DIY Wedding: A Review of the Epson Artisan 800

DIY Bride

Experience has taught me that y’all like wedding book reviews and wedding product reviews less than you like, say, posts about trainwreck wedding shows or unusual proposals. Nonetheless, I do like to post the occasional review when something really strikes my fancy, and today it’s the Epson Artisan 800 that’s really striking my fancy. (And I’m not just saying that because Epson hooked me up.)

You see, in all my life I’ve never had a new printer — every printer I’ve had has been second hand, older than dirt, and crappy as hell. The Beard and I briefly, and I mean very briefly, tossed around the idea of whipping up our own save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, and ceremony programs, but one look at our crap printer negated that idea. In fact, I’d just about started to believe that DIY wedding stationery was doomed to be crap. (I know that’s not true now, but back in the day it’s what I believed.)

It was only after my wedding when I decided that my wedding photographers did a subpar job with my wedding album that I started looking into printers, specifically photo printers. I figured that even though I didn’t DIY much for the wedding, there was no reason I couldn’t start DIYing afterward, and I picked up a no-frills secondhand Epson PictureMate. Long story short, I loved it, and put together my own wedding album that was just a gazillion times better than what my photogs had put together for me at premium prices. Lesson learned!

Naturally, when the Epson people got in touch with their offer, I said “Bring it on,” and then I said “I know, I’ll whip up a bunch of stuff with it to see what all it can do.” That explains why I’ve had the printer forever and haven’t gotten around to posting the review until now. Creating stationery and other stuff for a fictitious wedding wasn’t exactly high on my list of priorities! But this morning, the baby in my belly woke me up at 4 a.m., so I figured I might as well get the whole Epson thing out of the way.

Above, you see some of what I created, from a sepia cover image for my wedding album to a framed picture of my grandparents’ wedding day (including my first warped try) to a table number in a lovely robin’s egg blue to a somewhat tardy save-the-date card for my 2007 wedding. I made other things, too, including a custom wedding invitation and bookmark wedding favors, but those didn’t photograph as well. Trust me when I say they came out pretty darned good.

My verdict? Other than the paper being somewhat hard to load — once you figure out where it goes, it takes a little tweaking to get everything aligned right — the Epson Artisan 800 seems like it would be a great resource for the DIY bride. The photo quality is awesome, it prints really fast, you can scan and that’s fast, too, and you can print right on blank-label CDs/DVDs. I’m thinking mix CD wedding favors? Reception menus? Wedding programs using the two-sided printing capability? Wedding favor tags? Custom candy wrappers?

3 Responses to “DIY Wedding: A Review of the Epson Artisan 800”

  1. Melissa B. January 23, 2009 at 11:38 am #

    I second the recommendation for the Epson PictureMate. My dad got me one for Christmas a couple years ago and I have no idea how I ever lived without it! Digital photos are great but I love having physical ones as well, and the quality of the photos my Epson prints is equal or superior to any printing kiosk we’ve found. (Plus, when my fiance needed new copies of his passport photos, like, IMMEDIATELY, we were able to print ‘em at home. Woohoo!)

    I’m planning to print my own menu cards, table numbers, and programs. I’m pretty happy with my basic HP printer/scanner/copier, but that Epson is tempting, and selling for a darn good price considering what it does. Hmmm …

  2. Johanna January 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    One question when choosing a printer is how much do the color cartridges cost and how quickly will they dry out? I’d rather buy an expensive machine if using it will be cheaper in the long run. Printing invitations and pictures and photos doesn’t get less fun even when the occasion is something less fancy than a wedding. :) Then you have drivers to think about; we have 3 computers in the house and two Canon printers, and only one of them works on one of the operating systems. Which sucks, as we all know how handy it would be to print print print everything!

    But according to the website, that all-in-one printer has none of those problems. And on CDs/DVDs, really? Now I want one, too!

  3. Never teh Bride January 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Melissa B.: I felt the same way when I got the little photo printer. I’ve used it a bunch of times since I made my wedding album because I also love having the prints to put in a book or a frame.

    Johanna: Regarding the drivers, I didn’t have to install ‘em! I’m not much of a tech head, which is fine since my laptop just kind of accepted that I’d attached a new printer. Very convenient. The ink runs about ten bucks per color, which seems reasonable to me. I like that I only have to buy whatever color has run out instead of a whole new print head. As for drying out, the Epson ink has been good to me in the PictureMate — I let it sit in the closet an entire year and the ink was still good to go.