As promised, I'm back with a "details" update about our wedding. First up, the very first thing that set the tone for our wedding - our invitations! I had a very specific vision for our invites from the beginning - I wanted them to be bright, colorful, informal and attention grabbing. When looking online for invitation vendors, I realized two things: 1) Holy crap, wedding invitations ar expensive, and 2) I could make these and save a ton.
So that's what I did.
I designed our invitations in Photoshop Elements. One Sunday afternoon, I found myself feeling a little bored, so I thought I'd sit down and sketch out some ideas for the invitations. Three hours later, I had the entire invitation suite - invite, response cards and information card - completely finished. I was satisfied with everything, so I didn't make any more edits after that three-hour design session. I never expected it to go so quickly!
Although not pictured above, I created two different response cards - one for those sending their RSVPs via mail, and another for those RSVPing online. On our wedding web site, I created an online form for more tech-savvy guests to RSVP (which, by the way, may have been one of the best decisions I made in my entire wedding-planning process), and made separate response cards for those who may prefer the more traditional form of RSVPing. This method saved so much money in the long run on extra postage and response-card envelopes.
I briefly toyed around with the idea of printing the invites myself, but realized the cost of buying enough printer ink to do it myself would negate any savings from paying a printer to do it for me. After shopping around for online printing prices, and reading a handful of reviews, I settled on using CatPrint.com to print the majority of all our printed materials. by all accounts, they are affordable, quick, easy to work with, with great quality.... which was exactly what I experienced in working with them. I was able to choose custom sizes, the paper weight and texture I wanted (Heavy linen cardstock), and was able to order proofs of my entire order before finalizing everything. My proofs came within a week or so, and I noticed things were just a little too close to the crop line than I wanted, so I went back on Cat Print's site, submitted new materials, was satisfied with them and ordered!
My full order arrived at our doorstep in about two weeks or so. The quality was beautiful, and the colors were spot-on - just what I wanted!
Next came the decision of how I wanted to package it all together. I loved the idea of tying the invites with a little special tag, so I grabbed a heart-shaped punch I already had, and literally just used two grocery bags we had stashed away to make the "e + r" heart tags. I sat down one night while watching TV and punched out more than enough hearts in about a half hour. Then, I hand-stamped each one with the "e + r" motif. The process went a lot faster than I thought it would!
I got together with my mom, Matron of Honor and one of my bridesmaids one Saturday afternoon and we made an assembly line to put all the invites together. We tied the invites together with yellow and teal baker's twine, and added the little heart tags before stuffing the envelopes. Then off they went!
I loved our little invites - informal and fun, with lots of color and personality. I got a lot of compliments on them, people saying how cute they were, which meant so much having designed them myself! As I always feel before literally every project I make, there's always a tinge of worry that what I've made isn't as good as I think it is. I wrestle with doubt constantly, but hearing how much people liked the invites put a lot fo that doubt at ease for me. In the end I was really pleased with the way they turned out!
For any brides-to-be, or anyone who is looking to make invites on a budget, I thought I'd expand a bit on pricing for the invites, below.
I ordered 120 invitations, 120 information cards, 80 online RSVP cards and 40 traditional RSVP cards. They were all ordered on white, heavy linen card stock. The total for this entire order was $171.48. A steal, as I had budgeted nearly twice that amount for invites alone. Score! It pays to shop around, my friends. Wedding Paper Divas and Minted are both BEAUTIFUL sources for wedding invitation suites, but they are pricey. If you're good with design, or have a friend who is, it's so much better to design your own and print them through a cost-effective online source.
As for the kraft-paper envelopes and response card envelopes, I purchased those from paperandmore.com, which is a great resource for affordable envelopes and invitation materials in all sorts of colors, sizes and styles. For 150 A-7 envelopes and 50 4-bar envelopes (for response cards), I spent a total of $48.37.
I had two huge rolls of baker's twine (in yellow and teal) to tie everything up, for which I paid $5 each. However, we only used about a tenth of the roll, at most, so that barely plays into the total cost of the invites. As for the heart-shaped tags, those were FREE, as I mentioned I just used old grocery bags and some alphabet stamps I already had on hand.
Any questions about the invites? Let me know! I love share money-saving tips and experiences, so don't heistate in asking!