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10 Creative Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Invitations

Simply because you are a budget-conscious bride does not mean you have to settle for tacky, poorly made, or unoriginal invitations. You truly can have your cake and eat it too with high-quality invitations that fit your unique style and sensible budget. Here are some ideas for creating your dream invitations without breaking the bank:

1. Shop!
There’s no better way to see what’s out there and to make an informed decision than to really shop around! Check out high-end stationery stores and web sites first to get an idea of what you like (regardless of price). Print or order samples of your favorites styles, then browse the web for similar styles or ask the experts for ways to recreate your ideal invitations for less.

2. Order in Bulk
Before you place your order, find out exactly how many invitations you’ll need (and round up to account for any errors or need for extras). Now, look for a company or web site that offers discount packages on wedding invitations. Web sites like The American Wedding allow you to buy many invitation styles as a unit (including enclosures like response cards, envelopes, etc.), saving you money.

3. Be a Bargain Hunter
Don’t shy away from sales! At almost every specialty shop and online stationery store, you’ll be able to find fabulous wedding invitation options at slashed prices. Whether they are last year’s styles or overstocks, you just may be able to find a diamond in the rough.

4. Know Your Options
There is a wide variety of paper options, printing preferences, and even envelope formats…all of which provide you with a variety of options, and all of which can really add up. Know the differences between engraved, printed, thermography, and laser printing. Depending on your invitation look and the paper type, a more casual printing process or layout might save you lots of money in the end, without sacrificing style.

5. Size Matters
Do your invitations include an enclosure like a response card? Do they have any embellishments like bows, clasps, or buttons? Are they square in shape? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, you’ll most likely need to pay an additional postage fee. The US Post Office calculates shipping based on more than weight alone, so it’s important to consider that before ordering an oddly-shaped invitation.

6. It’s All in The Details
Not only do extra embellishments add to the postage price of your invitations (see #5), they can really add up in cost. While we believe that personalization and customization are key to the invitation creation process, we know that not all add-ons are created equal. Choose the one embellishment that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you absolutely must have that additional bow, envelope lining, or sparkle, find out if you can do the assembly on your own. Maybe have an “assembly party” and invite your friends over to help you out? It will mean a little more time and effort on your end, but it might just mean you can have the invitations of your dreams without having to cut costs elsewhere.

7. Postcard RSVP’s
A recent trend, and a sensible option, is to include an RSVP postcard with your invitations instead of the traditional RSVP card and envelope. Postcards can be a really stylish way to ask guests to respond. Choose a color or theme that is similar to that of your invitations. Simply leave a blank line for the guests name, number of additional guests, and meal preference if necessary. Postcard RSVPs will save you about $0.15 in postage for each RSVP card. And just think; you won’t have to open all those envelopes when replies are sent back!

8. Re-Think Reception Cards
Make your invitations do double duty. If there's room, include the reception information on the ceremony invitation itself. There’s really no need to include the information on a separate reception card, especially if your reception is at the same location as the wedding. A simple, and totally appropriate, alternative is to write: "dinner and dancing to immediately follow."

9. Order Extra
We know what you’re thinking….if you’re trying to save money, why would you order more than you need of ANYTHING? But extra invitations and envelopes can actually save you money in the long run. You WILL think of someone you want to invite last minute, and you WILL make at least a few mistakes when addressing invitations. The costs of reprinting, rush charges, and even ordering invitations in small batches will far outweigh ordering a few extra from the get-go.

10. Online Options
We strongly believe the day will never come that emails or websites will replace traditional wedding invitations as the most elegant and appropriate way to invite your guests to share in your special day. With modern technology and resources, however, there is no reason that hi-tech can’t meet traditional in ways that can save you time and money. Consider printing just the basics in your mailed invitation (names, date, and location), and include a web address to your own personal wedding website. There, you can post all the additional information, updates, and even allow your guests to RSVP online. All these things can save you money without ditching tradition entirely.