(Closed) Saving money on save the dates and invites

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I wouldn’t do that. Even younger people appreciate receiving the save the date and invite in the mail. You can always print them yourselves or buy kits. I had an etsy seller design mine and ordered them from catprint.com. That was fairly inexpensive compared to a lot of wedding invitations I was looking at. 

Post # 4
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

When I got married the first time ten years ago, Save-The-Date Cards weren’t even  a big thing. I don’t think any OLDER person expects them. From what I’ve observed, they seem to be way more popular NOW and honestly it just looks like an excuse for stationary companies to suck more money out of you.


I also think it depends on your guests and the formality of the wedding. Our STD was a Facebook event. That’s it. That, and then when we saw folks at church we just told them “Hey, the wedding is in September”.  But, our wedding is very casual, as are we and as are all our friends and family. And, honestly, I don’t really care if someone gets “offended” then didnt’ get a paper STD. Everyone who we want there is well aware when the wedding is. Innocent

Post # 5
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Want to save money…

One of the easiest ways is to just skip sending out Save The Dates… They are just a heads-up announcement anyhow.  Unless you are having a Destination Wedding in an “unexpected” locale, there is no reason for them.  Printing them and mailing them can be a HUGE expense that really isn`t necessary

(STDs have somehow replaced Engagement Announcements… which used to be printed in Newspapers… or Photo Cards occasionally sent out to family who lived afar)

From an Etiquette perspective… (as you`ve asked on the Etiquette Board)

Wedding Invites are necessary.  They are most certainly expected.  Plus they look nice.  LOL

You can save on their expense by DIY-ing them.  Or there are websites with lots of alternatives… such as buy the design, but print them yourself.  Or companies that offer a variety of styles, paper, type setting etc.

RSVPs are traditionally done with Reply Cards and SASEs that the Guest mails back to you… but more and more Brides are opting for having their Guests either email them the info, or enter it onto a special spot on their On-Line Wedding Website.  Something to consider I suppose if one is having a more casual Wedding.

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
808 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

WE did cheap small postcards for STD that I made myself and had a print shop print…it was a simple photo of us.  I agree with a PP that everyone loves to get mail, my younger friends/family were very excited!  You don’t have to do a STD, but I would recommend doing the same for everyone. 

Our invites were kits I bought from Michael’s that were marked way down to $10 a box.  Shop sales and see what you find!

Post # 8
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think you could send out evites for the save the dates.  As for the invitation, I think a real paper invitation is probably better, although you could do online RSVPs.  Also consider DIYing, I was able to make these invites (including postage) for less than $1 each.

Post # 9
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Check out Zazzle. They have some great rates (the more you buy, the less they are) and you can work with the artist if you want to make some changes.

Post # 11
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@indecisivebride89:  I have some very good news for you — two or three pieces of good news, actually.

The first is, that there is no such thing as “wedding etiquette”. There is just “etiquette” — which is to say good manners and social conventions — and it applies to all aspects of your daily life. Assuming that you are reasonably polite and reasonably sophisticated, you are perfectly well accustomed to the range of etiquette that prevails in your family and your social circle. For a special event like a wedding, you should appy the highest standards from within that range. But you should not aim for a level of etiquette that is unheard-of in the circles you frequent: that would be phoney and pretentious. So, you can use that standard as you consider whether and how to send save-the-date notices and invitations: do you send save-the-date notices at all for special events? Are emailed invitations the highest standard in your social circles?

The second piece of good news, that comes as a surprise to many brides, is that etiquette applies to all levels of formality, NOT just for the snootiest of aristocratic events. You can be impeccably proper while being informal. “The highest standard” of manners means the kindest, the most generous, the greatest attention to detail, the most personal — NOT the most formal. Levels of formality are simply a matter of taste and style. Good manners demand that a hostess be consistent in setting the level of formality for an event, so that her guests know what to expect and can adapt their own level of formality accordingly. Invitations worded in the stilted third-person language most people associate with weddings, engraved on stiff white card, indicated the highest level of formality. Informality is communicated by using natural language on your regular letter-paper. Both are equally proper. Mixing the two, and hence sending mixed messages to your guests, is less proper. The more confusion your invitation creates for your guests, the less proper it is.

But, along those lines, let us stop for a moment and consider just what your “regular letter-paper” looks like. Mine is french-folded heavy white rag paper with and interleaved “A.P.” centred on the front folio; and I actually send letters on it once or twice a month. My darling grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and for that matter most of my nieces and nephews, on the other hand, haven’t used paper to send a letter since the dawn of the twenty-first century. Their “regular letter-paper” is email. And I have to admit that when I send a paper letter, I frequently use a ball-point pen instead of the proper fountain pen that *my* great aunt would have insisted was the only “proper” implement with which to write social correspondence. Times change. Fountain-pens replaced quills and india-ink. Ballpoint-pens replaced fountain-pens. Keyboards have replaced ballpoint-pens. If you decide to resort to email, the only Bees who are truly entitled to look down their noses at your choice of technology are the ones who still carry a pen-knife for trimming their own goose-quills before dipping them in the ink-bottle. If you do decide to go the informal route, your invitation would not be worded “Miss Indecisive Bride / requests the pleasure of the company of / Mr and Mrs Guest &tc”. It would be worded more like “Dear Auntie May and Uncle Ben / John and I plan to be married this summer, and we are hoping you will be able to join us for the ceremony and party afterward … (details)…. / your loving niece, / Indecisive”.

Now, the third bit of good news. If you do decide to go the very-formal route with paper invitations and all the trimmings, it is a happy coincidence that the very most formal forms are also among the least expensive! “Most formal” does not mean “most expensive”. The most proper invitations are hand-written in black ink on plain heavy white paper. Cheap thin white paper is almost as proper. For brides who cannot hand-write that many invitations, formal etiquette allows them to use *engraved* invitations instead; but invitations that are merely printed, or letter-pressed, or thermo-engraved are a significant step down in formality from hand-written invitations (especially if you use india ink). The most proper “save-the-dates” are none at all: they are a practice adopted from the advance-advertising in the convention industry and, as Ivelanded points out, are a money-making innovation for print-shops. Guests that need advance notice to arrange vacation time or travel are, if you wish to stick to formal etiquette, provided with that notice in hand-written individual personal notes. “R.s.v.p. cards” and other enclosures are eschewed by those who adhere to the most formal standards, as in social circles where such formality is routine, guests are expected to know that replies should be sent at once, in writing, on their own personal stationery with its own matching envelope and stamped by the guest’s own stamp.

Happy wedding planning! As long as you put kindness, generosity and personal care for your guests at the forefront of your planning, you will not go badly wrong.


Post # 14
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We got our STD’s for free from an Etsy blog. Anyone can have them. You just print them out yourselves…they are super cute. We got them printed at an office supply store. Wedding Chicks has save the dates (and invites! and RSVP cards!) for free and if you can find a color you like, the invites are way cute. I look at them often to see if we can use them, because they are designs that high end designers charge a lot for…it’s a really great deal.


Save the Dates don’t need to be expensive. I saw a lot of post card options and I found that pricing really reasonable. They don’t have to match your invites, either. You can even create a little card in Word, have them printed 4 or 6 to a page at the office supply store, have them cut it and buy envelopes at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.


And they are most definately NOT required. The only reason we are sending them out is because we are having a Destination Wedding. If we were getting married locally we wouldn’t have sent them!

Post # 15
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@aspasia475:  This is probably one of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen on here. Kudos to you. You know the true defintion of manners.

Post # 16
8444 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@tampalove35:  @indecisivebride89:  Aww thank you ladies. 

To OP, I simply designed on photoshop/InDesign, printed at home, then cut and assembled them.  I purchased my materials from paperandmore.com, printed on my canon pixma at home, then used a scrapbook cutter to size everything.  Since you’re looking into water color/painting your invites, definitely talk to eocenia, she did a beautiful job on her painted invites.  Here’s a link to her post http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/diy-invitations-help-on-how-to-proceed#axzz2Q4F72yn9

You can also search other watercolor invites on the boards (her’s is just the most recent one I’ve seen).  They always seem to turn out beautifully and I think it’s awesome that each one is slightly unique.

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