Please come to my party- invitations that didn’t cost the farm.

It’s pretty impressive how expensive invitations can get. Especially when you consider that most all of them will be thrown away after the event.

Since I like to play in Photoshop, we decided that I would design ours. As a result, our invitations were a do-it-yourself  assembled project, with elements from items from lots of places.

First off, I ordered 4×6 pictures of the two of us to include in our invitations. Shutterfly.com gives new customers 50 free prints. I’m highly skeptical, and researched it, but it’s legit. All I had to pay as shipping.

You can also order from Walmart, either in the store or online. In my experience though, I don’t think that their prints look as crisp or high of a quality. Adoramapix is another site that has impressively high-quality prints. I was introduced to the site by our photographers and it lived up to my expectations. They are about $.22 for each 4×6.

I didn’t want our invitations to look like we scraped the bottom of the barrel, so we did more than just postcard invitations.

I have become a big user of coupons from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. Both have 40% off coupons nearly every week. Michael’s has a phone app, and Hobby Lobby a decent mobile site, so you can use the coupon on the fly. Michael’s is where I bought that semi-transparent paper that seems to always make its way in to invitations. A pack of 20 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 is about $6, so the coupon helps. Plus each of the sheets can be cut to 4 or so smaller sheets. I didn’t want the pictures rubbing up against the invitations, so the vellum paper was the perfect solution.

The envelopes I ordered from Amazon.com. While the invitations that I ordered came with plain white envelopes, I wanted something with more pop. I ordered from seller JAM Paper. They have dozens of colors and lots of sizes, so there’s something there for everyone. I paid $5 for 25, and they only charged for shipping one item, despite their policy stating that there was no discount for multiple items. Shipping was just under $8.

My real accomplishment was the invitations themselves. I ordered from Zazzle.com. They allow you to design your own from scratch or use one of the existing templates. The normal prices are about what you would find from Shutterfly or WeddingPaperDivas.com, but they often have coupons.  I’ve seen invitations on sale for 60% off at least twice in the last yer. And I got free shipping as well, by doing a 30 day trial of Zazzle Black, which is basically like Amazon Prime. I spent $16.80 on 15 5×7  invitations.