The average cost of wedding invitations in the U.S. is nearly $700.  This may not seem like much compared to the cost of other aspects of a wedding (there are $8,000 catering minimums?!?), but the “little” things add up.  When you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget, you need to be mindful of what you’re spending in EVERY area.  It is absolutely possible to have beautiful, high-quality invitations for much less than $700.  Here are five creative ways to save money on wedding invitations.

Skip save-the-dates.

Couples typically mail save-the-dates four to six months prior to the wedding and send formal invitations around six weeks before the big day.  The save-the-date card often includes a cute photo of the couple and the wedding date, while the formal invite details the ceremony and reception times and locations.  It’s nice for guests to receive both, but it’s not necessary.  Consider skipping the save-the-dates altogether and sending out the formal invitations about three months prior to the wedding.  This will save you a bundle!

If you have guests who are traveling a long distance for your wedding and it’s important to you that they are aware of the wedding date more than three months in advance, use word-of-mouth, phone calls, emails, or Facebook to let them know that the date has been set and that they will be receiving an invitation in the mail.

My hubby and I did this, and I never regretted it.  It saved us quite a bit of money!  One issue that came up was that some of our guests forgot to RSVP because they received their invites early.  I think it was still worthwhile, but if you choose to go this route, make sure you are prepared to deal with tracking folks down to get their RSVP.

 

Hire a graphic design student.

Luckily for me, my hubby is a graphic designer.  He designed our formal invitations for free (the only costs to us were stamps, paper, and envelopes), and he did an amazing job!  Do you or your soon-to-be spouse have any friends who majored in graphic design or have a talent for calligraphy?  Enlist their help!  They’ll be flattered that you asked.

We purchased our paper and envelopes at a stationery store rather than a bridal store, which also saved us quite a bit of money.

 

Limit the amount of paper used.

Try to use as little paper as possible – put the ceremony and reception information on the same piece of paper and/or skip the traditional RSVP card.  Direct your guests to RSVP online at a website link instead.  Skip programs, seating cards, and other non-essentials.

 

Order extras.

If you have any reason to think that you may be ordering extra invitations later on, order a few extras now to avoid having to pay rush fees later.

 

Keep it simple.

Engraving, lace, and hand-painted details are nice, but not needed.  The best looking invitations that I’ve seen are simple, elegant, and well-designed.  Make the effort to find a talented designer instead of blowing money on extravagant embellishments.

 

What tips do you have for saving money on wedding invitations?

 

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