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I've got 120 people I would like to invite to my wedding, but when I'm looking at traditional wedding invitation websites and stationers in my area, it's pretty expensive. Are there cheaper ways to send invitations to my guests?

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Hand letter your invitations with a good ink. It takes time and effot and is as luxurious as you can get this day and age. Get some nice cardstock to write on and use ink that has a color quality that is hard to replicate in a office printer. It is a lot of work and most people can not afford the time and effort to do 120 of these.

The other is to print the invitations yourself. Again if you use some textured, and thicker paper/card stock then this will look better. Just make sure to use the best printer you have access to. The key here is to test your materials on first, to avoid surprises. Printing on textured paper does not allways work out. Also you need to know what side the printer prints on and how to use the direct feed input* etc.

Quality is often just simply a function of how much time and effort your willing to take to execute your work. Take your time and test things on screen and make prototypes, test your materials, sample and shop around. People want to see effort, that is what luxury is about.

Other ideas:

  • It is possible to make/buy ready made dies to cut specific shapes into the invitation. Or you can cut material out of a different stack and glue it on top.
  • If you have access to a maker fab you could use a laser cutter to engrave plastic or cut vinyl transfers. (I am in Finland and maker fabs are available in at least 6 local libraries within 30 minutes of travel. A vinyl cutter and some time can take you very far.)

Image 1: Scissors for decorative border.

* Many printers have a separate indeed in the back to avoid bending card stock. Note that the printer often needs to be configured for the thicker medium.

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It really depends how original you want to be, but if you want an invitation that will be zero cost to you, find yourself a friend who knows about video editing and make a video invitation; then you just proceed to send it through e-mail or a hyperlink. Several years ago, one of my friends did his in flash, turned out pretty neat.

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In this time of social media and internet this gives you an advantage of having almost anything at your finger tips.

Some inexpensive ideas:

  • Facebook or social media. You can make a cute image or video and send it all the people invited. Plus, it's free and almost instantaneous. You can also have them message you back so that you know that they got it. Also, text message(which is pretty cheap). But like the other answer mentioned e-mail is probably better.

Some better ideas if you have time is to make your own or shop online for stationary. Online is uasully cheaper.

  • You can print them up and tie them with ribbon or beads.

But whatever corners you cut, people may look down on it as you being cheap.

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My wife designed our wedding invitation to fit in the size of a 5.5" x 4.25" card (a postcard size).

We printed them 4 to a page (the size fit perfectly on 9x11 sheet for 4). Our total print cost was about $55 or so. They looked really nice, too.

Postage is also cheaper because postcard stamps are currently only $0.35/stamp vs $0.49/stamp. This saved us about $20 too compared to regular postage.

One thing to keep in mind if you go this route is to ensure people see them as an invitation instead of save-the-date. Ours was not clear enough and some people thought our invitation was a save-the-date.

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