Are DIY Invitations for You? Find Out Here!...If you're in wedding planning mode, the thought of making your own invitations has probably crossed your mind. After all, DIY wedding invitations are quite popular these days. It seems we've all heard the perks, we've all heard the success stories, and we all have at least one crafty friend or family member who makes us think, "She did it; so can I!"
With all these encouraging stories floating around, DIY invitations are certainly enticing; and when done successfully, they are all they're cracked up to be. DIY success means you'll probably save considerable money, your invitations will reflect your personal style, and you'll be able to grin and say, "Why thank you; I did make these myself!"
But when it comes to deciding whether to make your own invitations, there is a lot more to think about than the perks. As great as they are, DIY invitations are not for everyone.
To determine if they're right for you, read on, and consider the whole picture. It may save you a lot of frustration down the road!
DIY Invitations 101. Starting with the Big Perk, Savings!
The most commonly cited reason for couples making their own wedding invitations is savings, and understandably so. Wedding budgets can get tight, and who wouldn't want to save hundreds on invitations and splurge elsewhere - like on the honeymoon, perhaps?
But if your decision to DIY is based solely on saving money, it is important to recognize that DIY does not always save.
Why Does DIY Usually Save?
Homemade invitations are typically more affordable than the ready made variety because when you design, print, and assemble invitations on your own, you are eliminating the fees charged by professionals, leaving you to purchase just the materials needed for your design.
When Does DIY Not Save?
If you are making your own invitations, you are going to need the appropriate tools for the job - all the tools, not just the paper and envelopes. If your design requires you to purchase these tools - for example a higher quality printer, or special cutting, scoring, and embossing tools - costs can add up, and you may find your savings won't be considerable after all.
Are Savings Significant? Fully Evaluate Cost & Savings of DIY Design.
To determine if, and how much, DIY will save you, you must fully evaluate the total cost of your invitation designs. To do this, estimate the price of your DIY invitation design (be sure to include all of the tools you'll need!), and compare it to the cost of a similar ready-made invitation style.Is the money you are saving significant, and worth the time and effort you will be putting into making your own invitations?
Ask Yourself, Can My Schedule Handle This? Time is Money Too, So They Say.
Time is money too, so the saying goes. Keep in mind that DIY invitations are a large time commitment; so before committing, ask yourself;
"Do I have the time to balance work, wedding planning, friends, family, and DIY invitations?"
If you're already a busy person, adding another project to your agenda may not be ideal. After all, you don't want to complete your invitations in haste, or under a great deal of stress. DIY is supposed to be fun!
Into the Nitty Gritty. What Exactly Does DIY Entail?
So what is it about making your own invitations that takes so much time and effort, you ask?
Here's the answer, into the nitty gritty of DIY design - From gathering initial design ideas to the final trip to the post office 6-8 weeks before the big day, you'll need time to go through the following list:
- Gather Design Ideas: Even if you have a design in mind, it is still a good idea to browse through various forums, blogs, and DIY invitation tutorials for inspiration, helpful tips, and creative ideas to spruce up your design.
- Experiment: After browsing for ideas, order samples and experiment with various specialty papers, envelopes, and embellishments to find just the right look.
- Test Print: Not all stocks of paper are compatible with all printers. It is recommended you order samples of paper you like so that you can determine if your printer is capable of printing crisply on it.
- Print: Although the actual printing process should not take much time, it is important to leave room for error. Mistakes may happen - printers run out of ink, words smudge, paper misfeeds - so it is best to be prepared by keeping extra supplies, and extra time, on hand.
- Assemble: Invitation assembly is perhaps the longest part of the process. Depending on your design, you may need time to layer, wrap, embellish, etc. You will also need to arrange and stuff each individual ensemble into an envelope. Without help, you are unlikely to do this all in one sitting, so be sure to leave adequate time for this step.
- Prepare for Mailing: After your invitations are complete, take one complete ensemble to the post office to determine what the proper postage will be. You certainly do not want to risk your invitations coming back to you due to inadequate postage! After purchasing stamps, then it's time to adhere each one - being very careful to stick them on straight!
Ask Yourself, Am I Able to Create the Look I Imagine?
A major advantage of designing your own invitations is having complete creative control over your final product. Unlike ready-made invitations which limit you to a pre-select variety, DIY invitations limit you only to your imagination and the materials you find within your budget - Well that, and your time and creative ability.
Everyone has varying levels of time, ability, and money to put towards their invitations, and it is important to be realistic about your resources from the beginning.
Chances are, if you are putting a solid effort into your invitations, they'll turn out great. However, if you're striving to create a design that is out of your price or talent range, the invitation you imagine and the invitation that results may highly differ. This is the "champagne taste on a beer budget" phenomenon, and it typically leads to frustration.
Have you Answered "Yes" to the Questions Above? Then DIY is for You!
If you answered "yes" to the questions above, then do it yourself invitations are a good choice for you. So long as you have the time and motivation to create your own unique, affordable wedding invitations, they will be great, and you will have a great time making them!