Your wedding invitation (or save-the-date) is the first thing from your wedding the guests see. It sets the vibe, so it’s important to get it right. But I was shocked how much they cost, even the off-the-shelf ones from your local high street cost a small fortune. We decided the DIY route was the best option for us to create something personal and to save money. So let’s talk about how to make your own wedding invitations.
The DIY Options
If you Google DIY wedding invitations, you’ll see a couple of routes you can go:
- Get crafting. There are endless ways to hand-craft an invite. You could (fairly) easily glue decorations onto a card, or get really elaborate. I love getting my glue gun out as much as anyone, but the prospect of making so many invites was too daunting. We wanted to keep things simple and less time consuming.
- Digital. You don’t have to send a physical invite at all, you can use email. There are even wedding invite email templates you can use. It’s a great idea if you’re on a tight budget. But we think there is something special about receiving an invite through the post, you don’t get that much ‘real’ mail any more. So a digital invite wasn’t for us either.
- Printed design. You can design and make your own invitations without the need for glue and scissors. You use a design software to create the graphics and then print it on to blank cards. You can create professional looking invite, tailored to your need without having to be good at making stuff. This was the best solution for us, straightforward and pretty quick.
You might be thinking, ‘I’m not a graphic designer’ or ‘design software? I don’t have that’. But these things don’t have to stop you. The following steps will guide you through how to create you own printed wedding invite.
Here’s our wedding invitation created from our own printed design
Step 1 – Design Inspiration
Dean and I aren’t graphic designers. So coming up with a good design when starting from a blank page was hard. But you don’t need to start from a completely clean sheet. Start by finding wedding invitation designs that you like and let those inspire you.
There are loads of wedding invite designs on the internet. But we particularly looked on Etsy and Not on the High Street for more unusual and quirky ideas. Be sure to squirrel away these little nuts for later by pinning the images to Pinterest. I wrote a post on using Pinterest for wedding planning so click here to see that. Pinterest itself is a great place to search for ideas.
Don’t just look for at the aesthetics of the invite, also look at the wording. Decide what information you need to include, and look for ideas of how to say it. The basics normally include:
- Who’s wedding it is
- Date and time
- Where the ceremony and reception are
- Who exactly are you inviting (be clear if kids are included for instance)
- How to RSVP
- If you’re feeding people you should ask if they have any allergies or food requirements
You might want to include extra information on accommodation, local taxi companies, gifts and what’s happening on the day. Take advantage of the fact that you can customise the message. Make it funny, romantic, whatever you want.
Once you have a selection of invitations you like, narrow it down to your favourite 2 or 3. Pick out the things you want to recreate from each in your design. You could sketch out your design on paper. Alternatively, if you don’t like to draw, you could scheme out your design by printing your favourite invite images, cutting them up and creating a collage of the best bits.
Step 2 – Creating Your Graphics
Dean used a design software called Adobe Illustrator to create the graphics for our save-the-date and wedding invitations. It’s a really useful graphic design software, but not so easy for the beginner and you have to subscribe to use it. Dean had a bit of experience using it, so it was OK for us. But we wouldn’t really recommend you doing it this way.
If we were doing it again we’d use Canva instead. Canva is an online design tool, which you can sign up to with a free account. It is REALLY easy to use, with good tutorials to get you started (be sure to do those). And the Canva Design School is packed with advice and inspiration too.
This is what it looks like inside Canva
You can buy other people’s design and images to use in Canva. There are even wedding invitation designs to buy, most seem to only cost a couple of dollars. But you can create a beautiful design using the free layouts, shapes, images and text available. You can also upload your own images.
Once your in Canva, the first thing you need to do is decide on the size of the design. They have a number of pre-sized template you can use. But you’ll probably need to use the custom dimensions option to match the size to the card size you’re going to print on. Heads up, there’s a tip about sizing if you’re using folded cards in step 3. You can’t resize your designs in Canva with the free account, so be sure it’s the right size before you spend ages creating your design.
Think about the amount of colour filled space in your design. We kept the amount of coloured area to a minimum in our design to reduce the amount of ink used when printing, and used coloured card instead.
To keep things simple ,we didn’t include the recipient’s name in the design and just left a space to fill in by hand. We could then print off the same design as many times as needed in one go.
Once you’ve completed your design you can download it. Choose the high quality PNG option.