Save the dates, invitations or thank you cards were not something Kevin and I wanted to allocate a lot of our budget towards because let’s be honest, while some cards are beautiful, 99 percent of them end up thrown in the trash. Plus, it’s just an invitation! Sure, it sets the tone for your wedding, blah, blah, blah, but there are ways to make invitations look perty without spending a fortune.
Save the Dates
It helps that one of my best friends goes to the Art Institute of Chicago and has an eye for design. I browsed Wedding Paper Divas and Minted for designs and styles I liked, and sent them to her. A few emails and revisions later, she came up with a great Save the Date for us! We printed them as postcards (cheaper postage!) using Vista Print and upgraded to the matte paper because I have a thing against glossy paper.
(I blurred out the 1 in the top left corner because our address was printed there.)
Jackie also helped me with invitations by coming up with the first design after I sent her some invitations that I found online that I loved. I tweaked it a bit and made some additional revisions on my own until I ended up with an invitation that Kevin and I both loved. In our “invitation suite” (that sounds so stuck-up, doesn’t it?), we included an invitation, reception card since our reception was held at a different location than the ceremony, a response card with an addressed and stamped envelope and a little card that included our wedding website. We also printed these using Vista Print, again upgrading paper quality to the heavier-weighted matte paper.
When they arrived, I noticed that the color was a bit off so I called to complain, and they rushed a new order to me with no questions asked. When the second batch arrived, it was better but still not as perfect as I was hoping. Kevin reminded me, “these will end up in everyone’s trash cans – let’s just send them” so we did! I don’t think anyone noticed (I know this because I asked like 25 different people if they did.)
We purchased this return address stamp from Etsy and I found the silver ink for it at Michaels. I ordered A7 envelopes separately through envelopes.com because I really wanted navy envelopes since one complaint about Vista Print is that their envelopes are completely see through.
Invitation: This was printed on a 5×7-sized matte paper.
Reception card: Printed on 5.5×4-size matte paper
Response card: Printed on 5.5×4-sized matte paper. It was hilarious reading these when they came back. Almost everyone filled them out differently. Some people forgot to put their names. Some people put the number of guests in the box. Some people checked the box. I also had roughly 12 people text me and ask what the “M” is for. I guess I could have left that out since we avoided some of the other traditional invitation annoyances like having both an inner and outer envelope.
Enclosure: This was printed as a business card, on matte paper.
You guessed it! We designed these using the same style as our invitations and ordered them through Vista Print. Their Groupons are too good to pass up and the quality is just fine. I printed these on folded notecards with a matte finish and stuck them in the white envelopes they came with.
And there you have it! I never did the exact, down-to-the-cent math, but I know we saved more than $400 by designing our own invitations (with Jackie’s help!) and printing using Vista Print, rather than going with a company like Wedding Paper Divas. Day-um! That’s my kind of savings.
Note: if you don’t have an awesome friend who goes to the Art Institute of Chicago, I’d suggest asking a local college student who is taking design classes! Most students are happy to jump at the chance to add work to their portfolio, and a little extra cash never hurt anybody.