Hints to Save Money on your Wedding Invitations


(from a pro)

When it comes to wedding planning, creating (and sticking to!) a budget is extremely important. Stationery, including save the dates, invitations, and programs, is calculated anywhere from 2%-8% of your overall budget. Paper is definitely not the highlight of the event (I would want to splurge on an amazing photographer and music). However, it is the very first impression of your big day to guests. The invitation sets the tone of the wedding and should give your family and friends an idea of what to expect.

So, how do you save a little (money and time) on your wedding invitations? No, I’m NOT suggesting an e-vite or to DIY (unless you REALLY enjoy that kind of thing)! However, I have a few tips to help you get the most out of your stationery budget.

1. Know what you want. Do your research and find a designer who is a good fit for you. If you find a person to create for you who has a style similar to yours, this will limit the number of meetings and emails. Have an idea of what you envision for your invitation from the beginning. Knowing what you want will definitely save you on time and stress, but also on cash. If you change your mind about colors, materials, or even quantity after the design process has begun, this can be costly.

2. Modify an existing design. Rather than opting for a custom, from-scratch creation, choose to pick a design and modify it to fit your needs. Most designers are happy to work with an existing creation and change colors, fonts, wording, etc. If you want something new and completely unseen, expect to pay a custom design fee and allow extra time for your from-scratch design to be born!

3. Pick a focus. Obsessed with those floral envelope liners? Then keep the invitation simple. Must have a metallic shimmer paper? Then skip the lace ribbon. Decide what is the most important and keep the other parts simple. I love that each invitation suite has it’s own focal point, but start adding too many and you’ll really begin to splurge. Liners and twine and postage, oh my!

4. Combine information to one insert card. Each additional insert card is an added cost. Instead of a directions, accommodations, and reception card, combine as much info as possible onto a single card.

5. Have a wedding website. Following the above, leave the details to the website. Do a “Details” insert with some general information on getting to the venue and add “for more information, please visit our website.” On your website, you can list extensive directions, suggested hotel info, and any other details your guest might need.

6. Order early. This hint will most definitely save you on stress, but also money. Ordering early ensures there will be no late or rush fees added to the bill. Invitations should be sent 6-8 weeks before the wedding and often need to be ordered 6-8 weeks prior to mailing.

7. Remove or reduce postage. The typical wedding invitation comes with a response card and mailing envelope. It’s polite to pre-stamp the RSVP envelope for your guests to use. Choose to forgo the card and envelope and have guests RSVP online. (See hint Number 5). This will not only save you on postage, but also from purchasing the envelope! Another way to save is to select an RSVP postcard. Postcard stamps cost slightly less than envelope stamps and this also saves on the envelope.

This couple gave guests a link to RSVP online and saved on postage and envelope costs!

This couple gave guests a link to RSVP online and saved on postage and envelope costs!

 

For the invitation itself, the US Postal Service requires a $0.70 stamp for any mail weighing over 1 ounce. Many invitations are well under an ounce, but some are not. If adding liners, ribbon, and multiple insert cards you are setting up to purchase the costlier postage.

8. Limit the number of proofs. When you receive your proof, check over everything (spelling, grammar, information accuracy, spacing, etc) at one time. Then let the designer know what changes need to be made. Often, wedding invitation packages are set up with a specific amount of proofs. Additional proofs can be an additional charge, so make sure to make all necessary modifications in one swoop.

9. Ask! Find a suite you love, but think it’s out of your budget? Reach out and ask the designer if there is any way to customize it to fit your price point. There are possibilities to save in ways you may not even realize!

I would love to hear any hints on flexing a wedding budget, stationery or otherwise!

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Catching Up

Hi all! Steph here.

I’ve been staying super busy! The website hasn’t gotten much attention lately, but you can keep up with oh my! designs on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, AND Etsy! Follow me at the links below to stay in the know.

Lots of exciting things are stewing and there are some great things coming up! Can’t wait to show you soon!

LIKE me on Facebook: facebook.com/ohmydesignsbysteph

FOLLOW me on Instagram: @ohmydesigns_

FOLLOW me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/ohmydesignsteph

SHOP me on Etsy: etsy.com/shop/ohmydesignsbySteph

EMAIL me always: orders@ohmydesignsbysteph.com

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Taking the Leap: Wedding Invitations

My friend Katie called me New Year’s Day. It was officially 2014 and she was ready to talk wedding invitations for her June ceremony. I had worked with her in designing her save the dates and she was hopeful that I could also create her wedding invitations. “Absolutely, I would love to!” I replied. After hanging up the phone, the pressure set in. I’ve done plenty of graduation announcements, shower invitations, and save the dates – but the idea of a wedding invitation scared me a little. It is possible that this invitation is the single most important invitation in a girl’s (or guy’s!) life.

I was extremely lucky in that Katie knew what she wanted and that her soon to be hubby, Alex, was in agreement. She had an idea in mind, but also allowed me to put my own spin on things. The teacher side of Katie kept mentioning that she wanted the information to be “organized”. She wanted bold and block-like fonts and her colors were navy and grey.

“The Katie” is a dark grey panel with a pocket on the back side. The response card and envelope slide into the pocket to create a bundled look. The invitation itself is navy with cream lettering and printed on a coated card stock with a hint of gloss. This was mounted on a cream puff mat to break up the layering of the dark colors. The cream was also tied in by using a cream colored mailing envelope. I hand assembled the invitations and printed the guest addresses on each envelope.

The final product was beautiful, if I do say so myself. I was thrilled with how these turned out and received a lot of great feedback on the invitations. They are classically modern, looking fresh and sleek. Taking the leap to the intimating wedding invitation was scary, but I’m so glad I did it. It feels amazing to create something for one of the most special days of a friend’s life. I can’t wait to embark on the journey of working with more brides to make their big day dreams come true!

 


 

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Putting My Name On It

The amount of things that you are able to plaster your name upon now are countless… from pens and koozies to coffee mugs and t-shirts, the list goes on. I quickly realized that seeing my logo on anything and everything makes me happier than a camel on a Wednesday.

My rubber stamp purchase has been one of my best yet. The purchase was accompanied by several colorful ink pads and I have yet to run of out things to stamp my name across. As always, I like to purchase from Etsy when I can and found Stamp Out Online in my search (https://www.etsy.com/shop/stampoutonline). I was able to design my own stamp and the turnaround was lightning speed. Although they are based in California, I had the stamp in my hands two days after placing my order. I have absolutely no idea how they do it, but it’s WONDERFUL!

stamp

Stampin’ Away 

 

 

 

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Snail Mail

I’ve always had a slight obsession with snail mail. My favorite part? Writing the addresses on the envelopes. I hate licking that sticky part on the back, but luckily they make a product to take care of that. It took me awhile to figure out why I loved preparing the mail and it finally hit me: my third grade teacher. Mrs. Harrell started a post office within our school where we could mail letters to each other. Naturally, I was picked as a student helper to start this post office. It all makes sense now…

How many emails do you get a day? I get emails every day, all day. They are rarely special. Mainly there are reminders that I need to pay a bill or the bombardment of sales for each and every store in the mall. Of course, I am lucky enough to receive the pleasant emails that I have sold an Etsy order or that someone has posted a comment to my blog. With our present fast-moving society, having the immediate ability to send email is obviously necessary.

How much snail mail do you get a day? My snail mail counts seem to be much lower than that of my email and although some of those pesky bills and unnecessary coupons show up, I am always excited to see an envelope with my name hand written across the front. Sometimes you are expecting an invitation, mainly because so-and-so just asked you for your address three days ago. Sometimes you are completely caught off guard with what lies inside this envelope. Do you open it immediately, standing at the mailbox? Or do you stuff it into the pile with the other mail and take it inside to open? Wherever you may choose to open your envelope, you know that there is a very good chance something positive will be in the contents. (Because we all know the bill companies aren’t handwriting envelopes!) You have just received an invitation, announcement, thank you note, celebratory card, or personalized hello! Someone has taken the time to invite you or thank you by sending you a piece of snail mail.

Often, what you have just opened represents a special moment or milestone in someone’s life. Because they chose to send a tangible memory, rather than an electronic message, you are able to hang it on the universal home bulletin board, the refrigerator. If you are like me, that piece of paper might stay on the fridge for months and will be seen by visitors. Formal events should begin by sending a formal invitation. Special moments should be broadcasted with a special announcement. And don’t ever underestimate the power of sending a hand-written thank you note for a gift or interview. 

We have the ability to send information at the swipe of a finger, but I believe the joy of receiving something in the mail cannot be replaced.

 

“I love the rebelliousness of snail mail, and I love anything that can arrive with a postage stamp. There’s something about that person’s breath and hands on the letter.”  Diane Lane

 

 

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You say “perfectionist” like it’s a bad thing…

To say I have unrealistically high expectations would be wrong. Well, it is half wrong. I do have high expectations. However, they are not unrealistic. 

Yes, I am a small business. No, that does not mean you are getting any less of a product than if you were to order from one of the large websites. Even though I am just a one-girl-do-all operation, I can only assume that my customers expect perfection from me. If I am not 100% happy with what comes out of the printer, I go back to the drawing board until I am fully satisfied. Sometimes this can turn into a stressful and/or frustrating process (for both myself and my printer)!

One of the driving forces to start oh my! designs was my unsuccessful attempt to print DIY invitations I ordered from Etsy. There was no way the perfectionist in me would send out less than perfect invites to a friend’s baby shower. After the time spent trying to fix them, I ditched them, and ordered from the big guys. That was over a year ago. I have since learned a lot about printing, as well as design, so that I can provide people a stress and frustration free option. I like to think people pay me to be crazy about their papers, so that they don’t have to. And why shouldn’t they? Throwing a party or announcing a special moment should be a solely positive experience!

“Don’t just meet expectations, exceed them.”

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Cartwheels

When I think about how far the business has come in just 8 short months and all the potential growth there is, it makes me so excited I just want to do cartwheels.

It still blows my mind that a small idea in my head has become a small, real life, growing business! Who woulda thought?! To complement the invitations and designs themselves, I wanted to create a blog for my friends and fans to keep up with the ever evolving oh my! designs. Words and writing have always been something I enjoy. You can even check out the blog I kept from my final semester of college, in which I studied abroad in Ecuador, here: http://stephgoesabroad.wordpress.com (throwback!).

I do not claim to be an expert of writing, teaching, learning, designing, creating, color, fashion, patterns, accessorizing, nor marketing. However, I have dabbled in each and have found that the aforementioned are all things I am passionate about. My hope is to continue learning about each one to see where I am led. I’ve got BIG plans for the future, but am going to allow life to take me in the direction that seems right. Continue to check back for new products, design inspiration, and just daily realizations of attempting to launch a small business!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt 

 

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