Our wedding. Destin, FL.

The Do It Yourself trend is not just for home improvement — it’s big in the wedding industry. While it saves money to create your own invitations and centerpieces, you will hit roadblocks.

Do it yourself bride

There are businesses who cater to the DIY bride.  It will save you money, BUT understand what you are undertaking. Be prepared, and give yourself time to work through them.

I decided to tackle our save the date cards, invitations, place cards, and programs as stationary and printing will cost you a bundle. I remember walking into a stationary store last winter just to get some ideas. It’s a small store so the consultation area is right there as guests look at products. The bride told the consultant her stationary budget was $1500 and the consultant mentioned it was doable but not a lot. For $1500, you get pretty basic invitations. It’s a price I was not willing to pay for something most people are going to eventually throw in the trash. The others may sit in a drawer somewhere and collect dust.

Doing it yourself takes lots of preparation and thought. I did lots of research to figure out an invitation I could execute and thought about the invitations I’d received. Which ones did I like or dislike and why? I wanted a quality product that organized the wedding details and RSVP card in a neat way. I hate opening an invitation and having it all fall onto the table in a million pieces.

Post Office wedding invitation stamps

The other problem is that so many invites are crushed and bent by the time you receive them in the mail. One reason is that brides rarely use two envelopes anymore so there’s less protection for the card. Also, the invites are simply thinner material. I wanted something to protect my invite.

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I decided on a square pocket invite. It would keep everything organized with the pocket, plus, offer some protection to the invite itself. While I found a very reasonably priced pocket from Cards and Pockets, little did I would make up for those savings in stamps because of the size.

I took a sample to the Post Office to make sure it would fit with one stamp. A postal employee told me it would be fine, so I ordered all the invites. When I was done assembling them, I was once again told one wedding stamp would work. The clerk was confident but wanted to verify it with a supervisor. That’s when everything changed. The supervisor informed me that my invitation was too big, and I’d need additional postage. It wasn’t like five or ten cents. It was a significant cost. My invitation fit in a 6.5″ square envelope, and the Post Office dimensions go to 6 1/8″.  It was just barely over, but that small difference makes a big difference in price.

So, take five minutes and check the dimensions of your invite with the dimensions at the Post Office. Don’t count on a clerk giving you accurate information. Do the research yourself. After all, you are a do it yourself bride.