Wedding invitations are a lot like houses: the more bells and whistles you want, the higher the price tag is going to be. But by paring back your list of must-have features and investigating lower-priced alternatives that still look phenomenal, you can honor your budget and your aesthetic and still have a thoroughly memorable big day.
1. Go in with a plan
You'd be amazed how often people pick out their wedding invitations, customize the design, place the order and then realize the colors don't fit their theme or they don't love the font they chose after all. Life happens, and so do changes, but reprints that aren't due to a supplier error generally cost the same as a brand-new order. Before you sign off on your mock-ups, be 100% that you love everything.
- Color scheme
- Everything else
Do you just like your invitation, or do you love it? Will you love it just as much in 10 or 15 years (assuming you'll frame it, of course)? Does it align with the other plans you have for your wedding? Are the elements you chose legible enough for even your Granny Margaret to read? If you're not quite sure, consider waiting a bit to see how you feel before committing to your order. You can also request a free sample of your wedding invitation so you can gauge the final results in person before going all in.
2. Proofread, proofread, proofread
Typos happen, but when they happen to your wedding invitations, it can lead to major chaos.
Imagine how awful it would feel to realize you listed your soon-to-be mother-in-law's name as "Pitty" when it's really "Patty." Or what if you send out all 350 invitations only to realize after the fact that you have your venue's address listed incorrectly. Typos happen, but when they happen to your wedding invitations, it can lead to major chaos.
Triple check your invite for errors before signing off. It can be helpful to read the text aloud, and even better if you can have another person look everything over to confirm the details are correct.
3. Be flexible
While it's important to have some kind of idea of what you want for your invitation, being too rigid could mean setting yourself up for disappointment. It's not uncommon for couples to end up with wedding elements that aren't exactly what was originally envisioned. Perhaps the teal-and-purple wedding theme she's always wanted started to feel more mermaid-y than it did on that wedding inspiration board you saw. Maybe the live sushi-making demonstration seemed like a great reminder of your trip to Japan, but the logistics make it more trouble than it's worth.
The same idea applies to your invitations. Just because you once saw pearlized paper and loved it doesn't mean it's the only paper you can use for your invites. One of the best things about using an online invitation stationery store to create your personalized wedding goodies is that you have the freedom to play around with your design a little bit.
Look at different invitation designs, even if you like the first one you click on. Swap out fonts to see how they fit. Try out different photos, too. You may be surprised what you end up saying "I do" to!
4. Opt for frill-free paper
Luxury stationery is thicker, smoother, and can feel almost like fabric. It also tends to cost more, as do most pearl-finished options and other non-matte reams. If you choose a printing company, like MagnetStreet, that uses premium paper for even the most basic jobs, you can rest assured your invitations will come across beautifully even if you don't upgrade.
5. Be mindful of metallic
You may love that sparkle but adding metallic foil to your wedding invitation will bump up the price as well as the style quotient. A touch of rose gold here, a shimmering silver border there — if you like them but wouldn't mind going without, skip this upgrade and funnel your money into something that really makes your heart go pitter-patter.
6. Keep the add-ons to a minimum
Wedding invitations can be as simple as a sheet of paper tucked into a matching envelope, or you can go all out with an invitation suite that includes RSVP postcards, enclosure cards, slender vellum bands, envelope lines, or guest and return addressing services. There's no true substitute for a paper invitation that doubles as a keepsake, but you may find you can come to terms with compromises, such as hand addressing the envelopes yourself to save.
7. Take RSVPs online
Asking for snail mail RSVPs may be traditional, but when was the last time your friends and family had to remember to take something to the mailbox or drop by the post office? With so many people doing everything from grocery shopping to paying bills online, it's no big deal to tack "RSVP to Reg & Carina's wedding" onto that list. Taking your wedding RSVPs online saves on both return mailers and extra postage, but make sure it's still easy for your guests to reply. Keep your wedding website URL simple, since guests will be typing it in, and make the print big enough for everyone to read. If you're concerned about keeping track of who's coming and who isn't, there are lots of apps for that!
8. DIY your embellishments
Bits of ribbon, strips of burlap, artificial vines, fabric swatches, or swaths of lace would look lovely wrapped around your invitation.
Just because you decide to skip the full-service frills doesn't mean you have to be all Plain Jane (unless that's the look you love, of course). If you're eager for a little something extra, take a look at your local craft store or pick through other bits of wedding décor to see what you could use to decorate your invites. Bits of ribbon, strips of burlap, artificial vines, fabric swatches, or swaths of lace would look lovely wrapped around your invitation — just make sure it will all fit in your envelope!
Here are a few more ideas:
- Use a personalized stamp to add your return address or a monogram on the back of the envelope
- Buy themed stickers to fasten the envelopes closed
- Stencil the inside of your envelopes or mimic a store-bought liner using wrapping paper
9. Stick with simple shapes
Uniquely shaped cards like the stunning scalloped-edge design in the Our New Date suite certainly make a statement, but veering away from traditional rectangular prints can add to your final invoice. If you're in love with the idea of a trendy shape that reflects your personality or theme, by all means go for it! You may find that the shape is so eye-catching you can forego other add-ons like gold foiling or bands and save money that way instead.
Invitations are important, but nothing takes precedence over your budget and well-being. There are plenty of ways to love your wedding stationery and the price tag that goes with it. Play around with your ideas, decide what's really essential, and see how quickly you fall in love with the finished product!