Sunday 9 February 2020

A Budget Wedding - The Invitations

Invitations are the first 'indication' or hint that your guests are going to get in relation to your wedding theming, and this is something I really wanted to get right, however there is SO much choice out there that I found it a bit overwhelming. Along with the choice, the prices were absolutely ridiculous for what I was looking for (£200+ ), and I just couldn't justify spending this on a bit of card that most would probably end up eventually throwing away.

After a long hard search, I came across a seller on ebay that made invitations (username: invitations4u), and you could pick ones to match your colour scheme, and they also had add-ons to suit all styles of weddings (i.e if you needed a food menu to go with your invite, or a honeymoon gift request etc). Admittedly, the invitation wasn't exactly what I had dreamt of (I really wanted a lace effect envelope!), however I felt that it still had that elegant vibe to it and for a mere £40, I really couldn't grumble. They took the stress away and the customer service was fantastic, really making sure everything was perfect for me before they went to print. I was thinking if DIY'ing what I purchased from eBay would work out cheaper, and by the time you had purchased the different card, printer ink, envelopes etc, (and making sure you had the right software on your computer to do this!), as well as the added time and stress (that printers and formatting usually cause!), I think it would have definitely topped the £40 mark. I would definitely pay again for someone to do these for me! (I learnt this from doing the order of service myself... post coming later!)

Some tips that I would give in order to save money in this area - I had 55 day guests at my wedding, so without putting too much thought into it, it's easy to immediately think that you need 55 invitations, but of course with a little bit of logical thinking (which you sometimes lose with the stress of wedding planning!), you soon realise that if you're inviting couples, you could almost halve that number because they can share, which means less invites! Also, with some things, the options that I had in relation to quantity didn't really match with what I was after (i.e. I could either purchase 50 or 60, so I'd have either too little or too much of something and annoyingly have to pay more). If you've got a handful of kids at your reception, they don't need invites either (because I'm assuming their parents are there?! so something else to bare in mind). Purchasing stamps really bumped the cost up of both the day and evening invites - I think I spent approximately £40-£50 on stamps which is crazy. Obviously you can cut the costs by buying 2nd class stamps but to cut costs even more, I hand-delivered these where I could. Some people could argue about petrol costs, but if you make a conscious effort to post invites on your way to somewhere that you were going anyway, you're not technically going out of your way! I remember putting an afternoon aside one weekend and Mike and I went on a little roadtrip around town, popping invites through people's doors! It kind of added to the excitement!

With invitations, with relatives that you know aren't too bothered about having an invite as a keepsake, ask them if they'd like an invite, and if they really aren't bothered, give them the details via email, or on a bit of paper. I know a lot of people like to give invites out because it's tradition and feels special etc, but if you are well and truly trying to cut costs, this is a good option!

Evening Invitations

Just like day invites, there were so many options for evening invitations, but I refused to spend a lot on these. I bought a couple of packs of invites from Hobbycraft (£5 each!) - again, they weren't perfect, but they did the job. To jazz them up a little bit and to add a touch of 'my wedding' - I added a small silver sticky jewel to each of them in the centre of a flower that was already printed on the invite to give it a little sparkle. You could add ribbon/bows etc if you like getting creative - there's a tonne of stuff to choose from in the likes of The Range and Hobbycraft.

A lot of our evening guests were Mike's friends, and to be honest, boys being boys, there were some invites that he even did verbally/via Facebook. Men don't care about invites and the verbal invite still served its purpose - they turned up!

Thank-You Cards 

I nearly had these professionally made, but again, trying to keep costs down, I just went to a couple of different shops and found some really nice thank-you cards, and this enabled me to actually buy cards that were more personalised to the person I was giving it to. I found bridesmaid thank-you cards from The Card Factory for £1.49 each and they were so cute! The others I just purchased from a supermarket, but they were relatable for that person. I'll be honest (I feel such a bad bride for what I'm about to say) but we still haven't got round to sending thank you cards to all of our other guests. I think what happened was went went on honeymoon then no sooner had we come back, we booked another trip to Florida for 10 weeks later, so all of our money/focus went into that. During that time I also left my job so a lot was going on. It was always my intention to give thank you cards, and I was also waiting to receive our professional photos back because I wanted these on the cards, however not only did they take an age to arrive, but quotes that I was getting for the cards (£100+ & stamps on top), I deep down begrudged spending yet more money on a bit of paper. We're now 7 months since the wedding so I feel the time has now passed without feeling embarrassed about getting those cards out. We obviously did a written thank you on our socials the day after but I know its not the same. So to any of our guests that are reading this; sorry! 

All in all, looking back over our invitations, although they weren't my 'dream' design, I was more than happy with them, and very satisfied with the price too. 

Total - Approx £100 (inc stamps)


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