If you’re not mindful, party invitations are an area where you can easily blow your party budget. Too often we consider first impressions before thinking about our budget. An elegant invitation suggests a formal wedding while a casual email implies a simple gathering.
Start with your purpose
If you’re just having a family birthday party, then you’ll find a simple invitation, email, or even a phone call will suit your purpose. Since any type of wedding or anniversary party is a more formal affair because of the nature of the occasion, advance planning focused on the purpose of the event will prevent you from last minute costly mistakes and give you time to find the best deal.
Types of Invitations
Phone call or email
These only require time on your part. An email to a group, while generic, ensures that everyone receives the same information.
E-vites are a great way to have the visual fun of a well-designed invitation while going green and saving you time and money. Some allow you to upload your own photo. The sites I checked will track the responses for your evite. As long as everyone on your guest list has an email, this is often the most frugal and fun route. The only drawback is that guests will need to write a reminder on their own calendar since they won’t have your invitation in hand.
It’s easy to make your own invitations in the comfort of your home. If you’re doing invites for a large group, it may be easier on your wallet and your home printer, if you have the invitation copied at a local copy center. Black and white copies run about $.08 to $.10 per copy.
If you’re not feeling creative, office supply stores sell preprinted themed paper which you can run through your home printer. Usually these papers come with matching envelopes.
Since these come in packs of 8 or 10 for a few dollars each, store-bought invitations can be cheaper than making your own invitations. Keep an eye out for themed invitation packs in clearance racks. I’ve picked up some beautiful invitations this way for only $2.
Printed invitations are where you can really blow your budget if you’re not careful. When I checked one popular online site, the minimum order was 10 invites with envelopes for $2.39 per invitation. If you need several hundred invitations, then your cost per card will come down to $1.04. Using a promo code for the online site would help reduce the cost.
If you have a great photo that works for the occasion, you can find a site that will print these for about $.06 to $.08 each. Add in a blank package of envelopes, and you have a truly unique invitation.