Tips to Save on Wedding Stationery
Raise your hand if you’re a bride looking to save money with your wedding budget!
That’s what I figured. We’re all looking to save where we can so we can use our budget wisely and on the things that are the most important to us on our never-ending wedding checklists!
Pinterest is saturated with DIY projects aimed at saving you money, but often end up being very time consuming and honestly kind of expensive still in the long run. Not a crafty bride? This can be equally daunting when trying to spend wisely.
I’m here to help you out in at least one area that won’t give you trouble if you’re 1. Not the crafty type or 2. Aren’t looking to put a TON of time into a tedious DIY project in the middle of your other To-Do’s.
Let’s talk stationery! There are so many elements that encompass your paper goods suite- from the Save the Dates needing to be sent out early on, to deciding on a look for your invitations, the daunting task of actually addressing them, and then finally the ‘day of’ materials that are often overlooked but can elevate the look and tone of your wedding effortlessly!
It all adds up pretty quickly and can easy start to feel a bit overwhelming. Lucky for you my friend, I’m here to give you a few tips and some advice on how to cut costs where possible and how to stretch your budget without compromising the beauty and sophistication that quality paper goods offer.
1. Purchase a PDF Invitation Suite & Print Yourself
This option is great for brides who don’t want to go the DIY route but still want to save on the costs of expensive printing! A good printer at home will be able to print quality invitations on a paper of your choosing (more on this in a moment!) rather than going through one of the big name invitation companies. Don’t have a printer? You can get prints done pretty cheap at office supply stores like Staples, or even at Costco or Sam’s Club if you have a membership! I actually used this method in printing my own wedding invitations and used the print shop at the local university!
When looking for a PDF invitation suite, my go to is Etsy but a simple google search will give you endless options! Just look for a design that you like, fits your theme, and if possible includes as many stationery elements as you will be needing. If you already sent out a Save the Date and the set you’re looking at has this piece included, reach out to the designer to see if a custom set can be made with just the pieces you need! Many will be happy to make a listing to fit your needs. Bundling the pieces together as a full suite, rather than purchasing individual pieces, will give the overall look a cohesive feel and will save you money!
I worked with the lovely Michelle at Creative Mason and I am so pleased with the stationery we created! The olive branches were the perfect fit for my Italian inspired wedding. Michelle made a menu card and table numbers for me as well that tied our table setting together so beautifully!
2. Weigh Your Invitations
Trust me on this one! I learned the hard way; added weight means paying extra at the Post Office and it is NOT cheap. We had issues sending out our Save the Dates, which were printed on corks, as the shape was irregular and did not lay flat in a standard envelope! Oh well, lesson learned. It was still worth the extra cost to send those beauties out to our friends and family!
Before printing and stuffing all 250 of your invitation envelopes, do a test run to determine the overall size and weight of the final product that will be mailed out. A lot of this weight will depend on how many elements are included inside of the envelope and the type of paper used.
My invitations, RSVP cards, details cards, and a rehearsal dinner cards were printed on a 160g (60# cover weight) paper. These items plus a stamped RSVP envelope were all included inside the outer envelope, and I used a wax seal as the final touch!
To check the weight of the stuffed envelopes, I used my kitchen scale and referenced that number against the Post Office allowance. My scale said that they were within the limits and we did not have any problems when we took them in to be mailed off!
Pro Tip: We had our envelopes hand cancelled, rather than machine cancelled, to keep them nice a pretty! It just means a human stamps the envelope personally so they are processed less before they arrive at their final destination. Just ask nicely and they will do it for you free of charge at your local Post Office!
3. Choose Your Own Paper
When purchasing invitations, you’re often given a choice between 3-5 paper choices. When buying online, it is especially hard to know what the overall look and feel of these paper options will end up like. My advice - buy in person or at least ask for a sample prior to purchasing!
Or forgo that route all together and purchase your own paper to have the design printed on. This goes hand in hand with Tip #1 mentioned earlier! It gives you total control over the entire process and end result.
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to cut costs, but please do so wisely! You don’t want to spend all of this time deciding on a beautiful envelope suite and then print it on standard copier paper that will not do the design justice and will make it seem cheap. We’re still aiming for a beautiful and classic approach; still drinking champagne just not Dom Perignon, if ya know what I mean!
Luckily there are TONS of great paper options available for brides when selecting your own. My favorite paper store is hands down Paper Source! I could seriously live in that store and would be so happy to do so! They have lots of options at varying price points, a wide range of colors to choose from, and different textures and finishes to give your invitations the look and feel you want. They also have matching envelopes, so coordinating the whole look is a breeze!
The best part is that they offer a good discount when you buy in bulk, which you will probably be doing anyway. Currently the following discounts are available on 100 sheet bulk packs:
Buy 10 packs—get 10% off
Buy 25 packs—get 20% off
Buy 50 packs—get 30% off
For my paper needs, I chose a beautiful 160g (60# cover weight) luxe cream paper that was made in Italy! It has a nice weight that feel luxurious, soft and slightly textured, but still allowed the beautiful details and color to show through when printed. It was absolutely perfect and I got so many compliments on my selection!
P.S. I’m not affiliated by Paper Source. I just really love their products and they worked so well for me so I am just speaking from the heart here!
4. Send Postcards Instead
This is such a great idea for pieces like Save the Dates, RSVP cards, and thank you notes! Not only will you be saving money on the pieces themselves, you won’t have to buy envelopes for them and the postage will also be cheaper.
Sending postcards is a fun and unique way to play with the design of your stationery, so feel free to get creative with it! Think how cute a postcard RSVP would look for a destination wedding!
I opted for a postcard Thank You with a photo from our wedding! I ordered them from Zazzle.com and got a great deal!
This option has an added bonus of making it super simple for guests to send those RSVPs back! I was honestly surprised at the return rate on those suckers and how few I received. Making it as easy as possible for your guests will make it easier for you in the long run!
5. Double Check How Many You Need Before Printing
If you’re inviting 250 guests to the wedding then you need to print 250 invitations, right? Wrong! But don’t fret, this is a common mistake but one you can easily avoid!
Think about it! How many of your total headcount are part of a couple or are families? These people assumedly live under the same roof and have the same address, so why send separate invitations to each person?
When I was sorting this out for my own wedding, I created an Excel doc (yes, I am a nerd!) with a Master List of names, addresses, and had columns indicating how many members of each household were associated with the name. Then it was easy to add the total for overall headcount and compare it to the number of invitations (1 per household) I would actually need to send out!
Just be sure to order about 10% extra just to be on the safe side. If you accidentally forgot great Aunt Mildred and your mother insists on inviting her, having a few extra on hand will be much easier than doing a reorder or reprint!
Lastly, for both invitation count and any other pieces included in your stationery, be sure to do a little geometry to see how many of each piece will fit on the size of your selected paper sheets. For example, the paper I purchased was 8.5” x 11” and the invitations I used were 5” x 7”. Therefore one sheet of paper can print two invitations! Keep this in mind when you purchase your paper in bulk!
I hope these tips and insights from my own experiences are helpful for my brides who are currently planning out their dream wedding! If you have any other budget friendly tips for stationery, please feel free to drop them below so we can spread the word.