It’s no secret that weddings cost money — lots of money. In fact, the average American wedding costs around $25,000. So naturally you’ve got to cut corners when you can, where you can. It’s hard to do this on the ceremony itself, your dress, food and alcohol or your photographer and videographer. However, wedding invitations can be pretty overrated, especially since most of them just get thrown in the trash anyway.
On average, a bride spends anywhere from $5,000 – $8,000 on wedding invitations — and that’s just for a set of 100. You have to choose the paper, colors, printing method, accents, envelopes, and these things can really add up quickly. The bulk of this average cost comes from postage and the way you choose to print your invitations. There’s a variety of different ways you can print or send out invitations — so don’t jump at the first option you find.
Consider saving yourself tons of money on wedding invitations by using other options that are not only better for your wallet but better for the planet. Here are seven eco-friendly and cost efficient alternatives and tips for your wedding invitations.
Opt for Recycled Paper
Stuck on printed invitations? Print them on paper that has high-recycled content or on something that is made from hemp, bamboo or an alternative fiber. According to sources, for every ton of recycled paper used, we will save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of 380 gallons of oil and the atmosphere — from nearly 60 pounds of pollutants. Recyclable paper also has a unique look — think vintage or rustic. So help save the earth and your money by using chic recyclable paper.
Consider Digital Printing
This is definitely your most budget-friendly option for printed invitations, and it’s ridiculously simple. As long as you have access to a computer, you’re in business. Choose from a variety of color options, designs and wording without worrying about a major increase in cost. A set of 100 digitally printed invites will cost around $1,000. Ask if vegetable or soy based ink is available, as many printers offer this eco-friendly option.
Check Out Letterpress Printing
Letterpress printing is a process that dates back to the 1890s, yet remains one of the most elegant and traditional options out there. While equipment is often considered antique, it produces the best quality. This process is fairly simple and requires three simple decisions on your part — paper, design and printing time.
Choose from virtually any kind of paper and multiple colors. However the more colors you choose, the more letterpress dies you’ll need to pay for — usually in the $50-$100 range for each. Sometimes dies even need to be sourced through other companies, so costs can easily increase if you’re not careful. Stick to one or two dies for letterpress prints if you can to keep costs affordable.
Don’t let the complexity of this detailed handmade process deter you. Send your guests their own original invitation – the most high-quality option out there.
Invitation source: Punchbowl.com
Print at Home
The great thing about digital printing is that it can also be done at home. If you have graphic design skills, design your own invitation. If not, have a graphic designer or stationer design your invitation, then deliver a downloadable .JPG or .PDF file. All you have to do is print the file on card stock or recyclable paper at home or send it off to a print shop with instructions.
Have fun with it, and design you own invitations at home. You may enjoy the process more — pick your own paper, colors, designs, size, ink usage, etc.
Invitation source: Greenfieldpaper.com
Use Plant-able Wedding Invitations
Say hello the one of the most popular wedding invitation options currently available. Recycled paper is embedded with native flower seeds, which presents a unique way for your guests to receive their invites. The paper and ink is biodegradable, so when guests are done with the invitation, they can add dirt and water and watch invites bloom into wildflowers. Customize your card on one of the many online plant-able card websites, then choose from a variety of wildflower, vegetable or herb seeds.
Instead of having a card and an envelope, consolidate inserts and combine all essential guest information into one card. The most common inserts are reception cards, RSVP cards, attire cards, accommodations and transportation cards, weekend itineraries, wedding web-site inserts — you name it, it exists. So before you choose the paper route, keep all of this information in mind. However, this doesn’t mean you to have to include it all in insert form. There is way to consolidate all essential info into one card, then make the rest available on an online website for guests.
The best option for price and efficiency is without a doubt digital invitations. They’re also eco-friendly, which is always a plus. Plenty of websites exist out there that cater to online wedding invitations that can be emailed directly to guests. This cuts out printed invitations, inserts, envelopes and postage. You’re looking at potentially thousands of dollars in savings — money that could go towards your dream dress or honeymoon vacation.
You can still enjoy a hands-on experience if you choose this route. Design your invitation with your own copy, fonts, designs, colors and more, as well as the envelope and its lining. Pretty much everything is customizable — maybe even more so than if you were to print your invitations.
Definitely do your research to find the right option for you. There are even websites that offer free services.
Be creative with your wedding invitations and try an eco-friendly and cost efficient option like the above. Your guests will love the unique idea of a plant-able wedding invitation, one with letterpress printing or a thoughtful digital invitation. These ideas will not only make your invites stand out, but they will also save you money and protect the earth in the process.
Eco-Friendly Invitation Resources:
Botanical Paper Works
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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