Alex wanted real movie tickets for invites, but I like to get my invitations printed like photographs because it seems to be cheaper than having it done any other way. Also, we don't have a color printer. So, we compromised.
I made this invitation using Publisher and then uploaded it to picnik for sizing. Sometimes it can be tricky to use an image that you create in Publisher, but it is well-worth it. The secret to saving is to hold down the CTRL key while you click on all the different parts of the picture. By all, I really do mean all. Select all of your little lines and details. Then, while all of that stuff is selected, right click and select "save as picture." Then, double check your new file to make sure all of your elements are there. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries for me to get it right. So, it is kinda a pain in the ass, but I like the freedom to create all sorts of images without having to know a whole lot about photoshop and those other programs.
After I uploaded the file to picnik and resized it to photo-size, I saved it to my computer and then uploaded to Walmart's photo lab. You could use any printer you like, but I tend to wait until the last minute and needed my invites fairly quickly. I really like Walmart's one-hour pick-up time, but I think other drugstores offer the same.
Then, send them out as usual. Either buy blank envelopes or just address the backs and send them as postcards. Easy-cheesy, right?