Adventures in DIY Cost-Saving Wedding Invitations

My health had gotten the best of me lately and it’s been rather difficult to get any of my DIY projects done. The list is rather lengthy, so I’ve been feeling the stress in more ways than one, and it finally seemed to come out in the form of my first wedding nightmare. The scene began really normal; set during our wedding rehearsal.  All of a sudden I felt rushed for time. Nobody was doing what they were supposed to be and things were going undone. The discomfort was enough to wake me briefly, but I fell right back asleep into the nightmare. Only this time, it was the wedding day. The panic was about stage 9 and I was having a full-on meltdown.  It was 45 minutes to show time and my makeup wasn’t done. I called out for my makeup artist (MUA) and Puff Daddy appeared with his handlers not far behind carrying makeup brushes insisting that he didn’t work before he had a few drinks—(BLANK STARE). It got even weirder from there, but I won’t bore you with all my foolishness. I’m chalking it up to all those Ciroc commercials that have inundated the television and apparently my consciousness.

One thing is for sure, it helped me get moving enough to finally break through the haze and get off my tush. As of today, I’m proud to report that my invitations are done and out the door. If it wasn’t clear before, I really enjoy print/visual projects. And it was really eating me up to not be able to get them done. I'm happy to say my quest to complete Cost-Saving Wedding Invitations was a success!

For starters, the invitation design was done long, LONG ago—even before our save the dates were finished. The biggest hang up was the RSVP information card. It was my decision to nix response cards in order to eliminate the costs of return postage and envelopes in favor of a live RSVP service. One of my best friends used a RSVP service where guests called and got a live agent to go over all the pertinent questions (i.e. meal choice, guest’s name). I was impressed by it and planned to use it for our guests that aren’t savvy enough to RSVP via our wedding website (which I LOVE btw). Well, that plan went bust when I called and discovered that the company no longer offers the service. I was SO bummed. I searched and searched but couldn’t find another service like it. Every other service offered a voicemail message system, where they’d compile the information and send it upon request. I wasn’t impressed and the cost was laughable. Why pay someone hundreds of dollars to do what can be easily done for free?

In what could be described as nothing short of a state of delirium, I found myself saying aloud, “Nice job Bianca, you now have another project.”

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I know what you’re thinking…I should probably suck it up and spend a little more money, huh? Well, I thought so too until I had a major breakthrough. A few months ago, my fellow budget blogger Abby, posted about ways Google can be helpful in wedding planning. And I happened to stumble upon another great use to add to the list—Google Voice. It turned out to be an incredibly awesome and VERY easy solution to my RSVP dilemma for a whopping $0.

All I did was sign up for a phone number and create a voicemail message for guests to RSVP through. In the message, we ask callers to leave their name and number, as well as, confirm their attendance (ceremony only, reception only, both or none) and meal choice (seared salmon, grilled chicken or vegetable lasagna). Using the default spreadsheet generated by our wedding website (which is our alternate RSVP option). As the calls come in, we can either answer them or wait for the voicemail messages to record the guest information. Google makes that easy by giving the option of listening to the message or reviewing a Google-generated transcript of the message. And every time a message is received, Google sends an email alert. The best part is that I’m not stuck with this task all by myself. I can route incoming calls to Sherrod and my sister/MOH who have graciously agreed to help manage the incoming data via Google Docs.  If you're interested in a more detailed description of this process, leave me a note in the comments section and I'll get to work on a tutorial and share the script we used.

This invitation project was all about saving money. And at a grand total of $225 (including postage), I’d say missioned accomplished. Here are a few more ways we saved on our invitation suite.

  • The design was made using free fonts I found on the web. Pinterest is full of ideas for fonts to use for wedding invitations. I picked fonts that best suited the elegant and modern feel we chose for our wedding.
  • I purchased the paper and envelopes from Paper and More. I am a BIG fan! I did very thorough research on the cost of paper and found their costs to be the lowest around. They offer a $3.99 flat-rate shipping rate no matter what you order or where you order from (in the U.S.). Even better than the low cost is the fantastic customer service.
  • Google also came in handy in creating a personalized map for our details insert. I wanted something clean and found a few helpful tutorials. This one is solid, and it was right up my alley since I don’t have Photoshop on my computer. It’s not a perfect map, but overall I’m happy with the results.
  • Last but not least, printing didn’t cost a thing…except a promise to my girlfriend that I would design her invitation suite. Done and DONE! This was an easy ASK because the project didn’t require many prints and I enjoy designing print projects. Every invitation and details card printed 2 per page; and the reply cards printed 4 per page. I did all the cutting myself.

Without further ado, here’s a preview of our invitation suite!

Our Cost-Saving Wedding Invitations

Cost-Saving Wedding Invitations

Slightly edited to protect sensitive information

Cost Breakdown

Paper: $148

I included links so you can see exactly what I used:

Adhesive: $10 (approx.)

Postage: $70

I made 150 cost-saving wedding invitation sets and still have plenty of paper left to make signs and cards. I loved the silver brushed paper so much that I purchased additional packages for our program covers.

Hopefully with this task out of the way, Puff Daddy won’t be making any recurring appearances as the MUA in my wedding dreams.  It's good to be back…

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