Choosing invitations for your wedding, birthday party, baby shower or other event can be tricky. On the one hand you’ve got fancy hand-printed luxury invitations from boutique printing companies, and on the other, you’ve got free party invitation templates that you can download online and print at home. What exactly is the difference? What sort of invites should you use for your event?
Here’s what you need to think about when you’re making your decision.
Invitation print type or style
What sort of invitation you want for your event will have a big influence on the source and method you choose. Printing your invitations at home from a template limits you to standard ink on paper invites. If you’re after something a little more fancy like letterpress, foil wedding invitations, print on wood, white ink or something similar, you’re probably going to need to buy your invitations from a company.
Similarly, if you have a specific style or design in mind, you might have a more difficult time finding the perfect fit as a free template. There are hundreds of thousands of invitation designs for sale online, and just a small fraction of that number of designs being offered for free. If you just want something pretty, you’ll have no trouble finding a party invitation template (we have some of our own on offer!) but if there’s something specific you want, it could be hard to hunt down for free.
It’s almost impossible to match the quality of a professional printing company at home. You can do a good job of it, but if premium quality printing is important to you then print at home invites might not be the best option for you. Getting high quality prints at home requires a great printer, top tier paper and ink, and a lot of practice. Can you do it? Of course! — especially if you’re happy with a bit of a DIY feel — but look at your expectations before you make the decision. What sort of quality do you want to see in your invitations?
How much work are you able to invest in putting together your invitations? There’s a lot of work involved in printing invitations: purchasing the right ink and paper, cutting it to size, lining it up, getting the template perfect, letting the ink dry, trimming it down further… Multiply that by a couple of hundred (depending on how many guests you have!) and by however many different cards you are including in your invitation suite. If you’re printing wedding invites, you might have save the dates, wedding invitations online, wishing wells cards, RSVP cards, information cards, orders of service, menus and place cards. With 200 guests, that leaves you preparing 1600 individual cards! Doable? Yes! But don’t overcommit yourself and then end up struggling to get your stationery in order.
When do you need your invitations by, and what are your time constraints? If you are printing at home, you need to factor in the time required to practice and learn how to print your invites as well as time to actually do the printing and a buffer in case you make any mistakes. If your event is still a year away, no problem! If you were planning to get your invitations out in the next month, it will be much easier to place a rush order with a professional invitation company. Factor this into your decisions about how you procure your invites.
Ah, the big one! What’s your budget looking like? If you’re putting together an event with a very tight budget, ordering invites from a company can seem out of the question. First of all, make sure you’re factoring in all the costs of printing on your own: quality paper and ink, as well as the amount of time you are investing in the project. You might find out that it actually makes more sense to spend the money and save the hassle involved in DIY. At the end of the day though, if you’ve got a tight budget and plenty of time, it might make sense to work from a print at home party invitation template.
If you factor in all these different things when you make your decision about your invitations, you’ll be far more likely to make a choice that meets your needs and fits with your expectations, whichever way you end up moving.