If you're getting married and you don't know about the blog, 'A Practical Wedding' it's high time you discovered it! Not only is it full of practical wedding advice, it offers a unique feminist perspective on all things wedding, marriage and life.
A few posts on the site that talk about printing your own wedding invitations. Within the extensive comments you'll find some very happy e.m.papers customers (hey!) but also invaluable insights from people who have actually printed their own.
I encourage you to take a look, but look at the posts and the comments in their entirety, but I've picked out some of the most helpful nuggets here.
From Another Alice:
"1) Plan for graphic designer father to make design.
2) Realize dad can't do design due to health problems, but only realize it the day before you wanted the design done. Say "shit" many times.
3) Get 2 minutes away from ordering a full set on minted.com.
4) Realize you like the printable designs better, and like doing crafty stuff, and would feel silly paying a premium just for printing.
5) Buy a gorgeous design from Eleanor at e.m. papers.
6) Get dude's parents to agree to let us use their printer (easy!), buy extra print cartridges at Staples."
"1) if the paper is heavily textured, digital printing won't get into the dimples of the paper (flat drum doesn't press the ink into the paper), this will be more noticeable if you have large areas of solid ink, not as much of a problem with text.
2) Check that the printer can handle your paper - mine was 300gsm, and went through without a problem, but the printshop guy told me they've had problems with that weight or heavier. "
Great advice on saving money on ink from Emily Rae:
2One note on the ink costs: We get our cartridges refilled at Costco. I think it's something like $12 per refill for our HP printer, color or bw. The only downside (for us) is that our computer doesn't recognize the cartridges, so it always says the ink is "low", but we deal with this and bask in our savings!"
"If you're printing your own at home, I highly recommend including a single sheet of tissue paper between the response card and the invite so that the ink doesn't smudge in the mail! (Apparently this was the original use for tissue paper?!)"
"Another thing to think about is don't underestimate the value of doing black ink on colored cardstock - and using a laser printer (as long as it doesn't jam or eat the paper). You can also order sample sheets of cardstock to make sure they go through your printer - and everybody should do that." [e.m.papers Editors note: I can't second this enough see our post on printing your wedding invitations on colored paper ]
Another APW post 'A Small Treatise on Paper' is also chock full of goodness:
"Can I just say two words that are going to make all of you paper crazed people respond like crack addicts? PAPER SAMPLES. Seriously. If you go to the professional quality paper manufacturers (Neenah, Mohawk, French, etc) you can request samples. Neenah will send several sheets of unprinted letter paper in the weight, texture and color you request. You just pay shipping. You can do a lot of creative things with paper samples. We printed everything on Neenah Classic Crest 65lb paper and then used paper samples (Neenah Sundance 110lb felt and Classic Linen 80lb Text in sage) to line envelopes, make cigar bands, etc. Also, if you have more than one type of printable (invitation + RSVP, map, reception, save the date, etc) try purchasing good quality paper for printing all of the small stuff and use absolutely drool worthy samples to print the invitations themselves."
From Traveling Glory:
"I used a canon pixma (seriously, the best inkjet your money will buy.. ok the best under $150 for sure!) ink jet printer. If you're using a "toothy" stock, like letterpess paper, laid finish, or linen finish ink jet is ALWAYS better than laser. Regular smooth stocks like Classic Crest, or just regular old carstock tends to work best also in an inkjet, although it'll work in a laser if it's not TOO thick, like under 80lb. If you're wanting to use smooth metallic paper (like stardream) you'll have to use a laser printer, the ink from an inkjet won't absort and will smear all over the paper. Just to note, if you're inkjet if over a few years old, you're probably not going to have great luck using anything other than a super smooth plain cardstock, most newer printers (like the pixma) work really great with specialty stocks, like the fabriano medioevalis! :)"
I hope these insights 'from the trenches' are useful. Do you have any thoughts or advice from a similar DIY wedding project? If so leave them in the comments!