how to make wedding invitations

How to make beautiful, personal DIY wedding invitations

Designing your own wedding invitations is the perfect way to add an extra personal touch to your big day. Here, Lauren Laidler, who designs wedding invitations for a living, shares her tips on how to make them the best they can be.

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The first step to planning a wedding is to let your guests know that it’s happening, via a save the date card and then an invitation. It’s a crucial part of setting the tone for your wedding and an exciting moment to remember for years to come.

Designing your own invitations is therefore an incredible way to make this moment special and personal. “A wedding invitation is something people look forward to receiving in the post and putting on their mantelpiece,” says Lauren Laidler, the creative director behind the stationery brand Laidler and Laidler.

Lauren designs custom wedding invitations for so many different couples every year and she has learnt a lot about making them feel unique and personal. “The invitation is probably the first conversation you will have with your partner about how you want the event to feel, so it’s important to take time with it to get it right,” Lauren says.

Here, Lauren shares her advice and recommendations for designing your own wedding invitations and save the date cards from scratch.

Keep your save the date cards simple

You will probably be sending your save the date cards out pretty early on, perhaps even before you’ve decided on the theme for your wedding. Because of this, Lauren recommends keeping them as simple as possible.

“Keep your colours simple. You don’t have to use the exact colour scheme of your wedding,” Lauren says. For example, if you think your colour scheme for your wedding might be white, blue and gold, just use white and blue for your save the dates in case you change your mind. “This way, you can add more details in with the invitations, which will introduce an extra level of design and personality,” Lauren says.

What to include in a wedding invitation

On a practical level, you need to make sure to include all the necessary details in your invitations. Lauren suggests including the following details in this order:

  • The hosts of the wedding (traditionally, it is the parents but it also might be the couple who are getting married)
  • Either your first names or your full names, depending on how formal you want to be (this will probably depend on the formality of your wedding)
  • Any religious details, if applicable
  • The location of your wedding
  • The time your guests need to arrive
  • Details about the reception, especially if it’s a split venue
  • Dress code

Think about any other details that might be applicable to your wedding before you print your invitations. You don’t want to get so carried away with the design that you forget something crucial!

Laidler and Laidler wedding invitations
Laidler and Laidler create custom wedding invitations.

How to design your own wedding invitation

Lauren suggests creating your invitation digitally, in order to minimize stress and costs. “I have seen a lot of brides attempt calligraphy but it’s so difficult to get it right, it’s often not worth it,” she says.

You can use something as basic as Microsoft Word to create your invitations, simply selecting an A5 format for your design. The font you use is your choice and you can even buy fonts online if you’re looking for something particularly special and unique, according to Lauren. “You can’t go wrong with a serif, minimal font but there are also some beautiful calligraphy fonts out there,” Lauren adds.

“Keep your colours simple,” Lauren advises. “A soft white or ivory background always works and midnight blue, deep green or a traditional grey and black is a good font choice.”

You can use card in many at-home printers but Lauren suggests using something called cotton paper, which will also run through most printers. “You can buy high quality paper in small amounts, with matching envelopes, from papermills across the UK,” Lauren says, recommending GF Smith for this purpose.

“I suggest making your invitations mostly text based,” Lauren says, explaining graphics can be difficult to create online and then print. “If you want to add images, you can always add embellishments after you have printed your invitations, like 3D decorations.”

You can also buy things like pocket folds for your invitations or ribbon in a complementary colour to tie around your envelope. “The finishing touches are really important to the overall effect of your invitation,” Lauren says. 

You can find more arts and crafts content on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page.

  • Lauren Laidler, creative director of Laidler and Laidler

    Lauren Laidler
    Lauren is the co-founder of a stationery brand.

    Lauren is creative director of Laidler and Laidler, a London-based letterpress stationer who celebrates craftsmanship and the beauty of the handmade.

Images: Laidler and Laidler