It was never a question for me whether or not I would design our invitations. My job is very logical and so any creative outlet I can utilize, I do. Client presentations have become very colorful, just to appease my creative urges. Our budget also had something to do with it; as much as I would kill for a custom illustrated suite, it wasn’t in the cards for us.
I started brainstorming in the first week we were engaged and over the course of the year I slowly created our invitation suite. Having time on my side was a huge advantage; I was able to take my time and when I would reach a point of frustration I could walk away and (hopefully) come back more inspired.
So, just how much did our DIY suite come out costing?
A Sweet Price Tag:
- Printing: $86.75 at Office Depot
- Gray Card stock: $14.25 from Cards and Pockets, 3 packs for $4.75
- Cobalt Envelopes: $25.20 from Cards and Pockets, 120 for 21 cents. $15.46 for shipping
- Oyster Gray Twine: $10 from Whisker Graphics. $3 for shipping
- RSVP Postcards: $14.97 from Vistaprint. $6.50 for shipping
- Mini Moo Cards: Free from Moo.com. $5 for shipping
- Labels: $16.17 for Oval and $16.17 for round from Office Depot
- Postage: $77.40
Shipping for all products was $29.96 bringing that to $290.87.
We sent out 110 invitations, bringing the cost per invite to $2.37 or $2.64 when I include shipping in the total cost.
The wildcard with DIY invites (or anything DIY, for that matter) is your time spent on the task. Frankly, I have no idea how many hours I spent on our invitations, or how much an average invitation creator charges. No clue. However, I was especially curious how my $2.60 invites compared to something (I also wanted to prove to the mister that we did in fact save money!). I fully realize this is comparing apples to oranges, and is by no means an official research, it just provided me with a comparison.
A quick search on Wedding Paper Divas returned an approximate price of $442 for 110 invitations, RSVPs and an insert (no envelope, postage, twine or mini moo). I often visited Whimsical Prints on Etsy, and fell in love with multiple designs in her shop. I estimated a suite of 110 (not including postage or the extras) would have been around $375. Based on this very loose research, I’d say I saved a pretty penny. Happy, Mr. Honey?!
Some Sweet Tips!
Printing: I chose to stick with a local printer, well a national chain, but a local location. I compared Office Depot to The UPS Store, and while the prices were just about the same, the quality was not. Office Depot’s printing was far superior. I went in to both stores before committing and had them print off one of everything for me to see how my colors translated through their printer. Office Depot printed my order for me while I waited, a whole 15 minutes!
Twine: I used the (k)Not twine from Whisker Graphics. It’s discounted because there may be a smudge somewhere on the twine or it has an inconsistent wrap. I didn’t care, and have yet to notice any sort of a flaw. It saved me $5. (k)Not is only available when a batch goes awry, so I checked every other day until my color was in.
Postcards: Sign up for Vistaprint. Now. They run the best deals. I got 100 postcards for free but paid for 2 of my own uploads, and then for a color backside. Still, our RSVPs were only fifteen cents a piece. If you go this route, may I suggest having your return address on the front/glossy side. I had the guests write their responses on the glossy side, and while it’s not really an issue, I can tell some people had to switch pens once or twice.
Mini Moo’s: I scored big time on these (thanks Mrs. Hippo!). I came across a deal and got my mini’s for free, I just had to pay the $5 shipping. I had my cards all set and in my cart for a couple weeks and was planning on spending the $20, so the deal didn’t persuade me to order, it was just icing on the cake. I used 12 different pictures, but wish I would have kept it to 8. I had one that was too mushy and one that wasn’t mushy enough. Seriously, picking which mini moo went to which guest was challenging!
Labels: I had originally planned on using the labels that Mrs. Pony used on hers, but I couldn’t get them formatted on my dang printer…so I happened to be in Office Depot and picked up the round and oval labels from Avery. I downloaded the template, inserted a border and then had to also insert a text box to be able to have text inside the border. Headache. This forced me to just do one page of labels, and then replace the current text with the next guest addresses (type 18 addresses, print, next 18 addresses, print, etc). In the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that time consuming, and I loved the peach dots so I was fine with it. What I wasn’t fine with was the fact that these labels smudge. They smudge horribly. Even though it says they are compatible with ink jet and laser printers, and after letting the labels dry for multiple hours. I can guarantee every single envelope was delivered with a smudged label, boo.
That’s a lot of words and no pictures for one post…but I hope if you are planning/hoping/in the middle of creating your invites, you found something helpful. The price helped, but I found creating our suite so rewarding, I would do it all over again!
How did the cost of your DIY invites breakdown? Any helpful hints for other DIYers out there?