Saving on Invitations

As you know, we tend to laugh at tradition as we go through life. We see most traditions as a way for companies to get more money under the guise that it just must be done, not that it need be. Engaged, we are going through each step of the wedding process and talking about it here with the same mindset. We are trying to give advice on how we saved money yet still got the stuff of our dreams to the best of our abilities. From the venue and the dress to the invitations and eventually the photos. This week, we dealt with the invitations. Why do it old fashion and “by the book” when technology could save you thousands?
As always, I am never paid to talk about the products I talk about.  

Three Parts of the Invitation

Invitations used to be complicated. You needed to send save-the-dates and then send the invitation, but you couldn’t forget to add in the RSVP card for them to mail back telling you if they were coming or not. There’s also the engagement party and invitations, but that’s a whole different story. Today, things are different. Before we get into that, let me introduce you to the three websites I will be referencing in this post.


Make an account for free.

Canva is where I make all my simple graphics design. It’s easy to use and doesn’t over complicate things.


Zola is where my registry, RSVP, and informational wedding website are.

Zola is free as well. It’s amazing and has everything you could need to save money and time on things like a registry, guest list, check list, website, RSVP, and more. I absolutely love it.

One thing to note is that the items on the registry can be very overpriced. Some are same as amazon while some can be hundreds more for no apparent reason.


There’s always a deal going on. We got our invitations for $36 total!

It seems lame and cheap, but our invitations were gorgeous and way cheaper than what you would get on a “wedding invitation site.” Combined with not having RSVP cards, this route made everything super cheap.

First, Save the Dates. Even before that, a website.

I used all three to create my invitations. First, I created a Zola and made the registry, guest list, website, and got all the information from my guests in one place (address, phone, email.) The website can be done in increments by hiding different tables for people to see at one time. For example, right now I have things to do, RSVP, and a few others hidden as I have only sent out save-the-dates and not the invitations.

(Zola is intuitive, I would add photos here, but they aren’t needed.)

Once you get the website set up it’s time to go to Canva.
Here is a look at our Save-the-Dates.

One Mad Life Save the Dates
This can be done in seconds on Canva. Then use Gmail and Zola to send it!

There are many layouts on Canva to choose from. While this one was Semi-made-from-scratch, you can pick many different kinds and even add your own photos to them. Once you’ve finished designing, download it as a PNG or a JPEG.

To send the save the dates, we sent then through Gmail by adding the picture to the email, adding the names of those invited at the bottom, and any information. We did this for one email for each *set* of people invited to the wedding. It took about an hour for us to complete. See below of an example.

Gmail Save the Dat.png
Obviously a few things have been changed.


This is what our save the dates looked like! They can go to the website to learn more, see the picture at the top, and have a number to call with questions. If I get enough questions, I’ll make a walk-through of each step I took to get to this invitation; however, for now, I trust you can perform all the intermediate steps.

*To send each email faster, forward the last message by clicking forward and edit subject. Remove the FWD in the subject, the heading in the message, and change the name.

Several Months Later…
The Invitations

Now, we don’t plan on sending gout our invitations until a few months from now; however, we already have them thanks to a Vistaprint sale. Look at ours:

Vistaprint wedding invitations.png
I was too lazy to change all the info, so I made it pink.

This one is simple, go to Vistaprint and click the wedding invitations section. If you want to save the most money (like I did), get a 5×7 style that can be made into a post card with no envelope.

To make sure you have a good post card, make sure the front has a place where the website is written (that’s where they RSVP) as well as the date, time, and address of the ceremony. Change the back to have a postage square and put the return address right on the invitation. This will save you time and make sure they are all uniform. You might have to fiddle with the layout a bit, or add new text boxes, but it shouldn’t take long.

Once you order them and they come in, simply print the labels off Zola onto clear stickers and stick them on the post card. Don’t forget the stamp!

*If you order them early, you can save extra money by choosing the longest shipping time! 

It’s Unorthodox

You may have noticed a theme…

Who said rules had to be followed all the time? They must be a bummer at parties. I know this method seems “new” and like it’s “breaking with tradition” but who said that was a bad thing.

To me, the tradition of invitations was invented to get more money out of the consumer. Now, maybe it’s because I am a graphics designer and in marketing, but I think this version not only saved money but time, stress levels, and energy as well as being super easy. You have too much to do to make a wedding happen to spend hundreds of dollars and hours on a wedding invitation set.

Post Photos of Your Invitations!
What did you do to save on your invitations?
Were your invitations your splurge?

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