DIY Wedding Invitations: The Ultimate Money-Saving Guide | News

It’s no surprise that weddings are expensive. But what might shock you is how much they actually cost. In 2021, the average couple spent nearly $30k (or $34,000 if you count the engagement ring) on ​​their wedding, more than $500 of which was for wedding invitations.

And while some of those costs (particularly choosing a great location) can be well worth adding to the budget. Other expenses, like the pretty bits of gold-embossed paper that your guests will end up throwing away (or hopefully recycling), are certainly questionable.

So if you are one of those savvy couples who would rather save the budget for an epic and cheap honeymoon, keep reading. We’ve got the details on how to save money on your big day by getting crafty with your wedding invitations.

DIY wedding invitations

When it comes to DIY wedding invitations, there are two basic options to consider.

The first is to buy a template (more on that below) that you fill out, print and embellish yourself. Alternatively, there are also digital-only templates that you can buy and use for e-invitations, which can save you some money on printing and postage.

The other option is to do everything yourself from scratch. This is best for artsy types who prefer printed invitations over digital ones. For this option you are responsible for creating the design and then printing, cutting and packaging the invitations yourself.

Before you decide exactly how you want to create your invitations, do some research and think about how much time you should realistically put into your invitations. Do you like to tinker? Or are you just trying to save some money?

Once you’re ready to take the plunge, we’ve got several inexpensive and free wedding invitation templates here to get you started.

Free and Cheap Wedding Invitation Templates

The easiest option for DIY wedding invitations is to use digital wedding invitation templates only or print your own.

They are plentiful online – and many are even free. All you need to do is add your information, download the template (usually as a PDF), then email or print the invitations at home or at a local copy center.

Here are some of our best places to score great DIY wedding invitation templates:

  • Etsy: Thousands of wedding invitation printing templates to choose from, starting at $10.
  • Download and Print: Unlimited access to all of their templates for $25 per year.
  • Greenvelope: Digitally customizable wedding invitations only, starting at $39 for 40 guests.
  • Tempoola: Free, downloadable wedding invitation templates that you can customize and print in Microsoft Word.
  • Canva: Customize, download and use these free wedding templates as digital invitations or print them yourself.
  • Shutterfly: You may have already used them for Christmas cards, check out their wedding invitation templates now.
  • Wedding Chicks, Greetings Island and Paper Source: Dozens of free templates to choose from.

For those interested in paper invitations, another option is to simply order a custom wedding stamp with all the pertinent details on it. Instead of printing the invitation, just stamp the information on a nice piece of paper.

Want to see what they look like? Here’s an Etsy store that sells partially handwritten wedding invitation stamps for $80 and up.

Designing Your DIY Wedding Invitations

If you’re a graphic designer or calligraphy artist, you may want to take your DIY wedding invitations one step further by customizing them from scratch.

Do you have a beautiful handwriting and an artistic eye? Consider starting a calligraphy business as an afterthought.

First things first: the words are the most important part, so be sure to get a second pair of eyes to proofread!

Then, to create the basic layout of your invitation, you can use a free trial of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator; a free online program such as Canva or PicMonkey; or a word processing program such as Word or Pages.

Important design elements to consider when designing your own wedding invitation include fonts, line spacing, alignment, colors, and theme.

When it comes to fonts, you can download them for free from DaFont. Or you can buy them. Here are several suggested font combinations for DIY wedding invitations.

As a rule of thumb, don’t mix up more than three fonts and plan to stay consistent across the invite suite (including other attachments like RSVP cards or cards).

Choosing Paper For Your DIY Wedding Invitations

While it may seem insignificant, don’t skimp on the paper, especially since it can make or break your invitation.

Pro tip

If you are printing your invitations at home, buy cards that are at least 65 pounds, although 80 pounds is even better.

If you’re printing from home, you also want to make sure your printer can handle any cardstock you choose. You can find this information in your printer manual or by searching online for your printer’s “max. paper weight”.

Recycled paper is also a popular option, especially for rustic or boho invitations. You can order cardstock online from Amazon or from specialty stores such as Cardstock Warehouse, Michaels, LCI Paper, Paper Source, and Paper Presentation. Or you can go to your local Jo-Ann’s, Walmart, or stationery store. You can also choose different finishes for your paper; for wedding invitations, popular finishes are cotton or linen, which are incredibly beautiful (but also more expensive).

Pro tip

Remember, you need one invite per address, not per guest. So don’t make the mistake of ordering twice the amount of paper you need!

Printing Your DIY Wedding Invitations

Whether you’re using a DIY wedding invitation template or designing the whole thing yourself, you’ll have to print it out somehow.

The most penny-hoarding option? Print your invitations at home. As long as you have a decent printer and use nice paper, this will probably work just fine.

Both inkjet and laser printers are at work; make sure to select the highest quality print setting. Use only black ink to save money; if you want a pop of color, use colored paper.

If you’re concerned that your shoddy printer is messing up that expensive paper, outsource the work to a professional print shop. Sure, it will cost you a little more, but it’s better than ruining your specialty paper by trying to save money. It can also save you some extra time and frustration, and they can probably cut the invitations for you.

Pro tip

One of the easiest ways to keep costs down is to keep your paper prints to a minimum and include a QR code or link to your wedding website.

Sites like Zola and The Knot offer free wedding website builders that allow your guests to respond digitally, see all the details about your big day, and even contribute to your wedding registry. If you have relatives who don’t use the Internet, you can include a small printed card in their invitations asking them to respond by phone.

Alexandra Vincent/The Penny Hoarder

Making your DIY invites sparkle

Once you’ve designed and printed them, there are countless ways to make your invitations sparkle.

You could add embellishments like:

Don’t forget the envelopes

One last way to make your invitations stand out? Killer envelopes.

Envelope liners are a popular option; you can make them with pretty paper, an engagement photo, or even fabric.

As for the addresses, you can hire a calligrapher, but it will cost you as much as $2-$5 per envelope. It is much cheaper to enlist your friends to help you, or to simply print beautiful labels.

Do not forget to mention your return address with a label or stamp.

The next step is to go to the post office to weigh your entire invitation and see how much postage it will take. (Note: Square envelopes cost more to ship, so unless you’re really attached to that shape, rectangle is a better option.)

As for real stamps, you can buy modified versions, but it will cost you more than $1 per stamp.

When it’s time to finally – blissful!!! — send your invitations, it’s a good idea to physically bring them to the post office.

That way you can ask the postman to cancel them by hand (rather than putting them through the machine and potentially damaging the envelopes). Some post offices do this for free; others charge up to 20 cents per envelope.

That is it! You just finished your DIY wedding invitations. Now all we have to worry about is the band, the food, the cake, the dress, the honeymoon…

Looking for even more ways to save on your big day? Here’s our list of 90 saving tips from wedding professionals.

Contributor Larissa Runkle regularly writes on finance, real estate and lifestyle topics for The Penny Hoarder. Writer Susan Shain contributed to this article.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website empowering millions of readers across the country to make smart money decisions through practical and inspiring advice and resources on how to make, save and manage money. .

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