The Budget-Savvy Bride, with Expensive Taste

If you’re a bride on a budget, you may discover that nailing down wedding invitations that don’t scream, “We really cut corners on this” is somewhat of a challenge. Unfortunately corner-cutting is usually fairly obvious to your guests, which doesn’t reflect so well on you. But this doesn’t mean you should submit yourself to over-spending when it comes to a very important part of your big day!

Here are a few tips on invitations and finances. These suggestions may seem minimal, but when spread across your total quantity, can equal quite a bit of savings overall. (And these apply to invitations for wedding or other events, as any of our designs may be customized for anything!)

1. Self-Assembly

All of our designs offer the option to assemble yourself. The cost of assembly varies greatly depending on the complexity of the design you choose. For some designs at higher quantities, this could be a couple hundred dollars in savings, but there’s always money to save when it comes to DIY, no matter the quantity. If you’re interested in a more complicated design, just be sure to check out our assembly tutorial videos before deciding whether or not you want to reduce in this area. If you do choose to go this route, get some friends together and make a night of it! The more the merrier! (and the quicker your assembly will go).

2. Suite Reduction

The pricing shown within each product listing usually covers the full suite, or everything shown in the photographs. You are not obligated to order the suite exactly as listed. There are many items you can omit or change to keep costs down. Here are a few ideas:

•  Omit a separate reception details card and include just the basics on the invitation itself.
•  Omit a hotel information or map/directions card, and include that information on your wedding website listed on the invitation itself, or on a smaller sized card which would run cheaper.
•  We are often asked to price out an RSVP postcard versus an RSVP card with envelope. Though you spend more on a postcard for printing 2 sided, you save on the envelopes, the envelope printing, and the extra postage needed for the envelope (34¢ for a postcard, versus 49¢ for an envelope).
•  If you’re thinking to omit twine or ribbon from your order with us to buy somewhere local yourself, definitely get them through us. The materials we use are actually much cheaper than retail!
•  For stamps (US orders only), it doesn’t matter whether you include them with your order or not. For whatever value(s) your invitation requires, there is no difference in price whether you get them through us or on your own (though if you go through us it saves you a trip to the post office!)
•  Omit the RSVP card and save on RSVP postage. Without the RSVP card, you will need to list reply information on the invitation itself or on a smaller card. Guests have the option to call (or text), email, or to visit a website to respond.

3. Layout Simplification

Layout refers to how a design is presented, not to the design itself. We can fit any design (pre-existing or completely new) within pretty much any layout, with few exceptions. Keep in mind that changing a layout may add to the cost of design for us to spend time making these changes. If you have a particularly large order, this will definitely be worth it and save a lot on the overall cost of printing.

Here are a few ideas for a cheaper layout:

•  Reduce the number of folds.
•  Make the overall piece smaller. Much of the printing cost is based on how many pieces can fit onto a 13×19 sheet of paper. If you can fit 4 pieces per sheet, the per unit cost will be higher than if you can fit 6 pieces per sheet. A smaller invitation also requires a smaller envelope, which keeps that cost down as well.
•  Omit back side printing.

4. Splitting Quantity

In the case where you desperately desire a particular design in its full glory, despite being more expensive, you might consider either reevaluating the quantity of total invitations needed, OR you can split your count and do half (or less than half, depending on your budget) in the full/more expensive layout, and the remainder in a simplified manner. Which guests receive which version is totally your call ;•)

5. Anything Goes

If you have a crazy idea on how to achieve a low-cost invitation that doesn’t already exist, do share with us! We are thrilled to work with you to find just the right design, layout, and price for your project.

In case you’re curious, the cheapest layout we currently offer is the self-containing “Seal ‘n Send” layout, dressed in Pen Blossoms, Party Banners, or our Beaumont designs. This layout does not need outer envelopes and can mail at the cheapest postage value.


I hope these ideas will help you as you plan to keep on budget with your invitation project. My husband and I have lead folks through about 10 classes of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University over the past few years, and we thoroughly support the Savvy Saverton mentality. And we highly respect you for working within your limits! It’s definitely a challenge, especially in the wedding industry these days.

Most importantly, we recognize that an inexpensive invitation can be just as beautiful as an expensive one, and does not have to lack in quality or craftsmanship.

Happy planning!

Posted by Melissa / filed under: Advice

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Melissa & Jon Meek

We love sharing the behind the scenes about our business. Relationships are important to us, and sharing our stories allows us to connect with fans and customers on a personal level, while providing expert advice on invitations and other paper creations.