A complete, easy-to-understand guide on how to print your own wedding invitations at home or at a print shop
Whether you’ve opted to design your own wedding invitations, or you purchased a digital invitation template online, you can usually save a decent amount of money if you choose to print your own wedding invitations at home or at a local print shop. It may seem complicated, but I promise that anyone can find a suitable, low-cost option for printing. It’s easier than you think! Just follow along this guide, and leave a comment below if you have any questions.
PRINTING AT HOME
Your home printer might be a great option for printing invitations, but there are several factors you should consider. Printing at home will be the most labor intensive option for printing, since you’ll likely be responsible for finding and purchasing the paper, replenishing inks, and trimming the invitations down to size. Still, printing at home could be the least expensive option for you. Here’s a few things to think about when printing at home.
Inkjet vs. Laser Printers
Both laser and inkjet printers have their pros and cons when it comes to printing invitations, and the best option will depend on a few details specific to your design and paper choice. Inkjet printers are great for designs that include photographs or detailed graphics, because they can blend colors better than a laser printer. However, a laser printer may be better for a text-heavy or a black and white design. Laser printers also typically print faster than inkjet printers.
Additionally, you’ll want to consider the cost of the ink or toner used. Toner, used with laser printers, tends to be much less expensive overall than inkjet printer ink cartridges. You’ll want to look up your specific printer model to find compatible ink or toner cartridges, then check the number of pages that can be printed from each. If you’re printing a large quantity of items, you may end up needing more than one ink cartridge refill!
You’ll also want to consider what type of paper you want to use with the printer. Inkjet printers are typically better suited for a variety of paper stocks including glossy or heavy card stock. Once again, look up your printer model to find which paper stocks can be used with your printer.
Also consider that ink can absorb differently into different types of paper, which can affect the colors and overall quality. It’s best to try a few test prints to see what looks best!
When shopping for paper, think about the size of each piece you'll be printing. You can decide between printing on a standard letter size paper, or purchasing pre-cut paper to print on directly.
You can find many different paper options in standard sizes on Amazon or even at office supply stores. Just be sure to check that your printer can print at smaller sizes and with the paper type that you choose.
Formatting for Print
When formatting and sizing your invitations, RSVP cards, and other items to print on 8.5"x11" paper, remember that you can save paper by fitting 2 or more items on one page, then trimming them down to size.
If you do this, it’s important to leave a “bleed” around the edges of your design. This means that any graphics or colors that reach the edge should be extended slightly outside the border, so that when you trim the invitation, you won’t be left with any thin white lines around the edges.
You may be able to request a print-ready file from your designer that includes a bleed and trim marks so you know exactly where to cut. (All of the digital invitations offered by Wonderment Paper Co include print-ready files!)
Trimming to Size
When cutting out your invitations, do not use scissors! It’s nearly impossible to get a straight edge with scissors, so it’s best to invest in a quality paper slicer or X-ACTO Knife.
The best thing you can do when you print your wedding invitations at home is to perform several test prints on different paper stocks before printing everything.
PRINTING AT A COMMERCIAL PRINT SHOP
If you don’t have a printer at home, or if you’d simply rather not take the time to print them yourself, there are plenty of great and affordable options for having your invitations printed elsewhere.
Photo and Print Departments
Most retailers with a photo or print department can print invitations for you, including Walgreen’s, Walmart, FedEx, Staples, Office Depot, and Costco. Additionally, there are online printers such as Vistaprint that offer these services as well. When choosing which of these is best, here are the factors you should consider:
For the best quality, you’ll want to make sure the paper you choose is thicker than standard copy or photo paper. Most wedding invitations are printed on a paper weight ranging from 85lb or 12pt, up to 130lb or 16pt. Some printers offer other options such as glossy vs matte coating, textured papers, kraft, or shimmery paper.
Sizing and Specs
Many of these printers will have specific sizes of prints that they will offer, so you’ll want to make sure that your invitation and other items are sized correctly. Some standard sizes are 5”x7” (A7), 4”x6”, or 4.25”x5.5” (A2).
Each printer may have a different requirement for the exact size, resolution, and file type needed. Best practice is typically to use a high-resolution (300 DPI) JPEG or PDF file with a bleed. You should always check with your print shop of choice ahead of time to see what their specific requirements are.
Local Print Shops
Outside of these retail photo departments, you can also try contacting a local print shop in your area. These local shops usually offer amazing service and plenty of paper options to choose from. The same factors listed above should be considered when using a local print shop.
Envelopes and Postage
Lastly, don’t forget to pick up envelopes! You’ll need an outer mailing envelope to hold it all together, plus return envelopes for the RSVP cards. Once you have assembled a sample invitation suite and fit it nicely inside your mailing envelope, it’s best to take one envelope to the post office to have it weighed. Some invitation suites are heavier than a standard letter, and may require additional postage. At the post office, they can tell you how much postage you’ll need for each envelope so you can ensure that your invitations make it to your guests.
I hope this guide covered all of your questions about how to print your own wedding invitations! If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to comment below or contact me directly.