A map is a great piece of extra info to include in your wedding invites for any friends and family coming in from out of town. If you’re already planning on DIYing your invites, you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t take an expert map maker to DIY a map insert as well! While this map wouldn’t be impressive to a pro with professional grade software, I think it looks pretty good and will be useful to your guests.
You don’t need a very sophisticated program for this either! My Photoshop skills are limited to none, so I used Microsoft PowerPoint instead. While it is time consuming, the steps are rather easy. It took about three hours to perfect this project, but if you aren’t as picky as I am, it shouldn’t take that long.
- Photo editing software (this can even just be MS paint!)
First, you want to open your photo program and create a new document to work with. For making the map, you will be using the drawing tools. These will appear as either a paint brush or pencil in almost any program.
Next, using Google Maps or whatever internet map website you prefer, get a view of the area where the ceremony and reception will be. I did this on Google maps using the “Get Directions” feature. I plugged in our ceremony address to our reception address, and poof! There was an accurate, close-up version of the area.
Press “Print Screen” (or “PrtScn”) on your keyboard to copy the image from Google and “Paste” it into your work area. You may have to resize it (drag the corners in) for it to fit.
At this point, you can trace over major roads and interstates with a drawing tool. You want to give an accurate representation of the area around the general route just in case someone makes a wrong turn.
For smoother lines, you can use the curve tool. For most programs, this will appear as a squiggly line in the shapes tools. Getting the hang of using the curve can be tricky and it’s hard to describe butjust remember that the more you click along the line of the map you pasted in, the more accurate the curve along the roadway will be. Don’t worry if it isn’t exact, however, because your guests won’t hold your map up to the real thing! This is just to give them an idea of the lay of the land, you could say!
You can play with the thickness (weight)/color/style of the line to differentiate between interstates, rivers, small roads, etc.
Repeat this step to draw all of your lines for your roadways, rivers, or whatever else is key to get to your wedding location(s).
Once you are done tracing your lines, add labels to identify your roadways with the “Text Box” tool. You can also rotate your text to match the street angles. I made the interstate labels with a white-filled circle in the background (a graphic also in the AutoShape feature) with a text box in front of it. I also grouped the text and circle graphic together to make it easier to resize and copy/paste, if you need multiple labels of the same type.
After you’ve finished labeling your DIY wedding map, go ahead and delete the Google image in the background. Here is the line work you will be left with.
To make the callout bubbles for closeups of the roads near the ceremony and reception location, go back to google maps and pull another image from a closeup of the new area, using the same Print Screen copy/paste method as before. This time, resize it to be tinier—the size of what you want the callout bubble to be.
Now you need to create a shape to go around the map. The shapes I used are called “Callouts” in the “Autoshape” feature on PowerPoint, but you can create something simpler with a circle shape if you need. Resize this to the look and size you want. Trace your roadways on the Google Map the same way you did for the bigger version. After you are done, group all of your lines together with the bubble so that you can format it easier to make it eventually appear in front of the original roadways you drew.
To rid your wedding map insert of the background roadwork and rivers, all you need to do is fill in the Callout with white. You may have to also right click on the callout shape and bring it to the front if the white fill doesn’t completely work.
Repeat the same thing for the other location so you can have two callouts: one for the ceremony and one for the reception.
For the reception and ceremony graphics to mark the locations, you can simply Google “Free Chapel Clipart” and “Free Wedding Bells Clipart” and find something simple. Add your graphics in the map (using the Insert tool at the top of PowerPoint, then Picture, then “From File”), and VOILA! There is your wedding map!
To export your DIY wedding map into a printer-friendly image, you can do one of two things. One way is to export it as a high-resolution JPEG or PNG. I don’t have Photoshop, so a friend did this for me (Thanks again!) Another way to do this (thanks to Mrs. Corn for the idea) is to download CutePDF (a free program) and print the map to PDF.
Did you make your own wedding map inserts? Share what you came up with in the comments!