Adventures in DIY Cost-Saving Wedding Invitations

Written by Bianca (,

original article :

My health had gotten the best of me lately and it’s been rather difficult to get any of my DIY projects done. The list is rather lengthy, so I’ve been feeling the stress in more ways than one and it came out in my first wedding nightmare. The scene began really normal; set during wedding rehearsal.  All of a sudden I felt rushed for time. Nobody was doing what they were supposed to be and things were going undone. The discomfort was enough to wake me briefly, but I fell right back asleep into the nightmare. Only this time, it was the wedding day. The panic was about stage 9 and I was having a full-out melt-down.  It was 45 minutes to show time and my makeup wasn’t done. I called out for my makeup artist (MUA) and Puff Daddy appeared with his handlers not far behind carrying makeup brushes insisting that he didn’t work before he had a few drinks—(BLANK STARE). It got even weirder from there, but I won’t bore you with all my foolishness. I’m chalking it up to all those Ciroc commercials that have inundated the television and apparently my consciousness.

One thing is for sure, it helped me get moving enough to finally break through the haze and get off my tush. As of today, I’m proud to report that my invitations are done and out the door. If it wasn’t clear before, I really enjoy print/visual projects. And it was really eating me up to not be able to get them done.

For starters, the invitation design was done long, LONG ago—even before our save the dates were finished. The biggest hang up was the RSVP information card. It was my decision to nix response cards in order to eliminate the costs of return postage and envelopes in favor of a live RSVP service. One of my best friends used a RSVP service where guests called and got a live agent to go over all the pertinent questions (i.e. meal choice, guest’s name). I was impressed by it and planned to use it for our guests that aren’t savvy enough to RSVP via our wedding website (which I LOVE btw). Well, that plan went bust when I called and discovered that the company no longer offers the service. I was SO bummed. I searched and searched but couldn’t find another service like it. Every other service offered a voicemail message system, where they’d compile the information and send it upon request. I wasn’t impressed and the cost was laughable. Why pay someone hundreds of dollars to do what can be easily done for free?

In what could be described as nothing short of a state of delirium, I found myself saying aloud, “Nice job Bianca, you now have another project.”

I know what you’re thinking…I should probably suck it up and spend a little more money, huh? Well, I thought so too until I had a major breakthrough. A few months ago, my fellow budget blogger Abby, posted about ways Google can be helpful in wedding planning. And I happened to stumble upon another great use to add to the list—Google Voice. It turned out to be an incredibly awesome and VERY easy solution to my RSVP dilemma for a whopping $0.

All I did was sign up for a phone number and create a voicemail message for guests to RSVP through. In the message, we ask callers to leave their name and number, as well as, confirm their attendance (ceremony only, reception only, both or none) and meal choice (seared salmon, grilled chicken or vegetable lasagna). Using the default spreadsheet generated by our wedding website (which is our alternate RSVP option). As the calls come in, we can either answer them or wait for the voicemail messages to record the guest information. Google makes that easy by giving the option of listening to the message or reviewing a Google-generated transcript of the message. And every time a message is received, Google sends an email alert. The best part is that I’m not stuck with this task all by myself. I can route incoming calls to Sherrod and my sister/MOH who have graciously agreed to help manage the incoming data via Google Docs.  If you’re interested in a more detailed description of this process, leave me a note in the comments section and I’ll get to work on a tutorial and share the script we used.

This invitation project was all about saving money. And at a grand total of $225 (including postage), I’d say missioned accomplished. Here are a few more ways we saved on our invitation suite.

  • The design was made using free fonts I found on the web. Pinterest is full of ideas for fonts to use for wedding invitations. I picked fonts that best suited the elegant and modern feel we chose for our wedding.
  • I purchased the paper and envelopes from Paper and More. I am a BIG fan! I did very thorough research on the cost of paper and found their costs to be the lowest around. They offer a $3.99 flat-rate shipping rate no matter what you order or where you order from (in the U.S.). Even better than the low cost is the fantastic customer service.
  • Google also came in handy in creating a personalized map for our details insert. I wanted something clean and found a few helpful tutorials. This one is solid, and it was right up my alley since I don’t have Photoshop on my computer. It’s not a perfect map, but overall I’m happy with the results.
  • Last but not least, printing didn’t cost a thing…except a promise to my girlfriend that I would design her invitation suite. Done and DONE! This was an easy ASK because the project didn’t require many prints and I enjoy designing print projects. Every invitation and details card printed 2 per page; and the reply cards printed 4 per page. I did all the cutting myself.

Without further ado, here’s a preview of our invitation suite.


Slightly edited to protect sensitive information

Cost Breakdown

Paper: $148

Adhesive: $7 (approx.)

  •  Miscellaneous purchases of Adhesive Dots and Rubber Cement

Postage: $70

I made 150 invitation sets and still have plenty of paper left to make signs and cards. I loved the silver brushed paper so much that I purchased additional packages for our program covers.

Hopefully with this task out of the way, Puff Daddy won’t be making any recurring appearances as the MUA in my wedding dreams.  It’s good to be back…

-Reprinted with permission courtesy of Bianca

Sleeve Pocket Cards – Invitations made easy!

1. Choose your sleeve color (this one is Topaz Blue Metallic)  –   View Sleeve Card Colors

2. Choose your Cardstock backing. We can cut it to 5 x 7 for you!  (this one is Bright White Linen 80#)  –  View Cardstock textures and colors

3. Choose the Text paper to print the wordings We can cut this to 4.5 x 6.5 for you! (this one is Topaz Blue text 81#)  –  View Text Paper Textures and Colors

4. Create your print document or use this template  –  View Printing Template

5. Print on  your home printer or have it done by a local print shop.

6. Use an adhesive to apply the text printed paper to the cardstock you choose  –   View Adhesives

Happy invitation making!

a7_topaz_blue_metallic_sleeve_invite_out-1261 a7_topaz_blue_metallic_sleeve_invite_half-1259 a7_topaz_blue_metallic_sleeve_invite_in-1260

Color Trends

You can set the tone and style for your wedding by the colors you chose. Of course, you want the invitation you create to fit right in. Paper and More! can help you make the right decision.

Start by picking the colors you love! After all, it is your special day! We can help you chose that perfect combination. Remember be unique! Be what you feel!

Here are some color trends and some Paper and More! paper selections for the upcoming 2011 Bridal season:

Trend: Warm – Oranges, Mocha, Gold

Bronze Brown Orange Flame Gold Champagne Cappuccino Brown


Metallic: Champagne, Bronze Brown, Gold, Gold Leaf, Cappuccino Brown, Peach

Solid: Chocolate Brown, Sunset Orange, Gold, Orange, Salmon, Sunflower, Lemon Yellow

Linen: Natural Cream, Dandelion Yellow, Metallic Gold, Metallic Cream

Vellum: Metallic Light Gold, Yellow Gold, Orange, Papaya Orange, Tangerine

Trend: Luxurious – Purple, Cranberry, Wine

Lavender Kunzite Burgundy Orchid


Metallic: Ruby Purple, Purple Punch, Lavender, Kunzite

Solid: Purple Grape, Dark Purple, Burgundy, Pink, Orchid

Linen: Red Wine

Trend: Classic/Holiday – Black, White, Red

Jupiter Red Onyx Black Crimson Red Pearl White Cherry Red


Metallic: Crimson Red, Jupiter Red, Onyx Black, Pearl White,

Solid: Bright Red, Black, Bright White, Cherry Red

Linen: Epic Black, Red Pepper, Bright White, Metallic White Linen

Trend: Sparkle – Gold & Champagne

Gold Champagne Gold Linen Antique Gold


Metallic: Champagne, Gold, Gold Leaf

Solid: Gold

Linen: Metallic Gold Linen

Vellum: Yellow Gold, Metallic Light Gold

Patterned: Mod Gold Patterned

Trend: Tropical – Orange, Pink, Yellow, Lime, Aqua

Orange Flame Pink Azalea Lemon Lime<br />Laid Cardstock


Metallic: Orange Flame, Rose Pink, Pink Azalea,

Solid: Orange, Sunset Orange, Cotton Candy Pink, Pink, Razzle Pink, Salmon, Sunflower, Yellow, Lemon Yellow

Linen: Dandelion Yellow,

Laid: Lemon Lime

Vellum: Papaya Orange, Orange, Tangerine, Blush Pink, Violet Pink

Trend: Classic – White, Cream

Natural Cream Pearl White Champagne White Linen Cream Linen


Metallic: Pearl White, Champagne

Solid: Bright White, Sand

Linen: Bright White, Natural Cream, Metallic White, Metallic Cream

Vellum: White, Cream

Trend: Crisp – Green & Cream/Your favorite color & Cream or White

Botanic Green Metallic Cream Chocolate Brown Natural Cream


Metallic: Botanic Green, Emerald Green, Green Fairway, Champagne,

Solid: Green, Golden Green, Meadow Green, Sand

Linen: Ponderosa Pine, Natural Cream, Metallic Cream

Vellum: Cream, Leaf Green, Pastel Green

Trend: Chic – Gray & Yellow


Gray Dandelion Yellow Steel Gray Lemon Yellow


Metallic: Silver, Steel Gray

Solid: Gray, Yellow, Lemon Yellow

Linen: Charcoal Linen, Light Gray, Dandelion Yellow,

Vellum: Yellow Gold, Platinum, Shadow Gray

For our eco-friendly customers, we also have a line of Recycled Paper products.

Timber Green<br />Cardstock Electric Red<br />Cardstock Brick Red<br />Cardstock

Other recent popular color combinations include Aqua & Brown, Pink & Brown, Dark Blue & Light Blue, Fuchsia & Green, and Brown & Cream.

Bronze Brown Rose Pink Aqua Chocolate Brown Dark Blue Sky Chocolate Brown Natural Cream Pink Azalea Green Fairway

Whatever colors you chose, remember Paper and More! is always here to help!

Help Center

Napkin Rings – Martha Stewart

Napkin Rings - Martha StewartOur vellums were featured in the print magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Special Edition 2010. Here are instructions on making the Draped Garland.

What You’ll Need:

Pastel Blue Vellum

Steel Blue Vellum

Turquoise Vellum

How to Make the Napkin Rings:
  1. Cut vellum into a 3/4-by-5-inch strip
  2. Cut 1-inch slit lengthwise in one end using a craft knife and metal ruler.
  3. Calligraph name on other end.
  4. Slip calligraphed end through slit to make a ring, and slide over napkin.

Link to article at Pop-Up Wedding Decorations How-To



Votive Centerpiece – Martha Stewart

Votive Centerpieces - Martha StewartOur vellums were featured in the print magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Special Edition 2010. Here are instructions on making the Draped Garland.

What You’ll Need:

Pastel Blue Vellum

Steel Blue Vellum

Turquoise Vellum
How to Make the Votive Centerpiece:

  1. Cut vellum into rectangles of various heights. Each should wrap around votive holder and overlap by 1 inch.
  2. Wrap vellum around votives. Secure overlap with double-stick tape, then slip vellum sleeves off the votives.
  3. Set candles on table, light, slide on vellum sleeves, and arrange.
Link to article at Pop-Up Wedding Decorations How-To



Draped Garland – Martha Stewart

Draped Garland - Martha StewartOur vellums were featured in the print magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Special Edition 2010. Here are instructions on making the Draped Garland.

What You’ll Need:

Pastel Blue Vellum

Steel Blue Vellum

Turquoise Vellum

White 29# Vellum

How to Make the Draped Garland:

  1. Cut vellum into 3/4-by-5-inch strips in a variety of colors.
  2. Run strips through a sewing machine, one after the other, until the banner reaches your desired length.
  3. Secure ends to a wall or ceiling with thumbtacks.

Link to article at Pop-Up Wedding Decorations How-To


Hanging Lantern – Martha Stewart

Hanging Lantern - Martha StewartOur vellums were featured in the print magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Special Edition 2010. Here are instructions on making the Hanging Lantern.

What You’ll Need:

Turquoise Vellum
American Crafts mini brads

How to Make the Hanging Lantern:

  1. Cut vellum into 10 strips. For small lanterns, use 8 1/2-by-1-inch pieces; for large ones, use 11-by-1-inch pieces.
  2. Stack strips, perforate each end with a hole punch, and secure with brads.
  3. Fan strips out to create 3-D shape.
  4. Wrap monofilament (or heavy clear thread) around one brad, and secure to ceiling with a thumbtack.

Link to article at Pop-Up Wedding Decorations How-To

Vellum Luminarias – Martha Stewart Weddings

From Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine Spring 2009

Vellum Luminarias - Photo by Ynhee Kim, Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2009

Photo by Yunhee Kim

Martha Stewart Weddings Spring 2009

Our White 29# Vellum Paper was featured in an issue of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine as part of a featurette on Lace. The vellum paper was used to make a beautiful luminaria with a lace pattern as described below.

Article Text:

“When printed on translucent vellum in soothing colors, lace appears even dreamier and more ethereal than it already is. To make square luminarias beautiful enough to be centerpieces, we simply magnified the lace pattern. Placed in a row, with no extra flourishes, the presentation positively glows with sophistication.

It doesn’t get any easier than this: Just print, cut, and wrap to make the projects here. To make square luminarias beautiful enough to be centerpieces, we simply magnified the lace pattern. Placed in a row, with no extra flourishes, the presentation positively glows with sophistication.”

Link to Article


Paper: White 29# Vellum Paper

Clipart: Tall Luminaria Clip Art | Short Luminaria Clip Art

Theme Accessories

Don’t forget all the items you’ll need after the invitations! Once the invitations and response cards have been mailed out, the accessories for the wedding itself remain. Many of our customers choose to keep a consistent theme and use the same papers and colors for the invitations during the wedding and reception as well.

Here’s just a few items that can be created to keep a consistent theme:

  • Wedding Programs
  • Reception Table Cards
  • Reception Menus
  • Wedding Favors
  • Thank You Cards
  • Table Numbers
  • Guestbook

We’d love to hear about any ideas out there. Please be sure to drop us a note.

Common Cutting Sizes

The following tables shows some popular cutting sizes in order to obtain the proper sizes of cardstock and vellum for their appropriate envelopes.

Bases are traditionally cardstock weight papers. Overlays can be vellum, text weight paper, or a different colored cardstock. The overlay can either be the same size as the cardstock or it can be smaller. If choosing a smaller size, we recommend a gap of ¼” on each side between the overlay and base.

Panel sized cards are single cards with no fold. Folder sized cards can be folded along the middle. Please note that our papers are not pre scored for folding.

A7 Envelope (5 1/4” x 7 1/4”)
Panel Base 5” x 7” Overlay (Smaller) 4 1/2” x 6 1/2”
Folder 10” x 7” Overlay (Smaller) 4 1/2” x 6 1/2”
A6 Envelope (4 3/4” x 6 1/2”)
Panel Base 4 1/2” X 6 1/4” Overlay (Smaller) 4” X 5 3/4”
Folder 9” X 6 1/4”
A2 Envelope (4 3/8” x 5 3/4”)
Panel Card 4 1/4” X 5 1/2” Folder 8 1/2” X 5 1/2”
A1 Envelope (3 5/8 ” x 5 1/8 “, 4 Bar)
Folder 7” x 4 7/8”
A9 Envelope (5 3/4” x 8 3/4 “)
Panel Base 5 1/2” x 8 1/2” Overlay (Smaller) 5” x 8”
Folder 11” x 8 1/2”