Sunday, June 23, 2013

Info for Brides-to-be: Inexpensive Wedding Invitations

WARNING:  this got wayy longer than I intended. As always ;)

So, did I mention already that I was a bride on a budget?

Disclaimer: I had x-amount of dollars to spend, therefore I was on a budget. It was more than I thought it was going to be, but far less than some crazy folk I know who spend $15k+ on their special day. But hey, if you've got it... But please don't mistake me saying I was a bride on a budget for me not being grateful for the supreme generosity of our loved ones.

Okay, so, as I was saying... I was a bride on a budget! I tried every. possible. way I could to save money in the wedding planning process that would allow me to have "the wedding of my dreams."  Mind you, I did not have a thing pre-planned pre-ring. So, I made a LOT of decisions post-ring, and Lord knows there's a million and one decisions to make.

Wedding invitations are just one of those million and one decisions a bride-to-be has to make.

I was not about to pay an uppity company $3ish per invitation, needing 175ish invitations. That was just something I just knew I could save money by "doing myself."

(Enter Vistaprint)

I knew there are several online companies that can let you design your own invitations, whether it's wedding invitations, baby shower invitations, or whatever. Vistaprint just happens to be one of them. (Some others are Snapfish, Shutterfly, and Zazzle, and stores like Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS have some good options as well on their websites.) Anywho, I was looking for something specific. I wanted yellow. And I was determined to find me some yellow wedding invitations. I found exactly what I was looking for on Vistaprint. I was set to go already & had an Ah-Ha moment: "Try to find a coupon."

I don't know if you've ever heard of, but whoever made the site is an angel. You can find amazing coupons for just about anywhere on the website. I have the app on my smartphone and use it whenever I go anywhere, looking to see if I can save any money... and I usually do. :) I just knew Retail Me Not would have a Vistaprint coupon, but I didn't know it'd have such an amazing one!

When you visit & type in Vistaprint in the upper search bar, you get 19 results. The top results are obviously the best, but if there's something else in there that razzes your berry, by all means!

here's the top search results as of 6/23/13

I zoned in on the "50% off invitations and announcements + free shipping" and was sold! What's a little confusing about Retail Me Not is that there was no code to enter at checkout. 
You'll see this pop-up, need to click the link that says "Go to," and the "code" is entered in already. Whenever you add things to your cart, it magically applies the 50% off so it shows you exactly what you're saving. I absolutely loved it! It'd be really great too if you wanted other things from the site & could use the first 50% off link on other things site-wide.

But anyways, back to my invitations...

They were exactly what I was wanting!! At now 50% off! I needed over 150, but knew I'd need some "just in case" so I ordered 200. Vistaprint supplies the envelopes which is another perk. (I'd hope all websites/stores would.)

I also made personalized RSVP cards. I'll be honest; I was pretty anal about my RSVP cards. Like I said, we were on a budget. We had to rent tables, chairs, have linens, decor for tables, food, etc. etc. per person so it was super important for me to know as close of an estimate as I could of the number of guest we'd be expecting. I cannot imagine how you folk host a wedding and don't ask for RSVP information. I would have gone cRaZy. Anyways, so Vistaprint lets you design your own cards/invites/announcements completely. So my personalized RSVP card looked a little something like this...

just kidding, this is the real deal...
I hand wrote each person/family's name at the top and pre-filled in the number of people that were invited. So, for example, I'd write "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or when I got slack, I'd write "Brad and Angelina." (I wasn't a stickler for formality.) The hope was that they'd see the number of people invited and figure out that (for example) their children weren't invited or they were or were not allowed a guest. It'd also give people the opportunity to write in how many of the invited are attending the wedding or check whether no one's coming at all. The hope was that we didn't have the formal "M____________________" to fill in that nobody understands. I also gave guests an email option in case they didn't want to use the pre-stamped RSVP envelope via snail mail. (Those things always get lost or not turned in on time if you don't immediately fill them out & put them in the mail.) 

This may sound like a lot, but trust me, it was worth the peace of mind I got when I got exact numbers in the mail. (Note I said "in the mail." The email option was utilized from approximately 2-4 guests. Yep, even in this technology-driven day and age, inviting lots of 30 & under folk, snail mail won fair and square! 

So, I ordered 200 invitations with envelopes, 200 RSVP cards with envelopes, and they offered matching labels for SUPER cheap (like less than $5 for almost all 200 or something) so I got some of those too! The 50% off was applied to shipping as well, so we got 3-day shipping for super cheap. 

And the invitation-stuffing party began!

We also included an insert with information about parking, guest accommodations, informed guest the wedding would be outside, and told them about our wedding website

OH and I also used Vistaprint for our Save The Dates. I made them myself as an image, and uploaded the image on a card/announcement template. They were two-sided & I loved them. :) 

the front of our Save The Date 
The back :)
The absolute only negative thing(s) I have to say about Vistaprint is that the yellow wasn't as bright as the template/picture online showed. That's probably to be expected, as colors are often a bit distorted online. The RSVP picture above is what I thought it'd be. The pictures of the invites are closer to what they really looked like. But I honestly loved the real color because my wedding color was more of a goldy yellow versus a brighter yellow. Also, there was no "inner envelope" as typical/formal wedding invitations include. We had one envelope (that came with the invitation) and put the invitation, RSVP card with envelope, and insert into the main envelope. So when you opened the envelope you had all the fun stuff, not another envelope to open. This was 100% A-OK with me. 

So, if you're willing to be okay with that, and want to save 50% on your wedding invitations, "now" you can! (You could before, but you might just now be learning how!)

High-five to you if you read all this, and a double high-five to you if you can take this advice and save yourself some major $$$ on your wedding invitations. FYI: I saved about $175. :) :) 

Holler at me in the comment section if you have any questions, comments, or to let me know you read this & took advantage of the super wise advice! ;) I'd love to hear from you!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Secrets of a Newlywed

Disclaimer: I surely have my own "secrets of a newlywed," haha, but this is not where I'm going. I'm sorry to disappoint if you've clicked a link and headed to read all my juicy newlywed secrets. ;) But don't go away! Keep reading, it'll do ya some good! ;)

I've stumbled upon a great (blog) read for you newlyweds, newlyweds-to-be, or marriage "pros" who aren't too big-headed to accept some possible tips or new ways of thinking. It's a Christian blog series (don't pre-judge!) on things you may or may not have thought about, things you think are issues only you and your new spouse are having, or things you're sure are things that need to be corrected in your relationship.

Secrets of a Newlyed by Life Blessons 

I love that I have time off to find new blogs to read. For whatever reason, I much prefer to read blogs than books. I think it has something to do with links within blogs. If you're interested in a subject, it'll lead you to what originally sparked the topic, or to another post, which will in turn to the same. I really could get lost in blogs for hours if I don't watch it. But I found this series really interesting, informative, and (actually) entertaining. She speaks of some taboo things (such as sex- ahhh!) that we in the Christian community don't openly discuss as much. More power to her!

But I just thought I'd share this tidbit today with "all you" blog readers of mine in case this sparks some of your interest & you want to click on over to the list of articles and read for yourself. :)


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hello, I'm back!

Well guys, it's been a while. Almost three months actually. Believe it or  not, I've been busy. I went and got married and then worked on winding down my first year as a school-based therapist. As I type this, I'm officially enjoying my first of eight weeks off this summer. It's my first time since high school that I've had a summer off. I've spent my summers working, in school, or in Costa Rica, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I get this opportunity to get things done. Normally I'd joke about how I plan on doing absolutely nothing this summer, but realistically, I plan on doing all the things I already needed to do. I plan on catching up on some projects. I plan on doing housework on a regular basis. I plan on making our wedding album and working on wedding videos. I plan on organizing all the crap we've decided to keep in the house. I plan on going to the gym about every day. And don't get me wrong, I plan on getting tan. I also plan on seeing the ocean at some point. And spending some time with my mister mans. And at some point I need to catch up on Grey's Anatomy! So you see, I'll be busy. ;)

I am really really really working on simplifying everything around here. I've been super anal about getting rid of random paperwork laying around, donating clothes I we never wear, and finding a home for every little random thing I find. As you can guess, Alex has really been enjoying it. Haha!

I do plan on getting back to blogging. I really enjoy it...not quite sure why. I don't know that anyone really reads this thing, so sometimes I feel like I'm blogging for nothing or no one. But then every now and then I'll hear from a friend or stranger who comments about something I've blogged about. So, what the heck! I'll just keep on keepin' on and see what happens. I have some stuff I want to blog about, but I've learned from the past not to make any promises.

Until then, enjoy your summer day(s)!

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