Hint: It's not always the best option for your budget.
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Credit: Alpha Smoot

We love a great craft project, and we'll proudly DIY just about anything related to the wedding, but there are a few details you should take into consideration before you sign up for the ambitious act of creating your own wedding invitations. While it's a fun project to take on if you're crafty, the costs and time spent can add up quickly. Should you decide it's worth the time and effort, our best advice is to make friends with your printers and really do your homework in a timely manner so you don't accidentally forget to provide any info or run out of time to get these precious invites in the mail. Here's some insider info from the "been there, DIY'd that" pros.

It's not always the more affordable option.

Somewhere along the way, DIY became known as the go-to affordable option. But anyone who has spent time at the local craft store purchasing paper in the right card stock, testing different inks, ordering the right die-cut machine, trying to track down the perfect envelope size to stuff everything into, and even taking calligraphy classes, can tell you that DIY costs can get out of hand quickly.

Professional stationers have a wealth of resources at their fingertips and they have experience sourcing the right materials. They've essentially done the homework for you, directing you to the options that make the most sense within your budget. If that budget is out of your range, you may instead consider looking into the endless supply of stock invitations online. Through sites like shutterfly.com, minted.com, and paperlesspost.com, there are loads of options out there that are unique and adjustable without the time-consuming, and often expensive, hassle that can come along with DIY wedding invitations.

Find a printer early in the game.

Should you decide to take on the DIY wedding invitation challenge, the first thing you should do is research printers. There are many options available online, or you may be able to find a local letterpress or digital printer who is willing to work with art you supply. They'll likely have very specific requirements for how you send over the artwork, and it's best to know that upfront. Many printers will require a vector file for artwork, so you'll want to be sure you have the right software available to get the necessary files to them.

Don't skimp out on info.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they DIY wedding invitations is forgetting to include pertinent info. Often times, a professional stationer will act as an advisor on wording, etiquette, and necessary info to include. If they won't be part of the process of designing your invitation suite, it's a good idea to look into what details you should include on the invitation.

Depending on the number of events you're hosting during your wedding weekend and the specific logistics of what you've planned, you may choose to include informational inserts along with the wedding invitation. You'll also need a way for guests to RSVP, so don't forget to include a stamped postcard or envelope.

You can choose to DIY just one element.

Given the time and cost that goes along with DIY wedding invitations, you might consider just handling one element on your own. Maybe it's the hand-written addresses or maybe you really want to do wax seals on the envelope.

Either way, plan ahead and practice using spare supplies before committing to any of these projects. They could end up being much more time-consuming than you're prepared for, and the last thing you need is to add any additional stress to your list in those last precious weeks before your wedding. Don't be afraid to call for backup from friends and family if you find yourself in over your head. Odds are, the crafty ones will probably be more than happy to help.


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