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How to design an unforgettable wedding zine in Canva

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

Our tabloids have typically been the go-to format for wedding newspapers. But since we started printing minis from 1 copy last year, more and more couples are saying “I do” to a smaller zine format. And for good reason!

Why make a mini zine?

Minis are stapled for a neat, easy-to-read result — perfect if you’re handing the zines out at your ceremony. They’re also compact enough to fold away into a pocket or pop into a bag, so guests can take them home as a keepsake. 

You can choose from 3 different paper types for minis: our standard 55gsm improved newsprint, 45gsm salmon and 80gsm bright recycled. All of our papers are sourced from sustainably grown forests and are 100% recyclable. Get a free sample pack to see them for yourself!

Get free samples

Meet Adam and Agniya

Newlyweds Adam Cole and Agniya Dremach chose to create a wedding zine for their celebration in London. “Everyone absolutely loved it,” says Adam. “And it felt great to be able to say we did it ourselves. Well, with the power of technology and Newspaper Club, we did it ourselves!”

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

“My partner and I have no art background and are not graphic designers at all. Our wedding guests thought we must have hired someone when they saw the zine!”

Adam and Agniya put their mini together in Canva, a free design platform that’s very popular with our customers. Adam, who works as a marketing manager, says Canva is “the ideal tool” to use if you (like him) don’t have any design experience. 

“My partner and I have no art background and are not graphic designers at all,” he says. “Our wedding guests thought we must have hired someone when they saw the zine!”

Below, we take a look inside the zine and Adam shares tips for creating your own unforgettable wedding newspaper using Canva.

aa wedding day

Adam and Agniya on their wedding day 

What's inside Adam and Agniya's wedding zine?

After considering printing their order of service as a single sheet (“That would do the job, but it would just be very plain,” says Adam) they decided a zine would give them more space to showcase their personalities.

You need at least 16 pages to print a mini newspaper — so the staples have enough paper to grab onto! — and Adam says he wasn’t sure initially if they'd be able to fill that many. They started brainstorming things to include “and suddenly you realise you’ve easily got 16 pages,” says Adam. “Super easily!” 

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

In the end, the wedding zine was 24 pages. Here's what they included:

• Schedule for the day. Plus a reminder: "Don't worry too much about photos, just have a really nice time."

• Glossary of Jewish wedding terms. Not all of their guests were familiar with Jewish wedding traditions — this handy reference helped keep everyone in the know.

• Text of the marriage service. They published it in both English and Hebrew.

• Text of the reading from their service. (It was "Having a Coke with You" by Frank O'Hara.)

• Photos. One spread of baby photos and one spread of Adam and Agniya together as a couple. Adam added some fun photo frames with graphics in Canva — more details below!

• Dinner menu. With a note of which options were vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

• Map. Using an illustrated map, they pinpointed special places: where their families live, where they took their first trip together and where they got engaged.

Here’s a flip through some of our favourite pages in the zine, which was printed on our digital minis on 55gsm improved newsprint:

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

Designing a zine in Canva

Adam had been using Canva to spruce up their wedding website but didn’t think it would be suitable for a print design. “I thought, ‘This is serious stuff.’ When there’s printing involved there are so many considerations,” he says. But Agniya convinced him to give it a try and “it was great!”

If you’re new to Canva, their library of video tutorials will show you how to make the most of their design tools — from uploading your photos to adding and editing your text. We’ve also created blank templates for all of our formats at Newspaper Club, to give you a head start on your design process.

Setting up your Canva template

You can get started right away with our blank mini newspaper template for Canva — it's set up with the correct dimensions for our minis and includes bleed  (the area around the edge of your newspaper that contains artwork that will be trimmed off after printing).

Use our mini template for Canva

Once you open the template in your account, it should look like this:

canva mini template

We’ve included a simple guide graphic on the first four pages, to help you see where the pages will be trimmed, and where the safe area for text and important details is. You can delete this guide, or keep it whilst you work on your design.

You can adjust the transparency so that the guide overlays your design and you can check that everything is in the right place:

transparency

The guide is different for odd and even-numbered pages because the pages are only trimmed on the outside edge. If you’re adding the guide to more pages, make sure to check that you’re using the right one.

Using Canva’s design templates and graphics

Using Canva’s page templates “really helped speed things up,” says Adam. “Once you set your page size, they’ve got templates that will fit in that size. So instantly we had access to loads of cool stuff!”

You can search for different types of templates and graphics from the left-hand sidebar. Adam and Agniya used a menu template for their wedding meal page and a beautiful marbled paper graphic to break up the text pages:

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

They also used some fun framing elements around their photos, like faux masking tape for the baby photos to give the spread a scrapbook feel:

How to design your own wedding zine in Canva. A guide from Newspaper Club.

Exporting your design as a PDF

To print with Newspaper Club, you need to export your file as a PDF with single pages in reading order. You can read more in our export guide.

To export your file from Canva, navigate to Share at the top right corner and then click Download. Select “PDF Print” from the drop-down menu:

Export

Then download your PDF!

Our support team is happy to check over your file before you send it to print. Just send it to us at support@newspaperclub.com and we’ll have a look.


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Adam's tips for making a wedding zine

1. Get free samples

“The sample pack that we got from Newspaper Club was really useful,” says Adam. “It helped us think about what’s in a magazine and make a skeleton of the pages.” Get your free sample pack on our website.

2. Upgrade to Canva Pro (you can cancel anytime)

You can create a newspaper with Canva’s free tools, but Adam recommends upgrading to Canva Pro for access to a much wider library of templates and graphics. You can also install your own fonts.

Canva offers a 30-day free trial and a rolling monthly subscription, so it's possible to pay only for the time that you use it (and you can always sign up again if you want to make another newspaper!) Adam and Agniya took just over a month to make their newspaper, so they paid one month's fee of £10.99.

3. Straighten up

Use Canva’s rulers and guides to make sure everything is lined up.

4. Collaborate with your partner

Canva is a cloud-based platform, meaning Adam and Agniya could collaborate on the design from different computers. Adam says they found it especially handy to leave notes for each other in Canva using the “add comment” feature:

add comment

5. Print a test copy

Adam says it was “so useful” to see a test copy of the zine before sending the full run to print. While there were no huge surprises, he used it to make small tweaks to the design and it gave him an extra boost of confidence when it was time to send the full run to print.

If you'd like to print a test copy, get in touch with us at support@newspaperclub.com for more details.

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