Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Russian Doll Gone Wrong

I'm far enough into this wedding-planning business to know that if you try to stick within a budget, compromises are necessary.

Take the invitations, for instance. We budgeted $50 total (including Save the Date cards, invitations, RSVP cards, and postage). We had no problem sending electronic Save the Date cards. It's better for the environment and the budget. Plus, we had the added benefit of being able to send a Survey Monkey survey (for free!) that gave us an opportunity to poll our guests about the likelihood of their attendance.

Onto the invitations: we are anti-envelope inside envelope. I mean, really. It's another one of those clearly absurd practices that all of us kowtow to and thus perpetuate. You know what I'm talking about: the big envelope to hold all the other envelopes. Then the envelope for the invitation. Then the envelope for the RSVP card. It's a Russian doll gone wrong.

We decided to go with a single postcard (to save money on postage and to spare the environment). A quick scan of the invite list revealed we only have one Luddite couple to worry about. (Okay, I confess, that's a bit of an exaggeration; it's just that they aren't particularly tech-savvy). For those guests, we will enclose the postcard in an envelope, along with all the other wedding information everyone else will be able to look up online at our free wedding website.

We decided to go with materials already in our house: water-color paper, water-colors, copy paper, and spray adhesive. We'll only have to pay for a refill of the water-color paper.

The compromise came with the stamps. I really, really wanted those customized stamps with our photo. I mean, how cute and personal is that? But the postcard sheets are $13.99 each. And we're sending around 80 invitations. So it's above the $50 mark. Even now I'm having trouble compromising. I really want those stamps! Maybe we could buy three sheets of them (60 stamps) and just use them for the majority of our invites? Is that tacky? Is it worth the money? Isn't it better to come in under budget yet again? Or save money for another area that matters more for the guests?

Yes, the answer is yes. It's one of those details that seems like something that will make all the difference but it really just matters to me.

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