Printing your own wedding invitations at home, using your home printer is a great way to create really good looking invites that have a personal touch and save you money.
It can be intimidating though.
For starters, you need to know your printer. Is it an ink jet or a laser printer? How well does it take card stock? How thick can the card stock be? How long does an ink cartridge last? Your printer doesn't need to be new or fancy to handle the job of printing your wedding stationery (I printed soooo many things on my ancient HP Deskjet 960c that turned out excellent), but you need to know these things up front so your fun wedding DIY project doesn't turn into an expensive, stressful nightmare.
First, test out the card stock you want to use. If you've never bought or used card stock, this post on paper for printing printables is a helpful place to start. You'll also find helpful tips in our Paper Guide as well as a list of great online resources for purchasing paper and card stock here. Buy a small amount of the card stock that you'd like to use and try it out. Try printing out several test pages. Does the stock get stuck, or does it run through smoothly? If it sticks, you may need to get a thinner/lighter stock. If you've got your heart set on a particular stock that doesn't agree with your printer, you may get it to work, but you'll have to babysit it; feeding each piece or a few pieces of the stock through manually. You'll have to decide if it's worth it.
Next, figure out how your printer handles color. If you can, print out your design before finalizing it and/or printing the whole batch. Happily you can download free watermarked samples of all e.m.papers printable wedding invitations (before buying!) so you can see how your the color turns out on your individual home printer. If you're on a budget you may want to avoid designs with huge fields of color, these will drain your ink cartridges faster, wedding invitation designs like 'Simple Heart' would be a good choice.
Another thing to remember about ink jet ink is that it can run if it contacts liquid. So make sure the print side of your invites faces the front of the envelope when you put them in. Otherwise licking and sealing the envelopes can cause some running/smudging on the wedding invitation design. Alternatively you can place the invitation in facing the back of the envelope (where it will be opened) and add a liner sheet. This can add a little fanciness and you can get creative with your choice of paper for the liner (vellum or lighter stock that picks up on one of the colors in your invite).
Finally, get familiar with your printer settings. Your printer may default to settings like 'Fit to page' which can reduce the size of your invite or card. In the video below I talk about 3 important settings to check before printing your wedding cards:
If you take the time to consider and test all of the above before you start printing your wedding invitations at home is going to be a really satisfying experience. If you don't, you run the risk of it being a 'Why the hell did I think this was a good idea' kind of experience. You want as few of those as possible in the run up to your wedding!
I've got more tips and tricks on making your own wedding invitations here:
e.m.papers Printables Instructions
Using Colored Paper For Your Printable Wedding Invitations
How to Cut an e.m.papers Printable
How to Add Colored Edges to Printable Cards
How to Create Deckled Edges on Your Printable Wedding Invitations
Bluebell printable wedding invitation photo courtesy of The Bride Consultant