The best paper is the one you like that also fits in your budget. Shop around to learn about options and choices.
Get samples if you can.

Your invitation should have some sturdiness:

  • At a minimum, choose between 80 lb and 100 lb cover weight paper
  • For a higher quality option, choose a paper up to 120 lb paper weight
  • If you want to consider an even heavier option, some home printers or shops can accommodate up to 140 lb paper weight
  • If your printer refers to paper weights in points instead of pounds, 9 ½ to 12 pts is the light end of the spectrum for invitations. 18 pts is the heavy end of what most printers can accommodate.

Paper color and texture are important:

  • Most wedding invitations are printed on an uncoated, slightly textured stock. When choosing a paper from an online vendor, look for descriptive words like "matte," "uncoated," "cover stock," and "card stock."
  • The color of your paper will affect the color of what’s printed on it.
  • White or blank areas are created by an absence of ink, not by printing with white ink, so the whites of your printed design will match the color of your paper.

Printing with an online printer

You can upload your file directly to an online printer and they’ll do the printing and (probably) the cutting for you. You won’t be able to see and touch the paper choices, though, so pay attention to your options and find out if they offer samples.

Do a search for “online digital printing” to find a service.

You'll need to specify some or all of the following:

  • Full color
  • Post card or flat card
  • The standard size for wedding invitations is 5" x 7" or size A7
  • The standard size for RSVP cards is 4.25" x 5.5" or size A2
  • Look for things like “uncoated” or “matte”
  • Choose 80 to 100 lb paper weights, at a minimum
  • Up to 140 lb
  • Choose full bleed
  • Look for any options to print two (or four for RSVPs) per page to save costs

Printing at a local print or copy shop

From small mom-and-pop shops to national chains, there are lots of options to have your files printed for you locally.

Do a search for printers who can provide digital printing. Offset printing can also be an option. It’s a slightly higher quality, but more costly, printing method.

Find out about paper options. What’s their paper selection like? Can you provide your own paper, and if so, what kinds of paper (weight and size) can they manage?

Ask about cutting; it may or may not be included. Cutting the cards yourself can be an additional savings.

Printing at home

You’re crafty and you know it. With a little patience, you can do all of the printing yourself on your home printer.

Do a trial run! Before you commit to buying all of the paper you need, you should get some samples and do a few tests to see what size and type of paper is going to give you the best results on the printer that you’re using. Some papers may be too thick for your home printer. Your design might look better on one paper over another.

Review your printer’s settings to look for options related to print quality. Experiment to see what looks best. Make sure you have extra ink cartridges, paper, and envelopes so that you don’t run out mid-stream. No matter how careful you are, there will be some mistakes.

If you’re using an inkjet printer, make sure to include drying time before you handle the printed cards.

Paper size and layout options:

  • You can print two to a page for RSVP-sized cards. To get multiple images onto a page, you’ll need to be able to adjust the print settings of your PDF in your PDF reader software.
one to a page on 8 ½” x 11” sheets
  • Print at 100% scale (not “Scale to Fit”), centered on the page
one to a page on 5” x 7” sheets
  • Print at 100% scale (not “Scale to Fit”), centered on the page

Whether you do the printing yourself or you get a shop to print for you, you may need to do some cutting yourself.

Cutting options:

a copy shop

Have them do the cutting for you or find out if they have a paper-cutter that you can use

do it yourself with a paper-cutter

Quality matters—if your cutter isn’t sharp enough, it will leave rough edges

do it yourself with an x-acto knife

You’ll need an X-acto knife, extra blades, a metal ruler, and a self-healing cutting mat