Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Invitation Suite

The pre-engaged Bonnie had no idea what a "wedding invitation suite" even was.  For those of you not regularly inundated with wedding blogs and magazines, this is simply the collection of all the paper stuff associated with your wedding, typically the save-the-date, invitation, RSVP card, information card, ceremony program, escort/seating card, table number card, menu, and thank-you notes.  There's probably more stuff, but that was all we messed with.

I also quickly discovered that this "invitation suite" can cost, and often does cost, upwards of $10 per guest.  To which my response was, "are you kidding me?!?!"

**None of the businesses mentioned in this post paid me to say things about them, and all opinions are strictly my own.

We wanted premium refrigerator-front real estate with our save-the-date, so we did a magnet.  I got them from Magnet Street, and I was super happy with them, especially the price.  They even came with lined envelopes!  Done!

The RSVP card, information booklet, programs, menus, and thank you cards were designed by me.

RSVP card, with map showing where everyone was coming from

Thank you notes, designed and printed by me

The information booklets echoed the invitations, and had information inside like accommodations,  schedule for the week (cookout, beach day, etc.), important phone numbers, and an awesome map made by our friend Maizie!

Everything else (invitation, table numbers, buttons, and escort cards) came from DIY Wedding Templates.    This site is really great because they have entire sets of matching products that you download, customize, and print on your own.  Each template costs only $6!  So that means I spent a grand total of $18 buying the templates for our suite!  Bargain.  The only negative thing about this site was the slow response from the company when I had questions.

The templates came with a cute font already, but we wanted one that was more loopy.  It was really tough choosing a font, but after googling "free fonts" for hours and testing out dozens, we settled on Halo Handletter.
We started with the escort cards and table numbers.  We thought it would be fun to name our tables after streets in historic Charleston, so we consulted a map and picked our top 30 (not that we had 30 tables, but extras seemed like a good idea).  Tommy got the templates looking great, and printed them all out one night.

On another night, he printed ten escort cards for each table (again, more than necessary, but better safe than sorry).  Most people can't print escort cards months ahead because they don't know yet who's coming and where they should sit.  We got around this because we made name buttons for our guests, and attached them to the escort cards a week before the wedding.  I supposed you could also glue a name on.  It was great not having to print stuff the week before our wedding.  I hear this can be agony.

Next we printed the invitations.  It took a lot of trial and error to come up with wording we liked, but we finally decided on something nice and basic.  One of the biggest issues was figuring out how to deal with Jr.'s and III's!

Escort card name buttons
To skip the need for an inner envelope or "belly band", we addressed each individual invitation specifically to the guests.  I liked this partly because it saved paper and extra work, but mostly because I liked the level of intimacy it brought to the invitation.  We attached the invitations to a navy blue cardstock backer to jazz them up a bit more.

some info removed for privacy!
The invitation, RSVP card, and info booklet all got stuffed into Bonnie Pink envelopes.  I made a Word doc with all the addresses in it, so anytime we print envelopes, I can just throw envelopes through the printer!

printing directly on envelopes

We saved the menus and programs for last.  The projects I signed us up for got to be a little overwhelming by the end, and we felt like these items could be skipped if necessary.  We did end up finding the time, but not by much!

I drew up a rough menu, using language from our caterer.  Tommy's business partner gave me some great comments about white space and letting words breathe, and even though it took a lot of trial and error, the end result was beautiful!  The poem you see on the front lets guests know to take their dinner napkin home with them as a souvenir.

For the programs, I basically used the menu design, but with people instead of food!

I got the cardstock and envelopes for everything from Paper Source.  While they weren't the cheapest, I preferred their colors, and trusted their brand to provide paper when I knew nothing about it.  Everything shipped quickly and professionally, and I was very happy with my order.

The paper products summed to a grand total of $185, including shipping.  That's $1.40 per invitation (and free menus, programs, table numbers, and escort cards).  Take that, wedding industry!

We were really happy saving money by printing our own invitation suites.  Yes, I could have bought them for a similar price, but the quality and style wouldn't have been the same.  BUT, they took a LOT of time.  Like dozens of hours.  Dozens!  So please don't think this is a one-night kind of project.  We also found it helpful to use a printer that takes cartridges for individual colors.  Most of our printing was pink, so we didn't have to use up a 3-color cartridge, just the magenta one!


  1. Love this post! I will forward it to my friend. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Thanks Katie! She's welcome to get in touch with me if she has any questions :)

  2. they all turned out great, especially the booklet with all the info to take to South Carolina. And they are cute!


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