It IS possible to cut costs in wedding planning… promise.

I won’t keep going on about wedding projects forever… I just have a few great ones up my sleeve that I’m proud of. Another huge cost associated with weddings that can be cut down is the stationery. My initial quote for invitations was $3 each including the envelope. I managed to cut my costs for 90 invites (two fit to a page), plus 90 insert cards that included the web address to RSVP on (nine per page), and 150 sparkler cards (at three a page) down to $70 after tax by doing it myself. I Spent $15 on envelopes and obviously postage on top of each of the 90 envelopes that went out. Overall, I saved at least $300… possibly more. I spent roughly eight hours of work on the computer between all three designs. It was well worth it. Forgive my terrible cell phone photos –


Anyone with Adobe Photoshop (or a friend with Photoshop) and access to a local print shop can save money on their stationery and still have an invitation that YOU love.

  • Start by selecting a design concept: What’s your design theme? Does it go with your wedding? You can pick anything from theme-specific to traditional black lettering on ivory paper. Doll it up with a hole punch or rubber cement and a ribbon if you need to (beware of adding staples, glue, and charms.. they add to the postage cost due to the weight)
  • Choose a size. To maximize your cost efficiency, go for something that you can fit at least two of on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Mine were 5×7.
  • Check with the print shop on parameters with the design. Can you print double sided? Can they print full-bleed or do you need to leave a margin? Is the cutting included?
  • Look into your paper options. I paid $.25-.30 extra per sheet (not per card) for the sparkler card paper because it had a metallic “flek” to it. It was worth it to me.
  • Look at ideas online. Are there any special prints or watermarks that appeal to you?
  • Find tutorials,they’re out there. Want damask? Google the term “adobe photoshop damask tutorial,” you’re golden. You can literally find step by step instructions for the entire design. MAKE it easy. Its like microsoft paint for adults. I hadn’t used photoshop in several years and had forgotten pretty much everything before I started this project.
  • Find brushes. There are endless amounts of brushes for Adobe Photoshop where you can recreate shapes with a click of a mouse. Done underestimate brushes. Fancy designs don’t have to cost a fancy amount of money.
  • Curious as to how I made the vintage looking wear on the lettering? I used a brush as an eraser. Also an option. Don’t use a “white” brush to create a negative effect.. use the brush as the eraser shape. Set the eraser to different levels of opacity to create different effects. A 100% fill will give you the cleanest mark, even over a brush.
  • Choose the perfect font. One again, hundreds of free fonts out there that will fit your design theme.
  • Print proofs. If I had ordered a full order of prints in my first go-around, my colors would’ve been terribly off and I would’ve ended up losing some money. We all make color mistakes because what shows on your monitor may not actually print in the same color. If you’re familiar enough with photoshop, use pantones instead of the color wheel. You’ll get a more true-to-color image that way.

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