It's no secret that weddings are an investment.  Many brides are opting to DIY as much as possible to cut costs, but still want provide an amazing ceremony and reception for their guests.  I am about to teach you a few tips to making your own save the dates.  Not only will you be able to save a few dollars, but you may just find a new passion.

For this tutorial, I will be using a scanner and Adobe Illustrator.  Don't have the program? That is okay - Adobe offers free trials on each of their programs! Adobe Illustrator is an amazing asset to any design business and bride! From creating a wedding website to making Save the Dates, Adobe is able to help out in any area.  And of course, we are too! Check out our custom packages if you are interested in working with us! We would love to get to know you. Click here for more information.

While you are waiting for Illustrator to download, take a piece of paper and write the names of the groom and bride.  When you write the names, do not worry about the order or spacing.  We will be able to go into Illustrator and tweak this. Once you have scripted the names the way you would like, scan them into your computer at a low resolution.  Name the file something memorable.

When Illustrator has downloaded, open Illustrator.  I encourage you to push buttons, professional, I know, but it helps acclimate you to the interface.  When you have played around a little bit, go to the upper left hand corner where it says File.  Click File and find the Open option.  Click Open and find your file. The file should open up similarly to the picture above.

Highlight the image by clicking on it. You will se that this creates a red box around the image.  Right now we are working with the whole file, but we only need the text.  In order to do isolate the text, we will use Image Trace - a wonderful option for illustrators and handletterers. At the top of the window is where you will find Image Trace, many options will come down, but you will want to click on Silhouette.

I've found that Silhouette is perfect for hand lettering as it has less attention to detail.  Silhouette fills in the outline, which is great for wedding invitations!

When you have traced your image, you will want to click the Expand button, where Image Trace originally was.  This will expand the image into multiple images.  A new image will be made when a vector is not connecting to it.  Expanding our vector will allow us to manipulate each individual name and word.

new file.jpg

Since we have created the calligraphy portion of our invitation, we will need to work on the invitation layout.  To do this, we will need to make a new file.  Go to File and put your cursor on New. Another box will pop up, asking you for the measurements of the new file.

Most invitations are 5x7 inches, put those dimensions in and title your file.  Do not worry about anything else.  Sometimes Illustrator is defaulted to pixels, in order to change it to inches find the box that says units, and click inches from the drop down menu.

I chose to add a watercolor background to my invitation.  You can skip making your own and buy one off of Etsy, like I did.  I found mine from a fabulous artist on Etsy called Create the Cut.  You can buy your watercolor background here.

Place the background and format it to the invitation size using the boxes on the corner.  Don't worry about the image distorting, even though you are changing the shape and size, it will still look great.

Get as creative as you want to! I chose to make my calligraphy white, to really make it pop on the invitation. To do this I selected the calligraphy, and pushed the small colored box on the left toolbox panel. It is called fill.  Then I chose the color I needed in the popped up window.

Next I worked on formatting the invitation after I typed in all of the text using the text tool on the left tool bar. I played around with the wording and decided to make it from an invitation to a save the date.  To Arc the first phrase, go to Effect, Warp, and choose the amount of Arc you would like to give your words.  Don't be afraid to play around with spacing and size. 

Ta-daaa!! Creating your own invitations and paper goods can be very simple and oh-so fun! Of course we would love to create them for you, but understand the joy DIYing portions of your wedding can be! Love this tutorial? Let us know what else you would like to see us do?