I’ve heard it all. I love the way you guys try and find a polite way of saying (basically) I want everything…for nothing. And why not- you don’t get if you don’t ask. And lets face it, how spectacular would your wedding day be if it wasn’t for that miserable fact that you had to pay for it 😦 I was a bride once myself.
So I thought today we could talk a little about your wedding budget and where your wedding stationery fits into it. As a wedding stationer I suppose I should tell you that your “invitations will set the tone for your very special occasion, don’t cut corners blah blah, blah blah. But…reality is (as many have so simply put it when they think I am out of ear shot) is that the majority of invitations will end up in the bin. Yes, mum keeps one, you keep one…the ‘muriel’ keeps everything but… Yep. Bin. Ouch. Sometimes the truth hurts.
So this is what I know. It’s a rare bride that walks up to us at a bridal expo and tells us that wedding stationery is a huge part of her budget. It’s normally ordered at the end of the planning process so the coffers are pretty bare and what you clipped out of the mags last year isn’t likely in the budget 3 months before the big day.
What to do, what to do?? Here’s some of my best budgeting tips when it comes to ordering wedding stationery.
- Start with a list of who’s coming. Sounds obvious but you would be amazed at how many people count individuals and not couples/families. Divide by 2 and add a few spares for those last minute additions. So the average wedding of 110 people – about 60 invitations. Look at that, budget already halved!
- Accessory Cards. Wishing Well Cards, Acceptance Cards. Map Cards. There’s a good chance you could get away with only 50 of these. Think about it. Whilst Mum & Dad need an invitation they probably don’t need a reply card (it’s a given). You don’t really need to do the bridal party either. And a map card – well, here’s hoping they are in the car beside you. And hitting that group up for cash after they bought their dress and shoes, probably not. So 10 less of each of these. Probably just saved yourself $50.
- Table Cards & Seating Charts. Not only are you going to get rid of table clutter by getting rid of placecards but you will save heaps! Table Cards are great. They sit on the table with a list of who is allocated to that table and then the guests, grownups that they are, sit where they like on the table. Definitely method to the madness, mum and dad down the front, his mates up the back, but seriously, do we really need to go boy, girl, boy… A seating chart at the front of the room does the same sort of thing. Savings here will be in the 000’s.
- So this is technically not stationery but think about ordering your invitations a few weeks earlier than you planned. No, I’m not trying to drum up business, but think about it. A huge chunk of your guest list is going to be people you see in the normal course of your week. Mum & Dad, friends at the gym, colleagues at work. Use the extra time to personally hand them your invitation. It’s more personal but with stamps at 70c these days you will save a fortune too!
- Extras. Spend now or pay later. There’s no doubt about it. Every bride that has ever said to me, nope, I don’t need any spares has cursed about it later. Things go missing in the mail. Girls change boyfriends (and believe me they like the invite reissued!). Mum runs into their old neighbour from 20 years ago at the local shops. Twin sisters get forgotten (true story!). You will definitely incur surcharges when you want to reorder that extra 1 or 2 invites. Much cheaper to have some spares up front.
- Beware the Square! The Australian Postal System charges based on size. So you can use gorgeously thick and luxurious papers but you will pay for the larger envelopes. Sure, you can stick a stamp on them and hope they get there. Or you can consider asking if the design can be reworked to something more postage friendly. There’s a great new size 130mm x 180mm. Fab Euro size that works a treat in our mail system.
So there you go. Sure you can ask for the best price or you can wait for a special offer to come your way. Both great ideas. But please don’t expect the stationer to do all the heavy lifting. A crooked layer on your beautiful papeterie is the equivalent of a sneeze ball on your tuna melt! Besides, with a little creative manipulation we might just be able to get you into the stationery suite of your dreams!
Was that too harsh? It was meant to make you laugh at least a little along the way. In case of offence…try winning your way to your beautiful day with some amazing cash and prizes on offer from the Australian Bridal Industy. I know there is at least one fabulouse stationery prize on offer! Checkout this very cool competition and enter at