Monday, January 24, 2011


It is surprising to me the part of our wedding that feels like the biggest splurge.  The thing where we spent a lot more money than we needed to because we wanted to, not because we had to.  Arguably, no, we did not need to spend as much on food as we did on a year's worth of rent, but it felt more necessary than this did.

We saved money with most of our wedding.  I bought a $500 dress that I didn't totally love and didn't fit me, and spent the same amount having it turned into a dress that I totally loved and fit like a glove. I stalked sale sites for shoes and finally scored 2 pairs for $30 each.  These all felt like reasonable amounts to spend.  I spent nothing on jewelry, borrowing it all or wearing stuff I already owned.  I shelled out $32 for a headband that made me feel like a princess.  We hired an up-and-coming family friend as a photographer (and got some of the best wedding pictures I've ever seen).  We hired a reasonably priced DJ who kept the party going and didn't try to turn our wedding into a rave.  We mostly spent money on making sure our guests would have a great time at our wedding, and the rest of the stuff we let go.

The part though, where we spent a lot more than we had to, infinitely more, really, was our invitations.  I could easily have designed simple invitations ourselves, and then maybe added a rubber stamp, and called it a day.  We could have bought reasonably priced invitations from Invitation Consultants or done a DIY kit from Michaels.  But we splurged.  And I'm still not 100% comfortable with the amount of money that we spent on the design for our invitations, but I am still 100% in love with our invitations.
Nonetheless, sometimes I can't get past the fact that the design alone cost $70.  Yes, I know, in the long run, spending $200 total on your invitations is a steal, but I sometimes can't get past the fact that it could have been closer to $100 if I had designed them myself.  We had a few people tell us how much they loved our invitations, but overall, I would say invitations are the one thing where you should save every penny possible, as long as your invites aren't written in marker.  And I LOVE paper.  But nonetheless, it still feels like a lot of money that we didn't have to spend, that didn't make our guests more comfortable or our wedding day more beautiful.  We spent that money because I wanted to and I have to deal with that.  I feel sometimes like I spent $70 on a pair of shoes I only wore once.  But I also don't regret spending that money.  I feel silly, but I have absolutely zero regrets.  I love that our purchase went to support a small business, one that supports APW, and I loved working with Kimi and the folks at Printable Press.  And I really really loved our invitations, even if nobody else cared about them.  

I'm sharing this with you so that you know a few things, which are that your invites aren't really that important, that the things that felt like the biggest splurge may be something you spent very little on, in the grand scheme of things, and that it's okay to both want something and feel guilty about wanting it at the same time.  I know a lot of people feel silly about wanting nice invitations, and that's okay.  They're kind of a silly thing to want.  But as long as you can still come in under your budget by saving in other ways (I designed our RSVP card and rehearsal dinner invites myself, and we made our own thank-you notes), you should go ahead and do what makes you happy.


  1. I'm doing a similar process w/ a graphic designer friend rather than Printable Press - do you have any recommendations for the printing part, after you have the design? Did you go to a copy shop? How do you keep costs down when you're printing them?

  2. We had ours printed at Staples - it cost $35, which was less than the cost of ink for my deskjet printer, and they looked really really nice. It was much lower stress and much lower cost than printing them at home. I would cut them yourselves with a professional paper cutter though - Staples butchered ours.

  3. Great, thanks for the Staples idea! I'd considered Kinko's, but I'll check out Staples, too. Did you buy your paper and envelopes there, too?

  4. I think your invites were so fitting for your wedding. Maybe a splurge, but sometimes these things are worth it, like you said.

  5. Just speaking from a designers perspective, I think $70 was a fantastic deal for custom design work. We always appreciate when people who really care about what they are mailing out come to us for our expertise and are happy with a finished product. Design is largely a thankless, low-paying job that most people think they can do themselves. It's nice to run across someone who appreciates good design :)

  6. Dude, you definitely should not feel guilty. $200 is not bad at all. I feel you though. I feel that way about our photographer, especially since we're paying for his travel fees, even though $1,600 is totally reasonable for a photographer. But it's still our biggest splurge. But I know I won't regret having those pictures.