I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of paper products. Does that sounds weird? The weight and texture of heavy papers, the colors of envelopes, and don’t even get me started on foil printing! Needless to say, I always look forward to receiving wedding invitations in the mail, but I enjoy making invitations even more. I’m a firm believer that invitations can look and feel expensive without actually being expensive. After two rounds of low-cost DIY wedding invitations, I’ve come up with a few tips for keeping your invites affordable. Whether you are completely DIYing your invitations or ordering them online, every couple can easily save money on certain aspects.
- Watch your weight (and shape)! In order to use one standard US postage stamp (currently $0.49), your entire invitation suite must be flat, rectangular, and weigh less than or equal to 1 oz. This weight includes postage. Additional ounces or non-standard shapes (including square) will cost another $0.21. This doesn’t sound like a lot, however, costs add up when you’re sending out 100 invitations. Trust me when I say, extra postage is not where you want to be spending your wedding budget. Be sure to take your final invitation suite to the post office for an official weight to ensure deliverability.
- Skip the Traditional RSVP. Your mother may say you need a pre-addressed and stamped envelope to receive RSVPs, but Mom, this is 2017! More and more couples are choosing electronic RSVPs. Your Mom may call it “tacky” until she sees that you can use a tool like RSVPify that can be seamlessly embedded into your wedding website. You’ll also have built in tools to organize the data you collect! (I love me some organized data!) On the other hand, if you like the tradition and enjoy the idea of getting a lot of mail, pare down your RSVP to a postcard. A postcard will have all the same information, but will save you money on envelopes and postage (postcards are $0.15 cheaper, but let me repeat, these costs add up). Skipping the envelope will also help save on weight for Tip #1!
- Utilize your website. Yes, yes, the story of how you two met is nice and all, but your wedding website should primarily be a source of important details, not just engagement photos. Save space by putting necessary information here, in lieu of in your invitation suite. This can include driving directions, dress code requests, hotel room blocks, things to do in the area, and registry details. Save yourself the printing cost and extra weight of another piece of paper in your invitation suite by making that (free) wedding website work for you.
- Spellcheck! This may seem like a no brainer, but it is in your best interest to have yourself, your fiancee, your parents and every person in your wedding party proofread every word on your invitation before printing. Best case: You save yourself from an embarrassing error you hope no one will notice. Worst case: you save yourself from an expensive reprint. Note: the word accommodations has two C’s and two M’s. Also note: Photoshop does not have a spellchecker. Don’t ask me how I know these things…
- Gather up some help and DIY some of it. DIY may not be your thing, and the thought of taking on an entire invitation suite can be daunting to even the most dedicated DIYers. However, no one said you had to DIY the whole thing, and you certainly don’t have to do it alone. Take advantage of all the random people that want to help with wedding stuff! So what aspects can anyone DIY? Maybe you’re ordering the digital files and finishing them at your local print shop. Maybe you’re borrowing your office’s paper cutter to cut invites and make your own enclosures. Maybe you’re working on your penmanship and addressing them yourself. These are all aspects that will save you money in the end by taking a little time to gather your neighbor, your coworker, and the groomsman’s girlfriend for a cutting, stuffing, stamping party. With champagne, of course!
- Give yourself plenty of time. Whether your DIYing or not, the most expensive way to go about invitations is rush ordering. You’re likely to pay 3x the price. Invites should be sent out 8 weeks prior to your wedding; plan on having completed invitations in hand and ready for addressing 2 weeks before that. Depending on your method, look at a calendar and count back accordingly. Staples can print in a day; Minted, not so much.
- Find a free template. You do not need to be a pro at Photoshop to DIY your invitations. There are lots of free templates online in tons of styles, where the only skill required is typing in your information. Are they as customizable as sites, such as Minted? No. But the digital files will be free for you to print, either at home or at your local print shop. Not paying for the design of your wedding invitations is a huge win. Want to start looking for free templates right now? Check out our dedicated Pinterest board!
There you have our 7 tips for keeping your wedding invitations affordable. DIY brides, do you have any others to share? Let us know!