8 Easy, Money-Saving Tips
According to a recent poll, 75% of brides-to-be are worried about staying within their means when it comes to wedding costs. It goes without saying that wedding expenses can really add up, even for the most discerning of brides. We believe that it’s particularly important to budget appropriately for your wedding invitations, as they will likely be one of your first purchases, and will set the tone for your entire event.
This checklist is intended to help you stay on track toward staying within your wedding budget. Without a plan, you may run the risk of paying more than you intended, or end up with “cheap” invitations you’re far from crazy about. Your wedding invitations will not only set the mood for your entire wedding; they will also be important mementos of this special day for years to come, so it’s important that they strike the right balance between “sensible” and “stylish.” This wedding invitation checklist will help you to explore all your money-saving options and stay within your budget…without sacrificing quality or style.
1. Begin With A Budget
Especially if you are just getting started with the planning process, it’s crucial that you come up with a wedding budget before making any major decisions or purchases. The next step is to allocate a percentage of that budget to be spent on each element of the wedding, including invitations. This simple process will allow you to shop for and consider only the wedding invitations that fall within your price range. Of course, a wedding budget is very personal, and the specifics will be different for every bride, but by creating an overall budget and a list of priorities, you’ll be headed in the direction of creating a dream wedding on a realistic budget. Are the flowers more important than your dress? Are your wedding invitations more important than the flowers? Creating your own list of priorities will help ensure that you spend your money where you want to spend it. As a rule of thumb, the majority of brides can expect to spend between 2-5% of their total wedding budgets on wedding invitations. If you really want to set the tone with over-the-top wedding invitations, you will want to increase the wedding invitation allocation of your budget, and reduce expenses elsewhere.
2. Consider DIY!
For all you creative, courageous brides out there, creating your own wedding invitations yourself can be a fun and extremely rewarding practice in creativity and thriftiness! It’s never been easier to create a custom wedding invitation that is truly your own. MyGatbsy offers comprehensive, quality DIY wedding invitation kits. They come complete with all the basics – blank stock invitations, invitation outer envelopes and enclosure cards with envelopes. So, with seemingly endless color combinations, design options, and price points, stylish and sensible wedding invitations are literally at your fingertips. Follow these steps for flawless DIY invitations:
- Step 1: Pick your favorite wedding invitation format (rectangles, squares, layered, paneled, etc.)
- Step 2: Create your own color combination (choose from 90 cardstock colors)
- Step 3: Select your quantity (DIY kits include everything you’ll need to print your invitations yourself – all you need to tell us is the number you need!)
Money saving bonus: when you go the DIY route, you’ll be free to use the coordinating panel enclosure card as a response card, reception card, direction card or thank you note.
3. Place A Comprehensive Wedding Invitation Order
As you make a decision about your wedding invitations, we encourage you to think about the event as a whole, and consider all the elements of stationery that you will want and need. Using the same stationer for all your wedding stationery needs will ensure consistency, give you one point-of-contact for all your printed items, and potentially save you money with bulk-orders and single shipping costs. Of course, if you are trying to save money, you may want to cut back on any “extras.” One the other hand, if you put some forethought into these items, you may be surprised at how easily these beautiful additions fit into your budget. Here are just a few examples of the many elements you will likely want or need:
- Save the Dates
- Wedding Invitations
- Outer Envelopes
- Inner Envelopes
- Envelope Lining
- Reception Cards
- Direction Cards
- Map Cards
- Response Cards
- Informal Notes
- Thank You Notes and Envelopes
- Wedding Programs
- Menu Cards
- Place Cards
- Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
4. Be a Discerning Shopper
When it comes to your wedding invitations, you should be much more than a bargain shopper. You need to consider quality, style, and ease of ordering in addition to cost. Start by browsing local shops and online stationers to see what appeals to you, and be sure to compare more than just styles and prices. Don’t forget to look at clearance sections and low-cost options offered by each stationer! Ask questions about the company, its return and proofing policies, turn-around time, and more. Look at examples of their previous work, and ask for of styles that you like. Ordering samples allows you to determine the quality, weight, and feel of the wedding invitations before making a final decision – a process that will possibly save you the time, money, and heartbreak that can come with making a less-informed decision.
5. Think Outside The Box
Now is a great time to consider creative and unique options for making your wedding invitations your own. Even if your budget restricts you from designing completely customized invitations or embellishing ’till your heart’s content, you can still make them meaningful and memorable. Even an otherwise plain or boring invitation can come alive when marked with your monogram, lucky numbers, meaningful colors, or even printed with lines from a favorite poem or quote. Consider all these unconventional ways to craft truly one-of-a-kind invitations without paying the price for a completely custom design. Bear in mind that the printing method and the cardstock options you select will be a major factor in the cost of your custom printing. Do your research to determine which printing method and paper quality suits your style and your budget.
6. Don’t Delay With The Logistics
Getting organized today will save you time, money, and a lot of hassle later on. The most important details to gather for your wedding invitations as soon as possible are (1) the wedding day details, and (2) the guest list! Be aware that any last minute additions to your invitations can be costly and detrimental to the style you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Secure the following specifics now so your invitations can be printed without delay…and without the possibility of difficult and expensive edits later:
- Date and time of ceremony
- Name and address of ceremony location
- Time of reception
- Name and address of reception location
- Directions between ceremony and reception
- Correct spelling of all names to be listed on invitation
- RSVP date
Do not place an order until all these details are completely set in stone. Once you get these details finalized, it’s important to request a wedding invitation proof. Spend a few days sharing the proof with friends, family, and others, and ask them to check for spelling errors or gaps in information. The next step is to get all your final edits to the printer before the entire project goes to print.
7. Get the Guest List Finalized
It’s also imperative that you finalize the guest list in order to determine how many invitations you’ll need to order. It’s much more affordable to order any extras now than to wait and order a small number of extras at a later date. As a guideline, you will need to order one invitation for each of the following on your guest list:
- Each couple (married or living together)
- Each single guest
- Each person in the wedding party
- Any child over the age of 18 (even if they still live with their parents)
- Extras: Mistakes happen, guest lists can change, and you’ll want a few as keepsakes! A good rule of thumb is to order at least 20 to 25 beyond what your guest list requires.
8. Cut Corners Without Sacrificing Style
Once you realize what you simply can’t live without, you can look for creative opportunities to cut costs where they won’t be missed. Additional embellishments and exciting extras may seem like “must-haves,” but think about the money you’ll save if you don’t let it all these little extras add up:
- Calligraphy (consider enlisting the help of friends to address inner and outer envelopes. You can get a similar look at significant savings)
- Postage (odd-shaped and heavy envelopes are more costly to send)
- Embellishments (remove the ribbon or rhinestone and see if the look still “shines”… for less!)
- Envelope Lining (it looks rich and adds luxury…with a matching price tag.)
- Printing Process (be sure to research the costs and differences between your various printing options)
- Cardstock quality (believe it or not, there are plenty of paper options at a variety of price points.)