Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wedding Invitation Suite Cost Breakdown

Today I'm breaking down the final costs of our Invitation Suite. While crunching the numbers, I got a little stressed out all over again! Man...planning and budgeting weddings is TOUGH!

Below you can access the four previous parts of the Wedding Invitation Suite.

Total: $181.88

Total: $263.98

Total: $314.43

Total: $224.37

Groupon for Vistaprint ($25 for $100 worth of product) x 4 = $100

Total: $1,084.66 (Including Postage & Guestbook)

Now, if I went with my first choice from Wedding Paper Divas, getting everything the same (buying their gold envelopes, postcards for RSVP's, etc) and using their 25% OFF coupon* my total would be: $1230.92 + $312.50 for postage.

* 25% OFF your total order was the best coupon I could find.  

 So, here it is! We saved $458.76. Now, keep in mind that when I say DIY I mean using Etsy, using our own printing sources, friends, etc. Looking back I could have easily done this for much cheaper by ordering fewer quantities, going with "free options" like designing them myself, printing them myself or using free templates offered by sites like Wedding Chicks.

Hope everyone has safe travels, and a wonderful Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wedding Invitation Suite: Programs

Let's talk about our programs! For awhile, we were not going to have programs and do a big chalkboard sign instead. Then I stumbled upon B is for Brown's Etsy page through Pinterest. Not only does this girl make some pretty sassy programs, she is from Oklahoma City!!! SOLD!

Here is how they turned out: (You can see that they printed out different than how they look on the computer. With the help from our wedding planner, Taylor, we sent over the exact colors we needed to match our coasters and other prints.)

I loved how personal they are, especially since there are usually a good amount of guests who are your parent's friends who just don't know you as a couple.

Design: I just can't get over how fun these were. I love getting to know different people's quirks, hobbies, etc...So I assume people would like to know more about us.

Cost Breakdown:

Design: $35

Printing: $113.37 for 225 (from Cat Print. Honestly, I overpaid...I should have stuck with Vista Print)

We also had her design a "Love Libs" we used as our guestbook. The guestbook was another tradition that I just wasn't really feeling. At all. I've seen a bunch of fun varieties (both at actual weddings and Pinterest) that were cute, but wasn't my taste.

These Mad Libs were pretty funny. Some people didn't fill them out a all, some people wrote serious things in the blanks and others, um, well...let's just say they were Cards Against Humanity worthy :)

Design: These were a pretty last minute decision. I could have probably done without them if it came down to the cost (especially since we have SO MANY left unfilled).

Cost Breakdown:

Design: $20

Printing: $56 for 200 from Cat Print. WAY OVER ORDERED!!

Total: $224.37

 Next up is the final cost break down of everything we did vs if we went with a more popular site's Invitation Suite.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Anniversary Gift for your Wedding Party

One Year ago today I married the love of my life! It is insane how time goes by so quickly. I think it was about June before it all felt "real" (aka: we were getting into a decent routine). June is also when I came up with this little project.

Ideally I would of had pictures printed for our wedding party/family in February, but of course that did not happen. June came around and I started thinking of a fun way to get them a few special pictures from our wedding day. I made a mental note (which I'll often do and then they magically get erased 90% of the time) of sending them pictures closer to our anniversary. You know, the weekend of Thanksgiving and right before Christmas season gets started. Hey, I never said I was very bright. Anyways, when October came around and I still had the idea in my head, I knew I needed to get it done.

I got the pictures printed and started working on this little gift. First, I used my Cricut to cut out these tags that I wrote "thank you" on. I'll use any excuse to practice calligraphy.

Then I wrote out a little note to each person. You know... full on sappy style. I couldn't help it...it really allowed me to relive my wedding day emotions!

Next I bundled the note and pictures with some twine and my thank you tag. 

I also tried my best at calligraphy while addressing the envelopes. Not super easy (note to self: invest in a light box) but I can tell you that paper matters. The envelopes I used were pretty cheap quality and I could tell! It did not take the ink very well at all.

There you go! Super easy, cheap and thoughtful little anniversary gift you can send out to your loved ones who supported you the most during the wedding process!

Envelopes, Ink, Twine, Cardstock: Hobby Lobby
Return Address Stamp: Empress Stationary
Washi Tape: Target
Tape Dispenser: The Container Store (FYI: this might be one of my most favorite purchases ever! It was $9.99, compared to some of the other acrylic office supplies which run around $35 or $40! Needless to say, I bought two!)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Now, I'm off to celebrate with my hubby and indulge in some bundt cake!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wedding Invitation Suite: Respondez, s'il vous plait

Oh, the RSVP. It's a love/hate relationship with them and the world. Some people are wonderful at it, some (my family) are horrible! Since my wedding, I've made a vow with myself to never forget one again. Since I'm not a super organized human being, I'm sure I'll miss one again....or maybe, just maybe I'll concur my ongoing goal/resolution of becoming more organized. (I think the most I've ever accomplished was organizing my Pinterest boards two years ago!)

I had two RSVPs. If it were up to me, I would have only had one. But my mom insisted on having a few traditional ones for those who we knew wouldn't quite get it. If there was one thing that fit my personality the most about my wedding, it would be this RSVP card. Seriously....it's sassy, sarcastic and hilarious. I think they let our guests know that we're not taking ourselves too seriously, that we'd have fun, dance, eat, drink and enjoy our friends and family.

Design: Keith designed this postcard for us, based on an RSVP I saw on Minted. I had him tweak a few words and he made it fit my design idea. My cousin used the song recommendation on her RSVPs and I thought it was an awesome idea!  It was actually really fun getting them back and seeing what songs people would suggest, or which box they would check; it made one of the more drab parts of wedding planning enjoyable. However, not everyone has my sense of humor. A few people didn't check any boxes; some wrote out why they wouldn't make it and the rest just wrote "No" on the front by their names. Oh well!

Design: These came with our invitation from He Saw Sparks. We sent these out to those we assumed wouldn't "get" the funnier RSVP. I fought my mom big time on this. I basically said "If they don't "get it" then they shouldn't come!" Bridezilla anyone? :) It's one of the reasons I'm glad I'm blogging post wedding. All of my crazy emotions have been sorted out, and I can think back and be glad we chose to do two. Obviously, I should have sent out more traditional ones! :) 

I created this envelope on Vistaprint for the traditional RSVP.

We included this Accommodations card to those who would be traveling out of town for our wedding. Nothing too exciting here...just wanted to show off more of Keith's talent :) 

Cost Break Down:

Design: Funny RSVP - $33 by Keith
             Traditional RSVP - "free" since it was included in the invitation design
             Accommodation Card - $33 by Keith

Printing: $159.43 - We had run out of our Groupons by this time, and we were cutting it close. But I 
                                 did WAY over order! I could have easily knocked down my quantities.
               Qty - Funny RSVP - 250
                        Traditional RSVP + Envelopes - 50
                        Accommodation - 150 

Postage: $89 for both types of stamps. 

Total: $314.43

Like I said, I could have gotten fewer total quantities of each RSVP, plus I could have gotten more Groupons for Vistaprint, which would have made it cheaper as well. 

Next I'll share with you our programs and the final budget breakdown!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014 Camping Trips

Taking a small break today from the Invitation Suite Series with a little update on our travel life! 

At some point in my life, I got roped in to a group of people whom I lovingly call "camping folk". It so happens those "folk" are my husband and our besties Kevin and Ashley. They were our best man and bridesmaid in our wedding and we recently threw Ash a Surprise Party!

I wouldn't necessarily call myself a girly-girl, but the outdoors offer up an enemy of mine. I go, and I end up having a blast everytime, but man do I get anxious about the amount of bugs that I'll encounter!

We've now gone twice, once to Green Leaf State Park and this most recent one at Lake Murray. 

Here are a few shots from our first trip in May to Green Leaf:



 On our last day it started raining like crazy! It delayed packing a few hours, but it erased any doubt of us buying a canopy!

These are from our Lake Murray trip (which also was Kevin and Ashley's wedding anniversary trip!)

It started off with a bang with a flat tire on the boat trailer.

 Kev & Ash are pretty obsessed with their hammocks. Jake has now got his mind on one for Christmas :)


Phin and Dixie are like the odd couple, or Twins (of the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito variety). They played so hard and got so muddy! They were both pooped afterwards! 


Did you know that S'mores are a must with each meal while camping? Well, it is. And we would NEVER stray from a tradition.

Seriously, these camping trips are so fun. We are so lucky to have Kev & Ash as our besties and we look forward to spending many, many more anniversary trips together :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wedding Invitation Suite: Invitation

On Sunday I talked about our Save the Dates and went into all sorts of details about price, design decisions and the internal struggle I had between choosing online invitations and using postage.

Today, I'll share with you our main invitations for our big day.

These were designed by He Saw Sparks, who I found through Etsy.

He Saw Sparks was awesome to work with. They added the chalkboard background for me and I absolutely fell in love with the font! I'm a pretty big snob when it comes to fonts (snob might be too strong of a word, I think picky would fit it best) and ultimately was what won us over on these.


Before we stuffed 220 of these in envelopes, I rounded the corners with a punch I got from Hobby Lobby.

Didn't Caroline Rentzel Photography do an amazing job? These are some of my favorite pictures from the day!

Let's break down the cost:

Design: $70- $35 for the basic design, $10 for the back design, $15 to change the background to chalkboard, $10 for the extra proof (in case we had any last minute changes...aka insurance for our invites!).

Envelopes: $60.00 for 250 (I'll show these gold, sparkly bad boys off later)

Postage: $115 for 250 Invitations

Printing: $18.98

Total: $263.98

If I were to do things all over again I would have tried to see if I could add a little watercolor floral in the bottom left corner. If I could merge the font of mine with the idea of this invite from Wedding Paper Divas I would be a happy camper.

I also like the idea of the "hand lettered" look that you can get made custom. Rightfully so, that can be a more expensive option. These beauties are done by one of my faves, Shannon Kirsten.

Apparently I still have plenty of ideas. Anyone else out there getting married? We need to chat!
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