Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saving on Save the Date

I'm back from a few weeks of intense wedding planning. There's still a lot to do on that project, but I think (for now anyway) it shouldn't be as time consuming. The majority of big stuff is either decided upon or we at least have the appointments set with some vendors of the remaining big ticket items.

Since it's still fresh on my mind, I thought I'd mention one money-saving tip I've implemented during wedding planning: I made my own save-the-date cards.

First of all, I didn't think save-the-date cards were going to be necessary. In fact, I thought it was going to be one place where I could cut a corner on the budget. I figured we (including our family) could just tell people during the course of a regular conversation or email message when our wedding would be and mention that we'd hope they would save the date. However, while the place we've picked to get married is significant to both of us, neither we nor any of our friends or family live there. So, essentially we are planning a destination wedding...even though it isn't in a far off land. Because of that, however, I really felt the need to get information out to guests as early as possible so that they could not only save the date, but see if there's room in their budget to make the trip (for those who won't be able to get there and back in a day), start to plan their trip, make hotel reservations, etc. That led me to doing another thing I never imagined -- creating a wedding website!

I needed to publicize the website information to the guests. So, that's where the save-the-date cards came into play. There are a lot cute save-the-date options out there. However, eventually (i.e. after the wedding), even the nicest card or most creative magnet is unwanted trash. So, I got a friend who has some graphic design background to make a postcard for me. She was even able to personalize it with a picture of us.

Postcards are easy to make because you can put 4 of them on one letter size sheet of paper. I took the file to Kinko's and had them print them on the glossy card stock. Then, with two strokes of the paper cutter per sheet, I had all of the postcards made.

So, let's see how I did in comparison to using an online designer for a similar style card:

Online Vendor
Product: color card, personalized with our message and photo - envelopes included.
Quanity: They only sell them in packets of 75 or 100. (I needed 80.)
Shipping: No charge for shipping for orders over $75.
Price for 100: $88.00 + tax = $92.40
Postage for 80 (at 41 cents per stamp): $32.80
Total: $125.20.

My Cards
Product: color postcard, personalized with our message and photo - no envelopes needed.
Quanity: 4 come on a sheet. (I needed 80, but I got 84 just in case I had any errors while addressing them. I could also go back to get additional ones printed without a problem if I needed them.)
Price for 84 (including tax): $ about 20 minutes of my time to cut the sheets into postcards.
Postage for 80 (at 26 cents per stamp): $20.80
Total: $54.75

Savings: $70.45!

This is a good example of how I'm saving, but I'm not cutting on all corners of the wedding budget. Even though we don't want to spend a huge bundle, we do want a nice celebration. (It's the whole "save for fun" idea.) I could have just not done the cards, but it was an efficient and easy way to get out the information to everyone and let them know who exactly will be invited. I could have also opted for black and white, matte postcards instead of color, glossy ones. However, I liked the look and decided to upgrade since I knew even the upgraded version was a big savings over other options. Above all, what I wanted fit into the budget, so I went for it!

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Kate said...

Excellent! Good for you!

When we got married I was working at a stationery store so I had champagne tastes on a Boone's Farm budget. I ended up getting the expensive paper (thanks, employee discount) and printing them myself. I had the experience doing the designs. I also used a postcard for the reply card. The cards were cheaper, as you stated, as was the postage. I also felt less annoyed when people (inevitably) didn't use them! =)

michaelepedro said...

Wow u really saved a bundle doing it yourself. It pays to do it yourself and you did not even sacrafice quality. You should have posted the card here so we could see oyur fabulous job!!!!!!

Betsy said...

Okay, I've posted the cards, so you can see what they looked like. I did delete out some of the details that are personalized for our wedding...but you can get the idea. This picture shows how there were 4 postcards on one 8.5" x 11" paper. I just had to cut them apart.