In this week’s $5k Wedding Wednesday post, you’ll see more ways to help cut costs associated with your wedding day. Want to know how we made our Save the Dates for FREE? Keep reading!
If you’re getting married, you know that weddings can be so expensive. Before you know it the costs are mounting and if you’re not careful, you could easily blow your budget. Things add up quickly, so it’s important to cut costs where you can, to make up for things where you may have a harder time getting a deal.
The moment you put the word “wedding” into any service, item or fee, it instantly becomes more expensive. Wedding invitations are no exception. When we started looking at invitations and Save the Dates, it was apparent that we couldn’t afford to have them made, so I started looking into some DIY options.
For the save the dates, I knew that I wanted to design them myself. I wanted a rich, custom look, that didn’t break the bank. I searched online for designs I liked, then set out in Photoshop to recreate a similar look. If you don’t have Photoshop (I was able to get a copy for free from my previous job, since I needed to use it there) You can use PicMonkey, which has less options, but creates a similar finished product. You can use the free version or upgrade to Royale for more features/fonts. I used our engagement photos, but if you’re going to do that as well, make sure your photographer gives you full copyright release of your images! I took our photo, added the necessary text, and then saved as a separate file.
Now comes the fun part. You can send them off to be printed as 4×6 or 5×7 photo prints. We searched for places that gave you prints for free (many places offer free prints to new customers!). For example, I ordered ours from Shutterfly and got a new customer deal-Fifty 4×6 prints for FREE! We just paid for shipping. You can get the same deal here:
Our invitations are being made DIY as well-We are getting the necessary materials from Cards and Pockets. They are the cheapest source, but also have GREAT quality papers. You can order small color swatches of their papers for just pennies each (the samples ship fast and free) so you can feel confident about what you’re ordering. They even give you step by step directions for sizing your inserts yourself, so it’s not so daunting!
When you print your invitations, you can take them to a print shop, like FedEx Office (Kinkos) or Office Max. Just make sure you have them formatted EXACTLY as they are to be printed. Typically these places charge (a LOT) for any editing that needs to be done. Get your files print ready, and save them as high quality (300-600 dpi is more than enough) files. Call ahead to your printer to see if they need files saved as certain file type (ie: JPEG, PDF, etc.) Don’t forget to multi-up your file. This means you will get two or more (depending on the size) per page. This will yield the same number of prints in half as many pages. You can see a tutorial on how to 2-up files in Word here.
Another suggestion for saving money: Print in black ink only. Sure you may think color is pretty (it is!) but compare costs: printing a black and white piece of paper will run you about $0.11 each, where as color is around $0.59. It may not seem like a lot, but with color running you on average about 5 times the cost, it will add up fast. Do yourself a favor: Make the ink black, and add color in other places, like with the paper, or ribbon or other decoration. If you feel you MUST have colored printing, consider only printing 5-10 of the invitations in color, for immediate family who might consider the invitation a keepsake: think moms and grandmas. Other than that, no one else is going to care, so print them in black!
These same principles can be applied to your programs. If you are going to have them, go simple and inexpensive for your guests: it’s not something that is super important to them. Make a couple nice ones for Grandma Gladys to scrapbook. Other than that? Simple is best. Most people will use it as a fan during the ceremony, then toss it once they hit the reception anyway. Better yet? Do away with programs all together and opt for the new trend of a display board, or chalk board with all the pertinent info posted at the entrance to the ceremony like the one I made for our wedding.
Here’s some cute examples of save the dates. You can design something similar or order from a company like Wedding Paper Divas and save a bundle versus the fancy expensive calligraphers and stationary companies!
Don’t miss the other budget wedding posts chock full of great money-saving tips!
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for some products that I recommend. For more information please check out my Disclosure Statement.