Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GET WED WEDNESDAY: stationery on a budget

Everyone is watching their budgets carefully these days, and brides-to-be are no exception. If you aren't careful, wedding costs can add up and leave you in debt for years. Honestly, that is just not the best way to begin a marriage and it is completely unnecessary. By choosing great wedding vendors, and maybe even tackling a few DIY projects, you can have a beautiful, meaningful wedding on just about any budget. It is all about knowing where to invest and where to cut corners.
So, let's talk about your wedding stationery. The invitations are the very first glimpse of your wedding that your guests will see, so it is important that they reflect the tone and style of your big day. But this doesn't mean that you have to blow your budget to pay for them. A few tips to consider for the budget bride:
  • Choose an independent designer over a big stationery company. At first glance it may look like the big companies offer you everything at a lesser cost. However, when you hire an independent designer you are working with a real person who is going to provide personal service. Alot of stationery designers are flexible in their invitation packages and are able to provide alternative options that help you save money. With a big company, what you see is what you get.
  • Consider your printing options. Letterpress and thermography are beautiful and luxurious. But they are also expensive. Flat, or digital, printing is a more economical choice.
  • Don't get a pocketfold if you don't need one. Pocketfolds are great if you have alot of extra enclosure cards that need to be kept organized and tidy, but if all you have is your invitation and reply card you really don't need a pocketfold. Belly bands and pochettes are significantly less expensive than pocketfolds and will still keep your invitation and all the extra cards neatly wrapped.
  • If the designer has an invitation you LOVE, but is out of your price range, ask if there is a way to keep the style but reduce the cost. At Tulaloo, we swap out more expensive elements like pocketfolds and ribbons in favor of belly bands or pochettes upon client request. I know that there are other designers that will do the same.
  • If you are fairly crafty, ask if your stationery package could be discounted if you do some of the assembly. This can be a good way to incorporate a little bit of a DIY project, without having to create the invitations all on your own (because it really is not as easy as we designers make it look!). Not all designers allow this, and at Tulaloo we only offer it with certain aspects of specific designs. But if you are trying to keep costs down, it doesn't hurt to ask.
  • Order coordinating stationery pieces. I know - it sounds strange, right? Save money by ordering more stuff? But by having coordinating elements throughout your wedding celebration you create a really sophisticated, cohesive look for the day. In the grand scheme of wedding things, stationery is one of the more affordable elements, and can do double duty as reception decor as well. Beautifully designed menus, table numbers, favors and placecards add color and style to reception tables, and allow you to choose more conservative centerpieces. Sometimes you can even replace centerpieces with artfully arranged favors instead!

Most of all, remember the reason you are throwing this magnificant party in the first place. No matter what happens during your wedding, as long as you end it married to the man or woman you love the day should be counted as a success.

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