DIY Wedding Invitations: A Complete Guide

DIY wedding invitation Etsy template

There are so many things to consider as you plan for your big day. I know, it can be overwhelming, especially if you are a do it yourself fiend like me (and a perfectionist to boot!). The key is taking it one step at a time. And today, your focus is wedding invitations (DIY Wedding invitations, to be more specific!) Once you’ve set your date and locked in your must-have vendors, wedding invitations and save the dates are one of the next big tasks to tackle.


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But with so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to find the perfect invitation that fits your style and budget. That’s why more and more couples (including yours truly), opt for do it yourself (DIY) wedding invitations. Not only will you save money, but you can add more of your own personal touches.

I went the do it yourself route for my own wedding stationery and have coached other bride-to-bes on the process of designing and creating DIY wedding invitations and signage. Trust me, it’s easier than it sounds. In this article, I’ll break down everything you’ll need to tackle handmade wedding invites, including:

So, let’s dig in, shall we?

Budget Savvy DIY Wedding Invitations


When I was going through the process of wedding planning and researching possible options for affordable wedding invitations, I was finding that even some of the more simpler styles I was gravitating towards were going to cost me about $3-$4 per invitation for printing alone. Considering my guest list, that meant I would be spending about $400+ on invitations before considering save the dates or any other wedding stationary needs.

In going the DIY wedding invitations route, here’s what you can expect to pay:

  • Using an Online Printer: $2/invite
  • Print-at-Home: $1/invite


Before we get into my 6 step process for making your own wedding invitations, let’s first look at a wedding invitation suite example, so you know what typically goes into a wedding invite. Not all of these elements are required, it is mostly dependant on the level of formality you’re after for your wedding vibe.

Example wedding invitation suite
  1. Outer Envelope: This is the first envelope that guests receive and it should have the names and addresses of both the guests and the couple.
  2. Inner Envelope (Optional): This envelope is used to protect the invitation and other cards, and contains only the names of the guests.
  3. Invitation: This is the main card with the details of the wedding ceremony and reception.
  4. Reception Card: If the ceremony and reception are at different locations, this card provides the details of the reception.
  5. Response Card: This card is used for guests to RSVP to the wedding.
  6. Direction Card: This card provides directions to the wedding and reception locations.
  7. Accommodation Card (Optional): This card provides guests with information about nearby hotels for those who need to stay overnight.


First things first, it’s important to nail down your color scheme and the overall vibe you’re after, as that should influence the design direction you select. Once you’ve got that in mind, my recommendation is to start a Pinterest board with styles you gravitate towards.

Not only is this a place where you can save and compare templates for DIY wedding invitations, but you can use it as a place to save and access direct links to design templates across multiple sites in one location. Ah, organization. Gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Pinterest Board for Selecting DIY Wedding Invitation Template

There are many free DIY wedding invitation templates available online that you can customize to fit your wedding style. You can also purchase pre-designed templates if you prefer. Or, last but not least, go crazy and design your own!


DIY wedding invitation etsy template

When selecting the DIY wedding invitation template you want to use, be sure to keep in mind the overall look and feel you want for your wedding day, as well as the color scheme and font choices you have selected. In pinning down “the one,” this sets the tone for the rest of your wedding and sets guest expectations for what they’ll experience.

Here is an example of the invitation I chose for my vintage style backyard garden wedding. The dusty blue and pale pink, combined with the script font and floral embellishments felt like it set the stage for the wedding vision I was planning.

Whether you select an editable template or design your own, you’ll want to personalize it and ensure you’ve got all of the important details accurately reflected on your wedding invitations.

Pro Tip: For a more budget-friendly wedding invitation,
choosing a flat printed invitation style will be more
affordable than other styles and methods of printing. 

Details to Include on Your Wedding Invitation

It’s also important to consider the tone and formality of the wedding and to make sure the invitation reflects that. Backyard barbeque wedding invites can (and should!) be less formal sounding than a five-course sit down wedding reception at the golf course. Your guests need to know what to expect and the invite should clearly communicate that.

For my backyard wedding, I let guests know that it wasn’t your typical backyard wedding, in that it wasn’t super casual, but that they could still plan to be comfortable. No bow ties required. 

You may also wish to include additional inserts, such as a details card, or accommodations card with hotel block information or local attractions if your guest list includes a lot of out of towners.


How many invitations do you need to print

How Much Paper to Order for Print-at-Home Invitations

If you have a decent at-home printer (an inkjet or laser printer will work), printing DIY wedding invitations is a simple process by following the above guidelines. Just make sure you have plenty of ink and test your printer settings before you press print on all 150 invites! You also might want to test print on a few paper weights to confirm the quality is up to your expectations.

Use the following guide to calculate how much paper you’ll need to buy:

how to calculate how much paper you need for DIY Wedding invitations

Where to Print Your Invitations

If you don’t have a printer or don’t have one you trust to do the job (I’m in this camp), you can take your design to an online print shop. There are many online printing services that offer competitive prices on wedding invitations and stationery. Be sure to shop around and compare prices before making a decision. Personally, I used Cards and Pockets for my wedding invitations and would recommend them as my top choice; however, here are a few additional for consideration:

  • Pros: Large selection of paper types and weights, extensive color options, custom cutting  and proofing services available
  • Cons: Ordering process is a little cumbersome, can be more expensive than other options depending on your selections
  • Pros: Affordable, easy-to-use design tool, multiple design templates available
  • Cons: Limited paper options, lower quality printing compared to other options
  • Pros: Wide range of design options, high-quality printing, affordable
  • Cons: Limited paper options, some designs may be overpriced
  • Pros: High-quality printing, easy-to-use design tool, a wide range of design templates available
  • Cons: More expensive than other options, limited paper options
  • Pros: In-person assistance available, professional-level printing quality, customizable design options
  • Cons: More expensive than other options, limited design templates available


DIY Wedding invitation supplies

They’ve arrived! The time is finally here. Before you begin assembly of your DIY wedding invitations, you’ll need to gather some supplies. This will be dependent on the final product you’re going for; however, some of the most common supplies include:

  • Envelopes (unless already ordered with the invites, then you’re golden)
  • Embellishments (optional) – such as silk ribbon, twine, flowers or pearls
  • Stamps
    • Pro tip: assemble one first and have it weighed at the post office so you can be sure you’re buying the correct postage. Those embellishments and extra inserts can add up!
  • Adhesive, such as double-sided tape or glue to secure the envelopes
  • Printable address labels (unless you opted for the address printing when you purchased the invites… Or, you’re a hand lettering pro and doing it all yourself, then I’m impressed.)
  • Printer (if printing said labels)


Now that your invitations are printed, it’s time to A-S-S-E-M-B-L-E! This process can be time-consuming, so it’s a good idea to enlist the help of your bridesmaids or close family members. 

Depending on the invite style you chose, your assembly process will be different. You can use the below as a guide:

  1. First, start by assembling your response card and the RSVP return envelope, if you’re using one.
  2. Next, place that on top of your invitation and any detail or direction cards.
assembled wedding invitation

3. To keep them all together, you can tie them using ribbon or twine and any embellishments you’ve chosen.

4. All of these cards should then be placed in the inner envelope, if you’re using one, or directly in the outer envelope.

The order of the cards can vary, but it’s important to ensure that they are arranged neatly and are easily accessible to the guests. 

5. Finally, add a stamp to each envelope and address them to your guests. If you’re hand addressing all 150 of them, I recommend doing this in batches. Hand cramps are no joke.


Alright, all that’s left now is dropping them off at your local Post Office and waiting (probably impatiently, if you’re anything like me) for the RSVPs to start rolling in. There’s always stragglers, so don’t be afraid to push and prod as you get closer to that date. 

When to Mail Your Wedding Invitations

“Ideally, the best time to send out wedding invitations is six to eight weeks before the wedding. This doesn’t just give your guests lots of time to clear their schedules for the day, it also means you can request your wedding guests’ RSVPs sooner.”

The Knot
when to mail your wedding invitations


Don’t forget about your save the dates! These are typically sent out 6-8 months before the wedding and give your guests a heads up about your big day. You can create your save the dates using the same process as your invitations, or you can opt for a digital save the date, such as an e-card or a social media post.

So, how are we feeling? A little less overwhelmed now that you’ve got a plan of attack for your wedding stationery? I hope so! Afterall, DIY wedding invitations are a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your big day. By following these simple steps, and using the design and printing resources outlined, you can create beautiful, custom, budget-friendly wedding invitations that will impress your guests and set the tone for your wedding. Why not give it a try? I know you’ve got this.

Happy planning!


The Savvy Swaréy

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