Guest Post: Remaining Budget Friendly – Invitation and Save-the-Date Ideas

I was
recently married on Sunday, September 2, 2012 and am super pleased to tell you
that we were able to stay within our budget! It didn’t always seem that we were going to make it but
somehow we did!  

Today, I wanted to share with you something that I learned along the way. When we started out, we decided to go the
traditional route and send invitations via snail mail. We actually first sent save-the-dates and
then sent out invitations to our guests later.

You're Invited
Image Courtesy of: 123rf.com

Because I had sent
save-the-dates, I assumed that once we mailed the invitations out that
we would get our responses back in a timely manner. Well, you know the old adage that when you
assume, you make a…well, you get the point.

Boy, was I way
off base. Not only did we not receive a
response within a timely manner from our guests, we actually hardly received
any responses at all. Out of the 170
guests that we invited to our nuptials, when it was past our RSVP date, we had
not received cards back from over 90 of those guests! Now I call that a bad response rate!

It made me
think how pointless paper invitations are these days. With technology always changing and people
becoming more involved in their phones, tablets, laptops, etc. – wouldn’t it make
sense if this generation of brides changes with the changing times? 

RSVP
Image Courtesy of: 123rf.com

I encourage you to make the decision to send
out e-vites and e-save-the-dates to your guests. I guarantee that most guests are more likely
to press a button on their phones to RSVP than finding where they would put an
envelope to send back to you in the mail.

To give you a
better idea of what potential savings this could be for you, I have broken down
what I paid for each of the different components that go into sending out paper
save-the-dates and invites (below is on an order of 100 invitations):

  • Save-the-dates: $81.47
  • Invitations (Including reception card, RSVP card, invite): $279.33
  • Directional cards: $58.17
  • Stamps (For all three mailings): 300 x $0.45= $135.00
    • TOTAL COST: $553.97

That is how
much I spent and I guarantee you that I cut corners. I chose a website that was inexpensive and
came up with the wording myself. I enlisted help and ensured that each line was in alignment and looked
the best it could possibly look. I also
created a document and printed all of the mailing address labels so that I
could affix each label to its own invitation envelope (I also had to buy the paper,
ink, and labels for this). 

I stuffed all
of the invitations and put every stamp on both the return response card and the
invitation. I made sure the direction card, invite, and RSVP envelope were perfectly in line before sealing up all of
our 100 invites and dropping them off at the Postal Annex to be mailed (would arrive within 5-7 business days [normal mail-time]) to our guests.

To have such
a low response rate, why was it not ok for me to send e-vites? The answer is that it is absolutely ok! You can go to
some of the following sites to produce e-vites and once you choose your final
design, you can send all of your guests a virtual invitation. Some that I came across in my research are:

After looking
at all of the different options that these companies have to offer, I believe that e-vites are the way of the future. Why spend all of your time and money on
something that people may or may not get around to sending back the RSVP
card. Not only will
you save money, you will also be contributing to the go green initiative and
will be saving the planet too. It is a
win/win situation for everyone!

If my wedding
were to start a statistic, it would be that only 52% of guests will use the stamp you sent them. Ultimately, I had to reach out via text and
Facebook messages, which seemed to me to be pretty tacky. I think had I opted for an e-vite originally,
I would have saved that hassle and it would have looked much more beautiful in
their email’s inbox!

My Invite
Image Courtesy of: WeddingBug Photographers

If
you are still on the fence, why not consider ordering one invitation that you can
make a photo shoot out of?  That way, you have a keepsake
invite to take pictures with on your wedding day and then to display in a
picture frame or shadow box. Be bold and
creative… I am sure your invitation sent electronically will blow everyone’s
minds! Until next
time, Happy Planning!

Rayna Bio Pic for WeddingCrowd

Rayna is a founder of Wedding Crowd, a
social wedding planning site that can help you bring your dream wedding to
life. She also is a founder of WedWeekly that
outlines the best of the best in weddings! 
Sign up now to be part of both sites. Also, check
out her blog where she posts about
weddings.