Congrats o n your engagement! Feeling the design spirit and want to do DIY wedding invitations? We get you. Sometimes what you want only exists in your brain and only you can pull it out. You'll need some tools to make this happen, so let's talk wedding invitation design software, both big and robust or small and easy-to-learn.
Adobe Creative Suite contains access to an array of professional-level graphics programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Spark, and InDesign which will allow you the most freedom to play and create. Creative Suite runs about $60 per month… but it has a 30-day free trial, and you may only need it for a month!
If you already have access or want to get started with these programs anyway, Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign will be your best bets. Just keep in mind that since they are professional-level programs, they have a learning curve. Let's explore these options and then go into some free and cheaper software where the learning curve isn't quite as steep.
For invitation suites where typography and cool fonts are key, Illustrator is ideal. The graphics are vector-based (meaning not made of pixels), so you'll get the smoothest output on your type and illustration elements while still being able to include photos or other pixel-based graphics. You'll be able to include any of your favorite fonts, favorite stock or custom illustrations, and be able to arrange them as you please.
Photoshop has similar layout capabilities to Illustrator with added robust graphical manipulation effects that you might already know about. You'll be able to create type and include photos or other graphics, but make sure you're setting your image size to be 300 dpi (dots per inch) or those pixels will start to look pretty janky in this kind of graphics program. Oh and also there's Adobe Stock, with a huge collection of graphics, vectors, and backgrounds, that can be useful when creating your DIY wedding invitation. There's even a free collection! You can try it free for 30 days — which may be long enough to make your invitations!
InDesign isn't a graphics program like Illustrator or Photoshop, but rather a layout tool that allows you tons of control over documents where text and paragraphics are key, like on your programs. A great combination would be to create your graphics in Photoshopor Illustratorand then import them into InDesign to lay out your type. It will make creating well laid-out paragraphs a cinch.
But what if you're not Adobe software-savvy?
While Adobe‘s programs are relatively intuitive, if you're not a graphic designer they can be intimidating! If you don't feel ready to tackle hefty programs just for your wedding invitation set, let's see what other free/cheaper/easier options there are to try….
These days, we think Canva is best in show when it comes to free photoshop alternatives. Canva is a mostly-free web-based design app that has wedding invitation template options for you to play with and edit to your heart's content! They have a free version, and then there are small fees associated with the fanciest card designs or trendiest fonts, but there are TONS of free design options available, too. In terms of Canva's wedding invitation templates, we especially like this one, and this one!
As an added bonus, they've got a mobile app for both iOS and Android, so it turns your phone into a wedding invitation card maker! We love their clean user interface, too.
Yep, MS Publisher is still kicking around giving us desktop publishing layout options. It'll get the job done and might already be installed on your PC.
Editor by Pixlr
Editor by Pixlr is a very pared-down version of a Photoshop clone that is completely hosted online, which means you don't have to download anything. It will give you enough tools to get the job done without being totally overwhelming.
GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program is a mainstay in the open-source graphics market and runs on most platforms. It's pretty Photoshop-like, so you'll get similar tools to that set.
GimPhoto is definitely going for a Photoshop feel, so you'll be encountering similar tools and capabilities to GIMP.
Printable invitation sets
In case you're starting to doubt your ability to craft up invites with which you'll be satisfied, don't want to be burdened with learning a new software tool, or are just running out of time in your DIY wedding invitation schedule, consider some printable wedding invitation options. Printable invites allow you to purchase a (usually pretty inexpensive) template, customize it with your information, and print it up yourself… Etsy has so many cute ones!
- Always set your dpi to at least 300 to make sure that your invitations won't look pixelated when they are printed out. This includes any graphical/photo elements you want to import into the document. (Obviously this isn't an issue if you're going for digital invitations!)
- Make sure to embed your graphics and fonts (or turn your fonts into outlines) before you send your file to your preferred printer.
- Speaking of printing, you can get pretty great deals from places like VistaPrint to print your invitations on a budget.
Need more wedding invitation tips?