Broke-Ass Tag: wedding stationery


Timelss Rings invitation from Wedding Paper Divas

In the beginning there was a good idea, then the good idea was shared and people shunned it because the good idea was too modern and technologically forward … and that’s how we went from e-vites to paper invites. Siiiiigh. Since we originally didn’t plan on spending money on invitations, I only looked at stationery sites longingly and for ideas. I struggled with the idea of spending $2.50+ on a piece of paper that most people were going to toss in the garbage (most likely). I went through several websites looking through their invitation templates for inspiration of something I could create myself in Photoshop.

I picked out my favorites and showed them to Timo to ask his opinion. I gave him three options, two cheap and one not cheap. Of course, he picked the expensive one to like (which was fine since it was also my favorite). Part of me was on the fence about creating our own invitations. The time commitment, finding some place to have them printed, my Photoshop limitations … I was kind of hoping he’d pick one of the cheaper options so I wouldn’t feel bad when I suckered out and said, “Why don’t we just buy these instead of me going through all this frustration?” When Timo asked how much it would be to buy the invitations we both liked and I told him almost $500 for just the invites and 10 RSVP cards, he almost fell out of his chair. Sometimes, I wonder what it’s like to be so blissfully ignorant of the wedding industry. Timo quickly became my #1 supporter for me spending my time on the computer trying to figure out how to potentially recreate something similar that we had seen online.

One of my besties works with a graphics designer and I was able to send her screenshots of the template we liked and asked her recreate the images that I couldn’t figure out (this is probably frowned upon as it may cross ethical boundaries). Obviously it wouldn’t be exactly the same, which was fine. I also wanted to change the colors of the template to our colors. I was in the process of working with the color gradient of the rings when I received an email from Wedding Paper Divas (WPD) containing a 40% off coupon code.

Me: Excuse me, did you say 40% off?
WPD: Why yes, yes we did.
Me: Squuuueeeee! #gamechanger

I knew that even if I designed the invites myself, I would still have to pay for the paper and to have them printed. I tried to do some estimates and couldn’t really figure it out what prices for printing/paper would be and the frustration really started setting in. I had been working on the design for over a week and hadn’t even started working on the text or wording for the back. Putting everything together was frustrating and I was starting to get overwhelmed which I knew would be a delay of game in progress.

I knew that I would definitely be printing info on the back of the invite, etiquette be damned. No way I was spending another $1+ for an enclosure card when the back of our invite could hold that information. No, we wouldn’t have that cool design, but I would be saving money and our theme (“we’re on a budget”) is way more important to me than a pretty design on the back of the invitation (that we hadn’t originally planned to send anyways).

When I saw the coupon code, I knew I needed to talk to Timo and ask his opinion. I explained that with the discount we’d be paying between $250-$300 for everything we needed and he asked, “Is that what you would prefer to do?” Without missing a beat, I said, “Yes.” I knew that the frustration had only just started and it probably wasn’t going to be worth my stress and time to reinvent the wheel when I could just pay for a finished product. So Timo agreed that we could just buy our wedding invitations from the site. Relieved, I explained to him that we needed to light the fire under our asses to get the wording (more specifically, the translation) figured out so I could submit the order before the offer expired. Timo committed to making sure we got it done in time.

One of the biggest expense contributions was the fact that while we needed 100-ish invites, we needed 30 in German and 70 in English. The problem with this is the more you print, the better your discount is.

Price breakdown (for full price):

100 cards @ $1.89 = $189
70 cards @ $2.29 + 30 cards @ $3.59 = $268
10 RSVP cards (for the elders) = $29.40

We took about three days to work out the wording. Timo had to translate everything into German. I managed to submit our order the day before the code expired, much to my surprise. I figured we’d come skidding in right at the very end. With Wedding Paper Divas, you design your order in their template designer then your submitted order is assigned to a designer who works with you to further edit your invitations to your liking, if you have changes to make. Once your initial order (pre-edits) is complete, that is the price you pay, no matter how long it takes you to make revisions of your designs.

We had to go through several rounds of revisions. I only had one almost meltdown when we got our first set of proofs back and all my carefully decided on fonts were changed and the colors were completely wacky and essentially “everything” was wrong with them and OMG why didn’t I just do this myself, I know exactly what I want, I wouldn’t be in this situation dealing with a stranger on the internet trying to decipher what “fix the spacing” “fix header sizing” etc., meant. I was so upset I called WPD and asked to speak to my designer.

I knew our problem was that we were trying to communicate via text over the Internet and my wishes weren’t clear nor was her understanding of what I wanted. When she called me back we spoke about my goals and she was able to reset to my original design and we went from there. After the call, we were on the same page. I was able to send the designer specific color numbers for the colors we wanted and a layout template so she could see how I wanted the header, center and footer text laid out. Other than tweaks on the fonts and some wording issues, it only took about four cycles of revisions to get our invites “perfect.”

Total paid for 100 invitations, 10 RSVP cards, and envelopes (with a 40% off code): $204.41

You know how sometimes you know you’re forgetting something, but you can’t really figure out what it is?  Yeah, that happened, of course. Two days after I gave the final approval for the proofs and they were sent to the printer, I realized that our invites didn’t have one of the most important details about the wedding … the blurb about no children. Oops. I also made sure to add a blurb about leaving children at home on the wedding website.

The “please no children” wording I went with: “We would love to give all our guests the opportunity to let their hair down and have a good time without having to worry about little eyes and ears, so we politely request no children at our reception.”

Invite example:


Buying our invitations saved me sooooo much time and frustration. Which Timo definitely appreciated. I think that wedding planning has been a good lesson for Timo and I about money vs. convenience. I struggle to pay for something I am fully capable of doing, but the reality is, I’m not as good as a professional. Period. Sometimes, DIY just isn’t worth the hassle. For me, that lesson came with our invitations.
Regrets on ordering our invitations from a website?  NONE, but only because we had a 40% off coupon.  If we had to pay full price, I would not be saying this.

What did you end up just spending money on to make it go away? Tell us in the comments!

  • 5/2

    Within a week of selecting our venue and wedding date, I started daydreaming (and night dreaming) about save the date magnets. I wanted to send out magnets with a photo of us with our date in a cute font and the wedding website and they would be perfect and cheap and so cute!  Everyone loved the idea. But then we told the Germans about my great idea and they brought us back to reality: most German’s don’t have a magnetic refrigerators. Oh yeah, we knew that.

    At the same time, the Germans were asking if they were going to get invites and we said nope. Originally, I had wanted to do electronic invites. “We’re on a budget” is our theme and this is 2017 and we live a very technologically enhanced life (we use our phones to turn our lights on and off, it’s so cool!). I know that change is difficult for people, but I feel like putting less money toward an item that someone is probably going to throw away and instead redirect those funds towards something more awesome (see: booze) just makes sense.

    All the parents went nuts. “WHAT?! NO INVITATIONS?! How will we know what is going on?”
    Me:”You go to the website because this is 2017.”

    Have I mentioned that I get glared at a lot?

    Well, I do. I have this super annoying charming smile I return to the glareer. It’s just a winning situation all around.

    Admittedly, I often shun traditions for more modern approaches. This is just one instance. I try to take a very objective approach to traditions because I’m aware that some things are traditions for good reasons. For instance, wedding invitations used to be a practical thing to spend wedding dollars on. We didn’t have the internet. Yet, I believe if you’re keeping traditions alive for the sake of “it’s tradition,” that’s stupid. Don’t get me wrong, paper invites are beautiful and “everyone” does them and you just “have” to have them and how will people know about the wedding if you don’t send out paper invites?

    Since this isn’t 1792, I can actually use the phone and call people to tell them about my wedding. I can also email people. In addition, I can SEE people and tell them face-to-face. Because let’s be honest, we’re all looking for a way to trim the guest list to keep costs down and if I can’t find a way to communicate with you in 2017 without mailing you a piece of paper, you are only at my wedding because someone’s parents insisted or we felt obligated. #youknowitstrue

    Additionally, now that the wedding industry is an industry, wedding invites aren’t practical to me, or cheap! Because we would like to send out invites in German and English, that means we will need “less” (not actually, but printing totals are based on the total number, not how many languages you choose to use). So instead of needing 100 invitations, we will need 35 German invites and 65 English invites.

    Let’s have a break down session based on the wedding suite we liked the most (from a very popular wedding paper website that is linked to a very popular wedding website host site):
    Wedding invitation (the single piece of paper that has all the fancy cursive writing on it): $3.29 each for 35, $2.09 each for 75.
    Enclosure card (I planned to skip this piece and print on the back of the invite but I got a lot of flak, as this is the piece of paper that has the deets on it): $1.84 each for 35, $1.39 each for 75.
    RSVP card (which I may break down on and have a few (10, as that’s the minimum) printed and stick them in the invites for the elders): $2.94 for 10.

    Invites: $271.90
    Enclosures: $168.65
    RSVP: $29.40
    Grand total: $469.95 + tax, title, license, and fees.
    That would be $4.70 per invite (not including postage or upgrades)

    WTF? For paper that most people are probably going to have no idea what to do with and eventually toss in the garbage.

    Automatically, the enclosure cards were eliminated in favor of just printing on the back of the invite. Save trees and dollars. Do not care about your traditions.
    I figure I could just buy enclosure card paper at Michael’s and print out 10 RSVP cards for wayyy less than $30.

    So even if we wanted to do just invites through the site, it would be around $300. If we were lucky to find a discount code, it might be less than that, but considering our original budget for paper was $300 and that was for magnetic save the dates and a few paper invites to the elders (so I wouldn’t have to deal with so much bitchin’), that seemed like too much. That doesn’t include having them addressed (or the ink for printing addresses in our case, because there is not a single person that could talk me into paying someone $1+ per envelope to write an address in pretty cursive because tradition) or postage. Reminder, we are mailing things overseas, so that is even more dollars. We’d definitely go over budget for these invites and I was sad to have to tell Timo that our pick was probably a no go unless I could come up with an alternative or we picked another stationery design we liked from somewhere like Walmart Stationery (yep, Walmart does wedding stationery) that was “cheap” but not really.

    In the midst of the invitation debacle, we spoke with the Germans — which resulted in my first wedding breakdown. Pretty good considering we’ve been at this for a month and made some pretty substantial decisions. Despite our agreement that we would just send out paper invites instead of doing a save the date with an electronic invite thing (another problem I hadn’t yet solved), Timo agreed to send the Germans paper save the dates. I essentially said, “Not my problem.”

    And most will predict the ending of this story: It became my problem.

    This time though, I kinda brought it on myself because I was afraid of what Timo would do.

    I imagined a literal letter printed out that said “Save the date. We’re getting married on November 1st. Check out our wedding website.” I couldn’t let it happen. So we discussed it. I said I’d help him do the save the date, but he had to help me, not “help” me while I do all the work and he sits beside me scrolling through his never ending Instagram feed (seriously though, how do they find so many things to look at?).

    In the beginning of the process, I had suggested we do postcards to save money on paper and postage and he agreed. They were simple enough, easy to print at home, and would meet the demands of the Germans. Timo not only had to help me find the paper for the project, but he also had to find the template he liked that I could design something off of AND he had to translate the sentences into German.  He also knew that anytime I asked him to review what I’d done, he had to respond immediately.

    Since I have a mediocre set of Photoshop skills, I was able to take templates he had found and make them into something that was satisfactory enough to meet my standards and his needs. I did some test prints on our paper and after some tweaks they were ready for printing. An additional task I gave Timo was to cut the paper to a perfect 5×7 measurement since the pad had extra on the end of the sheets to have a hole punched for hanging in the store. I also knew that tasking a German for precise measurements was a perfect match and he has a paper cutting machine at work.

    The most difficult part after the design was having to manually address each postcard in Photoshop. I’m sure I could have found an automated way to set up the addresses, but that was yet another thing that I would have to figure out how to do, and it just wasn’t worth the effort. Additionally, while I typed in the addresses, Timo could turn the paper over. If I was suffering because he refused to say no, then he would suffer with me.

    Honestly, the process wasn’t that difficult and I may have even enjoyed it a little. It also made me realize that self-printed stationery doesn’t have to be a hassle and I’m looking into options for our invites now since I just cannot stomach paying so much for paper.

    Price breakdown:
    5×7 cardstock (50 sheets): $8.99 – a Michael’s coupon = $7
    Postage: $20-30
    Plus ink and time.

    Fortunately, Timo’s dad (who was primarily making the paper demands) said that if we mailed them a single package of save the dates, they would pay to put the postage on the cards and mail them. Same for the invitations when they were ready.  This will hopefully save us some money in the long run since mailing anything overseas from the US is super expensive (for comparison, a stamp for a 1 ounce package is $1.20 and we’d be sending 30 postcards).

    Final save the date postcard:

    Megan and Timo's Save the Date Postcard


    Were there any things that you said no to doing/having that you ended up “having” to do?
    Did anyone else do their own wedding stationery? Was it worth it?



  • 4/24

    I will fully admit that I used to judge brides who claimed they were "sooooo stressed over wedding planning." Just as I've been forced to admit over the past seven years that I truly know nothing about parenting, I'm now eating my words about wedding planning. I got lucky in the fact that the venue comes with a built-in planner who will help me plan…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    We love us some good wedding stationery. And we love us a good sale. It's like pure wedding planning bliss, though, when the two collide. Enter: Wedding Paper Divas' sublime Anniversary Sale. Let's back up a bit. See, our friends at Wedding Paper Divas don't mess around when it comes to stationery. They have perfected the fine art of making wedding paper goods approachable, affordable and…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    TinyTalk Invitation Pillow available from Etsy seller cayteelynn Ah, invitations. So simple in theory, so complex in reality. They look like innocent paper beacons of joy, but they come with a lot of, well, baggage. This is my how the invitation process of my wedding has gone down so far: The Save-the-Dates (aka. The pre-invitation): I get this. The vast majority of our family and friends…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 2/14

    Invitations 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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Happy Monday, darlings! I hope you all had a great, restful Turkey weekend. As per usual, the holiday shopping has been kicked into high gear, and since finding a killer bargain is essential to any Broke-Ass wedding, I'd be remiss if I neglected to share these awesome Cyber Monday deals with you. Since Black Friday was a mashup of all the things, Cyber Monday's deals are concentrated…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Whether you're hand-writing on the envelope or using a convenient print-out label, addressing your wedding invites comes with a few *rules* that etiquette specialists still advise you follow. We don't want you to be left searching, so here's what you need to know before sending out that stationery. Before you get started, make sure to check and double-check that spelling! Your partner's cousin Ashleigh is…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 11/2

    Howdy my fellow Broke-Asses! Envelope template available from Etsy seller BlissPaperBoutique It's official, we are officially getting married. I just dropped off the Save the Dates at the post office. With a huge wink and promise of future cookies to the post master, he lovingly hand-cancelled each of my postcards. I feel like a mother bird watching all my fledglings leaving the nest. Who knew…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!