DIY Your Wedding Invitations For A Budget-Friendly Personalized Touch

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

The total amount of cash spent by couples on their marriage ceremony and reception is roughly $30,000, according to a study conducted by The Knot in a deep dive into the economics of U.S. nuptials. Of course, this ballpark figure may be higher or lower depending on location, wedding size, and other factors, with a big city destination and a large number of guests increasing costs dramatically. If you're looking for smart hacks to plan a budget wedding, be aware that The Knot also found the average spend for wedding invitations is $510. Clearly, there are no easy corners to cut when planning this celebration.

Like everything, wedding invitations run the gamut from extravagant bespoke productions to humble mass-produced efforts. In the space between these two extremes is another option: Do It Yourself (DIY) invites. Whether you simply want to trim your budget or you're feeling inspired by a creative challenge, there are a number of resources to help you craft a memorable, quality product.

You might begin by discovering your own taste.

Explore the space

It's true that you've received somewhere between a few and many invitations in your life, but you may not have studied them, and so you're unaware of all that's happening in the specific world of wedding invitations. The choices are endless. An online foray will begin to give you a sense of all the available options. If you're set on a DIY creation, a variety of wedding blogs and websites can show you inspirational possibilities. There's simply a multitude of choices.

To begin getting a sense of the range of wedding invitations, Instagram, possibly the most photo-friendly of all social media sites, has plenty of options. Try searching hashtags like #weddinginviteinspiration and #weddinginvite for thousands of examples that will surely fire your creative imagination. If you don't want to scroll through hashtags, try browsing through the curated Instagram page of a wedding invitation retailer like @elegantweddinginvites

You can also try searching for wedding invite inspiration that suits your theme. Pinterest has plenty of offerings. If you're aiming for, say, a cottagecore wedding that takes its stylistic cues from an English cottage garden, type in "cottagecore invitations" and you'll be immediately swept up into the relaxed floral vibe you seek. Whatever your aim, then, a simple search online will likely provide many worthy examples. 

Online templates, crafty kits, and working from scratch

The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website, recommends using DIY invitation templates, which require you to fill in pre-set details, download a resulting PDF, and then print either at home or at a copy center onto the paper of your choice — the easiest DIY option. Some templates are free, others inexpensive. At the no-cost end, there's Canva, Wedding Chicks, Greetings Island, and Paper Source, all of which offer wedding templates for you to use, gratis, either as digital (emailed) or printed invitations. Meanwhile, Etsy serves up thousands of print-it-yourself options in a range of prices, beginning at $10, for those willing to invest in a more exclusive template.

When using a template, paper is the next order of business. Invitations are often printed on card stock, a thicker, more luxurious grade of paper that can withstand special inks and letterpress techniques without disintegrating. An online search could lead you to inexpensive deals found at local stores or on the web at businesses such as the Paper Mill Store, a Wisconsin-based purveyor catering to design professionals. Card stock comes in different colors, so, no matter where you shop, be prepared to choose your preferred tint or shade.

And for couples who prefer to skip templates and card stock shopping, there are DIY wedding invitation kits, such as those found on Amazon. In most cases, these supply everything needed, including design, envelopes, and card stock. Buy a kit, and you're good to go.

Don't forget the endgame

Adventurous duos may choose to start from scratch, designing without template, combining colors at will, and using original techniques to devise the most expressive of invitations. For such projects, the Budget Saavy Bride, a wedding planning website for couples who don't want to break the bank, recommends assembling tools and extras, including a sturdy paper cutter, transparent tape, vellum and card stock paper, and ribbon, before the creative fun begins. For some, this could be the most budget-friendly of all options ... or not. Those who love crafts could get carried away and end up spending more than anticipated.

Here, a couple might want to pause and remind themselves that the main purpose of an invitation is simply to request the presence of friends and family on a day of celebration. Invitations, then, are necessary... yet disposable. Do they need to be an extravagant preview of the beautiful event or might basic be good enough?  

Listen to your bank account; it's speaking.