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

Monday, December 7, 2009

Frugal and Fun Save-the-Dates and Invitations

Image courtesy of A Hot Pink Petticoat

Tamar, a 2000dollarwedding kindred spirit, has some great advice to share about saving on some of the paper products associated with a wedding (and I love that their Save-the-Dates give their guests more insight into who they are as a couple).

Take it away, Tamar!
One place where we've been extremely effective in saving is on paper goods. Because we live in Los Angeles (as do our co-workers and his college classmates), my family + our college friends are in New York, and our wedding is in Toronto (his hometown), we found save-the-dates to be a necessity. We opted for postcards and found out that through VistaPrint, you can get 100 free postcards (you pay about $15 for shipping + processing). Jon designed them, which can be seen and explained here.

For brides who opt to send post-card invites, this would also be really frugal. And the ability to design your own postcard is a huge plus! They were cheaper for us than store-bought save the dates, and also saved on postage. Our postage was more expensive since we had to mail over 1/2 of our invites to Canada, but with about 80 invites (including those to Canada + Europe), the full cost of design+postage was under $50.

For invitations, we bought DIY kits at Michael's. They're $40 for a box of 40, but Michael's is notorious for coupons, so we each used a 50% off coupons. So all of our invites will cost $40 and then we'll use our home printer (which is collecting dust) to print the text onto the invites. Our wedding is in August, and Jon's grad school graduation is in May, so we're going to give the Canadian invites to his parents then so that we can use local postage. RSVPs will be online, naturally. Yes, this isn't THE most frugal option, but it's a lot better than buying stationary from an invitation maker and Michael's (and other crafts stores) are pretty much everywhere, making this option pretty accessible to both crafty and less-than-crafty brides.

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miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

Love, love, love VistaPrint. We decided against online RSVPs, so we got them printed on the postcards and it only cost us $11 for shipping. We're also going to order our actual invitations from there as well using the same artwork from our RSVPs.

We're also tried the address labels and the business cards, so I would highly recommend it. It's an amazing resource for any sort of event.

megan said...

i designed and sent post card save-the-dates, too! i used Next Day Fliers, and they were great! Their staff even called me to say that a color option on the back (which would make it look better) would only be $2 more. they were under $30 for 100 inc. shipping, and less than $20 for postage, as well. (although, we did run into the issue of polar bear post card stamps for our April wedding!)

i designed them using a vintage postcard design from my hometown, and have gotten a LOT of compliments on them.

Sarah said...

This is so helpful! One of my bridesmaids designed our save the dates but I couldn't decide if I should buy the paper and print them myself or if I should get them printed somewhere. I was considering VistaPrint, but didn't know I could get them FREE. This will save me loads of money!

On a side note, it's also a good thing to wander the Michael's clearance aisle. My mom found our DIY invitations there, she spent $30 on 150 invites with envelopes and reply cards. I also found our DIY programs there and spent $40 for 160 programs. The invites and programs don't match, but who cares when they're that cheap?

Meghan said...

I also used free vistaprint postcards for my save-the-dates. I was totally impressed by the quality and guests kept asking where we got them.

We loved them so much we also used vistaprint to make our ceremony programs. Just use their brochure templates. I thought they turned out better than the programs I had seen at any other wedding.

Unknown said...

We were planning on sending a youtube video for our save the date to save the money but vistaprint sounds affordable! My partner is concerned about the quality of the printing and if the paper is sturdy enough. those of you who have used vistaprint's free postcards, what did you think?

Newbie and the Murr said...

Hi Sarah - We were really impressed with the quality - the colors were very vivid and the postcard was the same quality as one that you'd buy when traveling.

Did you see the youtube STD that this couple made? http://www.jeffanderin.us/

Christena said...

We used vista print for our save the dates, but unfortunately they were not offering the free 100 post cards at the time. We ended up paying about $50 for the printing, shipping, and the postage.

our invites are working out to be INSANELY cheap because I'm lucky enough to work at michaels while i'm planning my wedding! and on top of it, I'm the person who marks everything down to clearance. needless to say i've scored some major deals. The biggest deal of all were my invites (with rsvp cards and envelopes for both). They're a martha stewart pack that i ended up getting on clearance for $9.99 for a pack of 40! On top of that I used a 50% off coupon so I got forty invites for $5.00! It was so cheap that i ended up buying two packs just in case i messed a few up (i'm going to need aprox 38). I figure the jackets are so pretty that if i have enough left over I'll use them as part of my programs, or menu cards.

We ended up saving enough money on the martha stewart packs that we're going to get some inserts from cards and pockets (http://www.cardsandpockets.com/) to add some color! they're about 98 cents an insert, which isn't that bad when dealing with 38 invites.

Molly said...

My fiance & I went this route, too: we made a postcard save the date with a collage of nature-inspired pictures we had taken. The paper was free, leftover from my brother & my graduation parties, and we made sure our dimensions were correct for the cheaper postcard postage rate (we also personally delivered all the ones we could).

For the invitations, my older brother is going to design them using this template: http://ahhh-design.com/diy-wedding-invitations/ (no envelopes or extra paper). We just need to pay for paper & ink. We also bought like 400 forever stamps before the postage went up, which saved around $10.

Gina said...

I'm so glad I read this! I knew about Michael's (I'll be using one of their bouquet ideas for my bridesmaids using silk flowers) but never thought about VistaPrint. Thank you!

Anna said...

I love the free postcard idea!

But I have one concern:

Does anyone know if Vistaprint sells your addresses to third party advertisers? I read the fine print and I think they might. I don't want my guests to receive lots of junk mail because of me!

Has anyone who used them had this experience?

Christena said...

you don't have to mail your postcards through vista print. I had them all shipped to me, and then i addressed them and mailed them out. I have no idea if they sell the address lists that are provided them, but i figure that's a good way around it.

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