Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They're Leaving Me!

That's right, folks. My invitations are leaving me today! They're sitting in a big box ready for the mailman to come take them off my desk.

The past few days were a lot of work! If you are planning to at all DIY your invites- even just assembling them- it takes time. Lots of it.

I ended up going to FedEx to print my labels and maps. I'm really glad I did- I learned about the difference between laser and inkjet printers. Inkjets are ink in the sense you'd imagine- and that's why when it hits the paper, it can bleed a bit or smudge. If water hits it, it will definitely run. A laser printer uses a powder ink that sets. It looks much sharper and won't run or smudge. I was so happy I went with FedEx printing! It was a splurge at .59 cents a sheet, but worth it. I had a feeling trying to print them on my own would be more frustration and time that I didn't have.

I used my paper cutter to cut the labels and maps all morning Sunday. Then I spent the night rounding the corners of the RSVPs, invitations, and map inserts. I started assembling but, because we didn't have stamps, I had to wait until Monday to finish them. Monday I stamped the RSVP postcards (postcards saved me .15 cents in postage per RSVP!) Last night after stamping, I was ready to stuff and stamp the main envelopes.

So the labels went closer to the bottom, they were not the exact same from one envelope to another as you can see by the stack, but they won't know that!

Here's the finished stack.

I then had a minor stamp emergency. I had Mr Pug pick up 115 stamps of each. When I was done, I had 4 regular stamps left, and 5 postcard stamps. I was afraid that in my stamp-then-stuff assembly line, I had forgotten to include an RSVP postcard in one envelope! Since they were the thickest/heaviest stock, I felt for them in all the invitations, and per my inquisitive feeling skills, they all had one. What I am thinking is that one RSVP card will be without a stamp- they were sort of clinging to one another in their pile while I was stamping them, it's a definite possibility. Or perhaps the post office goofed up and either gave us and extra stamp or shorted us one. Less likely, but a possibility nonetheless. In any case, I just hope the stamp-less RSVP card doesn't go to the wrong person, like Mr P's upper-class aunt who thinks we are doing ourselves "a major disservice by not registering for china" and that our Sandals honeymoon is like "ordering lobster from Houlihan's." I'm not sure she'll find Dixie on our RSVP postcards as entertaining as we do, either!

I boxed up our invites last night to take them to work today. You can see that we used the wedding ring stamp.

I had wanted the King and Queen of Hearts stamps:


...but they were all out when Mr Pug hit the post office. He was quite smart to grab the ring ones instead of the flags or forever stamp! I just thought the king & queen had colors that would work better with our invitations. OH WELL... there are polar bears on our RSVP postcards, for goodness sake!

In case anyone wondered, here is our breakdown:

Invitation and RSVP postcard printing: $81.98.
Note: The breakdown of this price is weird. The invites I originally ordered were $77 for 150, and then two $2.49 upload fees. They re-did them for free and added in my RSVP postcards. This worked because they wanted to fix the issues in my invites, which meant reprinting, and then I had won a contest as well. Usually you can get a good amount of postcards free though. I had free 3-day shipping as well.

Label sheets (100 sheets): $11.99 (I used 29 sheets, so that would be $3.48 if I could sell what's left.)

Linen paper (100 sheets): $28.79 (I used 30 sheets, so that would be $8.64. We can use the rest for future resume distributions.)

Paper cutter: $0 towards invitations. I couldn't find it online to show you all, but it was Staples brand and a little over $30. I will use this for so much more though, so I'd prefer to just count the full paper product costs, and not count the paper cutter.

Printing: $36.62 (At .59 cents a sheet, times 58 pages, is $34.22 pre-tax. Not horrible for laser printing.)

Postage: $87.20 (THAT HURT. We'll probably have 5-10 leftovers but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.)

Total Costs: $246.58

We have 110 ready to send, but about 5 more to go out later because of address changes, etc. Divide that by 115...

Cost per Invitation: $2.14

In itself, that isn't horrible. Things like the printing could have been worked out earlier - find a friend with a good printer willing to let me use it, or use a laser office computer. Also, having to buy 100 labels was a pain. (Anyone want to buy some label sheets? They work on inkjet OR laser printers!) But at the end of the day, postage was the worst. Each one cost us .72 cents in stamps alone. So they were only $1.42 to make. I can be happy with that!

Did you guys learn anything from my experience? I hope it helped a bit. If I had realized how much time this took I would have started a while ago. It also doesn't help that everything but the actual invites were purchased this week- we are down to oh $6 or so until I get paid on Friday! Spreading this out would have been less stressful on my time and wallet for sure.

Where will you be getting your invitations from? Are they more DIY or painless? And what is your per-invite budget?

(ps- I suppose I maybe should maybe include the invitation design fee which was like $30 or so, give or take $5, but that was FOREVER ago and since I re-did them and such, I didn't feel it was necessary. But just realize, if someone designs your invitations, you pay them!)


  1. I just got caught up on your blog, sorry! Your invites look terrific and i can see what you mean when you were upset about your first set. I am so glad that they fixed them for you!! And for the size of the invite, $2.14 isn't too shabby really.

    Oh and I know all about blueray.. i love it! even watching regular shows is amazing. Do you have hidef channels yet? Wait til you watch a football or a hockey game. Its nuts! :)

  2. They look great! I'm so glad both of us have our invitations in the mail.

    We printed ours ourselves on a laser printer in my FI's office and they turned out ten times better then when we did a test on the inkjet.

    My breakdown will be on my blog tomorrow. I'm very happy with how they turned out.

    And I have polar bears on my RSVP cards too.

  3. Yay. Mine went out yesterday. I should break down my price huh... totally forgot to do that.

    So excited for yours... yay yay yay!

  4. We did our invites from rexcraft I think and they were seal-and-sends which I'm sure someone in my family had "something" to say about that. Who cares. It cost us $1/invite although we had TONS leftover! The stamps were around $.44/invite too.

    We also didn't pre-stamp the RSVP's as I felt it was a waste .. glad I did that bc we only got like 10% back as people just called to RSVP or went onto our website. Saved us a ton!

    I did decide to do authentic wax seals .. NOT RECOMMENDED IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER!! Everybody's melted in their mailbox. Everyone's!! =)

  5. They look great! The labels look so nice! I love love love them - But I think I've told you that like 5 times now. :)

  6. Congrats on getting them out! They look great! And thanks for the advice about inkjet vs. laser printers. I never knew that before!

  7. They look great! And the cost doesn't seem too bad, especially when considering what it costs to outsource everything. The labels turned out amazing too! Great job!!!

  8. Must feel so good to get them out! They look great!

  9. They look awesome! So great to get them out!

  10. They look really nice! Ouchies for the stamps too. That was something I had forgotten to think about the price. Eh, it had to be done!

  11. Yea! How exciting to be sending them out. I posted about our invites today and love them. Now I'm just twiddling my thumbs waiting for them to arrive. I was told they should hopefully be shipped out to me by this weekend so I will have them early next week and can begin assembling. We bought personalized stamps online (blog post to follow) and they were much more than we should have spent...plus it's costing us $0.61 per invite to mail them and another $0.44 per RSVP envelope :( You were smart to do the post cards...I always wanted to do that but when we came up with our photo RSVP idea, the postcards went out the window :) I will be aseembling them myself and know it will take some time so I hope she hurries up with printing and delivery! I want to get mine all mailed out by the first week of February. The envelope wraps are almost all printed and ready to go...I'm just waiting for about 7 or 8 addresses out of our 100 invites that are going out. Can't wait to show you! Yours look so great! Congrats!

  12. I'm so happy for you! Isn't it a great feeling?!?

  13. These look amazing! And I think you got a very good per-invite cost in the end, considering how nice your suite is.

  14. Yayyy I'm so glad you completed them! :) I know you worked super hard, and the pics of them look great...I'm sure they look even more spectacular in person :)

  15. How big are the label sheets? I might be interested in buying if you're serious!

    On another note... your invites look adorable all put together, and the cost with postage wasn't bad at all! Great job!

    -the former CP