A big part of any wedding is how much you have to put your name on things. Your save-the-dates, your invitations, programs, banners, the cake, party favours – everything. Your name is everywhere. And printing companies, calligraphers, and people who are hoping you don’t know what you’re doing are all banking on the fact that you need their help.

But here’s the thing – you probably don’t need their help. And you probably don’t need all of those things either.

Save-the-dates are a fancy way of saying “this is the date of our wedding – please stop asking me.” There’s honestly no reason to pay for printing and postage of your save-the-dates. It’s 100% okay to send out a mass Facebook message or email, or if you have some design skills, do what I’m doing – getting a free MailChimp account and sending out a designed newsletter with the day of the wedding and a call to collect addresses.

Having some design skills (or having a friend with design skills that you can buy a pack of beer) will help you a lot financially in the long run – it means you don’t have to pay a designer or pay the premium prices at a printer for a pre-made template. But if you don’t, there are still ways to get around those prices.

I designed my father’s wedding invitations this year, and I printed them using Vistaprint. Once I got the sizes down, it couldn’t have been easier to place them in the blank template and print them (only $30 for 100, $5 for matching envelopes). I’m the type of person to try to save money on everything, but I do love the idea of designing invitations and I’m also the type of person that loves opening mail. I’m going to set up a website where my guests can RSVP and find out other information about the wedding – like where it is, parking, and hotel accommodations. This cuts my cost of printing RSVP cards and prevents spending more money on return postage.

Programs and favours are all up to your preference – but don’t go beyond what you actually need. Personalized napkins are cute, but people will still ultimately wipe their mouths with them, crumple them up, and throw them out. Nobody will notice whether they have your initials stamped on them or not.

So why do we keep printing seemingly endless pages of paper when our world is becoming increasingly digital? Weddings are traditional. And it takes traditions a long time to progress.

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