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The Wedding Invitations

The Chief Bridesmaid's advice on how to save money on your Wedding Invitations

These days cheap wedding invitations don't need to mean tacky, flimsy or dodgy printed invites, you can now get elegant and pretty wedding invites without spending a lot of money.

Budget savvy Brides, read on for my top tips for cheaper wedding invites:

For Richer

Shop around

While wedding stationiers are great places to see a wide variety of invitations and get your inspiration, they're certainly not the only place - or the cheapest place - to buy your wedding stationery. Cheaper alternatives can be found at Hobbycraft, Staples or even Marks and Spencers; the Internet too is worth checking out for low cost wedding stationery options.

Package deal

If you do decide to go with a professional company for your wedding stationery, choose a package deal for the invites/orders of service/nameplaces etc. The cost of buying these all separately can really add up - and in these credit crunch times, you may well find you can negotiate a good deal by buying in bulk. For even greater savings, you may find you can save money by ordering blank thank-you cards from the invitation company at the same time. Compare prices and you'll often find that ordering thank-you cards from the invitation companies is cheaper than buying them elsewhere, even the big discount shops.


Different printing techniques

Rather than go for engraved wedding invitations, save money by opting for thermography. It gives the same classy raised look and feel for much less money. You may also find that you have many more choices of designs and papers when using thermography. An even cheaper option is laser printing (the same kind used for magazines, postcards etc) - this is particularly appropriate for more casual weddings.


Little extras can cost big money

If you're keen to personalise your wedding invitations with jackets, tissue and multiple layers of paper be wary that these little extra details can really add up. Not only will you pay for their cost, but there might be hidden assembly fees (or extra work for you), as well as additional postage costs for those invites that need to be sent abroad. You will save money by going for the classic look of a simple invitation printed on a high-quality paper. 

Envelopes

Avoid lined envelopes (a pretty paper insert within the envelope) or double envelopes (traditionally wedding invitations were sent in two envelopes so that they would remain pristine).  Although they are a traditional element of wedding invitations, it's a detail that few will notice (plus postal delivery has come along way since horse messengers!). Save money by skipping this step.


Package deals

If you're working to a tight budget, look for company that offers discount packages. Buying your invitations as a unit may be cheaper than choosing your invitation, response card, envelopes and other extras separately. Additionally some stationers may offer discounts for ordering your wedding invitations, thank you cards, and informal stationery at the same time.

Cheaper Wedding Stationery with The Chief Bridesmaid
Standard size invitations

If you're sending a lot of the wedding invitations abroad, you have to be wary of the invites' weight too.  Anything wedding invites that have clasps or similar closure devices could end up costing you a lot of dough. Also be wary of the Royal Mail's distinction between a letter and a packet - large envelopes will cost more, even for letters being sent within the UK.


Proof read

Check and check again the details that you give your printer or wedding stationery supplier. You'd be surprised how many people find errors on their wedding invitations and have to  re-order resulting in doubling their costs. Ask your most trusted and pedantic friends or colleagues to look over the invitation too as it's easy to get blind to errors if you've been looking at a document for a long time. Make sure you've got all the details of names, date, time, location and RSVP correct!


No RSVP cards

Including RSVP cards with your invitation can cost a fortune, so going without is an easy way to save money in your wedding budget. If you're really keen to stick with this tradition, go for a postcard RSVP rather than a folded card and envelope (this will cost less for tho and you're more likely to avoid postage charges based on weight).

 

It's a numbers game


Calculate the number of invitations you'll need carefully - on top of the number of anticipated guests, you may need to add say 20% extra to allow for mistakes when filling in names and      "B-list" guests. By B-list guests, I obviously don't mean minor celebrities, rather people on your reserve list who you can't invite until some of your A-list guests have dropped out. Often professional invites are costed up on a shifting scale - the most expensive invitations are the first 25-50. The price falls drastically for each additional 25 after that. So if in doubt order an extra 25. This may seem an unnecessary expense if you're trying to save money, but ordering additional invitations later on can be an expensive business as you'll be paying for additional postage and you won't be benefitting from economies of scale. 

 

For Poorer

Create ecard Wedding invitations 

If you're on a really low budget for your wedding, or you want to save money on your invitations so you can spend it elsewhere, sending out your invites as e-cards or facebook invites is the absolute cheapest option. You will not only save money on wedding stationery and postage stamps, you'll save the environment and you're invites will reach your guests quicker. If you'd rather take a more formal approach, you could just save this method for relatives and friends abroad. 

Make or print your Wedding invitations yourselves 

Save money by getting a friend, relative or hobbyist to make DIY cards. If you know someone talented at making cards, then ask her come up with a design instead of hiring a to do it. Get some friends around to spend the afternoon making up copies of the design.  If you're printing them, just use your own printer. No-one will notice anyway, or they won't care too much.

It's as simple as black and white

Print your invitations in black ink -  there will be an additional charge for each type of item printed in coloured ink. If you're ordering invitations, response cards and thank you cards etc, you can easily save £50 or more on the total cost.

Nice Handwriting! 

Save on the cost of a calligrapher by asking someone with pretty handwriting to address your invitations. Many would love this task and be flattered that you asked them.

Looking for advice on how to choose your Bridesmaids? How to save money on Wedding insuranceWhere to find cheap designer wedding dresses

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