Invitations are (with the exception of Save the Dates) your guest’s very first impression of your wedding or event. Everybody wants beautiful invitations. Something special, different, unique, and (perhaps most importantly) a reflection of the what you hope your wedding day (or shower, or Sweet 16, or Anniversary) will look and feel like. That’s a tall order for stationary!! But there are a number of ways to accomplish the task without breaking the bank, and without sacrificing the gorgeous factor!
Today, I’m going to tell you the single most affordable way to produce wedding invites (and, no, it’s not an e-vite—’cause, don’t you dare!).
So, I’m totally guilty of spending a decent amount of money on my wedding invitations. You only get married once, right! Or, twice (if you’re my husband). Wink. It’s perfectly OK to spend for gorgeous invitations, ones with all the bells and whistles. My favorite wedding invitation designers are Beacon Lane. They are a small design shop located in Chicago. They specialize in rustic-chic. Their work is stunning, and their customer service was to die for! Their prices are moderate, but there were ways I found to save money with them. They had specials, and I paid attention to them by liking them on social media, following them on Instagram. It’s a great way to take advantage of a sale. After all, you can’t take advantage of a sale if you don’t know that one is happening!
Here are my final invites. I still love them. I saved money by printing my envelopes myself. I saved money by ordering my matching thank you notes at the same time. I saved a lot of money by scaling my dream invite down from a boxed invite with a flower enclosed (yea, seriously, they make them and they are gooooooooorgeous!!!!) Photo credit: Idalia Photography
I love Beacon Lane’s designs so much that I also used them for a styled shoot last spring. Here’s a sneak peek, of their boxed invites. I also used them in a DIY tutorial on how to line invitation envelopes, check it out here.
But there are ways to create beautiful invitations without spending close to $4.75 per invite (that’s what mine were before postage). The boxed version is around $10 per invitation. I love to recommend Beacon Lane to my brides who are looking for the gorgeous factor with out any of the work (they assemble everything, all you have to do is address, stuff and stamp!). One thing you must consider when trying to save money is that you will have to do a lot of the assembly and work on your own. So there is a larger time factor. But here’s how to do it:
- Purchase a custom design off Etsy. You could even skip this step if you are artistic or handy with design software. But in this day and age, and by that, I mean the Etsy Day and Age (!!!) you do NOT have to! The cost of hiring a professional designer to customize invitation packages and send you high resolution files is sooooo affordable. And there are thousands to choose from, and once you begin customizing fonts, colors, and paper, the options are infinite.
- Print them yourself on a color printer, and cut them out yourself. This will cost you more or less when it comes to ink cartridges and time. It all depends on the number of invitations you would like to print. I helped one of my brides with her inkjet invites and it took about 2 hours to print them on her personal inkjet printer. OR, if you want to spend a little more money, but less time, upload the finished design to Staples and let them print it. You will have less control over paper, but it’s so easy. You upload, and pick everything up from the print desk at your local Staples within 24 hours. I’ve done this a number of times (for shower invites and holiday cards). This ends up costing about $1 per card (the costs goes down as the number you print goes up). It also includes a plain white envelope—one which you can easily “fancy” up with a beautiful postage stamp, wax seal, or envelope liner. And everything looks fancier with calligraphy. If you’re not going to hire a calligrapher (they charge anywhere from $2-4 per invite to letter), you can print with most household printers directly onto your envelopes to create a calligraphy “look” by downloading free fonts. I like to use dafont.com.
- Order fancy paper and envelopes from Paper Jam. They have an enormous selection of paper and envelopes. Keep in mind, if you are going to print your own envelopes, you will need to choose an envelope color that ink will show up on (remember household printers don’t have white ink). If you have your heart set on a color envelope, you can always address they envelopes on your own (or hire a calligrapher) just order about 20% more envelopes to cover you for mistakes.
- Extras that increase the pretty-factor without costing a ton
- Wax seals
- DIY envelope liners
- Custom stamps: You can order one off Etsy and get a white or metallic ink pad to stamp it with on a colored envelope. I would highly recommend ordering a custom return address to use on your RSVP envelope. This way it can “live on” after the wedding. You can stamp the return address onto all your future correspondence (like thank you notes and holiday cards).
How affordably can you create wedding invitations? I just worked with a bride and we DIY’d the heck out the wedding invites. We ended up creating 175 invitations for less than $250. That’s not bad and doesn’t include the postage (do not forget to budget for the postage).
But if figuring it all out seems like a headache, just let me know! I’d be more than happy to walk you through the process!