So what I have done is done the entire process of designing, printing and distributing wedding invitations, and your process can be any two, or one or all of these things. Keep in mind you are you, and your couple will decide for yourself what colors, style, and the small details, like whether you want to hold a... Halloween themed wedding.

Whatever floats your boat, man.

A very loose sketch of what you need in materials is:

For the SAVE THE DATE cards
" Cardstock, I used 3-1/2" in by 4-7/8" in cards (to fit)
" 4 Bar envelopes (4" by 5" envelopes see, they fit the cards!)

" Color-theme matching Paper (your safest bet is good 'ole cardstock. See photos)

This will include:
" Flat Cards (Smaller cards for your directions and whatnot)
" 8.5 by 11 (Letter) Paper, for putting the most of your directions, information & whatnot

" Envelopes (depending on the size of your largest piece of paper folded to your liking)
  • This is where I used petal envelopes which I put into another envelope see pictures.
" Stickers? For sealing envelopes, and printing an insignia of your liking.

NOTE: Avoid glossy papers, they look nice... sometimes, but are easily scratched, guffed... as a photographer, they're nice to use but not for graphics. Most things look good on matte and luster paper. Also if you can, try semi-clear vellum papers, they serve as good covers for invitations... We will get into that later.

If it isn't obvious enough, I used paper source at www.paper-source.com as my major supply of paper. But there are tons of other ways too. The major benefit of working with a well established paper provider is that they have consistency in colors, thicknesses, and also a good variety of cuts besides standard rectangles.

But if you're fine with average colors (that is, colors that are close to what you are envisioning) go ahead and find paper off of.. ebay, or just paper you can find wherever you find most convenient. Just if you do, try and get all your paper (of the one color you get) specifically from one place, as not to accidentally get a purple from one place, and then get a puce-purple from another. That would not be good.

My photos also have been adjusted as not to give away the full names of the people I made these for (my sister and now brother-in-law) so the areas in which the names should be in, are a little blurry and crappy looking.
Lets continue.

Step 1: Get Your Words Onto Paper, Write Everything You Think You Will Need

Get a temporary list of recipients, gather your friends, and collaborate with them who you think you should invite. Then put them all in EXCEL. Or some sort of spreadsheet, so you can easily compile their addresses and information together on a single column or row.

The key thing here is to ORGANIZE.

Ask yourself these questions:

" Who are you sending these to? Do they need special accommodations?
" What are you going to say on the invitation? Are you going to send it through your parents?
If so, are you going to type in "Mary and Alex request your presence" or "The families of Mary and Alex..." or "The parents of Mary and Alex...?"

" If you haven't already, ask When will you have the wedding?
" What are your dinner options?
" When, How will you have your rehearsal dinner? (The dinner after the rehearsed wedding. We had ours on a boat, the night before the wedding)
" How will you accommodate your guests? Where do you recommend they stay for a hotel if they are coming abroad?
" How do you get to the wedding location? How do you get to anywhere you're telling them to to go?

Plan to make at the least:
" The Save the Date card and envelope
" The Invitation, reply card and envelope
" Directions and hotel information and envelope
" Stickers or a bunch of pens or a Stamp for Addresses

Optional things are:
" A website
" Frilly things to go with an invitation, like ribbon and patterned paper
" Embossed/Embellished Paper (the paper with texture)
<p>Thanks for these great tips! I made video invitations for my wedding from inviter(<a href="http://inviter.com/wedding-planner-tools" rel="nofollow">http://inviter.com/wedding-planner-tools</a>) platform and we can track guests RSVP's easily. I really like that tool.</p>
<p>Thanks, it looks interesting. I customize my wedding card with amoyshare photo collage, and it offers many amazing template for wedding theme in here. You could learn more through the page: http://www.amoyshare.com/wedding-cards/index.html </p>
<p>This is a great option! But you should also check out Lucid Press. They have great options for making wedding invitations. </p>
<p>Recently i had my engagement ceremony and i made my own design due to these instructions </p>
<p>Very slick.</p>
Thank you for these tips, choosing your wedding invitation is Similar to choosing the perfect wedding dress, it has to be simple, creative and elegant and stay away from adding photos of the couple to the wedding invitations. <br>Best Regards, <br> <br>Josh William <br>http://www.smarttouch.me/en <br>
I wish I were getting married; this would be so much fun. I like doing paper crafts, and it's a good idea to save money. Maybe some day ..
Sweet. I wish I had seen this before my brother's wedding!
What a great guide! Thank you.
The list of questions to ask yourself is very helpful for <a href="http://giftlist.havens.co.uk" rel="nofollow">organizing your wedding</a>. Directions to the wedding venue is also a good idea, as many of your guests may be travelling from further afield. Its important to remember the small details like this.
Thanks for your tips, it is very informative and I must say that I like your sense of creativity. I would surely include these wordings in my <a href="http://www.printed4u.com">Wedding Reception Invitations</a><br>which will be held on the first month of the next year. Thanks for sharing your creative minds to your readers.
I had my save the dates match my invitations and I went to a site called savethedatemagic.com so I was able to make my own at home as well.&nbsp; Thanks for the great ideas!
Really Pretty, I love the color combo. I ran this site that has some cool fonts and flourishes for cheap. Only $7 bucks. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.csaimages.com">http://www.csaimages.com</a><br/>
I checked paper-source.com and the Petal Beet Envelopes alone costs $45 for a pack of 150.
thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and ideas!<br/>really appreciate it! (<sup>_</sup>),v<sub></sub><br/>now, hopefully i have the expertise and the time to do something like this<br/>for my wedding... :P<br/>
These are really beautiful and classy invitations, love 'em. I wanted to mention, however, that I have sent letters with wax seals through the mail before and they tend to disagree with the digestive equipment of the U.S. Postal Service. Even when I wrote "please hand stamp" in great big humongous letters on the fronts of the envelopes, they still ran them through the machines for sorting or something -- I don't really know how all that works. At any rate, the seals ended up getting nibbled, flattened, and scuffed, totally ruining the effect. So if you use wax seals (and they're too cool not to at least consider) learn from my mistake and make sure you put your wax-sealed envelopes inside an outer traditionally-sealed envelope, the way the purple petal envelopes sealed with stickers were placed inside the white addressed envelopes, and hopefully that will let you have your wax and eat it too... or something.
yikes, never thought of that, but i'll include that too. one of those bubbly wrapped thicker envelopes would probably do the job... damn machines!!! thanks!
These are simply beautiful. I just did two different sets from prebought kits and boy were they printer unfriendly. Had to tweek almost every aspect of them. Wish I had seen this site first, would have chucked the ones I had and gone for these. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems when it comes to kits. They don't give you all the information. Thanks for writing this wonderful useful paper. Glenda
This is wonderful! Your instructions and photography are clear, and you've provided some beautiful examples. It's giving me ideas for Christmas letters too. Go-kekkon omedetou gozaimasu!
thank you! by the way, I didn't get married, it was my sister :P
I really love that...My daughter is Graduating this June and I can't afford Invitation cards(Schools) I have looked&looked online and cant find any really good ones,(Ones like you'd find in Stores)Can you help me,I'm really new at this and I could use some help..Thank You Very Much,Kathy(luvnptcruzer@verizon.net)
They look very nice. One thing I would like to add, since I didn't see anything about it, was in regards to the paper and the specific printing process used. I've worked in printing for about 10 years, and I've seen all kinds of stock. My experience with Paper Source paper has been that it is not very laser printer friendly, especially the "Vellum" or slightly translucent stocks. The dry ink toner that is laid down on the paper never properly fuses, and will actually rub off very easily. This usually happens after it's stuffed in the envelope too. What's particularly irritating about this brand of paper is that it all says that you can use it in a laser printer when in reality you can't. Plus, there is sometimes a wax content to these stocks that can actually damage your printer. My advice is to avoid Paper Source paper if you're going to use a laser printer or have the invitations photocopied.
Thats good info, I didn't really know that since I used inkjet, also my background image was screenprinted so that didn't have much problems. I'll try and research paper for a bit and then add a step later. Thanks!
No offense, but I would have used a more interesting font.
You're right, I don't disagree. I was like... 14 or 15 when I designed these and didn't really have any thoughts on typography and fonts besides New York Times, Didot and Gill Sans didn't really exist to me. Bleh. :P
Very nice work, your invitations are beautiful and very well made, even the smallest details. This Instructable will be motivating and helpful for people who think "too hard to be done at home!". My wife and I did the same when we married two years ago. Our style was different, but everything was designed and hand-made from scratch. Finally, congratulations for your weddings.

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Bio: Chicago new media & interactives artist
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