For instance, lined inner envelopes are nice but they will come at an additional expense to you. Not everyone looks at lined inner envelopes as a must have feature with their invitations and will opt against ordering them. You will still get inner envelopes with your invitations only they will not be lined and thus shaving off the additional expense.
The following will show you some basic options when ordering invitations. How you proceed with these options depends on your personal preferences and your budget.
1. The Invitation - This is an unavoidable expense. If you order invitations you have to order an invitation
(ha ha). Not trying to be funny here. They only way to save money on the actual invitation itself is to shop around. Different invitations and designs come with different prices. It is a matter of finding one you like that fits your budget.
2. Response Cards - This is almost an unavoidable expense. You will almost always have to order response cards. If you are on a tight budget there are ways to avoid this expense. The popular "Send and Seals" are one way. Another way is to have people respond via e-mail. In this case you would ask people to respond through an e-mail address that you would provide for them on the invitation. NOTE: If you do order response cards the return address is usually printed on the respond envelope at no additional expense. This saves you a lot of time and is a nice benefit of ordering separate response cards with envelopes.
3. The Reception Card - Ordering Reception Cards comes at an additional expense. The reception card is inserted into the invitation and tells people the when and where of the reception. Obviously this information is important to your guests but a separate card providing that information is not always necessary. In order to save the expense of ordering separate reception cards many couples will include that information at the bottom of their invitation. If you choose to do this you will void the expense of the reception card. With this option it is critical to separate the reception information on the invitation by bumping it to the left side of the invitation. This is called "left corner copy". There me be a small one time fee for setting up a "corner copy" but the fee is very minimal.
4. Lined Inner Envelopes - When you order invitations they generally come with two different sized envelopes. This often confuses people. The smaller envelope is the inner envelope. The bigger of the two is the outer. The outer envelope is where you will print the name and address of whom the invitation is being sent. The inner envelope surrounds and protects the invitation from scuffs and marks caused by normal mail handling. The idea here is that when your guests receive their invitation they can discard their outer envelope leaving them with a pristine invitation and envelope. One option for the inner envelope is to have it lined with a color that matches the printing or color of the invitation. This really makes the invitation look nice but again it is not a necessary expense. Many couples will choose to not go with the lined inner envelope option. This will not only save money but you will still get the inner envelopes. The only difference is they will not be lined.
5. Return Address - Putting your return address on the back of the outer envelope is a nice option but will cost a little extra. Many couple are using pre-made return address labels to stick to the back (or front) of all the outgoing invitations. This saves them the expense of having to have the return address printed on the envelopes by the invitation company. The problem is that some people will view the labels as tacky. Also, by the time you have labels printed and spent the time to stick them to each envelope it becomes clear that the small amount spent to have the invitation company print the address on the envelope for you is well worth it. Another benefit to having the invitation company print the address for you is that it can be in the same font or type style used on your invitation. The bottom line is that having the invitation company print this for you will save you time and is a highly recommended.
6. Proofs - Other posted articles on this site will go into more detail about proofs. For now it is important to point out that you can have the invitation companies send you proofs of everything before the printing takes place. In our opinion, getting proofs should be mandatory with every order and not an option. It will cost you a little extra to have a proof e-mailed to you but the money you could save in the end is well worth the price. Having a proof of the wording of your invitation, response card, address, reception card etc will run you anywhere from $4.00 to $12.00. These proofs give you an option to make changes and verify that the information you have provided the invitation company is correct. Reviewing the proofs will give you an opportunity to make any corrections before ordering invitations that potentially could contain misprints.
7. Ink Color - You have a choice of many different colors in regards to the color of print you want for your invitation. In most cases, using colors other than black will come at a small price increase. The increase is so small though that it probably won't come into play as to whether or not to use a color other than black.
8. Shipping - One expense often overlooked is that of shipping your invitations to you. Whether coming UPS, US Postal Service, Fed Ex, etc. The shipping will be an extra expense. To save a little money order you invitations plenty in advance and just go with regular ground shipping. Depending on the weight and size of the box, ground shipping will average a price range of $7.00 to $20.00. If order your invites last minute you and are force to have two-day or overnight shipping the price can go from $30.00 to $100.00+ for just shipping alone. The lesson here is to order your invitations far enough in advance and you will save on rush shipping.