Anytime you are paying for a wedding, the budget gets strained, and it appears like everybody is just waiting to drain your wallet for more money. Wedding invitations are not to be overlooked; you'd be appaled how much commercial card makers will charge you for them.

Because invitations are for every couple's own events and have to copied in bulk, sometimes they are a major financial outlay. Designing them at home should prevent some cost, especially if you are clever about it. And even if you are wealthy, the do-it-yourself route will allow you limitless options for your individual needs.

Choose Your Cardstock
This is generally the initial and most crucial step, because it will influence your design and how you will continue the process. You and your spouse can select the size, the intensity, the grain, the various types of cardstock… possibilities are unlimited. Your selections are manifold, but your surest bet is a well-reputed print shop, or, if you had in mind to do it yourself, try the town's art supply store.

Software – It's All Available
Before you think of buying expensive software, the first step you need to take is to look at applications you've already got; the average computer is offered ready with plenty of tools to design pretty much anything. Microsoft Office offers great tools to layout graphics and text boxes, which is just perfect. With regards to patterns and images, there is a lot available online. There are options to even download really beautiful fonts customized for your favorite style.

Use Pictures
A popular way of making your invitation more personal is to include photos of the engaged couple into it. You can find them online, and sites like allow you to buy prints of any picture in various sizes and borders, which you can choose to create the complete invitation or make a small part in it. If the pictures need a touch-up, try using Photoshop. Or try one of the great free options like Picasa or Gimp for example. With the available applications, you'll be able to make your picture black and white, play with the exposure, or remove red-eye for example. A pretty picture typically ensures that most guests will hold on to the invitation as a keepsake.

Original Packages
Designing your own is a superb opportunity to think outside of the box; the only thing required of your invitation is that it needs to be sized to fit into some sort of envelope. Examples of what you can do include scrolls, invitations in a bottle (both of which can be challenging to ship), origami-type folded invites in one piece, so there are no pieces to lose, fake paper clippings, etc… These uncommon invites are a bit frightening because you can't always be sure how the recipient will respond to it, but they will stand out as different.

Designing your own invitations is a fairly ambitious project. It is not perfect for all couples, considering the hours, creativity and energy it may require. But if you choose to go for it, it can turn into a fun project, and it is a great way to get in wedding mood early, so you can savor the anticipation.