Broke-Ass Tag: Invitations


Affiliate Disclaimer NewThere are things I don’t miss about wedding planning: the seemingly endless hunt for affordable vendors, the DIY materials and 24-packs of craft beer piled up all over my living room, and of course the anxiety dreams where I show up to the church on my wedding day having forgotten to buy a dress, but it doesn’t matter because all my guests forgot it was my wedding day in the first place. What I DO miss, though, beyond having an excuse to buy sparkly jewelry, is designing. Knowing a proposal was on the horizon, I even designed the Save the Date below well before Nick and I were engaged (that I actually ended up re-purposing for our programs). I also mocked up a different invitation suite for each venue we seriously considered. Because it took so much brain-power, designing actually was a huge stress reliever for me during the planning process.


I feel like invitations are deeply personal, a reflection of not only the style of the wedding but the ethos of the couple. Plus, you have to have to something that stands out on your friends’ refrigerators, right? I probably put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to have the perfect pieces – especially since they’re likely going to end up in people’s recycling bins – but after a long process of drafting and tweaking, I’m thrilled with how everything turned out.


  • If you decide to go your own way like me, and have access to some sort of image-creation software like Adobe Photoshop or PicMonkey, may I recommend Most of the fonts are free to download, as long as you’re not using them to gain profit, and you can type in your own text in the preview box to see how your name will look in various scripts, for example. Just Google how to add font files to your computer operating system’s font library, and ta-da! Unique, professional looking fonts are literally at your fingertips. Designing everything myself also meant I could create continuity throughout my paper goods.ScreenShot457
  • I used VistaPrint for my Save the Dates, and went with the 7 x 5 commercial postcard option with a design on both sides. Surprise, the prices and quantities of the business products were much better than those in the dedicated wedding section of the site. I wanted a very substantial cardstock and chose the 130 lb. Premium Glossy option, as I read the colors can end up looking a little washed out on the heavier, matte choice. The back of the card is still matte, though, so it allowed me to write addresses and messages with ease.Overall I was pleased, but not in love with, how they turned out. Though I got a great deal via an online coupon, the colors still didn’t pop like I’d hoped (especially the font, which was significantly brighter in the original image). They also badly messed up my first order, resulting in a two week delay in getting my postcards out. But for the price and ease of ordering, they weren’t a bad choice.
  • I was very unimpressed though with VistaPrint’s wedding paper samples, which I ordered for free from their site (and that also took three months to arrive). Nothing was the high-quality heavyweight, textured paper that I’d imagined for my invitations. PaperSource turned out to be an amazing resource. I got 10% off by signing up for their emails, and they also have occasional, more significant sales on all their products (last year, one was around Valentine’s Day). The Luxe cover weight paper had a subtle texture and turned out to be exactly what I had in mind. I also was able to mix and match the envelope colors (I used A7.5 for outer envelopes, A7 for inner envelopes, and A2 for the response cards) for a more dynamic look. Just to be safe, I bought more than I needed. I think I ended up spending about $120 because I didn’t catch them on a sale cycle.
  • My home printer just wasn’t going to cut it in terms of print quality, so I searched on Yelp until I found a local commercial print shop with an excellent reputation. I bought a small packet of the paper and took it in to the shop, who did a test print with my design to make sure the ink would adhere properly to the texture. Make sure to call the shop beforehand though to find out their image requirements (RGB vs CMYK color format, DPI requirements, do they need a bleed, etc.) and make sure they’re OK with printing on outside paper.
  • Once I was satisfied with the sample print, I went back to PaperSource and bought a bulk-size package of the paper. It took about 15 minutes and $40 for the shop to print AND cut my invitations and response cards, and I was out the door, ready to stuff envelopes. And one of the many benefits of shopping small and local is that they were willing to reprint for me for free when I realized that I gave them the wrong version of my file — thanks guys!


  • Gilt City has deals every few months for Wedding Paper Divas. They’ve got a great mix of trendy and classically pretty designs, and are pretty affordable once you have that coupon.
  • Some friends hired a designer via Etsy and sent her inspiration pieces. They got an incredible, one of a kind design, and paid a little extra to have her print all the pieces, so all my friends had to do was assemble them and slap a stamp on the envelope. Because their designer did work as a side business, she wasn’t as pricey as a full-service shop.
  • Etsy also has template designs available, where you pay a flat rate and get a customized design file to print yourself.
  • Don’t completely rule out the boutique stationery shops, though. My mom checked out a cute little shop in my hometown, and their prices for a full service package (design, printing of invitations, RSVP cards, and envelopes) were equal to, and in some cases slightly better than, the popular online stationery destinations.

Are you considering tackling stationery on your own? Have you tried it and came out with some extra tips? Share in the comments below!

Elissa Stooker
  • 4/17

    Affiliate Disclaimer New

    1. Love yoga but hate going to classes? Yoga Download is offering their Yearly Elite membership for $60 (normally $90) with code EARTH15YE until 4/23.

    2. Etsy seller WonderfullyHooked2U is hooking BABs up with 20% off at her shop when you use Coupon20 at checkout. Oh, and score free shipping with code Brokebride.

    WonderfullyHooked2U Mr & Mrs Hangers
    Love these personalized hangers!

    3. Want to show off your engagement pics? Shutterfly is knocking 50% off hard cover photo books and 30% off everything else with code 50AND30 until 4/22.

    4. At Wedding Paper Divas, save 15% off program, menu, place card, table card, napkin and coaster orders of $49 or more or 20% off orders of $99 or more using the code 20DAYOFAPR until 4/21.

    5. Need some new glasses for your wedding day? is having a Buy One Get One sale with code B1G1 until 4/30.

    6. Head to MagnetStreet where you can get 15% off + free shipping on wedding products with codeWEAA4FS until 4/27.

    MagnetStreet Flat Rectangle Modern Flirtation Invitations

    I’m digging this new invitation style!

    7. Get your groom looking dapper with 20% off at Bonobos when you use code SPRINGSTYLE through 4/30.

    8. Want some pretty wedding day accessories without spending tons? Gloss Jewelry is taking 80% off everything on the site + free shipping with code GLOSS80FREE until 4/30.

    9. Being a Broke-Ass Bride has its perks, yo! Get 5% off sitewide at LunaBazaar with code BROKEBRIDE5.

    10. Size 10+? We got you. Kiyonna is taking 20% off orders of $150+ with code SPRING2015 until 5/15.

    Kiyonna Luna Lace Dress

    The Luna Lace dress is so pretty and super on-trend!

    Happy Shopping, BABs!

  • 2/24

    Nix the Fuss with Send 'n' Seal Invitations from Ann's Bridal Bargains

    A standard invitation suite has a whole helluva lot of components: Outer envelope, inner envelope, the invitation itself, RSVP card, reception card and that random piece of tissue paper that is seemingly v. important ... but no one can figure out its true purpose (poor tissue paper). And each one of those components costs money -- which is how invitations to your truly amazing, but…

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    Back when we first got engaged, I had a specific plan in mind for our Save the Dates and wedding invitations. I initially wanted our Save the Dates to look like a tweet (because we met on Twitter) and for our invitations to have a nerd theme. In those first exciting days of our engagement, I started Googling, looking for possible ideas that matched what…

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    Hi all! First of all, let me apologize to my friend, Rachel. Rachel got married a few years ago and I was hurt that she didn’t invite me or any of her other friends from junior high through high school. Now, as a Broke-Ass Bride, I totally understand and apologize for being mad. OK, let’s talk about one of the most difficult aspects of your…

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  • 4/24

    I don’t know about the rest of the USA, but in Kansas, engagement parties are relatively uncommon. I’ve heard that they’re a growing trend, but my area’s philosophy seems to be: “Why bother? Wait for the wedding!” In Australia, however, engagement parties are a huge deal. As my Aussie friends inform me, their philosophy is: “Any excuse to celebrate!” And you know what? I think…

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    Your wedding stationery is the first impression anyone will get about your wedding: it will give them cues about what to expect from the evening (or morning, or afternoon) and how to dress appropriately. No matter what your style, from traditional to modern, rustic to preppy, black and white to bold color, you're certain to find an invitation that suits your event and your budget…

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    People are so darn busy lately that save the dates are becoming necessary to remind them that yes, they do have plans the third week of August, and not only do they have plans, but they have GREAT plans. A beautiful, vibrant save the date makes people excited about your wedding every time they see it, and there's no better place to get custom save…

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  • 4/12

    InviteSite, creators and purveyors of beautiful, sophisticated, and eco-friendly invitations has a conundrum: They've got a brand-spanking new letterpress & photograph design, but in order to showcase it on their site, they need to print it first. But why print it with a photo of their employees (attractive though they may be) or models when they could use a photo that showcases actual, real, love?…

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