Wedding invitations. It shouldn’t be that difficult to get people to show up at your wedding. A) Send a card telling them the date. B) They say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’. C) When the time comes, people show up and you party.

Simple, right? Wrong. So, so wrong.

Let’s not get into the actual ‘people show up because they R.S.V.P.’d’ deal, because that’s a whoooole bunch of other columns and a few bad words.  The invitations are what this column is about.

Wedding invitations are expensive. Let’s be real, everything is expensive. If it’s for a wedding, it’s expensive. Trying to find ways to cut down on costs for your wedding and sticking within a set budget gets difficult. One way to save, however, is by finding cheap wedding invitations. At some point, people are going to toss the invitation in the trash.  Maybe a few will make it into a scrap book, but most of them end up getting shredded and recycled into new sleeves for your Starbucks. So, if there’s any place to cut costs, the paper products are a great place to start.

Start with the basics – blank cardstock and envelopes

I recently purchased a cute set of ‘rustic’ looking natural blank cards and envelopes, but I looked at these heavyweight cardstock sets, as well.  I made my husband a ton of silly Pinterest-inspired Valentine’s cards, and enjoyed working with printing and crafting my own. The cardstock is, as you can see from the links, affordable.

Designer DIY

It’s okay if you’re not in the running to be the Next Top Wedding Invitation Designer (there isn’t a show for that, strangely). You can find patterns for printing the invitations on just about any website that has anything to do with weddings.  Pick a style, pick a color, pick a font, pick it all.  If you have design talent or know a friend that does, even better. Find the style that suits you.

Print at Home

Maybe your home printer isn’t so great, and you can’t use the one at the office for personal reasons. Ask friends and family if they have a decent printer – not a dot matrix, which is a fun joke for anyone over the age of 40 – that you can use for this job.

Professional Printing

It doesn’t have to go through an engraver’s hands to be printed nicely. Printing with Costco is really easy – they don’t just do photos! I don’t know about other warehouse distributors like Sam’s Club or BJ’s, but you should check it out! Also consider Kinko’s – if you provide the paper and the file to print from, it doesn’t cost much at all to have the invitations printed. I printed my programs at Kinko’s/FedEx! In and out in half an hour.

There are plenty of online options for discounted or inexpensive stationary. A great way to test out the printers without committing very much is to have the Save-the-dates printed.  If you’re super on the ball and you plan to mail announcements to far-flung friends and relatives, maybe have those printed ahead of time as well.  There are eco-friendly options!

Assemble it yourself

If what you want is something a little more involved, find an invitation that can be delivered to you for assembly. With cheap wedding invitations that you assemble yourself, you save a lot on the overhead. You can choose the kind of do-it-yourself invitations are one sheet or a fold-over card (the 5×7 size is heavily preferred over 4×6), but many assemble-it-at-home invitation sets can come complete with tissue lining and ribbon!

It takes some effort to put together cheap wedding invitations that don’t look cheap, but it’s worth the time spent. By forgoing the traditional invitations and doing it (mostly) yourself, it will save you money and help you stick with the budget you set. Just think, any money saved on things like stationary means you can spend more on your honeymoon plans!

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