More and more young couples these days are paying for their own weddings. And without money from Mom and Dad to pad to the budget, they’re finding tons of ways to pull together a beautiful ceremony and a stylish, sophisticated reception for less. Some brides scout discount, designer gowns on eBay (only slightly used). Many couples elect to skip the full meal and set up a buffet, a build-your-own taco or sandwich station, or a sundae bar. And using die cut machines to make paper flowers has become all the rage. Another great way to save on the cost of your wedding is by putting your creative chops to good use designing your own wedding invitations. Here are a few tips to ensure that no one knows you didn’t go pro.
- Get a kit. You can almost certainly find what you’re looking for at a local craft store, although there are also plenty of online options if you prefer to save some time by letting your fingers do the walking when you shop. A wedding invitation kit will come with several items, including card stock for the invitations and RSVPs, as well as large and small envelopes to match. All you have to do is pick the paper and pattern you like, order enough kits to cover your guest list (kits could come with anywhere from 25 to 200 invites), and then design the layout and get to printing.
- Download L&D software. You can try using a doc program like Microsoft Word to type in the text you want printed on your invites. And with enough finagling it will probably work out fine. But if you want to increase ease of use, as well as creative options, consider downloading free (or free trial version) layout and design software, also sometimes called desktop publishing. Programs like Scribus, Adobe Project Rome, and Serif Page Plus (Starter Edition) can all help you to create the gorgeous and professional looking wedding invitations you crave for free. Remember, while most of this software comes with tutorials to help you get started, you’ll still have a bit of a learning curve if you want to take full advantage of useful features, so start early.
- Use photos. If you don’t have the patience to put together a truly artistic layout for your invites, you can fake it by using your face in place of graphic design. Adding photos of you and your honey to your invites not only takes the place of other design elements, but it also helps to personalize your invitations and makes them a special keepsake for family and friends.
- Layer. If you look at professional invitations you’ve received for other weddings, you might notice that very few feature only a single layer. Some sport translucent, vellum overlays. Others have lace doily sleeves. Some are wrapped in ribbon or feature 3D elements like self-adhesive faux gems or pearls. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes, so adding layers will definitely up the wow factor for your invites.
- Go digital. You might still have to send snail mail invites to older family members that “don’t do the internet”. But with websites helping modern couples to do all of their wedding communiqués via their own wedding website, there’s no reason to kill trees in order to create invitations. And this inexpensive and convenient solution will make wedding planning a cinch.