Introduction and Credentials
DIY wedding invitations is one of those topics that is hotly debated and can be somewhat polarizing in opinions. Some love it and think everyone should do it while others think it's better left to someone else because DIY is a waste of time.
The thing is, most of the articles written on the subject are done so by those with little to no experience in the field. I've found that this leads to a lot of mis-information and a lack of real, useful tips on how to make your own invitations.
So, in this article, I'm going to reveal a few secrets that may help you to make your own, professional looking invitations.
By the way, I'm one of the partners in Tango Design, so with over 12 years experience and plenty of awards to our name, you know the information below is trustworthy.
Think of making your invitations as a project and you’ll tend to do a much better job. And, one of the keys to any project is planning.
Every job we do is a project for a customer so we start by working out what materials we’ll need and we separate them into a box and put the customer’s name on it. You’re probably not going to have everything you’ll need at hand, so buying the materials and tools you'll need is a good early step. Thank God for the internet!
If you're making your own invitations in an attempt to save money, then getting everything from one place, either online or a bricks and mortar store is a real saver. Consider this: If you save 10c a sheet on paper from a secondary supplier but it costs you $10.00 in shipping or fuel, you'll need to get over 100 sheets to actually save money!
Tip 1: Remember to account for fuel and shipping costs when buying your materials.
Tip 2: A kit with all the bits you need from a professional supplier will probably be cheaper than buying the pieces individually, even from the same store.
Tip 3: Contact suppliers by email or phone to ask questions before making your purchase. Things like: Are instructions included with their DIY kits or do they expect you to work it out yourself?
Tip 4: If you didn't get instructions, write or draw some yourself. Once you get started on the actual production tasks, you may find yourself too absorbed in the process to stop and think. Many people make mistakes and waste materials, not to mention money and time, because they didn't follow instructions.
I've found from experience that the two main reasons people fail to do a good job on their invitations are a lack of preparation and planning or not having the right tools for the job. Funnily enough, counteracting the first reason doesn't cost a cent.
Tip 5: Blocking out time in your schedule for each of the tasks involved in making the invitations. Allowing more time than you think you’ll need is wise because generally speaking, when you do something for the first time, it takes longer than it does someone who does that task often.
Design and Layout
MS Word* or similar was not created for the purpose of designing and printing. So, if you want something professional looking, you should use graphics software like CorelDraw*, Illustrator*, etc.
The main difference between these, is that graphics software lets you put things exactly where you want on the page. For invitation design, that’s hugely beneficial! Without it you'll spend hours and many, many test prints just trying to position basic text properly. Graphics software will also make the inclusion of images much easier.
Tip 6: Corel* has a 30 day free trial of its CorelDRAW* software. Also, Serif* has a totally free product that you can download called DrawPlus*. It’s less comprehensive but will do the job for most people.
Tip 7: Always do a test print using regular copy paper before doing the full print run. Cut and fold as needed for your design to make sure everything is okay, before you waste all your good card.
Time to cut, fold and assemble the invitations. Depending on your chosen design, this may be quick and easy or a series of lengthy tasks. Quite often people choose designs that require sticking layers of paper and card or ribbons and other embellishments. These tasks can be quite time consuming and require patience but the results are well worth it!
Tip 8: To get a professional finish when folding cards, use a scoring tool. Craft shops often have cheap scoring plates, with grooves for commonly used folds, that will enable you to easily do a good job.
Tip 9: To easily stick paper, card, ribbon and some embellishments, without making a mess, use double sided tape instead of glue.
Tip 10: For bulkier embellishments like crystal brooches, starfish or beads, we use precision super glue rather than a hot glue gun or craft glue. It’s fast drying and provides nearly instant adhesion, which makes it quicker and cleaner to use. Just be careful with the amount you use. Glue dots are also great if the embellishment is not so heavy.
Tip 11: If using ribbon or lace on multi-layered invitations, fold the ends under the top card and sandwich between the layers to get a tidy finish. Most people just stick the ribbon or lace to the top card then trim the edges. The ribbon or lace then frays at the edge of the card leaving the while thing looking messy.
Tip 12: Always make a couple of extra invitations. Allowing for the ‘just in case’ scenarios which tend to pop up when organizing a wedding or other event is a real stress saver. It’s much easier and cheaper to make a few extra up front, than it is to re-start the process later, even if you have left over materials.
Tip 13: Many modern invitation makers, including ourselves, offer semi-DIY packs, where they do the design, printing and cutting tasks and leave the assembly to you. The best thing about these packages is that you don’t need any equipment and the tasks where mistakes are more likely to occur are done for you. I really believe that this is the best option if you’re doing DIY to save money. That's because any savings are totally bankable. The issue I have with full DIY is that there are often costs that people don’t calculate. Things like; fuel or transport, wastage, ink or toner, tools, adhesives, etc. That means what was actually spent can be much more than originally thought!
This is a question we are often asked, and we thought to write a bit about our views, to give you an idea as to when the best time to send out your wedding invitations is. Unfortunately, what etiquette and wedding “protocol” usually suggest is not necessarily compatible with reality.
IMPORTANT: This article is merely meant to inform and does not try to give advice or “a must” timing. Our intention is to just guide you with our extensive experience in the industry, making wedding invitations and stationery for the day has taught us about the timing needed.
What online “experts” tell you (and I disagree) is to:
“Send your wedding invitations 8 weeks before your wedding. If it’s a destination wedding: send them 3 months in advance to give your guests time to arrange and schedule the trip.”
For starters, some of the advice online is concerning. When the articles are written by SEO content writers who are paid to get to get a website’s rank up on google. 1000’s of people trusting an article that is trying to make sales instead of trying to inform.
What I say: "Really?"
In our experience, it’s best to be thinking of a few aspects of your wedding, deciding the best timing for you, deciding what works for your guests and discussing timing with vendors and suppliers so it can all work together to deliver what you need when you need it.
What I ask my couples before I suggest a timing:
1) Is it a destination wedding? Do your guests need to arrange flights, accommodation and save an amount of money to make it to the event? Give them 6 months to a year if they’re interstate, more than a year if they’re overseas. Only you know how quick your friends can get organised and logistics and their finances. If you want them to come, allow them time.
2) Do you want all of them to come, or are you just fulfilling a formality? I know this can be a controversial question, but we all know that some people will not be able to come, or that you may not be that keen on inviting certain people for whatever reason. However, you may still want them to receive an invitation. If that’s the case, yes! 8 weeks is plenty of time. In On some occasions, we may need to invite others, to participate in or fulfil a formality (family relationships, business, etc, and auntie or neighbour that knew us growing up but would not necessarily attend to your wedding, the list continues.)
3) Did you send a save the date card, or are you planning to? I am not saying anyone should or shouldn’t, some send a save the date card 1 year or more before the day. The truth is that many, and I dare to say most guests, will not buy the tickets until the venue is confirmed, nor they will ask their boss the day off for it, or book a nanny etc until they receive the formal invitation. A save the date is very useful but often instead couples rather save the money and put it towards a much nicer invitation to be sent earlier. There is no right or wrong in my opinion, the choice is again yours. Bottom line, if you have not sent a save the date card, then that invitation probably should go out even earlier than planned.
4) What services do you need to organise that rely on confirmed numbers and rsvps? And what is their timing? As you may know, certain suppliers will need to know your numbers and will need to know some time in advance of the wedding or before the wished delivery date (if a product is needed before the wedding). Say for example, a caterer may not need to know the numbers or whether they are vegetarian or not until 2-4 weeks before the wedding, but perhaps you might need to hire a second nanny for the hotel as some extra kids were confirmed for the day.
Or in the case of our services/products, you may need menus, table/place cards, chocolate or personalised favours/ bonbonniere, programs or order of service. All these need numbers confirmed, and many, such as place cards, will also need the names of the guests. During busy times we (Tango Design) do need 4 weeks for production, from when the PDF is approved, plus shipping time. Whilst many couples approve their design within 1-2 weeks, some need a little extra time, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there needs to be enough time before your wedding to cater for it. Often, there are last minutes changes, design variations, and changes of information on the invite from the venue, the caterer or the celebrant, and that’s without counting when a family or friends also want to participate in the wording for each piece. Every client, every wedding and every family is different.
So, when to send your invites?
If you want the short answer, I would say:
• If it’s a local wedding, where no accommodation or flights are required:
I would suggest 4-6 months before the wedding day to allow you to organise other services and products with vendors that require numbers or/and names (if needed).
• If it’s a destination wedding, where accommodation and flights are required, and you want them to make it to the event: 6 months to 18 months.
There are many reasons, but it’s best to decide for yourself considering the questions above.
As well as the scenarios mentioned, consider:
• Cultural background and timing. For some cultures it is unthinkable to plan too early, for others, it is a must.
• The amount of people involved in the PDF approval. Some couples are the only ones who have a say on the design or/ and the wording, however plenty get their parents, financial contributors or friends included in the decisions. Again, not right or wrong, but the more people involved, the longer it takes for everyone to agree. Please allow some time for it.
• Changes of information with third parties. Say you were given a time, but the planner or venue suggests at the very last moment a change, or maybe the photographer wants you for a few shots before the ceremony, trust me it happens. Please triple check with the venue, the planner, celebrant and any other people involved in the decision. It can take time so please allow for it.
So, to conclude this article, what I am trying to say is that the sooner you know who and how many guests are coming;
-the easier you will be able to organise other items/ services you may need
-the higher the chance that your guests can make it
-the more time you will have to ensure the invitations reflect what you want them to be
-you will also have the chance to invite a second lot of guests, if many in the first lot cannot make it (i.e. destination weddings). I will talk more about this in another article, but I am referring to guests that you would still love to come to your wedding, but they didn’t quite make it onto the first list due to a budget or spacing situation (friends you have not seen that often, or new friends/ work colleagues, etc.)
Back to browse some designs? Invitation Shop
Are you wondering how to incorporate a creative wording into your wedding rsvp cards without losing elegance and style?
Or has it happened to you that you totally love those Pinterest creative stationery shots, with a fun or modern wording but you are not quite sure whether everyone will like it? You're not alone. This is a common enquiry or concern and that's why I am writing this article.
Well, let me tell you what I think. No matter what you do, we have already stated in many of our blogs that we can not please everyone or pander to everyone's taste. And taste is not a science, it is actually quite subjective. A funny or serious wording on the RSVP card will not define the style of the entire wedding, within reason, of course.
Once your wedding style is discussed, defined and agreed on (I would say mainly with your partner, but perhaps not exclusively), you can decide how formal or fun you want it to be. Just be consistent with most of the elements of the wedding and the level of formality you want and you will be just fine.
Now, before I show you wording ideas that are creative, let's remember some points that some of those stunning inspiration shots may not leave clear.
RSVP card: wording ideas
ow the fun part!
Depending on the level of formality of your wedding you can use some humour or even hints to encourage their guests to put that RSVP card in the mail.
You can find more traditional wording, with "accepts/ declines" in our wording ideas page.
Some of the funny RSVP wordings and options we've used are:
Specific wording options for destination weddings.
Info to help the band or DJ.
Here are some lines you can use to encourage a response.
These are my tips for today, do you have more ideas to share?
PLEASE COMMENT AND INSPIRE OTHER COUPLES SEARCHING FOR CREATIVE WORDING
Do you want to order POSTCARD rsvp cards? Click here
And these below are some of our couples' questions in regards to RSVPs:
1) Can I order an Invitation and not have an RSVP card? You certainly can. If you have enough space on your invitation you can add a line with RSVP by date along with a contact details (phone or email). The RSVP cards are very useful, specially with large weddings but not everyone may need or want them. In some cases the RSVP and a paired envelopes is a feature to embellish the set beyond its need.
2) Can the RSVP be also online? Absolutely. It is a great idea to have a wedding web site where the guests have the options to reply. This is regardless if RSVP cards have been sent or not. Some couple prefer one reply method only, others are happy with more than one. The choice is yours.
3) what's the standard wording for RSVP:
As suggested above, the standard requirements are
-if they are coming to your wedding or not
-dietary requirements, to help you cater for allergies or special diets
SOME couples may need to collect on that card info about:
-child minding choices
4) what's the difference between a postcard and an RSVP with an envelope 5) how can I make a set if I do not have an RSVP card.
The one with envelope: it is more expensive but looks super pretty with contrasting colour envelopes. In some countries, it is also a safer option to post.
The postcard style is cheaper, comes with NO RSVP envelope. The return address is printed on the same side, towards the right. In Australia this option is very popular for the budget minded couples and Aussie Post usually handles these normally.
DO you have any more questions! Please comment below and we will reply asap.
Most of the weds-to-be actually scratch their heads in trying to decipher who, how many and so forth guests to invite in their big days. As one begins to add the people in the wedding guests list the question of expenses pops up.
Sometimes the pressure to increase the number of the guests comes from the in laws or even the immediate parents thus multiplying the expected costs. This occurs because ones in laws or parents may have connections and/or old friends that they would like to share with the special day. When it comes to the number of the wedding guest, ability of one to draw the line is much as important as the wedding itself. The following are some of the most important tips that one ought to consider on how to invite and most importantly who to trim down:
Choose the maximum/optimum number of persons to invite
Due to the reception venue or the wedding hall, one may find him/herself limited to the number of the wedding guests that you can invite. One ought to set the number that will be absolute maximum number of the wedding guest that are likely to attend the wedding even though not everyone invited is going to show up. From the maximum number of the wedding guest that is set, one is able to know if to begin trimming the list or not.
Wedding invitations and any other product and wedding service are not free. Therefore, determining the costs of the invitations is as well paramount in the setting up the number of the guests. Therefore, from the absolute maximum number one is able to estimate the rough figure for each of the invited guest. At this stage the bride and the groom ought to look into their budget and figure out if the people to be invited fit into their plans.
Thinking of ones future and not the past is the key
One does not get a free invitation merely from the fact you were close to them in high school or you were friends in your childhood. Chances are good that you cannot invite people to your wedding if you have not being in close touch with them for more than two years. In fact if your budget does not allow, most persons do not even invite people they were close to while in college. It is imperative to not worry too much about offending someone from your distant past and focusing on the financial foundation and the future one is trying to build should be the priority.
1. Every family member does not qualify to be invited
Some family members are closer to you than others and thus they qualify more than the distant relatives who live very far away and rarely see each other. In any family one has some of the relatives that one has distant relationship and thus not every single cousin deserves to be invited. They probably understand if you calmly explain to them once you see them maybe in the next Christmas/family get-together.
2. Someone’s feeling may get hurt in the process
It is important to understand that someone feelings may get hurt no matter how many wedding invitations you send or what you do in the process. These are normal things in the wedding. You ought to resign yourself and deal with it unless you are willing to splash money in your wedding. Trusting ones guts one who to include and leave is the only important thing.
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