Make Your Own Budget Wedding Invitations

Professionally designed wedding invitations can be expensive – between the embossing, the second set of envelopes and the postage necessary to get them to your guests, you could wind up spending a fortune. But wedding invitations don’t have to eat up such a large chunk of your wedding budget – check out the following ideas for making your own invitations on a budget.

Print Your Own

There are plenty of software packages available today that can help you design and print your own wedding invitations. Plus, with the quality of most home printers, you don’t need to worry about compromising on the quality of your finished product. To get started, start by your local office supply store – most carry the software programs you’ll need to design your invites, as well as printed stock paper to give your invitations a professional look. You can also find a number of free templates online through Microsoft’s website.

Barter Your Services

When you start planning your wedding, check to see if there are any new print shops that have opened up in your area. New businesses are always looking for ways to attract customers, and may offer special discounts in order to establish themselves in the community. For example, they may be able to offer you a discounted rate in exchange for referrals to other newly engaged couples as a way of expanding their client base.

Depending on your profession, you may also be able to barter some services in exchange for professional wedding invitations. If you’re an accountant, you may be able to offer tax advice in exchange for free printing. Or if you work as an auto mechanic, you may be able to find a graphic designer willing to create your invitations in exchange for some car repairs. To find potential bartering arrangements, either talk directly to professionals in your area or post on community websites like Craigslist.

Go Electronic

The digital era is upon us – and you can use this to your advantage when planning your wedding. It’s becoming more and more popular for couples to set up wedding websites as a way to disseminate wedding-day details to their guests, but you can take this a step further with digital wedding invitations. Consider inviting guests via email – not only will it be easier for your guests to RSVP, it’s totally free for you!

If email invites don’t feel right to you, you can also take advantage of the services offered by discount internet printers. When you use these services, you’ll be going directly to the manufacturer, so you could save as much as 25-50% off of traditional print shops. These online companies typically offer wedding invitation templates – you can save even more using their standard ink and printing options, instead of opting for more costly services like engraving.

Most wedding budget advisers suggest spending 2-5% of your budget on invitations, but there are plenty of ways to cut this cost if you’re willing to be creative. So shop around and talk with others – you could wind up saving a bundle on your wedding invitations.

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Filed under: Announcements,Inexpensive Weddings,Invitations — vicky at 7:42 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Budget Wedding Planning

Sure, we’d all like to be whisked off to a dream wedding celebration in the Bahamas, but let’s be realistic – not all of us are able to shell out $50,000 for an event that only lasts a few hours. However, don’t think that planning a wedding on a budget means giving up all the details you’ve been dreaming about. You can still create a picture-perfect wedding without going into debt over the event.

The Venue

Your wedding and reception venues will eat up one of the biggest chunks of your wedding budget, so this is a great place to look for low cost alternatives. Instead of the reception hall at your local country club, see if it might be cheaper to host your wedding at a neighborhood park, or even at home. You can also consider schools, community centers, botanical gardens and local restaurants. Whatever location you choose, make sure it’s handicapped-accessible – especially if you’ve invited any elderly relatives with physical limitations.

The Food

Food is an important part of your wedding celebration, but fancy, three-course dinners at a typical banquet hall can run $75/person or more. If you’re set on a traditional wedding hall but can’t afford that kind of bill, try to get married at an off-peak time. Most reception facilities offer discounts for couples who book the hall during the winter months, on Fridays or Sundays, and earlier in the day. Plus, a brunch reception may be more convenient for some of your guests who have traveled long distances to attend your wedding, since they won’t need to add another night in a hotel to their wedding expenses.

If you’ve elected a non-traditional reception site, like your home or a local park, consider hosting a potluck-style event. If it sounds a little cheesy, give it a second thought. Many brides report that potluck receptions feel more special and personal than catered events. In addition, it allows your friends and family members to feel that they’ve contributed something meaningful to your special days. Imagine the memories you’ll share about Aunt Marge’s meatloaf or Uncle Robert’s famous apple pie.

The Cake

Five-tier, decked-out wedding cakes may look nice – until you get the bill. Expect to spend at least $2,000 for a highly-detailed cake, or even more if you request special flavors or designs. However, it is possible to get a nice wedding cake for much less – if you know where to look. First, check to see if your local community college has a baking arts program, or see if you can find a local culinary school in your area. Contact the school and ask for the name of the professor in charge of cake decoration. He or she may be able to recommend a promising student who will be willing to decorate your wedding cake at a much lower rate in exchange for a portfolio picture.

Planning your wedding on a budget doesn’t mean giving up all the things you dreamed of – it just means making different choices that won’t leave you struggling in debt for years to come. And who knows? You may find that the thought and effort you put into planning your budget wedding result in a more personalized and memorable event.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings,Wedding Planning — vicky at 7:40 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008