Article by Lillian Crouse
When I first started on road to planning a budget wedding, I was shocked by what I didn’t know about wedding stationary. Once I figured out how little I knew and how much it normally cost, I knew I had to do more research on budget stationary. I had only ever really seen invitations pinned on my future in law’s fridge and just showed up at the time I had been given. Not only was I surprised by the costs of single cards and envelopes, but a little concerned by the amount of varied bits and specks of paper we were expected to send out. In order to try and explain the need of these different bits, I’ve put together a brief discussion of different types of wedding stationary. Here is the first and most important section of that discussion: “What is a ‘Save the Date?”, and “What is supposed to be included in an invitation?”.
Save the date
Basically this is a courtesy and a convenience. If you have a lot of guests who will need to be traveling from out of state or out of town, they are going to need some time to make travel arrangements and to take time off of work. Sending a small card (we used post cards to save on postage) through the mail 8-6 months before your wedding, gives people information about location and dates for your wedding celebration, without you needing to make 200 phone calls to cousins, great aunts, and childhood best friends.
These can also be a first look for your wedding, so you can definitely look for something that can reflect the style of your wedding, but it’s not mandatory. It’s a ‘would be nice’. You can find beautifully elegant cards printed with gold foil, all the way down to a picture with simply the date printed in a blank space, you can even design your own picture using software like Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk Sketchbook. Look around for deals. Websites like Wedding Paper Divas are constantly sending out new coupons, making their pricing a lot more inviting and budget friendly. I’ve included the two I know are current right here on the page.
The invitations are the big guns, so to speak. This is where you are officially asking people to be a part of your big day, and most couples use this chance to reflect the style of their event as well as some of their own personality as a couple. Again affordability is going to be a concern, but luckily there are many options. Websites often have downloadable coupons; Etsy has a variety of print your own cards where if you have a printer and some card stock you are in business; even Michael’s has a variety of invitations available for quite reasonable prices. Invitations are usually sent out 2-3 months before the event, giving guests ample time to review the information and make a decision about their attendance.
Included with the invitation, it is expected to find some type of RSVP reply card. These cards provide an ability for the guest to provide you with an answer as to their attendance, dietary needs or even a request for a favorite song. The RSVP card gives you a way to tally the number of people who will be in attendance, in order to get a final count for a caterer or chair rental. Surprisingly these cards are often not included in the cost of the invitation itself, and must be purchased separately.
A potential great idea if you have a particularly tech savvy family is using online invitations and RSVP mailings and websites. Paperless Post has a whole collection of FREE online wedding invitations that are incredibly adorable and customizable. Wedding Paper Divas, I’ve found as I wrote this article, also offers free wedding websites!
Let us know what kind of money saving tips you have for finding deals on save the dates and invitations! Tune in next time for some talk about other stationaries: programs, seat placards, you name it, let’s talk about it!