Blame it on Pinterest, but now that you have your heart set on luxe wedding invites there's really no turning back. So what's a design-obsessed bride to do when she's got champagne taste on a beer budget? For starters, don't write these crafty, cost-cutting ideas off! Here's how to push the envelope with your wedding invitations without completely blowing your budget in the process.
1. Print the invitations yourself
If you love the look of custom wedding invitations but can't exactly justify the cost, consider having someone design them for you and then send over the digital files for you to print yourself, Tom Hart, designer and co-founder of Jolly Edition advises. "While we offer high quality printing on 100% recycled cards, we often work with international clients who want to print them locally," he says. "This can be a big time and budget saver and has, on occasion, been the difference between us getting to work with clients within their budget."
2. Make the most of space
According to Kate Pickett, founder of Pickett's Press, one of the easiest ways to save money is to forgo as many separate printed pieces as possible. "For instance, we find that a reception card is no longer necessary, as that information is easily accommodated on the invitation itself," she explains. "The accommodation information can also be put on a website instead of sent on a printed piece of paper."
3. Try partial customization
Designing custom stationery from scratch may be out of your budget, but that doesn't mean you can't put a personal touch on your wedding invitations. For example, with any of Jolly Edition's stationery suites, clients can buy a number of prints and with custom additions, such as hand lettering, monograms, a simple portrait or a detailed map for a destination wedding. Talk to your stationer to find a fun way (or ways) to make pre-made invitations your own at a price that won't make your eyes pop right out of your head.
4. Skip the calligraphy
Although calligraphy is a beautiful embellishment to stationery, it can quickly eat up your paper budget, easily tacking hundreds of dollars, notes Hart. "Printing addresses on envelopes costs a fraction of the price and still retains all the personality of each suite. There's often less waste in the process too, which saves the client money to use elsewhere."
5. Pick RSVP postcards
Put a couple hundred dollars back in your pocket simply by opting for RSVP postcards. Not only are they more economical for stationers to supply (no extra envelopes, yay!), but they're also more affordable for you to mail out (think of the savings on stamps). "With the hundreds of RSVP cards we typically provide for our projects, this can really add up to hundreds of dollars saved," says Hart. Another idea? Have your guests RSVP online via your wedding website.
6. Purchase all your stationary from the same vendor
Package deals can definitely help bring down the price of invitations! As Hart points out, stationers are typically able to offer their clients much better bargains if they buy all their paper products from the same place rather than getting their menus, table numbers, programs, and more made elsewhere.
7. Splurge on invitations and save elsewhere
A little compromise never hurt a budget bride, right? To get the most bang for your buck, Pickett recommends focusing on the exquisite printing of your invitation suite, be it letterpress or engraved, and then having other items, like your ceremony programs, escort cards and menu cards, digitally or flat printed. "This is far less expensive since it doesn't include handmade plates or hand inked presses," she notes.