Want more info on printing your own wedding invites? Well, you’re in the right place!
Maybe you’ve designed your own custom wedding stationery, or you’ve downloaded some pretty done-for-you printables. Getting them printed professionally is going to be expensive, so you’re looking into how to print wedding invitations at home.
Well, the good news is, it’s not as difficult as you might think. BUT there are a few things that you need to consider to ensure you get the best results.
Note: this guide isn’t just for wedding invitations, it applies to all types of wedding stationery: bridesmaid proposals, thank you cards, wedding signs, table names, place cards, menus and tags – you name it!
How to Print Wedding Invitations At Home: 5 Tips for Success
1. Is it cheaper to print your own wedding invitations?
It definitely can be a cheaper option to print your wedding invitations at home, but you need to consider the supplies you need; a printer, cardstock, paper stock, ink and any other embellishments. Make sure you’ve priced those up so that you can better compare against quotes for professional printing.
Even if you think it’s cheaper to print your own wedding invitations at home, you should still consider the time investment you’ll have to make. It can be pretty time intensive so be sure that you leave yourself enough leeway before you need to post your invitations (at least 8 weeks before W-day!). It’s also worth seeing if you can rope in some help!
2. How to choose the best wedding invitations to print at home
To ensure the best results for printing stationery at home, opt for a printable invitation template in PDF format that isn’t too color-heavy (in order to conserve ink).
In my view, a great option for time and cash-strapped people is printable wedding invitations and stationery. That way you can say you DIYed them, without actually having to get too crafty!
Here are the key things to consider when choosing printable wedding invitations:
a) Check the invitation file format
Usually, you will see templates offered in 2 formats – JPEG and PDF.
When you’re printing wedding invitations at home, to be honest, it’s not going to make a HUGE difference if you use the JPEG or PDF file. But, as a rule of thumb, PDFs are better for printing.
Hopefully, the PDF will be provided with crop marks and a ‘bleed’ margin.
This means that the design of the card will ‘bleed’ past the edges of the card. So, when trimmed to size via the crop mark guides, there will be no ugly white spaces at the edges of the card (which looks very amateurish).
You’ll typically see something like a red dotted line that shows where the card would be trimmed to size according to the crop marks in the corners – this ensures the background color extends to the very edges of the final invitation.
If you’re planning to print a few invitations onto a larger piece of cardstock, then a file with crop marks and bleed will really help when it comes to cutting them down to size. For instance, if you send your designs off to a professional printer, they will likely ask for a file with bleed.
However, if you’re printing straight onto cardstock of the correct size then you may prefer to use a PDF without bleed, or a JPEG. Most good printable wedding stationery shops should provide both file formats.
More on printing and trimming your wedding stationery below.
b) Choose the printable wedding stationery design very carefully
Bear in mind that color-heavy designs (like the one above) will be harder to print at home. For example, designs with a black chalkboard background will use a lot of ink and you may find, depending on your printer, that you struggle to get the color vibrancy you want.
It’s for that reason that you may get better results with a design that’s more ‘ink-light’ – to ensure better print quality, without having to buy tonnes of ink!
If you have your heart set on a very vibrant design then it’s best to do a couple of test runs with your printer to check the quality of the print before committing to printing all of them.
3. What you’ll need to print your own wedding invitations at home
a) Cardstock for invitations
In order to determine the best paper to print invitations on, you need to know the maximum thickness of paper that your printer can deal with.
You will need to be realistic about the weight/ thickness of the card achievable if you opt for at-home printing. You won’t be able to have super-heavyweight invitations, but with a bit of experimentation, you can identify the best quality card-weight that your printer can handle (mine is 80 lb cardstock/ 220 gsm).
Be aware of how printing quality will be affected by the finish of the paper. For example, a glossy card may use more ink and textured paper may be more likely to have bleeding ink. Check a sample of paper you’re hoping to use to check how well your printer performs with it.
With all the experimentation you’re doing to check the best paper and printer settings, you’ll definitely end up using more card than you imagine. Toss in a few teething errors in trimming/ cutting card down and you should allow for c. 10-15% extra just in case.
Tip! To get a feel for different types of cardstock, why not try a sample pack of wedding stationery paper? You can nab one for free from Printed.com (UK) or Vistaprint (US)!
Ink will be one of the most expensive parts of printing wedding invitations at home.
It can be different for each printer, but you may want to experiment (again!) to see if you can get away with purchasing Generic Ink Cartridges vs. premium branded cartridges. You can usually find a generic cartridge to fit your printer model and they tend to be a lot cheaper – which is important when you may be using quite a lot of ink!
4. Printing invitations at home: a step-by-step guide
Ok, so you’re ready to get printing… yay! Here’s how to get the best results:
a) Maximise printing quality by tweaking the settings
I use a Canon MP495 and through many test runs, I’ve found that the following works best for me:
- Choose ‘photo paper’ as the paper type (even for normal paper).
- Make sure you choose the highest quality color option.
- Before you start make sure you clean the inkjets and printer rollers – there should be an option in your printer settings for this (see mine below)
- Choose the right paper size. If there’s no exact size option in your printer settings, you can create a custom size within the settings. Tip: save that custom size so you can reuse it for other stationery of the same size at a later date!
Again, you’ll need to do a bit of trial and error with your chosen paper and design to see what settings work best for your printer.
5. How to cut and trim wedding stationery
If you print your own invitations onto a larger piece of card (e.g. A4/ letter size) you can fit a couple of invites onto one sheet. This is a pretty cost-effective way of doing things and, as long as you use a file that will print with crop and bleed marks (as I explained above), it’s not too difficult to cut them down to size.
I’m currently working on a video to show you how I personally trim wedding invitations with a craft (or Xacto knife), a ruler and a cutting mat. But you can also use a guillotine or paper trimmer. Whichever route you go down it does take a little practice and you WILL get a little bored after a while, but it’s pretty straightforward to get good results.
There you have it – my best tips on printing your own wedding invitations!
Psst! If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to print wedding invitations at home, then you can always opt for professional printing. Professional printing could end up being almost as cost-effective and less hassle if you’re time-strapped. If you’re in the UK then try Printed.com – I used them for my own wedding stationery printing and they were awesome. If you’re US-based then I hear great things about Vistaprint!