Printable Invitations: Cardstock or Photo Paper?

One question I get asked quite often by my customer is.. “Should I print my invitations on card stock or photo paper??” and typically the answer i always give is “That is completely your choice” because let’s face it, everyone’s preferences are different.

As you can see from the photo, an invitation printed on photo paper is a little more vibrant and truer to color as opposed to one printed on white card stock. The card stock print is off-color and has a slight yellowish tone. In person the card still look good, but when compared to the photo paper print it lacks in vibrancy. However, there are some pro’s and con’s to each form of printing when it comes to invitations that I think are worth noting.....

Address blurred for privacy purposes.


Cardstock PROS:

  • Cheaper than photo paper, you can purchase an 8.5 x 11” pack of card stock (50 sheets) for approx. $6.00 at Walmart and many craft stores. One sheet will generally yield 2 invitations, making the cost per invitation at $0.06 each (for paper only). Thats cheap!
  • Prints will be sturdier than a photo and blank backs can even be used as postcards instead of putting in an envelope, which saves more money.
  • Uses slightly less ink than a photo print.
Cardstock CONS:
  • Cardstock prints are not as vibrant as photo prints and usually not 100% true to color.
  • When printing on 8.5x11” card stock from home you have to cut out the invitations yourself which requires more manual labor and time.
  • When ordering card stock prints from a printing service, it is much more costly than printing with card stock at home.
Photo Paper PROS:
  • Prints are vibrant and true to color.
  • Photo paper will generally last longer than a card stock print (if you or guests intend to keep the invitation as a memento), as card stock may fade faster. Photo paper is better designed to withstand time.
  • Printing with photo paper from home or from a kiosk is faster and easier than printing with card stock as you dont have to cut the invitations out individually, you’ll simply print them on the size of photo paper that coordinates with your invitation and you’re done. 
  • No scissors needed.
Photo Paper CONS:
  • Photo paper prints can be pricier than card stock. A 4x6” print can be $0.19+ each. So about 3-4x more than a card stock print.
  • More vibrant prints = using more ink from your home printer.
  • If you dont have a printer at home that accommodates photo prints, you’ll need to use a photo kiosk or printing service like Kinkos which becomes a tad pricer and may cause you to have to drive to pick them up, or pay to have them shipped to your home.
Essentially, the choice is yours. Are you looking for something 100% DIY that you can accomplish at home? Or do you need something fast and printed for you by a kiosk or printing service? The easiest way to make your decision is to recognize the options around you and in your community for printing, do some price checks, and decide which wether card stock or photo printing is the easiest and/or cheapest route for you.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments or questions at any time below, especially if you have some awesome tips to share! :)


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