Earlier this year, The Knot published its annual Real Weddings Study, which looks at various trends across the wedding industry, based on the couples who said “I do” in the previous year.
Over the years, some trends have withstood the test of time (for example, 51% of couples still incorporate religious elements into their ceremonies), while others are constantly changing. But there’s one thing that’s practically guaranteed: the cost of weddings keeps going up!
In fact, according to the latest figures, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was a staggering $33,900.
This number might be enough to make you break out in hives (I know I am). However, it is important to remember that this is just an average—and that ultimately, you control how much money you spend on your wedding. With some careful planning and smart shopping, you can keep your wedding budget at a comfortable level.
Of course, “smart shopping” sometimes means you have to cut some items from the bill…but which ones deserve to go? The answer depends on your personal tastes—but if you ask me, there’s only one item that should always be cut: your wedding stationery suite.
What Is a Wedding Stationery Suite?
Your stationery suite is made up of all the paper products you use for your wedding. This includes:
- Save the Dates
- Reception Cards
- Response Cards
- Ceremony Programs
- Reception Menus
- Thank You Cards
All this stationery has long been a traditional part of the wedding planning process. And I get it because they can be fun! Couples love choosing elegant stationery. Parents and grandparents make scrapbook mementos from the invites. However, if you and your sweetheart are on a budget, there’s no reason to incur this cost—not when there’s another, cheaper option.
The Benefits of Skipping the Stationery Suite
It’s Environmentally-Friendly: These days, everyone is more aware of how their actions and purchases affect the environment. If you’re trying to decrease your carbon footprint, eliminating paper products is an easy way to save a few trees and help the planet.
It’s Cheaper: This article is about cutting items from your wedding budget—which means if you’re reading it, you’re probably trying to save some pennies here and there. While you may not think of invitations as a major expense (especially compared to the venue or catering), the dollars can really start to add up. According to a story in Brides.com, the average cost of an invitation suite can be between $5,000 and $8,000! Going digital can absolutely help you keep the costs low.
Your Guests Won’t Miss It: Have you ever been to a wedding, sat down in the pew, and said to your friend, “Ugh! There’s no program! How am I supposed to follow the ceremony?” My guess is probably not. Trust me, no one will be offended or confused if you don’t have a program, a menu card, or even a paper save-the-date.
Your wedding should be beautiful, fun, and memorable—but it should not put you and your loved ones in dire financial straits. If you’re looking to cut costs on your budget, there’s nothing wrong with ditching a tradition or two! And now, thanks to digital tech, the wedding suite is one tradition you can get rid of without a fuss.
What Should I Do Instead?
These days, it is easier than ever to avoid overpaying for your wedding stationery. For example, you can use a customizable template and online printer for cheap, DIY invites. OR…you could skip the suite entirely and just go digital.
Online invitations are a great way to spread the work about your wedding without paying an arm and a leg. There are many websites that allow you to send invitations by email or text for a nominal fee (or sometimes even for free).
Worried that your older guests won’t know how to navigate this new technology? I totally get it. Another option is simply to cut out some of the items in your wedding suite. Print your save the dates, invites, and thank you cards as usual, but skip things like menus and ceremony programs. This will save you a little money and will ensure all your guests have the essential wedding details.