Everything you need to know about choosing your wedding invitations.

Decisions, Decisions. When it comes to planning a wedding you are forced to make A LOT of choices. Where? When? What color? Roses or Peonies? More questions than you can imagine. Your wedding 'paper' as I like to call it is no different. There are a lot of decisions to make regarding your wedding paper including how many pieces you even want to send out. For example we did save the dates, but did not do an engagement announcement. To keep things simple today I'm just going to focus on the invitations themselves. 

In this post I want to talk about the different options you have for getting your wedding invitations. I looked into a lot of options and a lot of websites and in the end, we made our own. BUT, this is not to say this is the best way, it was just right for us. Before you can really start thinking about where you want to get you invites, you have to know what you want them to look like. The most important part of your invitations is that the theme, colors, and feel match your wedding. When someone looks at your invites, you want them to get a bit of a feel for what the wedding will look like. This means the colors, shapes, even the font you want to go with whatever your theme is. This doesn't have to be an incredibly specific theme like 'roaring 20's'. For me it was more of a feel, I called in industrial romantic because the venue was a warehouse, but the decor was minimal and ethereal. The invitations can also reflect how formal the wedding will be, a super formal weddings invitation will likely look different than one for an intimate, or more casual wedding.

The main factors you want to consider are:

  • Shape
  • Color
  • Size
  • Font
  • How many pieces

Most of these will go along with the feel of the invitations. For example if you are doing a beach wedding you may want a softer feel, maybe your paper will have rounded edges or be cut in the shape of a shell. The colors will probably have blues and tans. The amount of pieces you want will relate more closely to the details of the wedding. Do you need an RSVP card? Do you need something with registry info? Or directions? I would recommend the least amount of items possible, because people will not cherish them like you do! Having a wedding website is great for getting extra info to your guests, and all that needs to go on the actual invites is a URL. 

Once you have the details worked out and a vision of what you'd like them to look like, there are 3 avenues to choose from:

  1.  Buy them.
  2.  Download and print them.
  3.  Design them and print them. 

I don't think any of these are better than the others it all depends on how much time you have, how much money you want to spend, your creativity, and your means to produce something at home. I'm going to list the advantages and disadvantages of each one in the hopes that you can make a decision on what's right for you, whatever route that may be.


Buy Them.

When we signed up for our Macy's registry we got a coupon for weddingpaperdivas.com. This is where I ordered our save the dates and I quickly found out from browsing there sight that they have TONS of sales! The other website I scoured was minted.com. Minted features a ton of artists whose actual bios are on the website with their designs. are Both sites have everything from shower invites to thank you's that are coordinated with the invites themselves.

Advantages:

  • Both of these sites offer sample packages, usually you can find them for free or on sale, where you can pick 5-10 styles and they will send them all to you in a nice packet. This way you can feel the paper, see the actual colors, and what foil or glitter actually looks like. This is the best try-before-you buy there is. 
  • You can have these companies address the invites for you. Yes, you give them your address book and they will address the invites in a style and font that matches your cards. They even can make you custom stamps!
  • For things like foiling or laser-cut designs, go with the professionals. Even if you've used foil before, you probably don't want to do it 150 times.
  • No work! Besides the task of typing you info and spelling your names right, all you have to do is click buy and they show up at your house ready to send out!

Disadvantages:

  • Price. This is by far the most expensive option. Depending on the size of your guest list, 80 cents a card (the minimum for most options) adds up fast. And that doesn't include the RSVP card, the thank you's, or any extras like addressing or stamps. If you have the cash, and decide it's worth it, do you, we just decided it was something we couldn't swing.
  • They're not totally customizable. Although there a ton of options, these are all predesigned templates. Sure you have color options and things like that but they are only customizable to a point. Minted does have a totally customized option that they will design for you, starting at $100. I was glad we got the samples because some of the designs didn't look exactly as I'd pictured them in person and was glad to get that perspective since I am picky about the details of the design.

Download and print them.

I think that Wedding Paper Divas and Minted are the two best options for pre-made invites, but there's also amazing options on Etsy (doesn't Etsy have everything?). Almost all of these card options are printable options, meaning they will insert your info and provide you with a digital PDF that you can then print as many as you need. There are a lot of range on these they can be a few dollars or cost $20-30, although most are in the middle. Some will be a 'suite' and include matching RSVP cards and thank you notes or it may just be one designed invitation card. 

Advantages:

  • Price. This is definitely a more wallet friendly option, you could get the same kind of custom design (as far as having you info put into a template) where the PDF costs only a little more than the price of one card from Minted. 
  • More unique. While there designs still aren't 100% customized (although some Etsy stores do offer that), there is a much smaller chance of someone finding the same Etsy artist as you.. Unless you go with something off the home page. Not only are you dealing with the artist directly, but chances are they're dealing with a lot less volume than a big website, so they will be a lot easier to work with on what you'd like.

Disadvantages:

  • Additional costs. For this option the card may only cost $1.50 for the design, but you still need to factor in the paper, the ink, and the fact that you need a printer that will give you a quality card. You can also take the files to Kinkos or anywhere that prints, costs for this can vary.
  • Work. This is a more labor intensive option, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but even if you enjoy the work it is none the less time consuming. If you have the time and the patience it can be worth it! Just be sure you know what you're getting into.

Design them and print them. 

After doing my fair share of browsing online, I hadn't found anything I absolutely loved. My dad, who is a printer and knows a lot about paper, ink, and all that suggested we just make them. I figured I'd give it a shot and started messing around with designs, fonts, and arrangements based off elements I'd seen and liked. This ended up working for me. I made a few versions and ended up with a water color design and coordinated fonts. You might think this option is crazy, but try it! Sketch up some designs you like, you never know what you may create! I'm not an experienced water color painter by any means but I managed to create something I was really happy with!

Advantages.

  • You can get EXACTLY what you want, there's no limit to the customization with this option!
  • You get to show off your creative side. If you like to paint, draw, or create graphics on the computer you can make something as simple or as intricate as you'd like.
  • IT'S CHEAP. Seriously, it was work but we saved so much money. We got all the paper and envelopes from a local paper company where we probably spent $25 total. Let's pretend it takes an entire cartridge of ink to print these (about $50) that's still under $100! It doesn't get much better than that.
  • Less writing. Since we were printing everything at home, we were able to enter names and addresses so that we had less to write when we assembled them. We printed the guests names onto the RSVP's as well as their name and address on the envelopes! 

Disadvantages:

  • This option is the most work for sure. Developing a design you're happy with is a process and can take some time. You will also need time to print, cut, and assemble.
  • Creativity Required. If you aren't creative or don't like computers you won't enjoy creating a design! The last thing you want is to throw something together, and put all this time into invitations that you aren't really happy with. If you're really on a budget, but can't come up with something recruit an artsy friend to help you! 

So there you go, there's a lot of factors that go into deciding which option is right for you. The main things to remember are:

  • What style am I looking for?
  • What is my budget?
  • How much time can I spend on them?
  • How will I go about addressing and adding guests names?

I hope this was helpful in making sure you not only know your options, but know what factors to think about. Do your homework and get wedding paper you love! I'd love to see some custom designs you come up with for your DIY wedding. Happy making!