Weddings are a happy but very expensive occasion. You can cut your costs by creating your own wedding stationary such as invites, place settings, menus and order of service. I’ll show you how to create your own unique, personalised wedding invitation easily with Xara Photo & Graphic Designer.
I’m going to show you how to create a wedding invitation but, of course, you could use this method for all your other wedding stationary or any type of invitation or card.
Open Xara Photo & Graphic Designer and the first thing we need to do is add the card template and clipart into the Designs Gallery. On the right you will see the vertical tab – Designs Gallery. Select it and it will fly out to reveal several folders of designs. In the Designs Gallery select Disc designs then browse to the folder on your computer that contains the unzipped files (you will see only a Xarainfo file), select it and then select to add it to the index. Click on the folder and you will see that it contains a blank A6 template, 2 example invites and various patterns and graphic designs.
To get started
From the Designs Gallery double click the blank template to open it. Once you have the file open, in the Page & Layer Gallery (the vertical tab under the Designs Gallery), click on the small arrow to the left of the page to reveal the layers. The template is made up from 2 layers:
The Guides layer contains some guidelines to aid the positioning of objects and text when creating the invite. It also has ‘Magic Snap’ turned on (the magnetic icon on the top bar) which is a great aid to easily aligning objects. The page has a small ‘bleed’ margin which is the area that is cut off when the invitations are printed. Layer 1 will contain all the design elements and text.
Creating the background pattern
Firstly, we need to draw a rectangle between the top horizontal guides. To do that select the rectangle tool in the tool bar on the left and then position the mouse pointer in the top left of the area where we want the background. Click the left mouse button and whilst holding it down drag it to form your rectangle. (This is known as click-drag). Drag the rectangle out to include the 3mm bleed each side. Notice that it snaps to the guidelines.
Use the selector tool to select the rectangle and you can change the colour of it by dragging one of the colour diamonds from the colour line onto it – I have chosen 80% black as my fill colour (hover over the colours to see their names). Alternatively, you can right click the mouse on the rectangle and select the Fill Colour to open the colour editor.
Next we will add the floral background panel. From the Design Gallery, drag in the floral pattern, this pattern is designed to tile or repeat to form a seamless block of pattern. Position the pattern block against the left-hand ‘bleed’ margin.
Now we need to clone and repeat the pattern. With the rectangle selected, click on the pattern block and from the Edit menu select Clone group (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+K) this creates a copy positioned exactly over the original. Drag the cloned rectangle to the right and snap it into position alongside the first pattern. Repeat for the third pattern.
Adding the decorative elements
From the Design Gallery, drag in Motif 1 onto the patterned background. Select the motif and use the guidelines to position it centrally on the page – you can use the keyboard arrow keys to nudge it in tiny steps.
To add a couple of leaf motifs, drag in and position one leaf to the left-hand side of our new background. I think this leaf would look better the other way up so I ‘’flipped’ it using the ‘flip vertically’ button on the top editor bar. The best way to create a symmetrical design is to flip a copy of this graphic horizontally around the central axis of the page.
To do this select the leaf motif, clone it using CTRL-K, and turn on ‘Show rotation handles’ (fourth icon on the top editor bar). You will now see a cross hair symbol positioned at the centre of the leaf object. Drag the symbol horizontally until it snaps to the centre guideline of the page and with the object still selected, hit the ‘Flip horizontally’ button to create a mirror image of the leaf, accurately positioned to the right-hand side of the page.
Floral tiled background with top graphics
Now we’ll mirror the top graphics onto the bottom of the patterned rectangle. Click above the first graphic in the top left and then drag to create a marker rectangle around all three graphics. Click Ctrl G, to group them. Click Ctrl K to make the clone and then drag it off so it is near to where you want it. Now flip the group horizontally using the flip tool on the info bar at the top, and put it in position by dragging or using the keyboard arrow keys. (Alternatively, you could select the group and create a copy by pressing the right mouse button and dragging the copy into position – known as right-mouse-button-drag). To ungroup the graphics select the group and use Ctrl U.
Adding the text
Now that the decorative elements of the design are in place, it’s time to add some text.
Firstly, we will add the names of the bride and groom:
Select the text tool and drag out a line between the vertical side guidelines (this creates a text column of the required width). With the text tool still selected, select centre justify on the text toolbar at the top to centre the text, click on the white diamond on the colour selector for white text, select the type font and size, then type away. (I have used white Palatino Linotype 24px with the line spacing reduced to 65%).
At this stage I decided a little extra colour would be nice, so, from the Design Gallery drag the row of hearts onto the page and position centrally above the text, clone it for under the text and nudge the hearts and text into position using the keyboard arrow keys.
Add more text and embedded graphics
Now we will add the text at the top. As previously, select the text tool, drag out a line between the vertical side guidelines, select centre justify, select a grey colour, select the font and size then enter the text. (I used Palatino Linotype 20px, and a 70% black colour).
Create another text column for the bottom text. (I used Palatino Linotype 14px, 100% line spacing and a 70% black colour).
To embed the divider graphics:
From the design gallery, drag the pair of hearts graphic onto the background, off the invite. Select it and use CTRL X to copy it to your clipboard. Select the text tool, insert the cursor after the word ‘marriage’, on your keyboard, hit Enter to create a blank line space and then CTRL V to paste the graphic. The graphic is now embedded within the text column so they are now one object which is very useful for repositioning.
Use the same technique for the bottom divider - adding a blank line space above and below it will create a bit of ‘air’.
That’s it – finished!
Now export your wedding invitation as a PDF and send it to your printer. To do that, select File and Export then enter a file name and select pdf from the drop down list. You are given a selection of choice of PDF quality levels depending on whether you want to print it or email it.
So that you can experiment with you creativity we have provided some alternative components in the clipart file. Have fun!
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is the most flexible and time-saving all-in-one solution for impressive graphics: Powerful image editing, astounding illustration capabilities, professional design templates & extensive desktop publishing (DTP), all in a single intuitive program! It’s ideal for private and professional use: at home, in clubs, in academic institutions, and at work. We hope that you have enjoyed using it.