Budget Wedding Planning: Part 1 - Invitations

As you may or may not know, I recently got married! We had a super small, yet special, day with our immediate families, partially because we just can't afford the "average" wedding that costs as much as a brand new car. We'd rather save for a downpayment on a house.

Over the next few weeks (or months, who knows how long I'll be able to go on about this...) I want to share some of my experiences in wedding planning with you! How we added special touches to our day, and how we cut corners in certain areas.

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Today's topic is invitations. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have a secret Pinterest board dedicated to invitation ideas, and that I never went to those websites where you can order beautiful stationery sets. However, these can cost a pretty penny. For an envelope and one card to go inside it, you could easily be looking at $2 per invitation, not including postage. Then you can add on things like RSVP cards and envelopes (and more postage), direction cards, reception cards, etc., or go for a fancy foil-pressed look or nice paper, which can be more than $10 per card. If you're sending out 100 invitations, that's $200-$1200, NOT INCLUDING POSTAGE. And many of these sites offer addressing services, or you could hire a calligrapher... basically you could spend a small fortune on paper that someone may or may not keep after your wedding.

Want to know how much we paid for our invitations total, including postage? Less than $150, and we sent out nearly 140 invitations. That's just over a dollar per invite, and I'm pretty proud of that!

Personal info is blurred - I love you all, but can't have you crashing anything ;) Also, how lucky did we get that the post office had cute heart stamps on hand??

Personal info is blurred - I love you all, but can't have you crashing anything ;) Also, how lucky did we get that the post office had cute heart stamps on hand??

So how did we save so much on this part of our wedding costs? Each envelope contained a picture and a postcard sized card. Each picture cost 10¢ (Walgreens was having a sale on 4x6 prints), each postcard was less than 5¢ (black and white sheet of 4 from Staples is 19¢, and we cut them ourselves), each envelope was 24¢, and a stamp is 49¢. Add tax and the fact that we bought several silver sharpies to address them (I hand addressed each envelope) and you've got just over a dollar per invite. We opted to skip RSVP cards and just directed everyone to our (free) wedding website to respond and to view more details.

I know that they don't look as professional or perfect as they do coming from one of the awesome wedding stationery websites. Believe me, I read a lot about how to save money on invitations, and I disregarded some of the etiquette suggestions I wish I could have listened to to help our wallet out a little. However, I got to design them myself (Photoshop, free fonts, and free clipart!), and we included just enough that maybe some people will want to keep them for posterity, and if they don't, I don't feel as if too much money was wasted.

Stay tuned for more ways we saved some money on our wedding!