6 Tips to save time & money with your wedding invitations
Kate Sugars started her Adelaide based design business, Bluebelle Studio, over 8 years ago after helping a friend with her wedding invitations.
From there, Kate’s love of weddings and events grew and she eventually quit her 9-5 design job in the pursuit of happiness as a self-employed entrepreneur.
From quality print wedding invitations, wedding stationery sets (with rsvp cards, wedding invitation cards and bridal shower invitations), paper goods, signs and laser cut items, it’s sometimes confusing for engaged couples to know where to start.
Kate from Bluebelle Studio prides herself on offering custom design services to bring her clients’ vision to life with letterpress, white ink laser-cut, foiling, engraving and printed wood modern production processes.
We asked Kate for her best advice and top tips for sourcing, planning and ordering all your wedding stationery needs.
1. Work out your guest list and how many wedding invitations you need.
While wedding invitations can vary dramatically in price depending on your choice of card stock, print processes, extra embellishments or details, the biggest factor that affects your wedding invitation quote is the quantity!
Most wedding stationery designers, need at least an approximate quantity to begin the quoting process. More often than not, the pricing is on a sliding scale; meaning the more you need, the cheaper it is per piece (some production and administrative costs are a set price which are then divided by the amount of invitations you are ordering).
If you want 100 x foiled wedding invitations, which require a metal foil plate at $X, the foil plate cost is divided by 100 (per unit price).
So if you only need 50 invitations, the foil plate still costs the same, but the foil cost per unit is doubled and the overall cost per unit will be more.
You don’t want to be ordering a lot more than necessary either, so working out which guests can share an invitation helps cut down your costs (usually 1 per household is standard).
If you don’t calculate your wedding guest list correctly to start with, leaving yourself short, it can be quite expensive to do another print run of an extra 10-20 extra invitations.
2. Order spare invitations.
Kate always suggests that her clients order between 5-10 spare invitations per 100 guests.
This can save you if you forget to include a distant cousin on your wedding guest list or if you receive a few unexpected decline RSVPs and want to include someone from your B list at the last minute.
There may be a time when your parents decide they really should invite those lovely friends of theirs “who think the world of you” and your guest list keeps increasing beyond the number of invitations you thought you’d need.
3. Don’t leave ordering your invitations to the last minute.
Make sure to allow roughly 6 months between starting to get your invitations sorted and your wedding date.
The standard time frame for sending out wedding invitations is around 2-3 months prior.
If you suddenly realise that you’ve only 4 months left until your wedding day, but you want a custom designed wedding invitation with letterpress and/or foil printing (these processes can take 4-6 weeks), then you will run into what is known as ‘rush fees’; basically a surcharge to push your order ahead of the standard production timeline.
Be sure to allow ample time to avoid this unnecessary cost and potential wedding budget blowout.
4. Consider what’s most important to you and the look you want to achieve.
Spend your wedding budget on what you like and value most.
If you love your food and wine, focus on that aspect of your wedding. If flowers and aesthetic details like your wedding stationery mean a lot to you, then prioritise your budget on them.
This focus can help to save you money. By not throwing money at every single aspect of your big day, you may be able to afford to have higher quality products and/or services that you will appreciate.
Alternatively, you may not be fussed with printed invitations, opting to send your wedding invitations online, but want a killer welcome sign that you can hang in your house after the big day as a keepsake.
There are many options you can consider too, like opting for more economical options like digital printing (instead of letterpress and foiling) and choosing a premade design rather than having something custom designed, uniquely for you.
WHICH PIECES DO YOU WANT AND NEED IN YOUR WEDDING STATIONERY SUITE?
If you want to let your guests know about your wedding registry preferences (e.g. if you’re having a wishing well) and don’t have a lot of venue information that you need to communicate, you may not need a separate insert for it. Maybe you could just pop 1-2 lines on the bottom of the invitation and eliminate the need for that card.
Perhaps traditional RSVP cards are not your thing?
You could opt to add a mobile phone number, wedding website or email address on the bottom of your wedding invitation instead.
This is also useful if you really want something like gold foiling for your invitation but don’t have the budget for it. Use the money you were going to spend on that extra card and put it towards getting the look of your dream invitations!
5. Don’t forget the cost of postage.
Snail mail is a joy to receive, but the cost of posting unique size and shape cards can come as a bit of a shock.
While you may really love the look of a square invitation design set, typically at 14cm-15cm they automatically put in the ‘large letter’ post category.
Multiplying that charge by 150 invitations and BAM your postage costs just went from $150 up to $300 (not including pre-stamping the RSVP card return envelopes).
It’s a similar situation with the weight and thickness of your wedding stationery envelopes.
That big, fluffy bow tying up your wedding invitation suite may look like a dream, but you may need to consider hand-delivering them or cop the doubling of your postage budget again.
Sometimes it can be worth weighing up the petrol cost and social benefits of going for a nice, long drive on a weekend to personally deliver your invitations.
6. Proof, proof and proof again!
When you’re going through the wedding stationery and/or invitations proofing process (i.e. checking your stationery for accuracy and quality prior to giving the green light to print) either online (if your stationer is overseas) or through a local small business, be sure to get several people to check the proof before approving it for print.
You, your fiancé, your mum, your cousin, you name it.
Get as many eyes to look over that baby as possible!
Please note; this is NOT to get their opinion on the creative aspects of the invitation design (except for your fiancé, of course) but rather to check all the names, dates, times, addresses, spelling and specifications are correct.
If you, after receiving the final product, realise there’s an error, then you are 100% liable for the full cost of reprinting.
And that’s just not fun. Not only will you need to wait for them to be reprinted but that’s extra money that you didn’t need to spend.
What are your must dos for wedding invitation design and ordering?
Let us know in the comments!