How to save money with your Wedding Stationery
Everyone knows weddings can be expensive, but if you are savvy and have the help of some gifted crafters or budget conscious suppliers, you can have that fairy-tale wedding at a fraction of the cost.
We have put together a guide on how we have developed certain items and ways of doing things that not only help you save money but perhaps allow your budget to stretch further so that you can get exactly what you want, without compromising on quality.
What the couples can do
Save the Dates
Whilst Save the Dates were common place, these days with the likes of social media and that everyone is connected 24/7, it is likely that most of your guests know their whereabouts at any given day of the year. That said, there are a few scenarios where we would recommend that save the dates are important to send out, for instance if your wedding is abroad, you are having the wedding in the middle of the school holidays, or if you have friends and family who have to travel.
However, if your wedding date doesn’t fall into any of these categories, then you could consider sending out your invite perhaps 2-3 months earlier than the usual 12 weeks and leave the save the dates out of the equation altogether. Texting, Facebook groups or email is also a good way to send details of an upcoming wedding, that are completely free!
DIY print-at-home files
Many couples like to feel their wedding has that personal touch, and a lot of couples are a dab hand at creating their own wedding items, including their stationery. At Elle Bee in mid-2018 we introduced an exciting new Printable Range which was designed purely for those who sit directly in this category.
Whilst making invitations and stationery completely from scratch is great fun, it is also labour intensive so if you wanted to do your own invites and stationery but wanted them designed for you then look no further than the Print-at-home options that are flooding the internet.
These files are created using your personal details, for you but by a professional stationer, who can use all their trickery and wizardry to give you a professional looking invite, at a fraction of the cost. To put this into context, our printable files are over 70% cheaper than our professionally printed designs because all you pay for is the file; there are no print costs associated with print-at-home files.
Once you have the file, you can print off as many copies as you need or, if you have access to one send the file to a local printer to print for you. You can then decorate them, or bundle them up as your wish, making them a cheaper alternative to printed or handmade ranges.
As Brits we are renowned for being as traditional as possible. And whilst this in most cases is true we wanted to share with you some nuggets of information we have obtained from our neighbours across the pond – The Americans!
Elle Bee has provided stationery all across the USA, from California to New York, Texas to Washington and one fundamental thing sticks out from all these weddings we have been involved in; Americans get to the point much quicker than we do!
In an age where all types of information are available 24/7 thanks to the world wide web, the American couples seem to have used this to their advantage. By providing less information to their guests, they cut their information and stationery budgets down by nearly 20%. They rarely have more than 1 information card, if any! They only use traditional RSVP’s if they have to, most have website or email addresses, or telephone numbers listed as an RSVP. They don’t provide details such as Taxi numbers, accommodation details or gift wish poems. Now granted, in America Wedding gifts are done very differently, and can be by way of a gift directory but still; the point is they provide far less information than we British do, so this may be something to consider. Do you need that extra information card to tell guests where to park, can you get away without telling guests where to sleep? These are certainly valid questions and just may save you a few pennies as well.
No RSVP cards
Now as mentioned above our American neighbours are brilliant in condensing everything they need to get across into bite sized pieces. But one of the glaringly obvious things that can be done with stationery, specifically invites is the very traditional RSVP’s.
RSVP’S have been used since the dawn of time to prompt potential guests to respond back to the wedding couple of their delight in attending, or their sadness in being absent. But are they always necessary?
Well, no is the actual answer. We live in an age where we are connected like never before; email and text have taken over the older methods such as carrier pigeon and postal services. So, why not use this to your advantage. Granted, not all weddings will be suitable for this, and a lot of venues require a strict set of information with regards to numbers, dietary requirements and also menu choices. But, instead of paying for an RSVP, you could have your telephone number and/or email address listed instead. Or, put your postal address on the invite and let your guests buy an RSVP card! Or, if you are one of these tech-savvy couples build your own Wedding Website and have people RSVP to this! The options are endless and if you are well prepared and plan well, can pinch those pennies in some quite clever ways.
What the supplier can do
Now, as stationery companies go, we have situated ourselves in the top end of the middle bracket in terms of cost. We are not the cheapest but, we are also not the most expensive.
That said, any decent stationer will try to help you cut costs where possible and here is a list of the things that we at Elle Bee have done to help couples stick to their budgets.
Table Plan Cards
Table Plans are, in every possible way, the total and utter bane of a couple’s life. They are hideously stressful, subject to change at a moment’s notice and, for the stationer, one of the more labour-intensive items to make and ship.
So, if you don’t want to cost of a table plan being made for you and then the added cost of it being shipped then table plan cards are an absolute life saver (and a time saver for your stationer too!)
Asking your stationer to provide you with the table plan cards means that the table plan can match all your other stationery, but at a fraction of the cost. You can then mount these onto a mirror, or a board you yourself have designed, or mount them in a photo frame waterfall, or hang the cards inside a wooden box attached to jute string with pegs...the options are phenomenal when ordering table plan cards and providing you don’t have guests dropout last minute (Whhhhaaaatttttt I hear your cry!!) then the table plan cards are a way to go. All of our handmade collections come with table plan cards, so just ask if they are something you would be interested in.
Order of Service
Primarily, orders or service are the most useful when couples are having a religious ceremony, or a ceremony where readings and/or hymns are being spoken as all guests can then join in or read what is being said. People forget that those at the back of a church or venue struggle to hear the celebrant/vicar/ marriage officiant during the wedding vows so orders of service can be a good idea if you have a large venue.
But did you know that you don’t need to have 1 per person. In fact, you can get away with 1 between two, and even less if you are having children to s ceremony as they don’t require one at all! Reducing your order of service quantity to 1 between two adults only can cut your costs for these by half, if not more! And if you are having a small wedding, cutting the number of pages inside as well makes them cheaper!
Wedding Favours - 1 item, multiple uses
Whilst many couple view wedding favours as a “bit of a waste of money” and will only get left of thrown away, they can have a brilliant double use!
Our Wedding Favours at Elle Bee ALL come with the option to use them as place cards as well, meaning we can print individual names in each one. This means they are not only a wedding favour but also a place card, cutting the costs down considerably as well as cutting own clutter on the tables!
The same can also be provided for menu cards, the guest name can be at the top and the courses below, with the card placed onto their setting – two for the price of one!
An ingenious design with multiple uses. We first encountered tabletalkers via our external printers and with a bit of stationery wizardry we managed to be able to make them for all our handmade ranges.
TableTalkers are triangular shapes, free standing wedding “signs” almost, that have three sides to them that stand in the middle of the table. Each side can be used for a different purpose; side 1 with the table name/number on it, side 2 with the menu on it and side three with a list of guest names on it. Using TableTalkers instead of Menu cards, place cards and table names cuts down your costs but over 75% for these three separate items, meaning that they are not only novel (as not many stationers do them) but they are also a HUGE cost saver.