How to Make Your Own Wedding Invitations

In days gone by couples were limited to flipping through an invitation samples book and placing an order. Many of today’s couples choose to design their invitation to distinctively represent both their wedding day and their distinctiveness as a couple. Do it yourself wedding invitations are a perfect way to create treasured mementos while featuring your individual style! Paper Garden has provided a great deal of information that will get you on the right track. We know that making your own invitations can be a bit overwhelming but if you do a bit of research and match your skill level to the complexity of your invitation design the results will be incredibly rewarding.


Your wedding invitation is an essential piece of your wedding planning. Although they may be one of the final pieces chosen for your wedding, they provide your guests with the first impression of your celebration. The invitation will supply friends and family with not only the facts of place and time but also with a glimpse of what to expect while also making a public statement about who you are as a couple.

In choosing to create your own wedding invitations you have found an amazing way to cut costs and personalize your special day! With a computer and a printer your options are unlimited and you can achieve professional looking results. If you’re making your own invitations why not also create corresponding ceremony programs, menus and place cards? By using the same papers and theme your wedding stationery will take on a polished and unified look.


Begin to narrow down your invitation selection by thinking about the level of formality of your wedding. Will it be a very formal black-tie event calling for a classic style of invitation in white or ivory or will it be a casual garden ceremony that speaks to a more simple design on softly coloured paper? And don’t’ forget to consider the look and feel of the wedding venue. Your guests will decide what to wear to your wedding based on the style of your invitation. Whatever formality your wedding celebration takes, it should be reflected in the invitations.


Perhaps you’ve chosen a theme that runs through your wedding ceremony and reception. You could carry the theme into all your wedding stationery to create a consistent look and feel. Your theme may centre around the season of your wedding, a particular type of flower, a chosen colour scheme or a certain design element. The theme could reflect something special about you as a couple; a shared hobby or passion, a symbolic representation of how you met or photos of you as children.

Composing the guest list may be a difficult task but is necessary in determining the number of invitations needed as well as many other important wedding related decisions. The rule of thumb for number of invitations required is half the number of guests you wish to invite plus 10 to 15 extra invitations for people accidentally left off the guest list and for keepsakes.


If you have a guest list that exceeds the maximum number of guests you’d like (or banquet space dictates or budget allows) you might consider an ‘A List’ (must-have guests) and a ‘B List’ (additional people you’d love to have there but can live without if necessary) of guests. If you ensure your RSVP request date is early enough to allow, you could mail invitations to ‘B List’ guests as you receive notification from ‘A List’ guests who are unable to attend.


The all important wedding budget may also determine certain aspects of your invitations. The general guideline is to set aside 2 to 5% of your total wedding budget for your invitations and related stationery. If you’re creating your own invitations the bottom line will be affected by the following:

  • The size of your invitation will determine how many pieces you’ll cut from one sheet of paper.
  • The shape may influence costs. Mailing a square envelope costs considerably more.
  • Layering two or three paper colours looks striking but will of course add to the total cost.
  • The type and quality of paper you choose will affect your costs.
  • The number of inserts will influence the total cost of your invitation and possibly increase the postage cost.
  • The number and type of envelopes will affect costs.


You probably want to begin your invitation design, wording and materials ordering at least four months before the big day. Usually it is suggested that your guests receive their invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. Allow yourself one week to address and prepare your invitations for mailing and another week for them to reach their destination. Taking this timing into account, beginning four months prior to your wedding leaves only 7 weeks of actual preparation time.

The date you choose to ask for replies on the RSVP Card should be at least two to four weeks prior to the wedding date. This allows time to follow up on non-responses, determine a final guest count and make a seating chart if you choose to have one.

Begin researching and collecting photos and samples of invitation designs that you find appealing. Search online invitation companies and visit local stationery stores and the public library to find inspiration. You may also wish to visit a graphic designer or local printer to investigate various options. Gather favourite paper samples, graphics, embellishments, fonts, etc.


Click on the links below for more information and DIY Wedding Invitation Instructions

Paper 101
Invitation Colours
Invitation Components
Invitation Addressing And Mailing
Assembly (What Goes Where)
Invitation Follow Up
Wedding Thank You Cards
How To Line A Square-Flap Envelope
Colour Palette Inspirations
Add Sparkle With Mica-Coated Paper