Unless you’re eloping or really don’t want anyone attending your nuptials, one of the requirements of holding a wedding is letting people know when and where to be. Once you and your bride-to-be figure out a guest list, hunt down those address, and properly word the invitations, you’re going to have to figure out how to print and deliver them. That’s where you can start to see your budget actually begin to budge. Paper costs paper, the green kind.
Some people consider $5,000-8,000 an “average” expense for this part of your wedding planning. Take it from us—there are much cost effective options out there that will impress your guests and won’t leave you wondering why the hell you spent so much on pieces of paper, foil, liners, seals, stamps, etc. that’ll end up in the trash anyway. Here’s where you can save a lot of money on invitations and spend it on your honeymoon, a new car, rare whiskey—whatever treats you desire.
In the dark age before Facebook events, there was Evite. As long as you had your friends’ email addresses, you could blast out the fact that you were having an ugly sweater Christmas party and leave the comments section open so all your friends and loved ones could add in their sincere thoughts and most sarcastic burns. But Evite has evolved, with free digital wedding invites if you choose one of their generic cards, or up to $80 if you have 750 unique invites to send.
If you’re more inclined to support small businesses, this one consists of just two people. They’ll send you samples of their card stock and colors, provide quick feedback if you want to change your design, and offer up a $79 digital invite that you can print at home or bring to a local copy shop. Printed versions cost in the vicinity of $2 a pop, but you can start with the digital-only version and upgrade to print later if you suddenly come into more money. Plus, you love supporting small businesses!
On this site, you can choose from a myriad of options and services. The system can be a bit confusing—some pre-made designs are free, or you can add custom features that require payment in “coins,” (not Bitcoin, at least not yet) which start at 20 for $6 and decrease in per-unit price if you buy in bulk. You can upload your own invite design, send it digitally via email, add an RSVP tracking service, and get fancier by adding some physical copies from their partner Paper Source. Those will cost you around $50-60 for 20 invites, plus the envelope and shipping expenses, but your nanna will be happy to have one and buys you a few extra months before having to visit her again.
If you use a template, Paper Source gives you get 100 email invites for $99, with custom photos, RSVP tracking, meal choices, and so on. Or you can opt for a yearly membership in case you plan on getting married, divorced, and married again within 365 days.
Always read the reviews, but know that you can find a good amount of unique, customizable, and weird-as-hell invitations thanks to the artists on Etsy, featuring all sorts of clasps, ribbons, and even 3D sculptures. You’ll still need to account for postage, but if you’re looking for the invite that lets your guests know to be prepared that things are about get weird, look no further.
Laugh all you want at getting your invites done via one of the big-box stores, but you can score personalized cards with envelopes for a buck apiece. The stock designs are heavy on the mason jar, rustic theme (re: basic), but they’re artistically comparable to what you’ll find at higher-end shops. PLus while you’re there you can do some serious bulk-shopping. And yes, that’s a really great price for 72 rolls of paper towels.
The old-school photo site specializes in putting pictures on just about anything (seriously you can get your mug printed on a decorative pillow, and no, that’s not a good idea for a bridal gift). But putting your photo on your cards always comes in handy, especially if for your fiance’s relatives who aren’t quite sure what you look like. If you’re looking at around 100-150 invites, you can bet on about $2 per invite.