Art by Rebecca Barkley
When we planned our wedding last year, like most, we had a strict budget to stick to. We needed to work out exactly what our priorities were and expensive wedding invitations were not one of them.
‘ It’s how much per invitation? And RSVP cards? Plus postage? Plus a stamped return addressed envelope? AND we’re expected to send out save the dates as well? TIMES ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE!?’ We were looking at over $500 easy and that didn’t even include the stamps.
I. Don’t. Think. So.
Some of those things may be important to you and that’s totally cool. Perhaps you have a budget big enough to cover such expenses. But I’m a tight arse and I’m an artist. I can make that shit and I can cheat.
Our save the dates were sent via Facebook – as an event, or through text messages to those who aren’t on Facey. I know, it’s so untraditional and informal, but hell it was free and it worked a treat. It also meant more bottles of booze. Like I said earlier, priorities.
As for making the invitations, well, I won’t lie. I was excited. I do love this sort of thing, and I knew I could do it. But not without some hiccups along the way. So please, learn from my mistakes. Here’s a list of Do’s and Do Nots I recommend and a few tips to keep the price down..
Ok so we’ve got a few main points out of the way. Read on to see how I made our viking inspired budget wedding invitations.
Total: $108 / $1.08 per invite
After having a good look on Pinterest for inspiration I decided to make some little clay decorations to tie onto each invitation. Going with the Viking theme, runes were a must. These were super easy to make: roll out little balls of clay, squish them flat, use a piece of wire to imprint the rune symbols. As an added bonus, if guests wanted to they could look up the meaning of their rune.
Instead of a rune you could imprint a leaf, use a rubber stamp, thumb print? So many options! Leave them to dry overnight then carefully paint the rune – or leave bare.
I set up my printer to print directly into the cards. ALWAYS do a test print to make sure it looks right and your card is in the correct way! If you use metallic or pearl cards you may need to print onto paper then stick it inside the card as the ink may not dry properly.
Below was a test print, we tweaked the wording a bit but you get the idea.
Ideally I wanted to use a beautiful olive green metallic paper for the decorative strip. I used the strip for added colour and to hold all the pieces together. (RSVP card, Map, note with dress code etc.) However when I found the paper I wanted it cost $4.50 per sheet. I needed about five sheets which would cost $22.50. For coloured paper. Oh hell to the no. So instead I raided my crafty paper drawer found an assortment of colours and textures.
The RSVP cards I designed on computer, printed onto recycled kraft paper and fit about 12 to a sheet. Easy peasy. Although as you can see I didn’t leave any room for the guests to write their name.. so that was silly of me.
If you can’t quite see, the card options read:
Below is the mock up but unfortunately I didn’t take a picture with all the pieces tucked into the back and held with a peg. I’m sure I did but I can’t see to find it. It was a neat little package though!
Overall, was it worth it? For me, yes, hiccups and all. I really enjoyed the process and was stoked that it only cost me $1.08 per invitation. If you’re not the crafty type then don’t bother – it will do your head in. But don’t worry, there are other budget options!
Do you have a crafty friend or family member wanting to help? Ask them to design you a postcard invitation (as I did for my sister) and print through someone like Vistaprint, an Australian company where 50 postcards will cost as little as $14.99 (plus postage) with free envelopes!
Here are the simple Save the Date postcards I designed for my sis, printed through Vistaprint: