Planning a wedding on a budget requires creativity to ensure that you save money as much as possible, while still achieving a beautiful wedding. One area for potential savings is with your invitations. While professionally printed invitations, reception cards, and reply cards will usually cost you at least $3 each plus postage, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost!
Do some research:
Start by looking at pictures of wedding invitations online for inspiration. When I did this, I found that one of my favorite styles was layering, with a sheet of white or off-white paper glued or tied with ribbon to a sheet of card stock of a different color. This style is simple to create on a tight budget that still looks elegant.
Craft stores and other retail outlets should have a variety of specialized cardstock that will suit your needs. Try shopping online for your papers, you can find really great deals and online coupons that might not be available in store. Purchase colored card stock in the color you want for the back of your invitation and cut it to a size that fits in the envelopes you want to use for the invitations.
Get great tools:
A good paper cutter really helps with this process. If you don't have one, you can usually find them available for use at copy shops. If you need to order it, be sure to check shipping quotes so that your overall cost still fits into your budget.
Design and Layout:
Format the text of your invitation to fit on a page ½-1″ smaller in each dimension than your large pieces of card stock. (For example, your cardstock pieces might be 4″ x 6″ and your smaller paper might be 3″ x 5″.) The paper for this part should be more delicate and fancy. Once you have the text right, print a test invitation to see how it looks on the paper and cut it down to the right size. A basic laser printer at home is the easiest and least expensive way to print invitations, but you can have them done at a copy shop if you need to.
In addition to the invitation, you will probably need to create a reception card as well. This card, usually about half the size of your invitation, tells your guests where the reception is taking place. You can also include hotel information or a wedding website on the reception card, which you should print on paper that coordinates with the main invitation.
Don't forget the RSVP:
Many couples include RSVP cards in their invitations, but this is an added cost because of the cards and envelopes, especially if you pre-stamp the envelopes. One alternative is setting up a free wedding website where guests can RSVP online. Just say “RSVP at www.weddingwebsite.com” on your reception card. Alternately, give an RSVP phone number or email address.
The last step is to create an assembly line to put together your invitations. A piece of double-sided tape across the top of your page with text is the easiest way to hold it to the colored card stock. Another idea is to punch two holes through both layers of the invitation, near the top, thread a piece of ribbon through and tie it in a bow on the front. Stuff your envelopes, stamp and address them, and you are ready to go!
Mailing and postage:
One final consideration before digging in on your project is the cost of mailing your invitations. Before finalizing the paper, envelopes and contents of your homemade invitations, take a completed test invitation to the post office to see how much it will cost to mail. If your invitation weighs more than one ounce, you will have to pay an extra 20 cents in postage to mail each one. While 66 cents in postage doesn't seem like a lot, it can quickly add up, particularly if you're planning a big wedding.
If you're willing to invest the time and energy into DIYing your wedding invites it really can save you a good bit of money! Best of luck in your wedding planning!
Maire enjoys DIY craft projects, especially those that allow her to use up the surplus of scrapbooking paper given to her over the years. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, making toffee, and going for walks with her Scottish Terrier, Pete.