All She Wrote, is a stationery and gift store in Chicago, that has helped brides of all budgets find the perfect paper for their big day.
The store’s owner, Wendy Beard, has some really great tips for cutting down on your invitation costs. (The embosser alone could save you $350!). Take a look at Wendy’s smart advice:
- The printing method makes a huge impact on price. Traditional engraving (where you can feel the ink when you run your finger over it) or letterpress (where the letters are indented into the paper) is 30-50 percent more expensive than thermography (which still has a raised-ink feeling). Flat printing, as with a laser printer, is even less expensive.
- Purchase a return address embosser instead of having your return address printed on the envelopes. An embosser costs about $42-60, but return address printing will cost you at least $1 per envelope. If you have a wedding with 200 guests, and you use the embosser for your wedding invitations and your thank-you notes, then you’ll save about $350. And of course you can continue to use the embosser for personal stationery, invitations and other correspondence long after the wedding.
- Certain brands are more expensive than others. Modern, high-end brands like Kashube and Lallie can cost as much as $30 an invitation. Traditional brands like Crane and William Arthur have similarly expensive options, but they also have designs that are significantly cheaper. William Arthur recently introduced a more affordable line called Rita Renning, which uses the same high quality paper, but arrives unassembled. You’ll spend time putting everything together (like ribbons or vellum overlays) but you’ll save on cost.
- Stick to one or two colors – the more ink colors you use, the more you’ll pay.
- The design of the card is what really makes the statement – the rest is just icing. Find a design you love, and if it is too expensive, have it printed on a lighter-weight paper.
- Opt for an unlined envelope, or skip the inner envelope altogether.
- Skip Save-the-date cards, particularly if most of your guests are local or if you can send the invitations early. Or use postcards instead of a traditional envelope and card.
- Eliminate a separate reception card by listing wedding and reception information on the same card. Or use vellum, which is lightweight and will help save on postage.
- Use response postcards – you’ll save on cost and on postage to and from.
- Bring your invitation to the post office and have them calculate the exact postage instead of rounding up.
- Choose a standard envelope size; square or differently shaped envelopes will cost more to mail.
- Professional calligraphers charge upwards of $1 per invitation. Find a friend with nice handwriting, or print addresses from a computer.