I will start off by saying, if you have a large budget – a gorgeous invite is a great way to make an impact. HOWEVER, let’s be honest, about 99% of the time, it gets thrown away and forgotten before people even step foot into the wedding. I am all about spending the budget on ways to create lasting memories, and spending it on the invitation just won’t do it.
Take my own wedding for example, aside from having my past rooted in digital as my job, and trying to make my wedding green and local, I was still caught up in printed pieces. I stressed and strained over the invitations. The costs were simply out of control… $10 per invite just was NOT in my budget. And frankly, I wasn’t willing to give up one bit of the live music, or the premium food that was already making my budget burst. I did end up with beautiful invitations, but we had them designed by a local freelancer for next to nothing, and had them printed at next day flyers. Then, we went to work. We used a paper cutter and special adhesive to put together each and every one of them. This was a lot of cutting. It was a destination wedding, so we had the invite adhered to an envelopment that housed an accommodation and directions card, the rsvp, and the rsvp envelope. To keep the number of items down, we directed people to our wedding website to get the weekend itinerary and more information like registries. We added ribbon and a jeweled embellishment which made them seem way more premium than the actual cost. We researched local calligraphers and found a perfect one within our budget. Calligraphy seems like a luxury, but it helped make our handmade invites mirror the ones I was drooling over in the magazines and could not afford.
Another printed item was the programs. We found them on etsy and they were under a $1 a piece! We added twine to each and every one of them to create a bit of a rustic accessory. If I had more time, I probably would have made the programs myself, but things get a bit crazy near the end of planning!! We also had an amazing coupon (40% off) to Hello Lucky, so we were able to splurge on our menus. We LOVED them and the bottom was dedicated to telling guests that in lieu of a traditional favor, we had made a donation to the 30 Project in support of a healthy and sustainable global food system.
For all other notes, such as table numbers, dessert tables, and the escort table, we made chalkboards with chalkboard paint and $1 store frames. It not only saved us money, but added to our desired look.
It is true, that your invitation in the first thing that represents your wedding and what guests can expect. It should be informative and represent you and your vibe, however – it should not (and doesn’t have to) break the bank.