Free printable wedding invitations

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Wedding invitations set the tone of your wedding ceremony, whether a church wedding or a beach party. If the purpose was only to inform, you could as well use a postcard or e-mail. But the wedding invite is more than that - It is a memento of a couple's love and a souvenir for the guests, to be preserved for all time.

An invitation can have several pieces: the outer envelope, an unsealed inner envelope, the invitation, a reception card, and a response card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Also enclosed sometimes are printed maps and information on hotels.

Where else can you obtain invitation cards? Here are some possible places:

• Stationery stores

At a large stationery store, you can go through many catalogues of various manufacturers and their samples. Costs are going to be competitive but scope of customization and personal touch is limited

• Independent stationer/printer

They are more small-scale and personalized, and offer you a chance to customize color, shapes and monograms. However this service maybe costly and time-consuming.

• Department stores

Similar to stationers, but they offer a range of services under one roof. And they lack the personal touch.

• Online stationers

Simply browse through online catalogues and purchase your favorite design at a click of the mouse. Several websites offer hundreds of choices in style, brand name papers, high quality printing and competitive pricing.

• Mail order catalogues

Stationery mail order catalogues offer wide choice at cheap rates and very fast service.

• Graphic designer

May add a unique creative touch to your stationery, but will shoot up costs.

• Free printable Invitations

These are the cheapest and easiest invitation cards to use.

Free printable cards are not only cheap but offer the scope of customization and a personal touch. Users of MS Publisher 95 and MS Works 3.0 contains several files for setting up and creating wedding invitations. The template will aid you in making cards, response cards, reply envelopes, inside and outside envelopes for mailing, as well as help to use the entire package.

Free printable cards are not only available in free software from companies like Microsoft, but you can also download the cards directly from the net from a variety of websites.

The website findmeagift.com is one where cards named Vienna (Scroll-in-a-box invitations), Tuscany (Folded A4 manuscript wedding invitations), Vermont (Minifolded card, A6 invitations) and Milan (Simple A5 card wedding invites) offer a wide array of choice.

Michael's Arts and Crafts Store and SouthWorth.com also have several free wedding invitation templates. You can customize and choose from among the various card options.

The website theknot.com specializes in wedding affairs and has the option of free printable cards. Its invitation-wording wizard is so detailed in its choice. For example, - 'hosted by' has choices like-1) One set of parents hosting (formal/casual) 2) Both set of parents hosting (formal/casual) 3) Couple hosting (formal/casual) 4) Every one hosting (formal/casual) 5) Divorced parents hosting alone (formal/casual) 5) Divorced parents hosting with new spouse (f/c) and so on, to fit every need and situation.

Invites consist of the following:

Invitations

Before designing your card, use your style of wedding whether formal or casual, as well as considerations of budget and number of cards required to make the choice. You may want to customize these with monograms, motifs and graphics.

Reply cards

These cards are sent within the invites, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. It may have a choice of dietary concerns, and activities to attend.

Reception cards are sent to the guests to inform them when and where the wedding party will take place. It gives date, place and time.

Wedding programs

They are elegant mementoes like booklets containing useful details like the date, the names of the bridal party and the ceremony details like readings and songs.

Also you can download 'Menu cards' for the reception catering, 'Place cards' for reception seating and 'Thank you cards' for thanking guests.

Here are some tips while making invites. While making your cards, always make twenty to thirty extra. Make sure the invite is an all-in-one, containing all the information about the wedding and the reception. Cut costs, like using response postcards instead of cards and set up a toll free number for guests to call. Use thermography instead of embossing or engraving. Proofread your invites a couple of times before making the final copy.

Last but not the least, send out those invites early, especially for destination weddings.