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Photo Credits:
Red Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
White and Cranberry Invitation -- Geoff White Photographers
Invitation with Bow -- Geoff White Photographers
White Invitations -- Geoff White Photographers

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Budget Savers

Budget-Friendly Invitation Ideas

Simple and easy invitation budget tips for brides.

Photo: Geoff White Photographers

You’ve set a date and now you have to send your invitations out. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry -- you’re not alone. Wedding invitation basics and etiquette wording are two of the biggest stress-factors for the average bride. Can you save money when you announce to the world that you’re about to say “I do”? Sure you can, and here’s how.

Take Stock in Your Paper

The thicker the paper, the higher the price tag. While cotton and linen may be the best (they both have a tendency to stand the test of time), wood pulp is cheaper and can save you considerable cash. Also, consider opting out of colored paper or colored ink if you want to cut corners.

Financing Your Folds

The more complicated your invitation, the higher the cost. If you want to keep things within budget, stick to a simple bifold invitation (which looks like a card) versus a trifold (accordion-style) or gatefold invitation (two folds that open up like a barn door). The latter two tend to be pricier since they involve more production and paper stock.

Engraving

Classic engraving involves creating etched plates with your invitation information, which are filled with ink and pressed into the paper stock. This can be a very expensive process that can set you back if you’re planning a wedding with hundreds of guests. If you want to mimic this process while bypassing the costs, consider thermography. This process works in the exact opposite way of engraving: Stock is treated with resin; then your lettering is applied. It goes through a heating process, which causes the letters to rise up on the paper. It may sound more complicated, but it’s actually an easier process that can be quicker and lower your invitations expenses.

Email Save-the-Dates and RSVPs

Looking for ways to go green AND save money? Consider sending out save-the-dates via email, Facebook, or Evite.com. This is an easy option if the majority of your guests are technically savvy. You can also treat your RSVPs the same way if you plan on having a wedding web page. Beware: Grandma Irma may find this too complicated, so it might be a good idea to invest in a small number of invitations to placate those guests who find the whole online process a little too advanced.

DIY Details

While many stationery companies offer engagement invitations and thank-you cards, just as many offer DIY kits to help you curb costs. Take a trip to Michaels or your local craft store to explore your options before you invest in something a bit pricier. Need a map? Websites like WeddingMapper.com offer DIY maps for your invites for free as well as a customized one for a small additional cost.

-- Summer Krecke

See More: Budgeting , Invitations , Planning