Read More: Best Wedding Invitation Deals
One wedding expense that I saved quite a bit of money on was by making homemade wedding invitations. I scoured websites and craft stores for months before deciding to make my own. The only wedding invitations I could find that I liked were way over my budget, or the inexpensive invitation sets were too simple or bland. My homemade wedding invitations look beautiful and unique, and they fit my style. And, on top of that, they look like expensive invitations, but I only spent about $250 on 200 wedding invitation sets (about $1.29 per set).
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Here’s how I made my homemade wedding invitations:
Step 1: Download and customize a template
I used on online template that I found at DownloadandPrint.com.
(NOTE: You could skip the rest of the steps and upload your document to Vista Print and they’ll print them for you for much cheaper. Looking back, I could have saved a lot of time and some money just uploading the template to a blank invitation.)
I used the Framed Monogram template for my wedding invitation. I loved the hot pink accents and the crest at the top of the invitation. I hadn’t seen any other templates like this, so I liked that it was something different – not another simple white invitation.
I adjusted the wording and rearranged the placement of words. I also spent quite a bit of time formatting our initial in the crest/monogram at the top. Originally, the middle of the crest printed as a pale grey color. I had to create a circle shape in Microsoft Word, fill it black, and THEN place the letter “G” over it so that it would print all black with a “G” over it. It took time, but it was worth it.
I used the Blank RSVP Card template for both the RSVP and the reception cards (it doesn’t have it’s own page, it’s only a link on the page).
The main reason I even used a template for the RSVP cards or the reception cards was for the cutting lines that you see when you open the template. Other than those lines, I typed up everything on my own for these templates. (Hint: To do this, you’ll have to be somewhat crafty in Microsoft Word … it took me quite a bit of time to get it all exact.)
Hint: Convert your Word document to PDF after you customize but before you print. It prints much better that way!
Step 2: Choose your cardstock and envelopes
Since I printed all my invitations at Kinkos/FedEx Office (in a later step) and their supplies are limited, I bought all my own cardstock. I chose a 92lb weight silver/metallic cardstock. I love the look of a shiny, silver cardstock and this cardstock was perfect. It may be hard to tell in the pictures, but it’s shiny, silver and metallic.
I ordered the cardstock from Amazon.com.
The cardstock came in packages of 25 at $7.31 per package, so I ordered 8 packages (since 4 RSVP/reception cards and 2 invitations could be printed on each page).
I also bought the envelopes at Amazon.com. I needed to buy both the outer envelope (5 1/4” X 7 1/4” silver-lined envelopes) and the RSVP card envelope that will be mailed back to us (3 5/8” X 5 1/8” Polar White envelopes — no longer available).
There are tons of options for envelopes! They have metallic envelopes, matte-colored envelopes, plain envelopes, foil-lined (like I bought), and on and on.
Step 3: Bring your customized template and cardstock to a printing store
The best part about printing at FedEx Office? That I could bring in my own flash drive (highly recommended) and have them print the actual files from it.
The employees at the printing store were hesitant at first about printing such deep color on such heavy cardstock weight (normal is 65lb), but it worked PERFECTLY! The color on my invitations is perfect. The pink turned out to be the deep pink that I was hoping it would be.
The key here is to be SUPER nice and appreciative so the people at the printing store will do the best work for you (I really laid it on thick with “You just made my day!” and “You’re awesome!” lines … both were true, so no harm done).
Why do you need them to do the best work? Because after they print your beloved invitations, they’re going to cut them for you.
Hint: You MUST use a printing store that has a guillotine cutter and a person that knows how to use one.
I’m not sure how hard it is to work one of those guillotine cutters, but I’m guessing it takes some sort of skill and I wanted the person cutting my precious wedding invitations to be on their best game. (Shout out to Jessi, who cut my invitations perfectly.)
Step 4: Add the ribbon (Optional)
After everything was printed and cut, I felt like the set needed a little something to tie it all together. I decided to purchase matching pink ribbon (from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s or any other craft store) to tie around the invitation sets.
This step is not for the impatient person! I found that out the hard way because I am that person.
When I started cutting the ribbon (hint: use industrial scissors or your cuts will look really bad), I realized that the ends would fray pretty quickly. After a quick Google search, I found out that there are one of two ways to prevent the fraying:
- buy something call Fray Check to apply to all the ribbons, or
- singe the ends of the ribbon with a candle
Option #2 sounded right up my alley (mostly because I didn’t want to go to the craft store again to buy another product I’ll only use once).
Singing the ribbons turned out to be a lot easier than I thought! It just takes time and practice.
To singe (without burning), just wave the end of the ribbon quickly through the candle flame or just above/to the side of it. It takes some practice, but after I got the technique down, I moved through the ribbon pretty quickly (mostly while watching Netflix).
Although this step is tedious, I am very happy with the final results. The wedding invitation sets look “complete” now:
Step 5: Tie ribbon, address envelopes, stamp, and mail!
Lucky for me, I was able to assemble an army of elves to help me tie most of the wedding invitation sets. It takes awhile, but it can be good family fun if you all do it together. (Free, too!)
I actually addressed all the invitations myself. I wrote my parents’ address on the back of the outer envelope, the front of the RSVP envelope, and the guests’ addresses on the front of the outer envelope. I like writing and my handwriting seems to be my only artistic talent, so I wanted to do that on my own. Plus, it gave the invitations a personal touch that labels don’t have. (I recommend labels, though, if you don’t like writing or if you don’t like your handwriting.)
At this point, I just need to purchase the correct amount of postage and play the waiting game until the invitations are ready to be mailed (about 6-8 weeks before the wedding). I have a suspicion that I can use postcard stamps (they’re cheaper) on my RSVP cards, but I’ll probably need at least 2 stamps on the actual invitation. After I buy the postage and slap it on the envelopes, I’ll be ready to go!
Closing Thoughts and Helpful Hints
The process took a long time, but I don’t feel like it took much longer than regular invitations would (you still have to address and assemble those). I feel like wedding invitations in general take a lot of assembling, planning, and work.
These invitations are unique and just so “me” that I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love, love, love the invitations, so it was definitely money well spent.
I needed a lot of invitations, but if you’re having a smaller wedding (100-200 people), your total cost would be considerably less. Also, the ribbon, cutting, and printing prices are local prices.
- Cardstock (8 packs of 25): $58.48
- Envelopes (2 boxes of 250): $48.98
- Shipping/Taxes: $17.20
- Ribbon (12 spools): $29.31
- Printing/Cutting: $103.45
TOTAL COST: $257.42
COST PER INVITATION SET: $1.29*
*For about 200 invitations. I have a lot of leftover envelopes and cardstock. The total cost does not include postage.
What are your thoughts on homemade wedding invitations?