DIY and Delegation: Cost Cutting with Class – Wedding Stationery
If you have an artistic side and are trying to cut some costs, creating your own wedding stationery is a fun way to snip the budget. There are countless options to choose from and you can guarantee your stationery will be totally original. Your guests will also feel very special that you’ve taken so much trouble. In order to do it right, though, without expensive wastage and ending up with an amateurish finish, you need to plan it carefully and enlist the help of some creative friends.
First thing to decide upon is exactly what wedding stationery you need: save the date cards, invitations, order of service, thank you cards, place settings, menus etc. From that, you need to work out if you can make them all. Plus point for this – uniformity – all your stationery will have the same look. Downside – time! There are fairly inexpensive options you can buy if you only want to make some of them. Supermarkets now do both invitations and thank you cards which are quite pretty. You can even buy them to start off with and then add something extra to tie the stationery in with your theme: a jewel, a flower, ribbon etc.
Once you’ve decided what you need, you can start to think about what design you’d like. The invitation is the biggy – the main and most important piece of stationery. Whatever design you plan for this, everything else should tie in with it. It’s worth remembering, though, that your stationery doesn’t have to be identical – different items will be different sizes and you want to have a common theme that can vary slightly from item to item.
It takes quite a long time to make your own stationery so make sure you start early and give yourself plenty of time to get everything done. It’s customary to send invites 6-8 weeks before a wedding so make sure you’re ready. For save the date cards there is no set rule as to when is best to send them out but for many save the dates get sent as soon as the venues are confirmed. Make sure you give yourself the time to do what you need to do well.
If you are trying to keep cost down, start planning your stationery by considering the size of your envelope. Now, this may sound bizarre, but you have to consider postage costs: a standard size envelope is not only cheaper to buy but it’s also cheaper to post. From there, do your research. Look in magazines and catalogues (being careful not to steal copyrighted designs) and think of items or themes you’re already planning. It could be a detail from your dress, the cake, a fabric/paper version of the type of flower you’re having in your bouquet, tones from your colour scheme, patterns or fonts from your theme… all your own little extras will add that sparkle of individuality. Keeping it simple is classy and easy to do.
Choose your card carefully. You can choose metallic, hand-made, parchment styles, recycled card…You can buy card and cut/crease it to your chosen style or buy pre-creased cards (less room for error there but a tad more expensive). Make sure you’ve chosen a card that won’t soak up and spread the ink – test everything before you commit to a big buy. Doing a trial run will also help you figure out what stock you need and also how long each item will take to make and will help you plan accordingly. If your sample goes to plan, pick up everything you need with sufficient spare to cover any mistakes. (You never know if the stock will be there if you need to go back to buy more later). Also make sure you have picked up the right equipment – the right kinds of glue, a trimmer for cutting the card… it’s definitely worth consulting someone in the know in a craft shop for help.
For full scale production, get yourself a willing (and, more importantly ABLE) team of handy friends/family. Set out a production line which you fully explain (train your staff!) and make sure you are keeping an eye on the quality of the work as you go. May be worth keeping the glasses of wine until much later in the night!
For the insides of invitations, orders of service and the like, inserts take a bit of patience. Discuss with your groom the kind of message you want to convey, the readings etc and choose a font and layout that is classy and easily readable. Fold it up and hold it in place with either ribbon or blue. Make sure before anything is permanently stuck down that you have checked spelling, layout etc. There would be nothing worse than only realising a mistake as you’re about to finish the job! And always make some spares – they always come in handy for someone you’ve forgotten about or as mementos for you and your parents.
A final nice touch is to write or print a message for the back of everything you made (on a sticker if you have access to a printer which will do that) which says something along the lines of ‘handmade with love from…’ This will ensure your guests feel the real detail of care you’ve taken to produce the best possible wedding stationery. Which hasn’t cost the earth either.