When it comes time to set a wedding budget, most couples expect to spend big bucks on their venue, catering, and entertainment. However, many couples don’t know that even little details can have a major price tag. In fact, there’s one wedding element that can be much more expensive than you might think: your wedding stationery. Between save-the-dates, invitations, reply cards, programs, and thank you cards, wedding stationery will run you $750 (plus postage) on average! This cost is enough to make anyone clutch their wallet in despair—but luckily, there are ways to avoid paying so much for your paper products.
1. Do Your Research
There are tons of cost-effective invitation services for soon-to-be newlyweds. You can choose from a wide range of invitation templates (or even upload your own designs), adjust the colors to suit your wedding theme, and have them professionally printed for a pretty low cost. But if that’s the case, why are so many couples paying through the nose for their wedding stationery? Two words: rush orders. If couples order their invites at the last minute, they’re more likely to pay a higher price for processing and shipping. You can avoid these unnecessary price hikes by working on your invitations as early as possible. Give yourself plenty of time to research printing services and shop around (if you’re really savvy, you may even snag a coupon to help you save even more).
2. Keep it Simple
Everyone wants their wedding stationery to look GOOD. This is why so many of us splurge on fancy paper, envelope liners, hand-lettered calligraphy, and plenty of other details to add that extra something special. But here’s the thing: every one of those upgrades adds to your final cost. If you’re trying to save money, they simply aren’t worth it. As you’re placing your stationery order, make sure that you steer clear from any frills that might be an additional cost. Double-check every line item in your order, and do your best to save where you can (for example, square envelopes tend to cost more than standard rectangular ones). A simple, clean invitation can still be exceptionally pretty, and you can put those savings to better use on your big day.
3. Use Your Wedding Website Well
These days, nearly every engaged couple has a wedding website. These sites are both cheap (in many cases, they’re even free) and practical; you can put lots of useful information on those digital pages including dress codes, directions to your venue, and registry details. In the pre-internet era, all that extra info had to be printed on little cards and included with your guests’ invitations. But if you’ve posted everything online, there’s no need to tell everyone over again. Instead, simply provide a link to your wedding website and let your guests check it out at their leisure. You may have to help a great-aunt or two navigate the website, but it sure beats paying extra to print all those info cards!
There are few things quite as frustrating as getting your wedding stationery in the mail…only to discover that there’s a glaring typo right in the middle of the page. You’re stuck paying for these prints (after all, the printer did do their part), but now you have to order reprints with the correct information. This is why it’s ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL that you double-, triple-, and even quadruple-check your invitation spelling and grammar before you submit your order to the printer. Look over each word closely. Have your grammar-obsessed friends look over every page. Make sure that everything is perfect—or else, your stationery costs could wind up being well over your budget!
5. DIY What You Can
Sometimes, the best way to save a little extra money is to do the work yourself. While there are many low-cost printers out there, couples who really want to cut costs can save a bundle by downloading free stationery templates and printing everything at home. This option can be time-consuming (and you’ll certainly need to factor in printer ink costs), but the results are often just as lovely as your standard wedding stationery. Even if you do decide to professionally print, look for opportunities to save money with some DIY work. Is your printing service charging extra to address your envelopes? Stretch out that hand and grab a pen—you can save money by addressing those babies yourself!
Getting married is an expensive endeavor, so every penny you can save is well worth the effort. And as you can see, it’s pretty easy to avoid overpaying for your wedding stationery; you just need some careful shopping and a little ingenuity.