Stationery can be one of the most variable pieces in your budget. With email and wedding websites as a norm these days, I understand that more people are opting to use these outlets. However, there’s still something to be said of a beautiful invite that matches your theme and colors, and holds on to a classic tradition. In this post I want to explore the different options for paper stationery and the pros and cons to weigh with each. By the end you’ll hopefully feel better about which route is best for you and stop putting off that invite list!

Professional/Custom Designed Stationery

There are many vendors out there who work specifically to design custom stationery for all your event needs – invites, RSVPs, programs, signage and everything in between. They will be there for you from start to finish: consulting on design, providing proofs, working with your budget, putting the pieces together and even addressing them. With professionals there are many different options regarding paper type and thickness, ink and embossment, wording, etc. If it is very important that your guests understand the look and feel of your event from day one, this might be the best option for you.

Pros:
– Your exact vision is carried out and you have different customized options to choose from
– Human interaction: able to go back and forth to make sure things are perfect with no errors
– Easy to give all pieces the same look and feel

Cons:
– Typically most expensive option
– Design and consultation process can be time consuming

Consider: Many stationery designers offer their time to stuff and address invites, but save money by doing this on your own. Some professionals may also take care of the design and hand off to you to print more locally.

Paper Piper

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Honey Bee Designs

Bride Michelle says: “I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by taking on another task. I personally feel that the invite is the first look into what the wedding will be like, so I wanted it to look great. I’m not really a DIY kind of girl, so I went with someone I could trust.”

Pre-designed Templates

Today is the age of the internet. Between Zazzle.com, Minted.com, Vistaprint, and local craft stores, there are millions of templates out there just waiting for you to drop in your information for a quick but cute piece. You can go to any of these sites to put in your criteria, and quickly get many different options to choose from. This is a good for those who still want something cute and on theme, but don’t have as big of a budget or much time to invest (typically you can choose your template and place an order in a few as 20 minutes).

Pros:
– Cheaper than custom design, while still providing many different options to choose from
– Websites typically easy to maneuver and drop in the information you need
– Can have entire order pulled together in short period of time

Cons:
– While colors and text are customizable, design features usually cannot be changed
– Once the order is placed there are no changes – no mercy on typos!
– Typically need to order in preset quantities, which may cause over ordering

Consider: Watch for coupons and promos for popular websites – there are usually offers for new customers or seasonally. Don’t be overwhelmed by how many options are out there!

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Ann’s Bridal Bargains

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Zazzle

Bride Laura says: “I don’t have time and it was cheaper than almost all options I found, especially since we don’t have a printer or access to any that handle cardstock well. The whole thing took maybe 30 minutes to do.”

DIY Invites

Some of us are great DIYers (not me!), and stationery is one of the more realistic options in the planning process to take advantage of this. Local craft stores (or even Amazon) are great to find cute edged paper, stickers, punchers, and other finishing touches to really pull together something beautiful. This will still allow you to have customization without breaking the budget. When considering this make sure that you have the time, a concrete idea of text to include, as well as the correct supplies (non-wrinkly glue and envelopes that fit).

Pros:
– Most budget friendly option
– Customization based on what you want/are capable of
– Great creative outlet for a DIYer!

Cons:
– Most time consuming
– Totally starting from scratch including design, text, formats, etc.
– Have to take into consideration shapes, sizes, weight, etc. and making sure what you create is feasible to mail

Consider: Have a crafty friend or family member? Ask them to help as a special way to be involved in the big day.

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Bride Robin says “There were other things that we preferred to put our money into instead of stationery. We came up with a very simple design that was easy to create on our own during downtime at home. It worked fine!”

No matter what you choose, the main point is to get your guests the information they need. But why not do it in a pretty way? Now stop putting it off and get started!