Wedding stationery can end up being a large cost component in a wedding. On average, invitations alone can cost $659. If you add on other stationery like reply cards, save-the-dates, ceremony programs, seating cards, menu cards and thank you cards, costs can rise an additional $200. Here are some ideas for affordable wedding invitations.
Check out my video on affordable wedding invitations below or read more for some tips and ideas:
- Go paperless.
You can save a lot of money here on paper, printing, envelopes and postage by going paperless. There are quite a number of elegant online invite providers such as Paperless Post, ModernDay Invite and others which you can use to still send a stylish but affordable wedding invitation to your guests.
- Reduce the number of paper invites you send.
Since wedding invitation costs are driven by the quantity that you need to send, consider going paperless for the majority of your guests and send paper invitations to those that really need it. Maybe your parent’s friends or relatives must receive paper invitations to feel they are really invited. By reducing your list of paper invitation recipients, you can have more affordable wedding invitations.
- Use a postcard or website for responses.
To save money on the response card, you could instead direct your guests to a wedding website. This website will have all the latest information about the wedding and be a good resource for your guests anyway. Another way to save money on response cards is to use a one page postcard. Postage will be less and it will be simple for your guests to drop in the mail. Going this route will help you achieve affordable wedding invitations.
- Skip the extras.
There are many different extras that you can order when buying your wedding invitations. Reduce the amount of paper and skip ordering separate reception cards. You can instead just print the words “Reception to Follow” on the invitation at the bottom. This could help save upwards of 15%. Another item to consider skipping is envelope linings.
- Print your own.
There are many inexpensive wedding invitation kits which you can purchase to print your own wedding invitations. These kits come with invites, envelopes and response cards. If you have a color ink-jet printer, these invites can look quite nice. In addition to printing your invites, you can also make your own programs, seating cards and menu cards.
- Buy your invitations from a “mom and pop” shop.
There are a number of businesses that work from home-based offices and they are able to provide quality invitations at a price less than full service stationary shops. Since they have low fixed costs, they can usually offer pricing that is 10 to 20% less than full service shops.
- Use thermography instead of engraving.
Engraving is the traditional way of printing invitations. With engraving, a metal plate is etched with your type and your design. These etchings are filled with ink and forced against a die to lift the ink out of the plate. This results in a raised image on paper. The paper will have an impression on the back side.Thermography is a newer printing technique which results in printing similar to engraving. A powder is sprinkled over ink while the ink is still wet. The printed material is then heated so the powder melts to fuse with the ink. This process results in a raised surface. This newer process is much less expensive than using engraving! The only difference is there will be no indent on the back side of the paper. And you can use many more colors and fonts. Consider using thermography for affordable wedding invitations.
- Order a stamp or embosser with your return address.
Instead of having the printer print your return address on your envelopes, instead order a nice stamp from Etsy or an embosser. Use this to stamp your envelopes with your address. This could result in huge savings and help you send affordable wedding invitations.
- Use a normal sized invitation.
Some invitations end up being what is considered oversized by the U.S. Post Office. In those situations, you will need to pay more postage. Also, if you end up with more extras like response cards, response card envelopes, etc., you may increase the weight of the invitation which will also result in higher postage. Keep it simple and stick with a size that is less than one ounce and not oversized to save money and keep your budget for affordable wedding invitations down.
- Use only one color.
Instead of using multiple colors on your paper printed invitations, consider using only a monochrome color scheme. Adding another color can make the price of an invitation go up by 50% or more. Instead, use shades of the same color in lighter and darker tones to get a nice effect for affordable wedding invitations at half the cost.