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The Terrors of DIY Stationary

April 7, 2010

It’s a fantastic feeling to have secured the venue, photographer and wedding gown of your dreams. Almost all of my wedding books, chock full of helpful advice, say that each party involved in the wedding should pick his or her priorities. These three were mine, and they’re done. As I said, it’s a fantastic feeling. But it also means that now, 15 months away from the wedding, it’s time to start cutting back a bit.

Stationary is going to be one of the areas that will require some careful budgeting. We want every item involved in the wedding to look incredible and reflect our taste, and thankfully, there are tons of affordable options in this arena. Wedding Paper Divas, Papeterie, Minted and Paperwhites Press—just to name a few—have digitally-printed invitations that cost a lot less than the traditional letterpress technique and, to be honest, look at a lot cooler. One of the benefits of going digital is the ability to use a lot more color, and as a result, you can end up with invitations like this:

Brad and I, quite frankly, kind of died when we saw these beautiful “Lotus Blooms” invitations from Wedding Paper Divas—in sapphire, to match the color scheme. Unfortunately, when we ordered a sample, the 5 1/2″ by 5 1/2″ size was much smaller than we expected. And without a backing layer, well, they looked downright dimunitive.

WPD does offer a layered invitation option, but it’s only available for their 5″ by 7″ invitations, and here’s the kicker—you have to stick the invitation onto the “mat” yourself. Um, what? WPD recommends using double-sided tape. And what useful tips, pray tell, does WPD offer to make sure your invitations are centered? Sorry, guys. None.

I’m a brave gal, and I’m certainly willing to put in the time to make my wedding invitations look good. But this DIY stuff is a little scary to me, because I’m not exactly crafty. I have unsteady hands, sloppy handwriting and the cutting skills of a preschooler. WPD isn’t the only site to suggest some DIY for the money-savers out there. Paperwhites Press has adorable seating cards, but if you want them to be “tented” so they’ll stand up on their own, you’re going to have to do some more double-sided taping. And if you want a belly band because you can’t afford tri-panels with pockets? Better get your scissors out.

And furthermore, what’s a chicken scratch bride to do if she can’t afford a calligrapher but doesn’t want to deal with tacky stick-on labels? Don’t ask me. I haven’t figured that one out yet. I’ll have to get back to you.

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