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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Budget Bride- DIY Invitation Tips

I've been a little behind posting about wedding stuff (I know, you miss it! You need more talk of my wedding! Even though it was more than a month ago!)- but hopefully my DIY wedding experience will help someone else out, whether or not I'm posting consistently.


Wedding invitations are ridiculously expensive lately. I don’t know about you, but I personally am not willing to spend upwards of $3.00 per invitation. The price of invitations, I think, really comes from the convenience of simply entering some information and *poof* the invitations show up in the mail!

While that convenience is really nice, I’ve found that with a little extra work, you can make your own invitations (without even purchasing an invitation kit) simply and elegantly for pennies on the dollar.

Here are some tips that I’ve learned during my invitation process:

Paper: I LOVE paperandmore.com for wonderful invitation paper. They have so many options- from linen to cardstock to vellum to metallic, and you’re sure to find your exact wedding colors among their selection. I would recommend first getting a sample of several color possibilities to make sure that the color you see on the screen is the color that you’d be getting.

Paperandmore’s prices are super competitive (I haven’t found anything cheaper), and I was very impressed by how quickly my order came in. They also have great pre-folded, pre-cut invitations, even pocket invitations!

They sell envelopes, as well. I chose to use a linen envelope, but there are also colored envelopes, envelopes with different textures, recycled envelopes… so many options to choose from!

Font: The way your wording looks on a page is a huge part of the style of the invitation. While word processing programs have a great variety of fonts that would work for any invitation style, none of the fonts on my computer were doing it for me.

I chose to download a font online, and then use that font as the “theme font” for the entire wedding. There are a lot of great sites for free fonts online, but I really have had great success with dafont.com. This site allows you to search for different styles of fonts, and even has a directory of artists. I really like Kimberely Geswein’s fonts, myself.

 You will want to make sure that the font is “True Type”- that it will print as seen on the screen. I (being not so technologically advanced) had some trouble with figuring out how to download and install the font at first, but simply searching “downloading font” gave me the steps to do it.

Consider a Watermark: My invitation paper is beautiful, but with such a simple design, the finished product was a little “blah.” I wanted to add some kind of image, but didn’t want the picture to overpower the rest of the invitation.

Microsoft Word has a watermark feature, in which you can download an image to make as a watermark. I chose a forest tree image for my watermark. The color is a muted gray, and the picture came out so subtlety that it doesn’t overshadow the text, but rather enhances it.

You can also use text as a watermark. Something like your names, a lyrics from a favorite song, an excerpt of your vows… all those things would be super sweet to include in your invitation design.

The forest tree watermark that I used

Know Your Printer: I had the good fortune of having access to an industrial laser printer, with which I printed my invitations. Well, I eventually printed my invitations.

I had every single problem in the book when it came to this printer. First, I couldn’t figure out how to change the input tray, so I printed my invitation on company letterhead rather than my card stock. Then the layout settings were wrong, so I printed only half the invitation, and sideways. Then, just when I thought things were finally working, I jammed the printer so badly that I had to call HH to pull the whole thing apart to fix it (twice).

I ended up wasting about 15 sheets of my card stock. As I told HH, it was like watching my money get torn up and destroyed by that printer. Frustrating.

Long story short: Know your printer before you put your fancy paper through it. Or you’ll end up like me- listening to your fiance try to convince you not to kick the stupid machine while you sniffle back angry tears.

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