Finalizing the invitation for the wedding was, surprisingly, the most difficult part of the wedding planning. There are so many options with such cost variables that coming to a final decision was difficult for the bride and groom. (To be fair, the bride — with her graphic design minor — was by far the most opinionated in the process!) We went back and forth with many ideas and options before a final selection was made.
Of course you can go to a specialty printer who will design and print your invitations to your specifications. This is a simple way to get a great design and it won't require much work on y our part.
Over the past few years, I have seen numerous personality-rich invitations that were printed postcard style. These can be a good option, particularly if you want an invitation featuring a collage of photos.
I found a great source for such wedding invitations by moving away from the specific wedding invitation offerings and going to the business department. Check out the oversized postcards I found online. I've used these same postcards in the past for business purposes and they are the same, high quality I've received for wedding invitations.
Ultimately, though, the couple decided to design their own invitation, print them, and include a photograph in the envelope. Below I will explain how they designed their own wedding invitations and how we created 400 invitations on a budget.
Wedding Invitation Design
Jessica used Adobe Illustrator to design a single-sided invitation. She used a simple design, a modern font (Chalet-ParisNineteenEighty), a single line border, and a few embellishments.
Along with the modern design, they chose to use less formal wording (without titles for parents, etc.). They also used their own full names, for clarity.
I used the same software to design the inserts and the return address printing for the back flap of the envelope.
Wedding Invitation Paper
Jessica and Chuck wanted to print their wedding invitations on a linen cardstock. They also wanted matching envelopes and inserts of lighter weight, but matching paper. After extensive research, I found a fabulous paper resource.
Paper and More has an incredible paper selection. Their prices were the best we could find for comparable products. Their service was fabulous (we got the paper in just a few days, regular shipping). And the paper and envelopes we got were high quality and easy to print on. The couple selected:
- Natural Cream Linen Card Stock 80# for the wedding invitations. The paper is 8-1/2″ x 11″ and we paid to have the cut into 5″ x 7″ pieces. (This was actually a cost saving over purchasing the same number of smaller cards and gave us more paper options.) We ordered two packages at $15.99 each. The precision cutting was only $7.00.
- Natural Cream Linen Paper 80# for the inserts. I printed eight to a page and cut them with a paper cutter. We ordered one package at $9.99.
- A-7 Natural Cream Linen Envelopes for mailing the invitations, single envelope design. These are the perfect size (5-1/4″ x 7-1/4″) for a 5″ x 7″ invitation. We ordered eight packages at $11.99 each.
Total cost for the paper for the invitations (with $3.99 shipping) was $148.88. In addition we purchased ink, photo reproduction, and postage.
Wedding Invitation Printing
After reading some online discussions, I was a bit concerned about printing due to both the heavy nature of the card stock as well as the content of the paper. But our Xerox Phaser 8560 did the job without a hitch. It took some time hand feeding the cards and envelopes, but we were very pleased with the results.
Wedding Invitation Photos
For the included photos, the bride and groom used one of the engagement photos taken by Afton Huntley of Amour Photographie, the groom's sister. We had 400 of them reproduced in 4″ x 6″ size, using Walmart's 1-hour photo service. This can all be processed online and picked up at your local store. The photos cost 15¢ each, for a total of $60.00.
Wedding Invitation Options
There are myriad choices for wedding invitations. The most important factors to consider are look and budget. But prices vary widely for very similar results and you can save if you have some graphic design skills and your own equipment. Compare prices and remember to look outside the typical wedding category services. Often the printing and products are the same as business varieties, only with a premium price.
Ultimately, we got a lovely invitation that pleased the bride and groom for a very good price.