What is the Best Weight Paper for Making Wedding Invitations?
People making their own wedding invitations very commonly ask what is the best cardstock for the job. Unfortunately this commonly asked question has no concrete answer, but instead an answer that varies from person to person, situation to situation. The best weight paper for your wedding invitations is the weight that works best for you.
So how do you determine which weight is right for you and your DIY wedding invitations? Simply take take the following factors into consideration;
- Invitation Style
And you'll be sure to choose just the right paper weight for your wedding invitations. Read on to learn more!
1. Printing: How Will Your Invitation Paper be Printed? Whether DIY or Professional, Be Sure to Do Your Research!
Whether you are printing your invitations at home or taking them to a local professional printer, printing is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a weight of paper for your invitations. Not all weights of paper are compatible with all printers, and you certainly do not want to choose a paper that is too heavy for your home printer, or any professional printer, to handle.
The bottom line is, before selecting a weight of paper for your wedding invitations, be sure to research your home or local printer to determine the weight range it can handle.
Home Printing - Not all Printers are Created Equal
Many people regularly use their home printers to print standard, light weight office paper, but don't often use them to print heavier weight card stocks. Though most home printers are capable of printing card stock up to 80 lb cover (similar to an average greeting card)*, it is important to note that not all printers are created equal. The most accurate way to determine the maximum weight of paper that your printer can handle is through research and test printing.
If you are unsure of the maximum paper weight your printer can handle, or have never printed card stock on your home printer:
- Consult your printer manual for card stock printing information and recommendations
- Test print to determine actual results with various weights
Note*: Need help understanding paper weight? Please view the following:
Professional Printing - Not all Print Shops Have the Same Capabilities
It is often assumed that professional print shops and chain office stores are capable of printing card stocks of any weight, but this isn't necessarily true. Just as all home printers are different, all print shops have different printing equipment and different printing capabilities.
Again, before choosing a paper for your invitations, be sure to do your research:
- Phone or visit local print shops to learn more about their equipment and capabilities
- Bring in sample sheets of various weights for test prints and additional information
2. Invitation Style: What Kind of Invitation are You Making? Flat Card, Folding Card, Layered Card. . .
When choosing a paper weight, it is important to consider the type of invitation you are making, as some weight ranges work better than others for various styles:
Single, Flat Invitation Cards - Can Go a Little Heavier
Because single, flat invitation cards are made of just one piece of card stock, the most popular paper weight choice for this invitation style is 80 lb cover and up; card stocks with quite a bit of substance.
If your printing, budget, or other limitations prohibit you from using a card stock in this weight range, you will simply need to seek a stock that is sturdy enough to hold its own weight, so to speak. Any stock over 65 lb cover should do the trick.
Folding Cards - Can Go a Little Lighter
Folding invitation cards are typically made with lighter weight card stock than flat cards are, as they are twice as thick after folding, and lighter weight card stock is often easier to fold.
A popular weight range for folding invitation cards is between 65 and 80 lb cover, but you can certainly go heavier, if you prefer.
Layered Cards - Can Go Lighter & Heavier
The beauty of layered invitation cards is that you have the flexibility to design with just about any weight paper you choose, so long as the top layer is within your printing capabilities. When choosing paper weights for layered invitation cards, keep a few rules of thumb in mind:
- Printable top layer can be as light weight as you prefer or as printing requires
- Invitation backer card can be as heavy as you like - no printing, no restrictions!
- Keep bulk in mind - if you have 3 or more layers, lighten up on the paper weight
3. Postage: How Much Will Your Invitation Ensemble Weigh? How Will Weight Affect Postage?
If you are concerned with the price of wedding invitation postage*, this will factor will be particularly important for you to consider in your paper weight selection process.
Note*: Concerned about the price of postage? Here are some additional design tips to keep postage down: Video: What Size Invitation Should I Make if I Want to Save on Postage?
According to the United States Postal Service guidelines, anything weighing over 1 ounce requires additional postage.* The concept is simple, the heavier the card stock (particularly if you have several cards or layers in your invitation ensemble), the heavier your invitation ensemble will be, and the more you'll pay for postage.
Simply put - if you want to keep the cost of postage down, keep the weight of your card stock down.
Note*: Additional postage based on weight alone. Please keep in mind that mail outside of certain shape and size parameters may also require additional postage.
4. Preference: What Look do You Like? Your DIY Invites, Your Choice.
When it comes to choosing a weight of paper to make your wedding invitations with, there is no "standard" or "tradition" in which to go by; there is no rule set in stone; there are only suggestions, perhaps a few printing and budget limitations, and your personal taste.
Suggestions and limitations aside, some people like the look and feel of thick, heavy card stock, some prefer thinner, lighter weight stock. Just because your printer can print very heavy weight stock, doesn't mean you must go with a very heavy stock - heavier isn't necessarily better. Just because it is suggested that folding invitations are made with lighter weight stock, does not mean they have to be. If you want a very heavy weight folder, by all means, make one!
The trick is to find the paper that fits within your limitations, your design, and most importantly, your taste - and this is the best weight paper for your wedding invitations.