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.
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.
|Escort card name buttons|
|some info removed for privacy!|
|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!