes to printing, for best results we recommend using a high quality printer such as a HP LaserJet. If you don’t have a top of the range HP it’s not the end of the world, but an original cartridge from your printer’s manufacturer will give the best quality of colour and sharpness within your printer’s capabilities. (You could always go to a local printing shop and have it printed there however?) Don’t forget to only print one copy first so that you can inspect the results including the design colour, consistency, layout, spaces that need closing, and of course any typos you mised. Have a second person check it over too, just to make sure.
You don’t have to use Microsoft Word of course—there are so many programs available these days that offer even more creative opportunities from bought software like Photoshop to free online programs like PicMonkey or Canva.
DIY Professional Wedding Stationery
You don’t have to start from scratch to create a personalised wedding invitation: you could order professionally made stationery and accessorise to your heart’s content! Here are just seven of our favourite DIY stationery ideas.
1) Sprigs of Lavender
Simple but beautiful: springs of lavender tied to your stationery with some pretty fabric.
2) Buttons and Twine
Proof that even the smallest addition make a massive difference: invitations tied with a length of twine and a wooden button.
3) Buttons, Twine, Paper Doilies
Create a beautiful vintage-rustic wedding invitation with buttons, twine, and a lace effect paper doily.
Here’s what you need to know about ordering your wedding invitations: how many invitations to buy, when to order them, and when to send them out.
4) Backed on Card and Tied with Ribbon
Add a simple but very effective finishing touch to your invitations by backing them on coloured card (with adhesive tape) and tying it together with matching ribbon. If you have multiple sheets of information, this is a good way to keep everything together.
5) Wrapped in a Miniature Bows
An easy addition that can completely alter your wedding theme: on their own, these invitations suit an art deco or glamorous wedding, but add in a bow and some black and white stripes and you have almost a circus or carnival effect.
6) Rolled Up with Gold Twine
Most modern invitations are neat, stylish cards that can be inserted easily into envelopes to be posts. Why not go off the beaten track a little bit with a rolled up, scroll-effect wedding invitation tied with gold twine?
Featured above: Modern Fairy Tale Program
7) Hand Fan
A hand fan and a wedding invitation in one! This DIY wedding invitation idea is particularly great for a summer wedding or a wedding abroad, finished off perfectly with some trailing golden twine and a plant cutting.
Once you’ve decided on your wedding stationery and the time comes to send them out, here’s some advice on how to address your envelopes.