Your save-the-dates and wedding invitations help to set the tone for your celebration. After all, they’re the first peeks into your day that your guests will receive! Although both represent some of the most exciting and important pieces of mail you will send, they can also represent an area of your budget where you will choose to save rather than splurge.
If you’re planning to design and print your own DIY wedding invitations, one of the most important decisions (and purchases) you will make is your cardstock. Below, we’re detailing what you need to know about cardstock (and why you need to use it!) as well as where to source this type of paper.
What is cardstock?
At its core, cardstock is a form of paper. But it differs from computer paper or construction paper (two types of paper you’re likely familiar with!) because of its weight. In almost all cases, cardstock is thicker (but not nearly as thick as cardboard), which means it can have various inks and printing styles printed onto it without falling apart. Plus, because it’s thicker, it tends to have a more luxurious feel without a steep price tag.
Why should I use cardstock for my wedding stationery?
The reason why cardstock is popular for wedding stationery is exactly what we mentioned above — it’s thicker. Mailing a wedding invitation that’s printed onto standard computer paper does not feel formal or inviting enough for a milestone celebration, especially if you’re asking guests to wear cocktail attire. Plus, computer paper will need to be folded in order to tuck inside an envelope. On the flip side, cardstock has a similar weight to a greeting card, which means it’s more substantial and elegant. Plus, it can tuck inside an envelope without a folding requirement. To us (and many others), cardstock says “Come celebrate!”
What kind of cardstock should I purchase for my wedding stationery?
In case you didn’t know, paper is classified by weight, so that’s one of the key things to pay attention to when choosing your cardstock. A paper’s weight is based on what 500 sheets of that paper would weigh. The higher the weight in pounds, the sturdier the paper. So a 65lb paper might be good enough for a resume but for your wedding programs, you’ll probably want something thicker. We’d recommend 110lb if you are doing a single folded sheet.
The short and sweet answer is you will want to order at least an 80 lb. weight cardstock for your wedding stationery. This weight means it will be more substantial than computer paper but not so heavy and thick that it won’t feed into your home printer.
Where should I purchase cardstock for my wedding stationery?
Although some craft and office supplies stores do sell cardstock, we find it’s best to source this wedding stationery detail online from retailers that specialize in this kind of paper. You will find they have far more colors and options in stock, which is not the case when you’re purchasing cardstock from traditional retailers. Here are a few spots to know, in alphabetical order:
Of course, you can pretty much order anything on Amazon, including cardstock! We’ve ordered colored stock or basic white and cream options, depending on your style. This 90 lb weight bright white stock from Neenah paper is a staple, and one ream can probably do all your invites, RSVPs programs and then some if you have a guest list under 100!
Cards and Pockets:
This online retailer sells exactly what their name implies — cardstock and pockets. But what really draws us to them is their line of Wedding Invitation Kits. You can choose from 10 kits that will arrive with not only invitations and envelopes but also cards to use for all of your inserts (think: accommodations, RSVP, etc). Plus, the kits include instructions for how best to print your invitations at home. You will truly feel like you have a guide!
This site has one of the more extensive collections of cardstock available. You will find you can choose to order cardstock in almost any color of the rainbow, in addition to neutrals and even metallics. They also have a page within their site that details tips and tricks for creating your wedding stationery from home.
If you’re feeling confident about designing your own wedding stationery, you can likely order from Envelopes.com. The site is geared more toward professionals, so you won’t find many tips and tricks for printing invitations at home. But you will find plenty of options for quality cardstock for your wedding!
Similar to Envelopes.com, Fine Cardstock is another great source if you’re shopping for cardstock without the fluff. The reason why this site caught our eye is they have an extensive collection of cardstock in plenty of colors. Plus, they also have ready-to-print envelopes and cards that can be used to send thank you notes after your wedding day ends.
Other Tips for DIY Wedding Paper Goods:
If you’re using a smooth cardstock or metallic cover weight paper, use a laser printer if you have access to one. Because the paper is slick and shiny, an inkjet may not permeate the coating on the paper, so the ink could smudge. Linen papers and other papers with texture can absorb the ink more and won’t smudge as easily.
Try Before You Buy in Bulk
Experiment with different papers before purchasing in bulk. You don’t want to buy a ton of paper only to find out it doesn’t quite work for what you’re using it for.
Invest in a bone folder. You can find these at any craft store. It makes scoring and folding things like programs so much easier and will help them to look so much nicer!
Are you making your own wedding invitations at home?
If you have a knack for graphic design or if you’ve spotted a premade wedding invitation template online, you can absolutely print your wedding invitations (and more!) at home. As long as you order cardstock in the correct weight, choose a color that you love, and don’t forget the envelopes, your wedding guests will delight in the DIY mail you send to them.
Browse Free Wedding Printables
View all of our free printable wedding collections on our printables page!
Are you planning to DIY your wedding invitations? Do you have any other great suppliers to add to our list? We love talking all about wedding stationery in our community, so join us there!