As I finish off my last bottle of Syrah and wait for G to finish leading his youth group, I am in a slightly better mood than when I arrived home this afternoon. I came home after a typical work day to find a sweet little gift on my front step. The gift, lovingly given by Mr. Postman, was a carton full of G’s and my wedding invitations — the invitations we had hand-crafted and dropped into the mail only two days prior. To accentuate the package, a handwritten sign was taped to the carton as well which read, “$0.21 needed on each due to enclosure.” It made me grimace…
And face-palm myself.
Now, to our defense, G and I did take a sample of our invitation to the post office when we bought postage. We tried to think ahead! This was to weigh the invite and purchase the correct amount of stamps necessary to mail. I am to blame for not including a piece of twine and paper doily to the mix though. So for any other bride-to-be out there, take your entire invitation package with you to the USPS when considering postage pricing.
I;m going to warn you: postage in itself is quite pricey, and also something I am not familiar with — I’ve never actually bought stamps before wedding planning. On top of the additional 21 cents now needed for our invites, the original postage cost was 50 cents per envelope. We opted to also provide postage for our return RSVP envelopes, so our grand total in postage was a hefty $120 (12 books of 20 stamps each, covering postage on 120 invitations and 120 RSVP envelopes.)
If those postage prices make you cringe, I urge you to stop reading now as our actual discussion today on invitations as a whole will leave you in the fetal position.
Well let’s dive on in then…
One recurring theme in all my planning posts has been that G and I are attempting to cut costs at every corner while maintaining a fun, modern, and fashionable wedding. That means we want the majority of today’s wedding must-haves while also keeping a few dollars in our bank accounts since a large portion of the budget is coming from our pockets. This has not been an easy course as anything with the word “wedding” attached is priced high.
When it came to our invitations, I didn’t know much about stationary. I did know the theme I wanted them to have though: romantic and rustic.
By searching the multitude of websites boasting beautiful invitation designs available, I found the “funky names” invite on Minted and fell in love with its simplicity.
Cute scrawled letters and easy-to-read information on kraft paper was exactly what I was looking for! And with Minted, all the necessities (envelopes, RSVPs, details cards, etc.) are available with the same design. It seemed like a perfect match for #SlackTieEvent!
As I began to input some numbers for budgeting’s sake, though, I quickly found my love melting away. For a guest list of 250 loved ones, we needed about 125 invitations. With “funky names” this meant that a flat card in kraft paper would come to $2.15 each. That made for a hefty price of $269.
This is not including any additives. Our guest list has a vast millennial deficit to it, meaning many of our guests would not be privy to online RSVPing. Since we kind of need to know a body count for food’s sake, this meant we needed RSVP cards. Add those little beauties to the package and you’re looking at an additional $172.
Then there is the necessary Reception — to remind guests that YES there is a party after the ceremony — and Direction cards for numerous out-of-town guests, and you’re looking at an additional $187 for each type. Since I also was wanting a bit of embellishment to the invites, I also threw in belly bands for an extra kick bringing my grand total for invitations to $886.
I could think of a whole lotta other things I’d rather spend that money on than some pieces of paper. So I started thinking of thriftier options…
It so happened that while I was searching for less expensive stationary, I came across a Pinterest board pointing me to the quaint little Etsy shop VineWedding. And all my hopes and dreams were answered by the click of a button!
VineWedding, as well as many other Etsy shops, provide all-inclusive, printable invitation templates. This means you could purchase a pre-designed invite to edit and print on your own. I am all about supporting artists on Etsy, and VineWedding had some of the most adorable templates imaginable! Plus, I could buy an invitation, detail card, RSVP, and small embellishments for the very-welcomed price of only $12.00. (My invitation choice has actually gone up in price to $15.60, but that is because the shop now offers a range in sizes for the templates.)
Since G and I already opted to have our Save the Dates printed at a local printer and we were adamantly against paying over $800 for stationary, we were on board to do the same with our invites. I contacted the printer with a template of our needed invites, and waited patiently for a response.
And we were so pleased with the results!
This is what we sought pricing on:
- 125 invitations with our ceremony information on the front and our additional details on the back on a “light brown” cardstock
- 125 ivory envelopes to fit these 5×7 invites
- 125 RSVP cards on ivory cardstock
- 125 RSVP ivory envelopes
Figuring we would print our own address labels, we did not utilize the printer’s offer to also address the envelopes. So, with those 500 pieces of stationary the printer came back with a quote of $149.57.
Thinking we were getting away with something, we jumped at approving the quote and sent our order to the printer.
Our order was ready within three days and the final product was nothing short of amazing.
To add even more spice to the invites, I used VineWedding’s suggested embellishments and went to my local craft store for a stamp, paper doilies, and twine. The shopping cart came to around $13.
So, instead of paying a (IMO ridiculous) fee of over $850, not including postage, G and I bought all our invitation supplies for a fraction of the price! And we could not have been more happy with our decision.
Not only were we able to edit the wording on our invitations to exactly what we wanted, but we also were able to add our own personal touch to the invites. The stamp I chose actually looked like a doily, and the twine with lace gave a rustic nudge to the otherwise classy feel of the stationary. Adding a few pops of rose, and our invites were better than we could ever have purchased on a premade invitation website.
The only aspect of buying online which was still appealing was the issue on time of putting the invites together. Luckily, we had an answer for that as well!
Two of our wonderful bridal party members joined us this past weekend for a “wedding work day.” The four of us were able to put all 125 invitations together in about four hours time. This meant cutting out our date tags, color stamping the RSVPs, labeling both invite and RSVP envelopes, stamping both envelopes, folding doilies around the invites, wrapping twine around the entire package, and stuffing and closing each envelope. It was quite the process, but the good company sure made the time go quickly! (A BIG thank you to those two awesome people!!)
Baddabing, baddaboom, our finished product:
Now, maybe doing this isn’t your forte/idea of fun/etc. That. Is. Totally. Fine. There are so many options out there in regards to invitations, that I know you can find something to fit your needs and your budget. Fortunately for G and I, we found what we wanted on the second try.
If you do go another route, I would love to know what it is! What are some other options you’ve found to be savvy with your stationary dollars while wedding planning? Please feel free to leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @uncorkingpeonies. I would love to hear from you!
Until next time, friends,