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.