I have found a very unique invitation that I'm in love with, but it's a little (well, ok, a lot) out of my budget... How can we trim invitation costs? Also, is it appropriate to get plain white response cards? How about liners and colored ink, do I "have" (I know I don't have to do anything, but you know what I mean) to match colors to our "wedding colors" or can I go with no liners?
There are so many choices where invitations are concerned that, at times, it becomes a bit overwhelming. Choices about the ink color, liners as well as invitation "accessories" have to be considered when shopping for them. Not only can you get plain white response cards, but you can also get plain white inserts as well.
Another option is to make the inserts (any response cards, reception cards, etc.) yourself. This can easily be accomplished if you have a printer and a computer with either a word-processing program or a publishing program.
Practice on inexpensive paper to get the dimensions and fonts to look the way that you'd like them to look. Visit a office-supply, printing or stationary store to get heavier-stock paper, and print them up. If you go this route, I'd recommend paper that's 50 lb or heavier...it adds a professional look to the inserts and will be a closer weight to your invitations. Another benefit to this idea is that it allows you to choose paper in a color that matches your invitations if you'd like.
Another option is to use plain gift cards. These often come in an assortment of colors (and sizes) and are usually a less expensive option as well.
Black ink looks striking on any invitation, while colored inks sometimes make the invitation look more casual. Which is fine for a casual wedding, but something you should consider if the wedding is more formal. The darker ink colors (such as hunter green or burgandy) look more formal than the lighter (aqua blue or rose), but with black ink you can't go wrong. Also, most companies that sell invitations will charge you from between $3-$16 per 50/100 invitations for colored ink...which can be quite costly depending on the number of invitations you need.
If the invitation you're looking at is white, ivory or has white/ivory as prominent color on the invitations, my advice would be to go without the liners. I advise this because your envelope color (if white) already matches the invitations. However, I have seen invitations with "matching" envelopes in various colors...the same advice would apply with these. If your invitations don't fit into either of these categories, you'll have to make a decision based upon your tastes and whether you are willing to spend the money on them. I will add one more thing though...most people don't notice the liners (or other extras) and only notice whether or not the invitation looks nice to them.
Whether or not to match invitation colors to wedding colors is a choice that most brides (and/or grooms) get stressful over. Believe it or not, nobody but you will notice a discrepancy between the two. I've received numerous invitations, but can't remember the precise ink color or whether they had a liner or not...let alone whether or not they matched the wedding colors. The only invitation I remember all of the "details" about are mine. Which is why I would suggest that you only "match" it to your colors if it's important to *you*.
In order to get the invitations that you like while still keeping within your budget, you may need to find another area in which you are willing to spend less. Only you know how important the invitations are to you and only you are qualified to make the choice of whether you like them enough to fit them into your budget.
I do have a few ideas that may help you to lower the costs if you decide that the invitations are worth the price.
◾The first is to ask the company whether they would be willing to offer you a discount on that particular style of invitation. If the company has offered discounts in the past, they may be willing to offer you a discount as well.
◾Another idea is to look for the same invitations at different companies. There are a lot of companies who offer invitations and you may be able to find the same invitations for less due to the competition between these companies. You can find addresses and/or phone numbers for many of these companies in bridal magazines.
◾Finally, visit your local printing shop to find out if they carry the line. Ask them if they can beat the lowest price you find on the invitations. You probably won't get a large reduction in price, but it may be enough of a reduction for you to fit the invitations into your budget.