September 20, 2010
According to the Bridal Association of America, the average couple spends a whopping $659 on their wedding invitations and that doesn’t even include the cost of postage! So, as more and more couples start cutting the fat from their wedding budgets, invites seem to be taking up an unnecessarily large piece of the monetary pie. And unless you’re willing to take a risk on an empty reception hall, invitations are absolutely essential. Sure, e-vites are informational, but they lack a sense of formality and tradition. So, how do you get what you want without paying a pretty penny? Here’s some advice :)
Paper – Here, you will need to think a little out of the box. Stationary retailers are expensive for the same reason any retailer is more costly: markup. But if you stick with office suppliers, wholesalers, or any paper-carrying company that offers bulk sizes, you can purchase printable card stock for mere cents. Always remember that the more folds and detailing on each invite, the more costly the total will be; so stick with basic, flat cards to avoid the extra fees.
Design – This is the part where a couple’s home-made creativity can really shine. Make sure you have a printer that’s up for the task with plenty of ink. It may sound intimidating, but a multitude of design templates and programs have popped up recently to provide DIY brides more personalized options when printing at home. For those of you who still find templates too daunting, there are still many options. If you’re lacking a design guru friend willing to work for free, consult the web for a vast array of pre-made design templates and make sure the design you choose goes with your wedding theme and colors.
DIY –These details will provide that budget-friendly, je ne sais quoi you’ve been looking for. And by doing-it-yourself, you save the inherent overhead you’d be paying for someone else to do it. The following invitation extras can run the gamut from basic to extravagant, but here are a few ideas that are popular today:
- Ribbons: The most enduring of trends, a classic ribbon tied around the card that complements the themes and hues of the invitations adds a feeling of elegance. Many brides also punch out two holes near the top, thread the ribbon through, and tie a beautiful bow for a chic touch.
- Stamps: Getting a personalized or monogrammed stamp is an effective and affordable tool when it comes to the paper products of your wedding. Embellish your invites and RSVP cards and then seal the deal when you adorn the envelope with your customized wedding design. And get really fancy by creating a melted wax seal and closing your envelopes shut with with a look that’s truly vintage!
- Flowers: If you want your invites to really look fancy without the frivolous cost, add some fresh blooms. Keep in mind that extra weight equals extra postage costs, so keep the flowers minimal. Try tying a single sprig of baby’s breath into bow on the invitation. For a flatter finish, adorn the invites with pressed flowers; simply use a spray adhesive and press.
Postage – Mailing costs often seem trivial, but can really add up if you’re not cautious, especially for guest list that seem to scroll on for days! As mentioned above, keeping the weight of each invitation to an absolute minimum will save you a pretty penny; every extra ounce per envelope will cost you. With that in mind, send your RSVPs as postcards. This avoids the extra weight of an excess envelope, and costs less anyway. Also, avoid square-shaped envelopes or ones that don’t fit within the traditional requirements – they’ll increase postage fees by 50%.
So as long as you plan ahead and avoid excess costs, keep your eyes peeled for great bargains, and put your mind to a little DIY, you’re wedding invitations will look like a million bucks without the hefty price tag.