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Home : 10 Tried & True Tips for Affordable Wedding Invitations & Stationery

10 Tried & True Tips for Affordable Wedding Invitations & Stationery

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Let's face it; there are a billion articles out there with budget-saving tips for your wedding. I contemplated skimming through them for a few monotonous hours to pick the best of the best for our customers, but it kept gnawing at me that no matter how much I read, chances were that, like me, you've already read it somewhere too.

The problem is, too many of these articles are the exact same obvious commonsense tips, repackaged and repeated for the umpteenth time. I don't know about you, but when I read things like "watch for sales" or "do it yourself" or "enter all the contests you can," I can feel my eyes roll back into my head.
So I thought, "Ok, I'm going to go through our new wedding budget calculator line by line and try to remember the advice I used to give brides who came to my store."

I have been in the bridal industry for 21 years -- I owned a brick-and-mortar store long before BridesVillage was conceived. As a salesperson my technique was a bit self-defeating because rather than upselling to shoppers no matter what -- like some bridal stores would, and still do -- I would often tell my customers why they didn't need this or that, or needed less. I always sincerely wanted to help give brides the best wedding at the lowest cost possible (and still make a living myself).
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Back in the "old days" my store specialized in invitations. Brides came from a hundred miles away for our selection and expertise. As I was picking through the memories it occurred to me that brides tended to assume stationery costs were fixed, but there's actually a lot of ways you can save. It wasn't until later I realized I could simply write down those same tricks and have a ready-made article of money-saving ideas based on my own experiences (sometimes I'm a little slow).

So, here are ten tried and true trips I used to give my customers about affordable wedding stationery -- they are still true today:

Cut in half and add 25.

You don't need to have budget wedding invitations to keep wedding invitations within your budget! Typically, you get a number in your head like, "I'm expecting 300 guests." I can't tell you how many times brides would just order 300 invitations. But obviously you're not going to send individual invitations to members of the same family. So, it's a good idea to count exactly how many couples and/or families you are inviting, but the quick-and-easy general formula is:

Number of guests divided by 2 + 25 = The number of invitations you need

If you have a lot of single friends, you might need more; if you know a lot of families of three of four, you might need less. If you're unsure, keep in mind the cost of an extra 25 wedding invitations is minimal -- buy them now and save yourself the expensive costs and delays of a second print run.

Combine the reception card with the invitation.

Instead of a separate reception card, include all the reception information in the bottom left or right corner of the invitation in a smaller font size.

Ditch the lined envelopes.

If you're totally in love with them, fine, but you don't really need lined envelopes. They cost more and add weight, which will increase postage.

Don't use response envelopes.

Use an RSVP Postcard instead of a response card with an envelope. You'll have less paper waste and less postage.

Print your own stationery.

I know I mentioned earlier about being sick of the standard "DIY tips," but this is a good one. You can save a lot by buying blank wedding stationery and doing all the printing yourself. Most won't have an inner envelope, true, and they won't have that cool raised ink effect (thermography) that almost looks like real engraving, but the savings are substantial.

I've even checked local office supply and discount stores, and the printable wedding stationery we carry is about 30% less for the exact same brands.

Programs are not as necessary as you think.

Programs are nice but not entirely necessary. Yes, it's helpful to list your bridal party's names and to identify who some people are (e.g., friend of the bride, nephew of the groom, etc.). But remember, most people will be meeting the wedding party in the receiving line, and not having everything listed encourages good conversation at the reception.

Order fewer programs than invitations.

If you do buy wedding programs, remember you don't need the same quantity that you ordered for invitations. Not everyone will attend the wedding. In my experience, about 80% of the number of invitations is sufficient.

Order thank you notes with your other stationery.

After the wedding may seem feel like a long ways away, but ordering your thank you notes is not a chore you'll want once the big day is over. You'll already be busy enough. Generally, you'll want to get the same number of thank you notes as invitations -- even when people don't come to the wedding they still often send a gift. If you are unsure and need to save, go with a little less.

Planning smart is budget planning.

So, there you have it; everything you need to make your stationery part of a reasonable wedding budget. With a little bit of planning you'll realize some major savings without sacrificing the look or feel of your special day (you'll save some stress too).

For more money-saving tips and the most helpful free download ever, be sure to also read about our wedding budget calculator!

Cathy Ward
BridesVillage Wedding Accessories

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