DIY wedding invitations. easy, pretty, budget-friendly

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not much for weddings (I’ll expand in a future post). The excitement of my own upcoming nuptials mostly comes from the fact that I’m just happy to have something to do.

Such as? Everything, pretty much. Today I have some pictures of the wedding invitations that I made (with design consultations from Farrell, such a good helper!).

It just seemed silly that with the low-key attitude that our wedding was shaping up to have, as well as our inherent inability to spend too much on any aspect of this one-day event, that we would hire a fancy calligrapher or shell out ridiculous fees on heavy card stock, embossing techniques or frou-frou add-ons.

(Although, all of that can make for stunning invitations. I’m just saying it wasn’t right for us. Above all, the key to successful wedding planning is to do what makes you happy.)

What I used:
Blank printable invitations and matching envelopes, I picked up a 50-pack from Target
My ancient HP inkjet printer, what a trooper!
Fancy free fonts (a quick search for “free fonts” on Google yields endless options)
Gold and black ink
Pretty stamps in paisley and bird motifs

After gathering the materials, most of the actual work involved with making these invitations was just printing out lots and lots of test pages and trying as many different fonts, layouts, wordings, and stamp designs as I could. Farrell was the much-needed second set of eyes and ultimately forced down a stack of about twenty different designs to the two we settled on.

Yeah, two designs. Wonderful thing about making the invitations yourself is that you can make as many variations as you want. (Family and friends, aren’t you so curious/excited about which design you’ll get!?)

First, I had to decide on the wording of the invitation. I found some examples on the Knot and pretty much just improvised the rest. Here’s the format I went with:

My first, middle, and last name & Farrell’s first, middle, and last name
Request the pleasure of your company
As they exchange their wedding vows
Day, Date, Year, time

Location address

Dress code
Reception to follow

Since it’s an itty-bitty wedding and Farrell and I are in constant contact with the whopping 30ish people who are invited, we put email and phone info on the back of the invitation with RSVP instructions.

Next, I searched around free font websites for some stylish type. I had six fonts that I was initially smitten with and was having a hard time choosing the best one on my own. I printed out example invites, spread them out on a table and let Farrell whittle down the choices to three. It was helpful to see each font with the exact words and characters that we were considering to make sure that a certain font didn’t have any strange looking letters or symbols in the bunch. A few fonts I chose ended up having a weird-looking uppercase M (not good since my middle name is Marie).

Okay, so then I was down to three. This is when I started experimenting more with different layouts. Horizontal or vertical? Right, center, or left aligned? Different font sizes, adding bold or italics to some words, extra spacing; now is the time to figure out what fit our preference.

With my stack of faux-invites (printed on cheap printer paper) in various fonts and layouts, I experimented with stamping next. On a whirlwind trip out to a craft store in the suburbs a few weeks ago I bought two sets of clear stamps and one large acrylic stamp block. Not really having a set idea of what designs I wanted on my invitations, one set was a bunch of paisley blobs (Farrell and I both have a deep appreciation for paisley) and the other was birds (there was an owl in the set that Farrell really liked, how could I deny him?).

I basically went stamp crazy and tried to use as many as I could in as many different ways, giving us as many design options as possible. Farrell did an excellent job of paring down my egregious over-use of stamps, insisting that more than one or two stamps per card could end up looking tacky and crowded.

We settled on two designs we liked best, a vertical and horizontal orientation, using the “Bittersweet” font that I downloaded here.

To make the invites a bit more interesting than just black-words/gold-stamps, I experimented with dabbing both black and gold ink on the stamp.

I covered the stamp in gold ink and then wiped off some parts and replaced it with black ink with a Q-tip.

Farrell was stoked with the results. I was quite proud of myself for coming up with the idea, if I do say so myself.

Next I just had to set up a mini-assembly line and crank out about 15 copies of each design. All together we’ll only end up using about 21 of the invitations, but it’s good to have extras in case I made some awful stamping error.

I ordered some vintage postage stamps from an awesome Etsy shop called Verde Studio, which has an unbearably extensive collection of unused vintage stamps, arranged in packs that add up to the correct value of today’s postage.

et voila! Awesome wedding invitations, all by myself.