Save money with handmade invites

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Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 12:00 am

Calligraphy, embossing, fonts, watermarks -- these and other terms are finely engrained in the wedding stationery lexicon. While traditionalists may pore over carefully crafted invitations and other stationery products from commercial printers, couples looking to rein in wedding spending may choose to take a more hands-on approach to wedding invitations ... by printing the invites themselves.

Before the advent of sophisticated home computer systems and affordable desktop printers, brides- and grooms-to-be had to rely on professional printers and engravers. The process of producing wedding invitations likely involved printing plates or some form of thermography and took place in a building replete with bulky equipment and the pungent aroma of ink. Though formal and often exquisitely executed, these wedding invitations can still prove quite expensive.

The Bridal Association of America says that the average cost of professionally produced wedding invitations is $659. This refers to invitations that have printed envelopes, reply cards, and printer reply card envelopes. Changes in design or even the color of the text can impact prices further. It is not unheard of to spend as much as $2,000 for high-quality engraved wedding invitations. Considering the invitation is held for a short period of time and then tossed away, some couples cannot imagine spending so much on invitations. In such instances, making your own invitations may be the most affordable option.

As the evolution of home-based printing has broadened the possibilities of do-it-yourself printing, couples who hope to design and produce their own wedding invitations have many options at their disposal.

Pre-Made Kits

A visit to a stationery store or even the local craft retailer should present shoppers with several different wedding invitation kits. These packages often include blank invitations, response cards, envelopes and other embellishments pertaining to the invitation design. Some can be quite elaborate, with the inclusion of vellum or card inserts, as well as die-cut designs. Couples who want control over the wording and printing but would rather leave the creative design to someone else can benefit from these invitation kits. They also tend to be affordably priced in comparison to a professional printing service.

Crafty Card-Making

Interest in scrapbooking and card-making has spurred craft centers to stock many different materials that can be used to design wedding invitations. Layering different types of paper to create a three-dimensional effect and using embellishments such as rhinestones or ribbon can help dress up the wedding invitation.

Couples hosting a casual wedding for a small number of guests may enjoy the process of hand-crafting wedding invitations and possibly customizing them for each guest. Intimate affairs lend themselves well to this level of personalization, and handmade invitations could set the cozy tone of the celebration.

Graphic Design Work

Couples who have a creative spark may want to draw up their own invitation design or look for the assistance of an artist or graphic designer. There are many different programs that employ the use of clip art and stock imagery that can be put to use with regard to invitations. Those who have a cursory knowledge of some design applications can import text and images and manipulate the size of their templates accordingly for the type of invitation they desire. The finished file then can be printed at home or brought to an office supply center for more professional results.

Digital Services

The Internet has brought many services right into the homes of the average person. Discount invitation printing vendors abound and couples can choose and customize everything they want on their invitations. Due to low overhead costs and an abundance of customers, these online retailers are often priced lower than other venues. Depending on how much control the couple desires over the invitation, there may be ready-made templates or the ability to pick items " a la carte."

The opportunities to create wedding invitations at home enables some budget-conscious couples to keep costs for stationery at a minimum. Not only does making their own invitations save money, it also enables couples to have more creative control over one of the important components of a wedding that helps set the tone for the occasion.

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