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DIY Wedding: A Design Guide for Brides

Igor Ovsyannykov March 31, 2021 · 13 min read
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Weddings are expensive. Even with limited guests and a minimal setup, the event can put a dent in your bank account. But even with the looming costs, people tend to spend and splurge for this occasion because it’s a momentous one. A wedding, after all, is a celebration of love.
These days, couples have different wedding options that are lovely and economical. In fact, most brides do DIY wedding projects to save a fraction of the cost. Some want to design their own wedding invitations because they have the skills to pull it off.
With the vast options the internet has when it comes to weddings, creating your own invites is doable. Whether you’re trying to spend less or simply love doing DIY projects, here are tips to follow:

1. Pick a wedding style.

First things first: choose a wedding theme. Ask your fiancé for suggestions on colors, fonts, and the overall design of the wedding. List your own concepts. Then, find a balance between what you and your partner want. Your wedding invites will give your guests a peek at what your big day will be like. It should symbolize both your visions on that special day.

2. Specify your budget.

Soon after choosing a theme, establish a realistic budget you can work with. Even with DIY invitations, the price of cardstocks and ink can set you back. This can happen if you go for high-quality paper and/or heavily saturated ink. You also need to think about other concerns that can affect your budgets like the size of the invites, the quality of the envelopes, and the rate of postage. Outlining what you want and putting a corresponding amount – even just a ballpark figure – on each element helps in determining the final cost per invitation.

3. Make a schedule and stick to it.

Printing invitations take considerably longer than most people think. In the first place, printing is not even the first step in creating your invitation. You need to design the actual invites and the other essentials (RSVP cards, save the date cards, place cards, table numbers). After printing, you need to assemble the invites, address the envelopes, and mail the invitations. Each step takes time.
An effective guideline is this: If you think you can finish everything in two weeks, give yourself four. Good wedding etiquette requires you to send the invitations six to eight weeks before the actual wedding day. This timeline leaves guests a minimum of a month to reply to your RSVP. It’s also important to have extra supplies of papers, ink, envelopes, and ribbons handy if you make mistakes and need to reprint anything.

4. Be smart in designing the invitations.

More often than not, if the bride does her own wedding invitations, she already has a great idea of what she hopes it’ll look like. If you’re in this situation, you may even have the skills to turn your concepts into reality. Or, at the very least, you may be planning to learn about the process in general.
There are tons of helpful notes online on how you can start your project. You can watch videos about invitation layouts and start from there. It’s also important that you familiarize yourself with your design software.
Adobe Creative Suite is arguably the best and most popular design software. It features access to many professional graphics applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. These three programs allow you the most flexibility and opportunity to design, play, and create.

Adobe Illustrator

For wedding invitations and templates, Illustrator is the most ideal to use. The illustrations and graphics in this suite are vector-based. Since they are not made of pixels, the output is smooth. Even elements with photos are not pixelated. You may also incorporate your favorite fonts, preferred stock illustrations, or personalized designs, and set them up as you want.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop provides the same structure features found in the Illustrator, along with extra robust graphic treatment effects. With Photoshop, you can design a customized type, add images and other graphics. Remember that each image size must be 300 dots per inch (dpi) else the unsightly pixels will be easily seen.

Adobe InDesign

InDesign is a layout tool that gives you command over documents where written text and actual messages are prominent. InDesign is great for creating wedding programs. A fantastic pairing is to design your graphics in either Illustrator or Photoshop and then import the output into InDesign to set up your type.
Note: Adobe Creative Suite costs roughly $60 per month. It offers a 30-day trial offer. Keep in mind that since these programs are professional level, they also have a pro-level learning curve.
If you find Adobe programs difficult or pricey, there are other software you can use to make your DIY wedding invites. Some of the cheaper alternatives are:

  • Inkscape
  • Pages for Mac
  • Editor by Plixr
  • GIMP
  • PicMonkey
  • GimPhoto

5. Choose your fonts smartly.

Font choice plays a big role in your DIY wedding design. The font must always match the theme and feel of the wedding. The main font can convey the wedding atmosphere you’re aiming for. Fonts can be vibrant, bold, classic, laidback, vintage, or romantic. And most are easy to download. You can find loads of free fonts on the internet. A quick search on Pinterest for “free fonts” will get you all the choices you need.
Event planners typically recommend using two fonts on your wedding invitation. These two fonts should be carried all through your invitation suite. Work with a standout font for you and your fiancé’s names. This font is usually hand-written or in a script. Use a simple-to-read font for the remainder of the wedding details.

6. Pick out high-quality paper.

There’s enough selection in paper types, finishes, and weights to fill your schedule for a month. To save you time, here are the basics in choosing your cardstock:

  • Finish – Your paper finish affects how the final output will look and how much ink your invites will use. Shiny cardstocks need a great deal more ink and more time to dry. Textured paper, like linen paper, are prone to ink bleeding. If you want a foolproof paper, a matte cardstock is the best choice as it works well on most home printers.
  • Weight – The thickness of paper is measured by its weight in pounds. The higher the number of the weight on the packaging label, the thicker your cardstock is. In choosing paper, you need to factor in the weight of the overall invite, envelope included.

If you’re shopping for your own paper, cardstocks and glossy ones are usually found at local office shops. If you opt for linen or specialty paper, the best route is to buy online. It’s important to get a sample before purchasing a huge stack. Complete a test print to see if the paper you chose suits your home printer.

7. Design a printer-friendly invitation.

Even if you’re making your own invitations, you still want them to look like they’ve been professionally pressed. Most event planners recommend creating a design that bleeds. This means creating a design that extends to the edge of the paper. This full-bleed effect can be achieved by constructing a design a bit bigger than the final cut size. The edges are then trimmed off for a balanced design.
It’s also best to put the design and text in the center of the paper if you’re using a larger stock or pre-cut invitation paper. It’s helpful to steer clear of the areas around the edge and only put the artwork and text in the middle since most home printers are not equipped to print up to the edge of the paper.

8. Test your computer and printer.

Using your own devices means ensuring that they are in excellent working condition. If you have printed in color before, you’re already aware that things don’t always end up as you see them on the screen. Remember that every computer monitor and printer is color-calibrated individually. Shades may vary from that viewed on screen.
Home printers are likely to print a tone or two darker. On the other hand, local printers have a tendency to print a tad lighter. If you’re printing the invites at home, take the time to adjust your printer and the pre-print color setting.
The quality and type of paper you use will affect the final output as well.

9. Think about your envelopes.

There are countless of fabulous envelope options in the market. Opt for white or cream for a classic theme. Pick a color to suit your invitations for that extra “pop.” If you choose color envelopes, get them in a complementary tone. Also, decide on a shade light enough so the guest’s address is still readable. Some craft stores sell fun envelope choices with metallic or foil textures that add another layer to your design.
If your invitations have embellishments, buy high-quality and thick envelopes to secure the invites.

10. Buy a wedding invitation suite.

If you don’t have the skills or experience to make your wedding invites from scratch, look for editable cards and templates. There are tons of wedding invitation templates available online. There are even bundles of fonts and graphics you can purchase to fit your wedding theme. Some online vendors even do seasonal discounts for their wedding bundles.
Below is a list of wedding resources to make your invites the way you envisioned them to be:

Fonts

Serangkai Typeface

Serangkai Typeface
This script is a modern hand lettering typeface. This multinational font features uppercase and lowercase, stylistic alternatives and swashes, ligatures, initials and finals, and punctuation and symbols.

Bamboo Tree

Bamboo Tree
This is a cute brush-type font perfect for wedding postcards and a wedding blog. It’s also useful in creating logos or frames for your virtual home.

Candlescript Pro

Candlescript Pro
This font features script and italic styles. Its design highlights precise and smooth flow perfect for logotype, personalize typeface, and headers.

Sugar Plum Script

Sugar Plum Script
This is a pretty little typeface with over 400 distinct hand-drawn characters. It comes with an italic version and 60+ hand-drawn doodles, catchwords, swirls, ornaments, and frames.

Artisan Display Typeface

Artisan Display Typeface
This is an all-caps font underlining a classic style. Its OpenType feature enables mixing and matching pairs of letters to suit any wedding (and other) design.

Big Bundle by BlessedPrint

big font
This is a big font and graphic bundle. The pack includes 25 fonts, 950 graphics, and 65 wedding templates.

Font and Graphic Bundle

font bundle
This is another bundle collated for wedding designs and more. It includes 54 fonts and over 750 graphics.

Graphic Bundles

Boho Wedding Collection

Boho Wedding Collection
This graphic bundle includes a massive collection of bohemian designs and styles perfect for a boho-styled wedding. It features hand lettering phrases, pre-made invitation backgrounds, nature elements, decorative alphabets, and wedding cards.

300 Wedding Floral Romantic Set

300 Wedding Floral Romantic Set
This collection is packed with wedding vintage elements. It includes over 300 dreamy designs of hand-drawn floral sets, frames and shapes, ribbons, and lettering phrases.

Watercolour Gigabundle

Watercolour Gigabundle
This wedding graphic package is a huge collection of watercolor graphics, logos, fonts, illustrations, brushes, patterns, and textures. It features “Bonjour” – a brush font bestseller.

We Are All Made of Stars

We Are All Made of Stars
This twinkling bundle is packed with everything starry. It includes shooting stars, starry borders and lines, frames made of stars, constellations, moons and moon elements, a Christmas tree, and over 50 different flexible stars.

Floral Bundle

The Floral Bundle
This is a 460+, hand-illustrated, water-colored, floral set of graphics. The graphics are perfect for floral-centric wedding invites, greeting cards, wall art, website designs, and customized packaging designs.

Graphic Design Elements

Graphic Design Elements
This is a titanic bundle with over 2300 graphics. The package includes different flowers, florals, animals, textures, patterns, brushes, fonts, backgrounds, ribbons, and splashes.

Watercolor Bundle

Watercolor Bundle
This is a huge watercolor package with over 120 graphics. The package includes special watercolors of macro exotic flowers.

Lightroom and Photoshop Presets

Best Wedding Lightroom Presets Bundle

Best Wedding Lightroom Presets Bundle
This package features 240 premium Lightroom Presets from the CreativeMarket’s six professional collection bestsellers. All images are compatible with Mac and Windows computers.

Pastel Colors Lightroom Presets

Pastel Colors Lightroom Presets
This presets collection is meant for graphic designers and photographers in need of a variety of one-of-a-kind finishes for wedding images. It’s also used for family, portrait, and fashion photos.

Wedcraft Wedding Photoshop Actions

wedcraft-wedding-photoshop-actions-fr
This bundle contains 40 Photoshop actions specifically created for celebrations and ceremonies like weddings. It’s made for speedy light and exposure adjustments and also add subtlety to every photo.

25 Soft Light Presets

25 Soft Light Presets
This wedding bundle is helpful for couples who want to do DIY work. The presets soften and warm up the images in one easy click of the button.

175 Photoshop Wedding Actions

175 Photoshop Wedding Actions
This easy to use set is packed with 175 actions to beautify wedding photos. It includes wedding color enhance actions, matte wedding actions, B&W wedding actions, dream wedding effects, HDR wedding actions, vintage wedding actions, and wedding light leak actions.

Creative Presets Bundle Vol. 1

Creative Presets Bundle Vol.1
This bundle is packed with over 180 premium Lightroom Presets from CreativeMarket’s bestselling collections. It is designed for both professional amateur photographers.

Invitations

Wedding Invitation Suite – Isabella

Wedding Invitation Suite – Isabella
This gorgeous invitation suite is perfect for any wedding theme. The set includes nine items: invitation cards, save the date cards, details, RSVP cards, wishing well and thank you cards, menus, table numbers, and place cards.

The Dreamy Watercolour Collection

The Dreamy Watercolour Collection
This print-ready set features editable text and font colors. The set includes wedding invitations, RSVP cards, information cards, save the date cards, menus, place card templates, table number cards, and “thank you” cards.

Bestselling Bundle II

Bestselling Bundle II
This bundle consists of 30 editable items. The goodies include cards for the save the date, RSVP, information, “thank you,” menu, table, table place name, as well as gift tags.

Dreamy Watercolor Wedding Suite

Dreamy Watercolor Wedding Suite
This rustic wedding set includes nine editable PDF files. All cards and tags are designed with a modern, subtle touch of the watercolor effect.

Chic, Modern, and Bold Wedding Collection

Chic,Modern&Bold Wedding Collection
This invitation bundle is – as its name implies – stylish, contemporary, and vibrant. The pack includes 11 templates for wedding invitations, RSVP, directions, save the date, “thank you,” program, and menu.

GIANT Nautical Wedding Collection

GIANT Nautical Wedding Collection
This editable collection is designed for beach-themed weddings. The pack includes ten templates for wedding invites, five RSVP cards, four info templates, four save the date cards, six “thank you” templates, two wedding programs, and two menu templates.
Note: Most of these bundles are now on sale!
To have a successful DIY wedding project, plan ahead of time. And don’t forget to have fun!

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About the Author
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Igor Ovsyannykov

We create fonts, graphics, and produce aesthetically pleasing photos.

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8 Comments
  • More like the Invitation Design Guide for Brides, but nevertheless, I enjoyed this article! Especially all the pretty templates and fonts at the end. :) 5 years ago
  • ^^^Agree I actually have been designing wedding invites on the side for about 15 years... Some other things I have learned to keep an eye out for: *Simple is better* - while your invitation is an open door to your fantastic wedding design ideas - it also has a job to do. Older parents, grandparents and relatives will need to be able to read and decipher the details and if they can't understand it because you used some super squirrely script then it failed at it's job. Always, Always, Always take your fully printed invitation example to the post office to have the full suite weighed before you go crazy on printing everything. Cardstock adds up quick on weight and once you realize the phenomenal cost you added by using multiple embellishments you might end up rethinking your crazy ideas. It's also helpful to look up other postal regulations. Surprising things will pop out at you and you should know them before sending. No one wants to waste a week and 200+ envelopes because all of their invites got 'returned to sender'. (PS Square envelopes cost more too - because they require hand sorting) If you are being cost-conscious consider using a post card for save the dates or for your RSVP option. Postcard stamps are cheaper then regular postage and a couple cents may not seem like much until you multiply it by a few hundred guests. Caterers need a guest count usually two weeks prior to the wedding - but because sometimes you have a couple people who 'forget' to RSVP by the due date it's often helpful to make the RSVP deadline 3 weeks prior so you have a week to reach out to non-respondents. Consider multiple/alternative RSVP option - nobody wants to RSVP anymore (and always number or pre-designate the names on the RSVP card (because there will be more than one who won't fill it out and just mark their attendance). Pre-stamping an RSVP is not just nice etiquette it is a must-do. It is already difficult to get people to RSVP - you can't make it any harder by including another step. 5 years ago
  • @Amber Smith Thanks for adding such thoughtful recommendations! 5 years ago
  • Great article - very informative. I focused my wedding suite designs along a very simple yet elegant floral theme - all hand-drawn 🙂 5 years ago
  • Amazing one!!! Hope this article will be a good stuff for brides & me too :) 5 years ago
  • Hello Brides-to-be and Design-Lovers! Sincere congrats to all the amazing designs selected here, and of course thank you for putting this all around for all the wed-planners & brides-to be! I will definitely share this valuable content with my clients, as it happened before to be asked several things that I didn't cover (such as printing options, paper choices, other DIY suggestions etc). My focus is wedding design, not so much involved in wedding planning so far but I take lessons :) and I keep my ears wide open. Greetings from Romania! ^^ 5 years ago
  • Hello! Amazing article! thanks so much for including our bundle. Cheers. Chris 5 years ago
  • Exactly my thoughts @Trinity 5 years ago