Hello again, lovely brides-to-be! (Or not; I totally had a Pinterest board full of wedding ideas years before I got engaged) I have spent the last few weeks compiling all of the budget wedding stationery pieces for our invitations, and now that they’ve finally been sent off to our guests, I’m ready to share my tips and tricks for saving money without skimping on quality.
Budget wedding stationery is one of the easier areas to cut a little money off your wedding total. Even though there are a few different pieces that you’ll need from start to finish of your wedding planning, it’s not difficult to save some dough with a little creativity and a lot of promo codes!
Save the Dates
I love our save the dates, and being completely honest with you, they turned out a lot better than I thought they would! I had never done anything like this before, so I assumed that nothing I created could look as good what the professionals do, right? WRONG!
Using a photo taken during our very low-key engagement session, I created a design (my photographer edited in the cool Peter Pan shadow effect! All I had to do was ask!), and we slapped it on a postcard. I used Gimp, a free software that’s similar to Photoshop, and Microsoft Publisher to create a template based on the postcard dimensions on Vistaprint.
Why did I use Vistaprint?
1) Before you complete your order, you have the option to generate a PDF proof of your item, which gives you a real idea of the quality of your images, text, etc.
2) If you sign up for emails, you can receive tons of promo codes! When I bought my postcards, I used a $10 off coupon, and for the invitations, I got 33% off of my entire order and saved nearly $70!
Why did I send postcards?
1) They’re novel and adorable, and you don’t need too much information on a save the date anyway.
2) The postage necessary to mail a regular-sized postcard is 34¢ as opposed to the 49¢ required for a letter.
Want to save even more money? Send electronic save the dates! We live in the 21st century; I don’t care what your mother says about it. 🙂
With my regular invitations, I also pieced together my own design from various inspirational pins, had them printed by Vistaprint, and used the plain, white envelopes that came with them. Instead of messing with reply cards, stamped envelopes for the reply cards, and other inserts, I made simple little business cards telling guests that they could RSVP and check out necessary information on our wedding website.
Initially, I had planned to purchase outer envelopes, which would let me use the formal name on the outside and the names of the individuals invited (John and Beverly, Tony & Guest) on the inside envelope. However, it was just going to be too expensive to justify. So what did I do? What anyone in crisis would do. I went to Hobby Lobby!
That’s where I found the (inexpensive) twine and the (inexpensive) gift tags that I used to wrap the two pieces of stationery together and tag it with the specific names of those who were invited. Gotta keep that guest list down…
Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside of the box! Maybe something different would match your theme better than a run-of-the-mill inside envelope.
Speaking of being different, if your handwriting is decent or dare I say pretty and flowing, do not even think of paying someone $2 an envelope to address them in calligraphy! It’s insane. I know what you’re thinking; I thought the same things. But today’s calligraphy is leaning toward the modern style anyway, so buy yourself a (pointed nib) calligraphy pen and go to town! I scoured Pinterest until I (okay, fine, my mom) found a style of writing that I liked, and I emulated it while adding my own little flounces and flairs.
The other thing that I did was less of a budget saver and more of a Godsend for my sanity! I went to Grandin Road and ordered a custom embosser with our return address on it. It looks nice, we can use it after the wedding, and I didn’t even have to do the embossing. The fiancé was more than happy to have that be his one, difficult-to-mess-up task in all the invitation chaos!
And yes, we did send a wedding invitation to Mickey and Minnie Mouse! I’m not kidding about my love of all things Disney. Just check out the ABC’s of Me!
Thank You Notes
Surprise! I used an embosser for these, too. I bought simple standard-sized note cards from Paper Source (these ones in sage green!), embossed my new last initial in the bottom right-hand corner with this little baby, and stuffed them in cream-colored envelopes that I stumbled upon at Wal-mart!
They were cheaper than any “wedding” note cards or even standard “thank you” note cards, and I can continue to use them after the wedding for whatever I need.