In today's economic climate planning and paying for a wedding can be a nightmare. Even the basics such as wedding invitations can cost a substantial amount of money, if you are feeling adventurous and have a creative side why not design and make your own. Most people these days have all they need at home to create something special. If you have a good printer and the right software then you are most of the way there.
Software - Have You Got What You Need
Most computer systems are bundled with some kind of word processor software these days, whether it is Microsoft Works or Word, or Mac Pages. If you have more advanced software such as Microsoft Publisher then all the better, if you have none of these then you can always download OpenOffice, the free office productivity suite. So long as you can set custom page sizes, have a multitude of fonts to play with, and the software can position text and graphics where you need them then you are all set software wise.
Printers - Resolution is King
There are many good quality printers on the market today, and many that are only fit for printing text documents. Years ago your bundled printer was more likely than not to fall into the latter category, in recent years this is not the case.
If you plan on just adding text to the card, and then embellishing it with ribbons or some other adornment then 720dpi would be fine. 720dpi I here you say, why do I need that much for text. Not all card stock is created equally, if your dot size is too big you are likely to get bleeding, ink running away from the text and so giving a pour results. Also the smaller the dots the greater gamut of colour variations you can print successfully.
If you are going to print graphics straight to the card then 1440dpi would be the nirvana, but 720dpi should produce acceptable results depending on how complex the image.
Card Stock and Insert Paper
There are many companies out there that supply card blanks and insert paper, a lot depends on what you are looking for and how much you need. Craft Creations is one company I can highly recommend, but you can find many by searching on Google.
For card stock I would go for at least 180gsm, anything less and your cards will buckle in under their own weight and not look good. Insert paper can be whatever you think looks good, some websites sell insert paper cut to size for their cards. Myself I prefer Ryman's white laid paper; this has a nice textured finish and at 100gsm isn't too flimsy, another issue to watch for with insert paper.
How to Begin
1. The first step is to set up a custom paper size for your card, measure your card height and width unfolded and set this as a user defined size in your printer preferences. Don't forget to give this a meaning name so you can find it later.
2. Next open up you word processor and create a new document, setting the page size to that of the custom size you defined in step 1. Divide the page in to 2 columns and adjust the centre spacing so that it is twice that of the page margins.
3. Hit Enter until the cursor is in the second column and draw a text box. Type 'Wedding Invitation' or whatever you want in the text box and set the font size and colour to your choosing. You will want some interesting font for the front of your card; some good ones to get you going are Vivaldi, Monotype Corsiva, Mistral or perhaps Margaret. Depending on what you are going to do with the rest of the design, place the text box wherever you need it.
The rest is up to your imagination.