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.”
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.