Not everything required for a wedding celebration needs to cost a lot. With a bit of judicious planning, you can find several ways to cut down on cost and still have a fine celebration. One particular area where you can save some good amount of money is the wedding invitation. Given below are ten best ways to get your wedding invitations cheaply, without making them look cheap:
1. Look around for best deals
Most people do the mistake of visiting only party and stationary stores to shop for invitation cards. While these offer a wide variety, they are not the only places from where you can purchase the invitation cards. Other places like Staples, Kinkos, Costco etc sell invitation cards too. You may also look at the office supply stores and warehouse or discount stores. Internet and Mail-order catalogs can also fetch you a great bargain. If you look at the variety these places offer, you'd be surprised to see that they have exactly the same cards, but at a much cheaper rates. However, before placing any order, it is advisable to get some samples to check the quality of the paper and printing etc.
2. Try different printing techniques
These days, there are cheaper alternatives available for almost every fancy effect you want on your wedding cards. Most people prefer engraved invitations. They look good, but are also very expensive. However, by using the Thermography technique, you can get the same effect on your cards for much cheaper. If you'd prefer your invitations to look more casual, you can opt for laser printing. This is the kind of printing that's used in magazines and postcards etc. It will give you a nice, clear print, without costing a lot.
3. Try and find a package deal
There are many companies that offer special packages that include the invitation cards, the response cards, envelopes etc at discounted rates. Buying such packages may not be as much fun as fixing a customized set yourself. But this alternative is definitely cheaper and will serve the purpose just as well, while also saving you from a lot of hassle. And even if you are not interested in purchasing such discount packages, you may still avail of some good discount from the stationary stores. Most stationary stores would offer you a discount if you purchase invitations, thank you cards and other informal stationary items at the same time.
4. Avoid the extras
You can also save a lot of money by avoiding the use of unnecessary embellishments like bows, jackets, layers of decorative paper etc. They may make the invitation look fancy, but they also greatly add to its cost. They may also carry some hidden assembly cost. Besides, as they add to the weight, they will also cost you more in postage. So instead of indulging in such needless finery, go for simpler elegance. Choose a simple wedding invitation printed on a superior quality paper instead. You can also avoid the use of linen envelopes. They may be a traditional feature of wedding invitations, but few people notice them. So you can very easily save some money by skipping them.
5. One envelope: Using two envelopes where one would do is totally a waste of money. Earlier, two envelopes were used for sending wedding invitations to make sure that the cards reached their destination in good condition. But our mail is no longer transported by messengers on horses. The postal system has made much advancement and is capable of delivering our post safely. So using two envelopes is quite unnecessary now. To ensure greater safety of your cards, you can just get the invites hand cancelled by the post office.
6. Avoid a separate reception card
This is one expense that you can totally avoid, especially if your reception is going to be organized at the same venue as the wedding. Instead of adding a separate reception card, you can just add messages like 'reception to follow' or 'dinner and dancing to follow' in your wedding invitation itself. And even if the wedding and reception are at different venues, you can just add the information about the reception venue in the invitation card. For example, 'Reception to follow at Princeton Club' would do the needful. And to guide the guests to the reception venue, just add a photocopied insert that can carry the map to the reception venue and also other details.
7. Proofread carefully
This is a must! You'd be surprised to know how many people have to order their cards twice because of some glaring mistake in their cards. So, do all you can to avoid this extra expenditure. Read, and re-read the sample of your card carefully. Minutely check all the important details like names, locations, dates, time etc. When done, get some of your friends to go through the card too. You may have missed some mistake that your friend might catch.
8. Keep some extra invitations and envelops
This may sound like a wasteful expense. But it will actually save you money. Suppose you remember someone whom you had forgotten earlier but now find absolutely necessary to invite. Ordering an extra invitation at the last minute would be a bother, and may cost extra too. So keep some extra cards for such emergencies. Ordering of extra envelopes is important too. No matter how carefully you address the envelopes, some mistakes may still happen. At such time, the extra envelopes can come very handy.
9. Use postcard for RSVP
People often use a folded card and envelope for RSVP. But this isn't just an extra cost in itself, but also requires extra postage. So instead of these, just use a postcard. It will prove cheaper, and will serve the purpose just as well.
10. Stick with standard size
It is a very common belief that if the invites weigh less than one ounce, they can be posted with a regular first class stamp. This, unfortunately, is not correct. For one, most invitations exceed the weight limit of one ounce. Besides, according to the website of US Post Office, you will be charged an extra $0.13 as surcharge if any of the following apply to your envelop:
a. The envelope is square in shape.
b. Its contents are very rigid, for example, wood or metal.
c. It has buttons, strings, clasps or similar closure devices.
d. Its address is written parallel to the envelope's shorter dimension.
e. Its contents cause the surface of the envelope to be uneven.
f. The length, when divided by height, is either less than 1.3 or more than 2.5