Planning Tools Menu
Stationery on a budget 2816 views
Invitations that live up to your expectations can put a real strain on your budget. Ruth Coe of Memento Wedding Stationery provides some tips on getting the effect you want without breaking the bank.
Research the possibilities
A good starting point is to research a wide range of different stationery companies, including smaller businesses – you might be surprised what good value and personal service some offer, especially when you consider how much time and effort goes in.
Of course, some wedding stationers charge prices that are beyond a lot of people’s budget. If you want a professional finish without going to huge expense, you could check your Yellow Pages for printers to try direct instead. If it’s a raised, embossed look you’re after, ask if they do foil blocking, which comes in a wide range of colours. Also, make sure you tell them if you have a specific design in mind – they may well be able to do you the full works (invitations, order of service, place cards) for a reasonable price.
Make your own
Making your own invitations is an increasingly popular option these days. Before you take the plunge, however, you should weigh up whether the cost of materials and the amount of time you’ll spend will work out good value. If you do decide to go ahead, the possibilities are endless:
- Use your PC: Most word-processing packages include a template for invitations, while Find-Me-A-Gift has a great selection of free downloadable templates, and also sells the materials you’re likely to need.
- Use a photo: A favourite image, with a caption added, can form the basis of a great invite – just find the card to mount it on. NB you could also take your photo to the printers, who can produce the invitations for you if you don't want to do it yourself.
- Embellishments: Why not have fun creating your own unique design? Decorate plain cards with tiny paper flowers, buttons, miniature rings or even miniature garters. All these and more are available from craft websites like Stick-n-Mix. Ribbon is another popular choice, with sheer organza styles giving a particularly delicate effect. Try your local market, where ribbon is often available for around 15p a metre. Or opt for raffia or paper yarn. Often available from florists, it comes in a choice of natural or coloured.
Cards & Envelopes
Card-stock quality will depend on your budget. Invitations are usually printed on laid or hammer effect between 150 and 200 grams in weight, in cream, ivory or white. Try Stick-n-Mix or Mad About Cards for a wide selection of materials.
Buy pre-folded card blanks if you are going for a greeting-card-style invitation – this looks more professional than doing the folding yourself. Craft Creations supplies them at an affordable price. To see before you buy, don't forget to ask for their free sample card and paper-swatch book.
You can buy envelopes from discount shops, or watch out for buy-one-get-one-free offers. Ebay is another good place to look – especially for more unusual designs such as mini envelopes.
Parchment paper can work well for an insert or as a scroll. This has a marbled effect and comes in shades like green, pink, cream or blue.
Check out one of the many craft websites that include forums where you can share ideas and ask advice. Try Crafts by Carolyn, The Mulberry Bush, Card Inspirations and Crafts Beautiful. Most of them also sell the materials you’ll need.
If you’re pushed for time, there are many people who love making cards who could re-create the design you have in mind. A web search will reveal a wide range of sites offering the serviceï¿½ or could a friend or family member make your invitations as a wedding present? Do you have children? What about getting them to help out, or even using one of their drawings?
- Scroll-style invitations with matching bow on parchment paper. Boxes can be found at Find-Me-A-Gift.
- Vellum (transparent paper) as a cover for a plain folded A5 card tied with matching ribbon. PaperPoint allows you to order 8 A4 samples of paper a day. This can give you an idea on the different cards and papers you can use.
- Tassels, used to hold inserts together.
- Parchment-paper flowers as a pretty decoration for cards – use them alone or add a 3mm bow in your colour for a co-ordinated effect.
- Gold or silver peel-off wording. Found in most craft shops, this can be used as an alternative to foil blocking.
- Rubber stamps, found in all good craft shops. A plain cream card with a black- stamped Celtic design can look beautifully simple.
- Bridesmaid’s-dress fabric used as a backing or for a bow.
- Lavender, roses or star anise as an embellishment.
- Scented drawer-lining paper used for perfumed envelope inserts.
Once you’ve decided on a look for your invitations, table cards, seating plans, wedding albums and memory boxes can all be co-ordinated. Before you let your imagination run wild, however, it’s worth remembering that less is often best – keeping your design simple could result in a more professional finish.
Posted in category: Wedding Talk