How to Choose the Best Paper for Your Printable Wedding Invitations
Printable wedding invitations are a godsend for couples looking to keep the cost down and maintain a tight wedding budget. I, myself, own Mint Cloud LLC where I offer myriad of printable wedding stationary designs for couples because I completely understand how expensive buying printed sets can be. At a fraction of the cost, couples can buy a phenomenal stationary set design (generally $20-$50 for the entire custom design) and then print them out at home! When all is said and done, couples end up spending well under $100 for fabulous and professional looking invites.
Now, I’ve been in the wedding stationary business for many years now and I get asked tons of questions from couples before and after they buy my printable wedding designs. “
- Can you do custom orders?
- Can I get a sample invite before paying for the entire set?
- Is it okay to get Thank You cards later that don’t match?
- Where should I get my envelopes?
- How should I word my invites?
But, by far the BIGGEST question I get asked by couples is:
What type of paper do I print out my wedding invites on?
Understanding Wedding Stationary Paper
When you purchase your printable wedding invites you have several options to take after that. You can print them out using an online resource (like VistaPrint or some other website), go to a local print shop and pay for them to be printed there, or print them out at home. Since printing them out at home offers the most savings and is actually quite simple once you know all of the nitty gritty details, it’s generally the option that couples choose.
So, let’s get into those details by discussing the paper you should use for your printable wedding stationary!
Proper Paper Weight
Unbeknownst to most people, paper is actually measured by weight. This weight is the amount of pounds per ream of paper. A ream is an uncut sheet of paper generally consisting of around five hundred sheets. There is a metric measurement for paper weights and it is measured by grams per square meter – this is generally more accurate but in the United States you’ll frequently just see pounds used.
If you need to convert from metric to pounds, or vice versa, there is a handy chart here: Paper-Garden.ca/chart
Now, choosing the proper weight of paper is essential. You don’t want really thin paper because it will feel poor and cheap to your guests, however if you go too thick and you’re printing it at home you’ll have one heck of a time getting it through your printer.
*I would highly suggest sticking with paper weights between 80-110 pounds.
*Remember that the heavier the paper, the higher the postage and the more you’ll have to pay overall!
Right Type of Paper
In addition to different weights of paper, there are many different types as well. Some are made completely from cotton and are lovely to the touch, while others such as chipboard is made completely from recycled products and is highly textured. Consider your options carefully because the type of paper will play a massive role in how your invite not only looks but holds the ink!
Plain Card Stock
Plain card stock is absolutely perfect for most wedding invitations because it is inexpensive, takes on color beautifully, and is a simple white. It’s got a bit of texture, but not too much that it distorts the lettering from the printer. Additionally, you can color large areas of cardstock with ink and see no bleeding.
One downside to cardstock though is that it uses no recycled content. So environmentally conscious couples may want to consider some other options if that is an issue.
Chipboard is a very unique and interesting type of stock paper. It has a lovely texture and is a very pleasant neutral color. It’s available in normal stock weights of around 110 pounds, but it generally is in much higher weights because it is completely recycled materials.
While it is a pleasant and lovely type of paper, the fact that it is a neutral brown restricts it in many ways for wedding invitations. Couples wanting something white or more modern may not like the more rustic feel of this paper.
Paper created from 100% cotton is a much more expensive option (around $0.6 per sheet), but it does have many benefits. On top of being incredibly durable, it takes in ink marvelously. It is white, but if you’re looking to do some vivid colors or gentle designs, then cotton paper will definitely be able to accommodate your printing needs easily.
My Final Thoughts
When it comes to finding the best type of paper for your wedding invites, you really need to examine your needs and the extensiveness of the ink that will be used on the invites. Additionally, you need to think about using different colored paper as both cotton and plain card stock can be bought in a wide spectrum of colors and the color will have to coordinate with your design.
Since there is no “one size fits all” paper for wedding invites, you’ll have to decide yourself! If you want a more luxurious feel, go for cotton stock paper. If you’re into the rustic and chic style, enjoy 100% recycled chipboard paper. If, however, you’re on a budget and simply want your invites to look and feel great, then go with some plain card stock (it’s got a bit less texture, but hey it’s so much more affordable!).
Fortunately I design and print out wedding invites for a living and am happy to advice couples on a specific basis which type of paper would be best with the design they purchased from me. Feel free to check out some of my digital wedding invite designs below and visit my Etsy shop to inquire more!