Bride on a Budget: Ordering the Invitations

It doesn’t have to be expensive—or difficult—to make your wedding invitations feel special

Matt and I were really happy with the save-the-dates we ordered from Vistaprint, so we figured we’d just order our invitations from that Web site, where there are about 200 wedding-invitation designs. We just entered our names, date, and location, and we instantly had a proof. The price worked out to about $2 an invitation, which is a great bargain.

Then Matt and I received a friend’s wedding invitation that used a pocket-fold envelope. And we were smitten. We thought the pocket fold was not only adorable but also helpful for holding of all of the enclosures we need to include for our many traveling guests, such as our reception location, hotel-room block, and Web site. Plus, we thought it’d be fun to make our own invitations and enclosures to include in the pocket fold. Most importantly, we’d save money doing the invitation ourselves.

I found a helpful article on Project Wedding about pocket-fold invitations. That article directed us to the pocket-fold retailers Cards and Pockets, where I found beautiful pocket folds in many shades of purple—our main wedding color—ranging from 78 cents to $1.10 each. I ordered samples so I could test the colors, and I really liked the Sparkling Merlot shade.

Once we figured out the pocket fold, we had to design the interior of our invitation. I decided I wanted to utilize a flourish I had found on Project Wedding’s Web site. My future brother-in-law, Brian, used Adobe to change the color of the flourish to a deep purple to match our colors. I used that flourish to create a number of designs on Microsoft Publisher, finding inspiration from pictures of wedding invitations on other wedding sites. I settled on a design I created by using tiny, pale-gray dots in the background with a white center anchored by two of the deep-purple flourishes. I carried the dots-and-flourishes theme throughout the enclosures, and we even ordered a personalized stamp from Etsy for our RSVP envelopes that incorporated the flourish (about $25).

Making our invitations turned out to be fun and inexpensive. The pocket folds, mailing envelopes, and RSVP envelopes came to $160. We paid $15 for 250 sheets of 110-pound card stock, $5 for a glue stick, and $12 for a paper trimmer from Staples. Not only did we save money on our invitations, but we had a lot of fun designing and assembling them. I can’t wait to mail them out!

Steph’s tips:
• Before printing at home, make sure your printer can handle card stock. It took me forever to figure out the settings on my printer to get the paper to feed through.
• Don’t skimp on your tools. If you aren’t using precut paper, consider buying a paper trimmer. Buy high-quality glue. Spending money on good tools will still save you money and stress in the long run.
• Order extra paper and envelopes. It’s inevitable that your printer will eat every 20th sheet. Be prepared. 

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