I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but trust me – it’s worth a read and a repin for future reference.

We sent out 400 3-piece invitations formal invitations with pictures and postage for under $400. 

How did we do it? More importantly, how can you too? Read below for all the details.

1) Decide if this is a priority.

I love paper, graphic design, and formalities so formal invitations were an absolute must for me. I may be weird in my obsession, but the invitations were more important to me than my dress, the catering, and the flowers. This was the one place I was NOT willing to short change.

Wedding Invites Tweet

2) Reality check.

You wouldn’t be reading this if you had thousands of dollars to spend on your invitations. So let’s be real. Have you already trimmed your guest list? How much do you have budgeted for your invitations? Remember, no matter how great you are at saving money, they just don’t make coupons for stamps. Postage was almost half of our invitation cost.

3) Prioritize.

What are the top three things you want in your invitations? My top three were: multiple pieces, paper doilies, and a picture of the two of us that didn’t make it feel informal.  Perhaps more importantly, what will your invitations NOT look like? For me this meant no collages or invitation/picture blends. Call me a paper snob, but I just didn’t want that look for my invitation.

4) Choose your printer.

I used UPrinting.com, and I really think you should too. I searched hundreds of sites before settling on them. They only sell in increments of 250 so we ordered 500 invitations (and still have 100 extra under the bed in a box). It was still almost half the price of other printers. You can currently order 500 front and back 5×7 invitations on 14 pt. glossy cardstock (envelopes INCLUDED) for $131.51 AND you can design them yourself (or have me design them for you). I do not receive any compensation if you order from UPrinting. I just really love their service.

5) Design your pieces.

UPrinting will let you design your own invitations using their design tool or you can upload a design you made elsewhere (or had me design for you). I designed our main piece to have a formal invitation on one side and our picture, names, and wedding date on the back. That way, people could put the invitation on the fridge as a save the date picture. People LOVED that. I also ordered 3.5×5 inserts that had information about our wedding website. (Need your own wedding website? I do that too…)
Don’t forget. If you really are a broke bride, you better design those invitations to fit in a standard sized envelope and not to be too heavy. You want a normal stamp to do the trick. Figure out the weight, and stick below it. Postage is the most expensive part!

6) DIY.

Now for the fun part. You’ve got the pieces, and that might be enough, but if you have a plan to embellish them, get to work. We created a corner folder with paper doilies and glue dots and used a heat gun, monogram stamp, and embossing powder to make a raised “G” in the corner.

7) Address them.

Remember how I mentioned I am a paper snob? Well, my bridesmaids hated me because we addressed every single invitation by hand… and I didn’t even have a stamp for the return address label. We made a party out of it. Of course, if you are not quite as crazy as I am (or if your bridesmaids have terrible handwriting), I guess you could use address labels. I promise I won’t judge you for being different from me.

8) Send them off.

It will be such a relief to get those invitations out. This is real. You are getting married! Be excited. Dance when you put them in the mailbox. Hug your mailman. It’s a good day, and you just saved tons of money by doing your research and working hard. Go splurge on a sundae or something.

Oh yeah, don’t forget. People don’t RSVP, so those adorable RSVP cards you sent out (if that wasn’t one of the things you cut like I did) won’t help you get an estimate. Check out what to do when they don’t trickle in and your mom caterer needs numbers.

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