How to Choose the Best Paper for Your Printable Wedding Invitations

Today’s post is a guest post by Danielle at Six Modern Paper Goods with a topic near and dear to my heart — how to pick the right paper when printing your own invitations!

Printable wedding invitations have become a great option for couples that are looking to keep a trim wedding budget. Companies like A Printable Press, e.m. papers, and my own company, Six Modern Paper Goods offer boatloads of fun and modern stationery options that you would never see in a standard invitation binder. Now its easy for any couple to select and customize a design that suits their personalities and their event. Depending on how much work you want to take on, you can print them at home, at an online printshop like VistaPrint, or in a local print shop. Print-your-own invites can be especially economical for large invite lists, since you generally pay once for the design and then you can print as many pieces as you like.

If you are going the DIY invitation route, it probably means you are on a budget of some sort, but putting a little extra investment into paper can make a big difference. If you don’t work with paper often, it can be difficult to decide on the best stock for your chosen invitation design. This is a guide to selecting the best paper for your printable project!

A few general guidelines:

  • Use at least 80lb stock. 110lb is better. Once you get over 160lb, you may have trouble feeding it through your printer. You can see a chart comparing different paper weights here.
  • Keep in mind that if you have too many pages of thick stock, you may end up paying more for postage. You can get the cards weighed at the post office.
  • Be aware of your whiteness level — do you want it to be warm and ecru-ey, or crisp and cool?
  • Make sure you can get envelopes in the size and colour you like before you print.

A Paper Comparison:
The following is an unscientific comparison of several papers that I use in my shop. Prices below don’t include shipping or taxes, which if like me, you are in Canada and are ordering from the US, can be a big factor.

COTTON PAPER
(In Photo – 110lb. Crane Lettra in Fluorescent White)

This 100% cotton stock has a lovely heft and feel in the hands. It is durable and takes ink well. Most bank notes (aka dolla billz) are actually made out of 100% cotton paper, so as you can see it adds a certain touch! Crane Lettra is designed for letterpress, but if your printer can accommodate it’s thickness it takes inkjet ink well. This paper will make any invitation design look great, but large coloured areas may not print evenly.

Price per sheet

  • Around 60 cents

Disadvantages

  • Questionable environmental record on cotton.
  • Absorbent surface can suck up more printer ink.
  • Doesn’t accept laser printing well.
  • May have difficulty printing large flat areas of colour.

Advantages

  • Feels lovely in the hands.
  • Strong and durable.
  • Tree free!.

KRAFT CARDSTOCK
(In Photo – .022″ thick Kraft Chipboard from CutCardStock.com)

With a warm neutral colour and enough texture to keep it visually interesting, this Kraft stock is a great choice for a natural or rustic wedding.

Price per sheet

  • Around 15 cents.

Disadvantages

  • This particular stock is very thick and may not feed through all printers, but more average stock weights (110lb) are also available.
  • Darker paper colour requires darker inks for proper contrast, restricts design choices.

Advantages

  • Up to 100% recycled!
  • Great texture and presence.

PLAIN CARDSTOCK
(In Photo – 110 lb. Cover Stock from Staples)

This smooth white paper is an inexpensive and practical choice. It takes large areas of colour well, and is neutral enough to go with any invitation design.

Price per sheet

  • Around 6 cents.

Disadvantages

  • Pure white paper has no recycled content.

Advantages

  • A lower cost alternative.
  • Versatile smooth surface.
  • Economical use of ink.

So there is no short answer — the best paper for you will depend on your project. If you are going to have large areas of colour, you’ll want a smoother paper like the standard cover stock. If you want to make the invitations feel a little more special, perhaps splurge on cotton stock, and be sure to choose a design with less ink coverage. A coloured or kraft paper can make a big impression, but you have to be sure to co-ordinate your design with the paper colour, and be sure to test it out on your printer first!

If you have more questions about choosing paper, or printing your own wedding invitations, feel free to shoot me a note at [email protected]!

Thank you Danielle! Go check out Six Modern Paper Good’s profile on WeddingInviteLove, or go directly to their website.

Posted on by Tracy.