Printable wedding invitations are a great option for couples that are looking to save some money. They are especially economical for large invite lists – you pay only once for the design and you can print as many invitations as you want. You can print your invites at home, at an online print shop or in a local print shop – either way, one of the most important tasks will be to choose the appropriate stationery paper.
When it comes to wedding stationery, there are two basic weights of paper:
- Text paper: This is the paper that you’ll find in your home printer (the average ‘letterhead’ paper). It comes in various weights, generally between 20-80 lbs.
- Card stock paper: This paper will remind you of a post card or a business card (sturdy, doesn’t bent as easily as text paper). It also comes in various weights, between 45-200 lbs.
– We recommend that you use at least 80 lb stock.
– Paper weight of 100-110 lbs will give more professional look to your invitations.
– If you use 160 lb paper, you may have trouble feeding it through your home printer.
– The thickness of a paper is measured in thousandths of an inch.
– The main difference between text paper and card stock paper is the thickness of the sheets (text paper is easier to fold, card stock is more sturdy).
– A good rule of thumb: the heavier the basic weight, the thicker the sheet. The thicker the sheet, the more impressive it feels.
There are several types of stationery paper that you can choose depending on your wedding theme, budget and personal preferences:
- Cotton paper: As its name suggests, this paper is made from cotton. Cotton paper feels lovely in the hands, it’s strong and durable, it takes ink well – and it will make any invitation design look great. It’s a very popular choice among brides who want a clean and classic look for their invitations. 100% cotton paper can be a little pricey and its absorbent surface can suck up more printer ink. But, you can choose a cotton blend rather than 100% cotton paper – this will lower the cost of your paper and your invitations will still look great!
- Linen paper: Linen is a semi-rough paper. It looks and feels like the fine linen fabric. Linen paper is subtle, traditional and timeless, it is used when a classic, elegant look is desired. It will give your wedding invitations a luxurious textured finish.
- Vellum: Vellum is a thin, sheer, translucent paper. This paper will add a soft, ‘frosted’ touch – it can be used in many ways to decorate and enhance wedding invitations. This paper is typically layered on top of wedding invitations, but some couples choose to print directly onto the vellum itself.
- Recycled paper: This is a low-cost, eco-friendly paper, composed of repurposed materials. Recycled paper is available in many textures, colors and thicknesses. Most popular type of recycled paper is brown kraft card stock – a common choice for natural or rustic weddings. If you decide to print your invitations on recycled paper, be sure to see/feel the paper before the purchase – recycled papers are often less sturdy.
A few general guidelines:
– Put a little extra investment into your paper – you don’t want to end up with invitations that look cheap.
– Order some paper samples – this will allow you to evaluate paper weight, color and texture.
– Keep in mind that if you have too many pages of thick paper, you may end up paying more for postage (you can get the cards weighed at the post office).