I’ve never been much of a math whiz, but I muddled through. I managed to get through high school math (algebra 1 and 2, geometry and statistics) and haven’t even thought about taking a math class since. Well, maybe I should! I was just trying to price out whether it would be cheaper to buy the invitation kits from Cards and Pockets or to buy the pieces separately. Surprisingly, it looks like it may be cheaper to buy everything individually. But what tripped me up was the enclosures. For some reason, I could not wrap my head around how everything would be printed and subsequently cut out. I had to actually pull out a ruler to figure it all out.

What the DIY kits seem to offer is avoiding all the math that screwed me up. They ask how many enclosures do you want and then tell you how much to buy for that. The kit offers the pocketfold invitation, the mat behind the actual invitation, the paper for the invite itself and enclosures, plus the envelope and RSVP envelope. When you factor in the color and type of papers I want, each invitation would end up costing $2.04. For 150 invites, which is how many I’m estimating I’ll need, that’ll end up costing us $306.

Now, $306 for an entire invitation suite isn’t too bad. Before discovering the Project Wedding website and finding Cards and Pockets, I was looking at ordering through one of the online sellers. At one site, for example, I would have to select a motif they’d already designed, a custom design would cost more. To get 150 of the invitations ($148.50), plus 150 RSVP cards ($142.50), plus two enclosures each, for accommodations or directions ($321) would put me back a whopping $723. Now, I think that includes envelopes, but I’m not sure. Admittedly, getting this would include all the printing and cutting, but I’m so restricted in the visual presentation of the invitations. I’m not sure how much printing will ultimately cost us. I haven’t priced that out yet, but I’m confident it won’t be an extra $400+!

Even so, if I buy the parts of the invitations separately (if my math is correct), I can cut my per invite cost down to $1.78 per invite, with extra paper to print enclosures in case of any problems.  So, all the supplies would end up costing $266.50. Sure, I’m only saving $40, but why not save $40? Either way, I’d still have to print my invitations and put them together myself.

One of the things that jacks up invitation prices so much is the style of printing. If you want embossed or letter-pressed text, it’ll cost you extra. With the fancy printing methods, you’re usually restricted to one, maybe two colors, in addition to black. But by having our invitations printed with a digital color printer, we can really print as many colors as we want, because we’re not trying to do anything fancy.

Especially since I can do fancy on my own. A bride on Wedding Wire was showing off her DIY invitation. She had put her pocketfold flap through a Cuttlebug, which embossed a really pretty pattern on it. Through conversations with her and a little research, I found out just how easy embossing is.

All I really need to add some creative embossing to my invites is an embossing heat tool, embossing powder, ink and a rubber stamp. I found this great blog, which breaks down how embossing works. All I really need is a rubber stamp in the shape I want and I can really personalize each and every invite. Now that’s DIY! Is it going to take a long time? Yeah, probably, but I have a long time. As of today, my wedding is 400 days away. I think I can get it done sometime in the next 400 days!

The ideas behind the DIY invites have really changed since we first started thinking about it. Originally, I had purchased the leaf punchers that I was going to glue onto to invites. I think those may have gone out the window, at least for the invitations. What I am thinking about doing is putting an Alchemy request on Etsy for an image of a tree. I kind of want a tree bordering one side of the invitation, probably in two or three colors, with maybe a leaf or two falling off. The problem with the punchers I bought is that the proportions are completely off.

The other thing I’m still trying to figure out is the fonts. I did a mock up to show Paul, my dad and my sister, Julie, and all three said that they liked the idea, but really hated the font. I’ve done some searches, but haven’t really found any I like. On DaFont, you can put in words and see it written in multiple fonts. It’s pretty fun and helpful to see how the words and ampersand would look. I think it’s especially exciting to learn that there are, in fact, fonts that have the heart above the I built in.

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Website Roundup

April 9, 2010

I think one of the first things I did when I got engaged (okay, I’ll admit it, I was looking before I got engaged), was looking at as many wedding websites as possible. And there are tons of wedding websites. But some are better than others and some are better for certain things. Here’s a couple I’ve spent time on so far:

WeddingWire.com – I started with Wedding Wire, because my sister-in-law hosted her wedding website here. WW probably has the best planning tools available to brides.

The guest list tool is comprehensive, with options to collect addresses, track RSVPs, gifts and meal choices, and create separate invite lists for other events like the bachelorette party and bridal shower. Even cooler is the seating chart option. WW allows you to set up your reception room, by adding tables of varying sizes and shapes, all customizable, and take guests from your list and drag them to each table. After you’ve seated someone, their seating assignment is automatically stored in your guest list. Awesome, right?

The budget tracker will take your total budget and break it down according to industry norms (50% to reception food, venue, etc., 10% to attire and so forth) and will allow you to redistribute funds based on your needs, track deposits and more.

And the checklist is fairly comprehensive. It definitely includes things that aren’t relevant for everyone (we’re not all going to hire a wedding planner), but that too is customizable. You can add appointments and reminders and check off tasks as they’re completed.

I also used WW to make my own wedding website. Again, the tools are really easy to use and there are a lot of options of things to add.

The other features on the site are pretty decent. I appreciate the reviews of vendors, but the vendor list is fairly limited and many of the recommendations end up being too far away.  There are lots of pictures to scroll through, but they aren’t labeled well enough to find anything easily. It’s mostly for browsing. The forums are fun though and a broad spectrum of ladies participate, which definitely helps for generating ideas and getting feedback.

TheKnot.com – If you’ve been to a wedding since the Internet came to life, you’ve heard of the The Knot. The thing I’ve appreciated about The Knot is the wealth of advice in regards to planning steps, etiquette and anything else you may not know about planning a wedding. I’ve probably gone through 99% of the articles over there and I do think it’s fairly comprehensive.

The Knot also has a much more extensive list of vendors than Wedding Wire, but does not have reviews, which I found frustrating. I also wish they would map the vendors as well. I had a very specific area I wanted to host my wedding in and I had to weed my way through a lot of different places that were broadly in the Hudson Valley, but not on the side of the river I’d hoped for.

I don’t know much about the planning tools, because I had already settled on WW, but I do know there’s no seating chart option, which was the coolest and biggest reason I went with WW.

If you’re looking to browse photos, The Knot is a good place to start. The photos are much easier to sort through and are better organized by color and type. It’s definitely a good place to go for ideas.

ProjectWedding.com – While there is a lot of information and articles on Project Wedding, I’ve mostly been using it for the DIY ideas. Under Ideas -> DIY Wedding there are tons of great step-by-step directions on how to make your own fancy invitations, budget centerpieces and how to use unexpected things to create fancy looking accoutrements for your special day.

StyleMePretty.com – Style Me Pretty is, according to the site, the “ultimate wedding blog” and it’s really hard to argue. The site features gorgeous photos of wedding from around the country and is a great place to find ideas for your own. They also have the occasional contest. I recently didn’t win six really cute clutches for my bridesmaids and I. I’ll keep checking back in hopes of winning in the future. Odds are slim though. The last contest generated over 500 comment entries!

Brooklyn Bride Online – As a Brooklyn gal myself, I started checking out this blog to get local ideas, but like Style Me Pretty, Brooklyn Bride Online posts beautiful photos of real weddings and engagement shoots. Great for getting ideas. The writer, Vané Broussard, also posts photos and interviews with area vendors that you probably won’t find on the bigger sites. The best part of the blog though is the blogroll. I’ve found tons of other great blog sites through Brooklyn Bride Online.

I think those are the top sites I’ve been clicking on so far. I know there are a ton out there, but I haven’t really spent the time to go in depth. On Wednesday night, I hit up the New York Magazine Bridal Show (which was fabulous and I’ll post more about later) and learned about a couple of new sites that I want to check out.

What sites are you clicking on for wedding news?