Broke-Ass Tag: Ciji

2/14

Affiliate Disclaimer NewInvitations are just one of those things on my list that are not super important. At least they weren’t important in the beginning. Of course, slowly but surely as I started to confirm my wedding vision my thoughts started to shift. I naturally began to consider foil cut designs, envelope liners and beautiful calligraphy until I realized that these extras were costly and time was required to schedule and meet with a stationer. Back to my original thought: Invitations are just not that important, for me.

I Googled a million different websites on the best way to DIY invitations. I downloaded fancy fonts and prepared to try different versions until I mastered the perfect wedding invitation. Then I had a lightbulb moment: The time invested in trying to figure it all out was the same amount of time that I would have invested in working with a stationer. With my schedule, I reminded myself that time is money and decided that my invitations would not be one of my DIY projects.

So my google search shifted to online designs. I looked into Vistaprint, Wedding Paper Divas, Etsy and decided to move forward with Shutterfly. They had a coupon for 50% off so it was an easy decision, Travis was 100% on board with the cost savings.

Real Bride Ciji's Shutterfly

I couldn’t wait to see my designs!

I sat down the day after Christmas and immersed myself in pages and pages of templates, colors, etc …  It was the perfect investment of time for me and here’s how I saved a ton of money:

  • K.I.S.S: Keep it simple silly! I narrowed my search on Shutterfly by filtering the results based on my wedding colors. I wasn’t hellbent on only doing my wedding colors, but it seemed like an easy way to narrow the search and find a design that I liked.
  • Less paper = less postage: based on research, I knew that if I created a “book” of information for my guests that it would be a million dollars in postage to send each invitation. I decided to reduce paper and deep down I also wanted to save trees, so I only made an invitation card with all of the pertinent details, a smaller card with travel details and the website information and a handful of RSVP cards for our family and friends that aren’t website savvy so that they can RSVP. Everyone else will need to visit our website to RSVP.
  • Double whammy on postage savings: Because we only did a handful of RSVP cards, we also will only pay double postage for a handful of invitations. One stamp on the outer envelope and one stamp on the inner envelope
  • Embellishments are OK!: Even though we didn’t create a custom traditional fancy invitation, we still decided to add our own flair. Originally I wanted to add a belly band, however after a late night run to Michaels and a couple of printing trials the decision was made to simply add a ribbon bow and just like that I was in love with my invitation design!
  • Address labels are your friend: I definitely want the hand address look, just not with the hand address price tag. So I revisited the fonts that I downloaded when I had the great idea to design my own invites and decided to use them to spruce up clear address labels. Trust me it’s OK, everyone tosses the envelope.

Real Bride Ciji's Invitation

The finished product

No engraving, embossing, calligraphy for me and I don’t regret it!  I stayed in the traditional lane by mailing invitations vs emailing however added in a mix of DIY and modern flair, i.e. website RSVPs to accomplish my goal!

How are you saving on your wedding invitations?

  • 1/31

    My Pinterest board is filled to the brim with ideas. I’ve considered everything from building an altar from used pallet boards to growing my own rose garden and assembling the bridal bouquet. It’s time for an intervention!

    I’ve known for years, well before I was officially engaged that I would be a “do it yourself” bride. Not just because of the cost savings but also because I am a crafty person — or at least I would like to think that I am. I just love the personal satisfaction of seeing an idea become a reality. My only challenge is that creating over 20 centerpieces for the best day of my life might be a bit more time consuming than the seasonal centerpieces that adorn my dining room table. With that being said and considering that I claim to be a time management guru, constantly on the hunt to find my balance, it’s basically required that I find the time to master all of my wedding DIY projects.

    What’s the fun in doing it alone? There isn’t any, so I decided to reach out to my bridesmaids and host a party! Below are 4 tips to assembling your gal pals for a low cost and productive crafting session.

    Tip 1: Plan in advance. I can appreciate that the favorite ladies in my life are movers and shakers. I decided in November 2016 after several conversations trying to explain my wedding vision that it would be best to corral everyone in the same space and share all of the updates while tying bows and spray painting.  I created a GroupMe event with the date, time and location information for the January 2017 party. You should have seen the look on my face when my Matron of Honor who lives in Austin, flew to Atlanta and surprised me for the weekend. I guess that the pre-planning worked in my favor!

    Real Bride Ciji's Matron of Honor

    My Matron of Honor is the best!

    Tip 2: Be prepared, yet flexible. I have a general idea of how I want the wedding day to look and feel however I haven’t vetted every single idea and that’s OK. When I created the original plan for the day, I thought that we would spray paint over 200 vases. Well in order to do that I needed to confirm if we will have candles or flowers in the vases, what color should we spray paint them and where would we paint them considering that it was 30 degrees outside. So at the last minute I aborted that plan and decided we should de-label some wine bottles and focus on jazzing up the invitations. We didn’t finish every project but it was fun to brainstorm with my bridesmaids and they helped me firm up a lot of the ideas that were floating in my head.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Project

    Soak, apply Goo Gone, rinse, polish and repeat.

    Tip 3: Snacks and drinks are a must. What type of host would I be if I didn’t have something for us to munch on and drink while we viewed “making a bow” Youtube videos? I invited everyone to come over after lunch but before traditional dinner hours, so I prepared a Crockpot queso dip and ensured that we had plenty of wine and ingredients for cocktails.

    Tip 4: Maximize the time! We didn’t finish every project and that’s OK. The best part about the day was hanging out with my friends! My Matron of Honor was able to meet one of the other bridesmaids for the first time, we spent quality time together catching up and swapping stories, we squeezed in some planning time for the rehearsal lunch and bridal shower and most importantly we were able to just hang out and enjoy ourselves in a relaxed environment.

    Real Bride Ciji's DIY Team

    The Dream Team!

    Do you have some big DIY plans? How are you going to wrangle your team to help? Share in the comments!

  • 1/16

    Real Bride Ciji's Wedding Website

    My fiancé and I are social and at times private people. We enjoy both quiet and unpublicized time with loved ones as well as social media engagement and interactions. It's a healthy balance. With that being said, our wedding website needed to reflect both sides. We desired to create an informative and functional wedding website to share our love story with visitors and inform our…

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    1/3

    View More: http://raynawooden.pass.us/cijiandtravis

    I am from Texas. Travis is from Michigan. We have different backgrounds and our own way of doing things. A year ago, we traveled to different cities to celebrate the Holidays independently of each other and it was on Christmas morning, 2015 that we decided that we would not spend another Christmas away from each other. Home is where the heart is. Photo Credit:  Rayna…

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    12/12

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    So the wedding registry process is NO JOKE!  So many options and so much advice, not to mention I need to select things that I think I will like -- rather love -- for a long time ... seriously?! Thank goodness I have a fiance who has an appreciation for the finer things in life and was down to join me at a couple of…

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  • 11/29

    Real Bride Ciji's Engagement Photoshoot2

    It's time for me to narrow the list and select a wedding photographer! These are exciting times. There's just one small issue: There are so many photographers in this world! Photographers that are my friends, photographers that I have worked with in the past, photographer referrals from past brides and I only need one.  I made a list of four photographers to review for our…

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    10/18

    Real Bride Ciji's Paperless Post Save the Date announcement

    Some ladies dream of the perfect wedding dress, others dream of the Prince(ess) Charming that will meet them at the end of the aisle and many dream of the minute that they will say "I do." Before I joined the sorority of engaged ladies, I too dreamed of the above but the most pressing dream and the images that keep me up at night are the…

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  • 10/4

    Real Bride Ciji's bridesmaid flower arrangement

    I’m 75 days into the happiest time of my life. I’m floating on Cloud 9, the new accessory on my left finger continues to sparkle and the engagement glow is bright, everything is just as I imagined it and I am itching to plan the wedding of my dreams. There’s just one small challenge ... the budget! Professionally, I have planned thousands of events for…

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