If you're interested in printing or assembling your own stationery, but you're not sure where to begin, Belletristics provides a how-to guide with an overview of the basic supplies and information needed to DIY your own wedding stationery.
Make sure to check out the DIY Supplies & Resources page for a list of vendors Belletristics' recommends for all your DIY stationery needs!
The following things can make or break the way your stationery turns out, so read on carefully!
Research your options, and order samples!
Size, weight, and finish are three important things to consider when ordering paper.
Papers come in a multitude of different sizes; Letter (8.5"x11"), Legal (8.5" x 14"), and Ledger (11"x14") are the ones you've probably heard of before, but you can also find paper pre-cut to other dimensions (see below).
A1: 3-1/2" x 4-7/8" (3.5" x 4.875")
TIP: Although these dimensions are the standard sizes for the names listed, an A2 size may not be the same at two different paper companies, so make sure to double check the dimensions when ordering; do not rely solely on the name
A2: 4-1/4" x 5-1/2" (4.5"x5.25")
A6: 4-1/2" x 6-1/4" (4.5" x 6.25")
A7: 5" x 7" or 5-1/8" x 7" (5.125" x 7")
No. 10: 4" x 9-1/4" (4" x 9.25")
While using paper that is already trimmed to your finished size can save you the hassle of cutting it yourself, there are some drawbacks.
1. Some printers (both home and professional) will not print well on smaller paper.
Even if your printer has the ability to print on A6 paper, you may find that it prints off center, or will stop printing an inch from the bottom, even with the margins set smaller. Some professional printers will refuse to print on small paper. Either way, make sure that you will be able to print on your paper, before ordering pre-cut paper.
2. No full bleed designs.
If you're using pre-cut paper, chances are you will not be able to print full bleed designs (that is, all the way to the edge of the paper). Some home printers (mostly photo printers) do have this ability, but double check to make sure the printer will print full bleed on all four edges. (tip: download the A7 full bleed test file or the Letter full bleed test file to find out if you can print full bleed)
Because it can be a pain to print on pre-cut paper, Belletristics recommend printing on letter size (8-1/2" x 11", referred to as "full sheet" paper), and cutting to size. Legal size would work as well, but isn't as easy to find in a card stock. If you have access to a wide format printer, you could use Ledger size.
Don't forget about the envelope! Whatever size paper you decide to use, make sure that when it's all said and done, you can find an envelope to put it in. As a rule of thumb, the envelope should measure .25" - .5" larger than the paper you'll be putting in it. Bookmark this guide from Paper-Papers on envelope sizes and their corresponding enclosures to prevent the inevitable headache of trying to figure it out yourself.
And just because a 6-bar envelope exists, that doesn't mean it will be easy to find, let alone find in the color you're looking for.
TIP: Pick your envelope first, then work backwards to figure out your invitation and insert sizes. Don't forget to factor in the size of any enclosure card (pocket fold, gatefold, etc). If you have many inserts, you may also need a slightly larger envelope to accommodate the extra thickness.
Papers come in a multitude of different weights. Paper Papers does a fantastic job explaining the difference between different weights, so go check out their handy guide
For invitations, you'll want something sturdier than your normal text weight copy paper. I recommend using a card stock weight (110 lb index/100lb cover are a good weights, and 130 lb cover is even better). Keep in mind, the heavier your invitation, the more it will cost in postage to mail.
Make sure your printer can handle the heavier card stocks before placing a large order.
Who knew paper was so complicated!
Papers are also available in a variety of finishes, from smooth to laid and everything in between. Visit the Paper Hub
for a thorough explanation of the differences.
Some papers with a metallic or shiny finish may be tricky to print on. (For example, Stardream metallic papers are notorious for not holding ink well- the ink will take a long time to dry, and there is still the danger of smudging or running. If you love the Stardream colors, try using one for a matting layer or as your pocketfold, and print on a paper with a standard finish)
Visit Belletristics' DIY Supplies & Resources page for a list of recommended paper vendors.