We have received a lot of questions regarding printable files for printing your own invitations asking which file type is best.
The answer to this question really depends on how you plan to print them or your paper preference. Below you will find a quick list of file type recommendations depending on where and how you are printing.
HOWEVER… printing yourself though can at times be a faster and more cost-effective option, depending on your timeframe and quantity needed. Which brings us back to our recommendations for printing yourself….
To help you decide what’s best for you and your own needs, we have created this quick reference list to help you choose the file type that’s right for you. If you still are not sure, feel free to email us anytime with questions before ordering.
For this recommendation list – we are starting with your Preferred Location of Printing:
LOCAL PHOTO LAB
Printing at a photo lab for photo prints in a 5×7 or 4×6 size:
You need a 5×7 or 4×6 JPEG
Examples of photo labs for photo prints where you can pick-up in store are Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target and Costco. Note: While the default size of our invitations and photo cards is always 5×7, 4×6 photo prints are significantly lower in cost than 5×7 photo prints.
LOCAL COPY SHOP (such as Office Max, Office Depot or Staples)
Printing with a local copy shop, getting color copies:
You need the 8.5×11 PDF file with 2 set up to a page
These types of copy shop print services prefer a PDF file in the 8.5×11 size with two designs set up on the page. They can print on their standard cardstock, them trim them down for you along with edges with their cutting machines as well.
ONLINE PHOTO/PRINTING COMPANY (such as Walmart or MPIX)
Printing with an online photo company for photo prints OR cardstock cards to be mailed to you with envelopes:
You need a JPEG
You can upload your file through their website and order printed cards with envelopes to be mailed to you.
PRINT AT HOME
Printing at home on 8.5×11 cardstock and cutting them out yourself:
You need the 8.5×11 PDF file with 2 set up on a page.Printing at home on pre-cut 5×7 cardstock or photo paper:
You need a JPEG or PDF (a SINGLE PDF only, NOT the 2-UP PDF file with 2 set up on the page, since you are printing to cardstock or photo paper that is already cut to size).
NOT PRINTING – SHARING ELECTRONICALLY
Emailing the invitation, texting the invite, or posting to social media:
You need a JPEG
What’s the best paper to use for printing?
We are also asked regularly from our do-it-yourself customers what type of paper we recommend if printing at home. If you are looking for paper to purchase in an office supply store to print on, you should look for a heavy weight (we like a minimum of 110 lb. but some 100 or 80 lb options available in stores are a nice weight, too) and photo-quality brand. HP, Avery and Neenah all offer nice quality cardstock and/or photo paper that can be found at many office supply stores such as Office Max or Office Depot. Be sure to pay attention to the printer type that’s indicated on the packaging – inkjet or laser – and choose whichever type of printer you have. You would not want to print on laser paper with an inkjet printer. You should also look for the finish you prefer – matte or glossy. This usually applies to photo paper only as most cardstock paper in office supply stores usually have a matte finish.
If you are printing with a local copy shop service, they have paper choices for you behind the counter and you would not have to purchase a pack of paper yourself, unless there is a specific type of paper you are wanting that the copy shop does not offer behind the counter. They can show you their standard cardstock (also referred to “cover weight” “cover stock” or just “cover”) and you can choose which weight and finish you like the best.
If you are having photo prints made, you usually can choose either glossy or matte, depending on whether you are picking up in the store or having them mailed to your house. Matte vs. glossy is usually a personal preference. Photo prints tend to look more like a “photo” than a more formal invitation and they can easily leave marks and fingerprints or produce a glare in certain types of light. Many people love the high gloss shine and vibrant colors that come with glossy prints, so this is really up to what you like and prefer.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments or questions at any time below, especially if you have some awesome tips to share!