02 July 2009

perhaps I was overly ambitious: part 3

cost breakdown of invitations

I fear that these ended up costing more than I thought they would -- if I could even remember what I thought these things "should" cost, when I first got on this crazy ride. Ah, my long-lost naivete .... Nonetheless, I'm thrilled with how they turned out, and pretty amazed with what I was able to make happen within our budget. These figures are for a guest list of approximately 110 people.

cardstock in 2 colors: $81.00
printing: $58.01
envelopes: $25.00
envelope liners: $ 0.87
labels for addresses: $12.98
postage: $70.40
decorative stamping: $25.88
raffia ribbon: $4.20
glue sticks & dots: $7.29

total: $285.63
cost per piece: $2.10

I decided to go with cost per piece due to the one-page & two-page variations of our invitations. The vast majority of them are one-page, since we're able to include everyone at the informal party in Los Angeles. I suppose I could've figured out what percentage of the total were 1- or 2-pagers, and gotten a precise average cost per invitation ... but frankly, that's more math than I care to do.

Some of the things that helped me keep costs down:

* I found the envelopes on Craigslist -- someone had leftovers in the exact color, size & amount I needed.
* I quickly realized that it was cheaper to get cardstock from the manufacturer, even with shipping, rather than buy it 1 piece at a time whenever Michael's had it in stock ... not to mention the gas & time I saved.
* I lined our envelopes with a roll of wrapping paper on clearance from Target and leftover wallpaper I already owned.
* Rather than pay for a liner template I doubt I'd use again, I made my own.
* I bought a pack of full-sheet labels from Office Depot and cut them into wrap-around address labels.
* I taught myself how to use Photoshop, which allowed me to design our invitations, address labels & save-the-dates. It took some time, but I got exactly what I wanted, and there was no charge for proofs when I took my ideas to Mr. UB.
* We emailed our save-the-dates, which saved paper, printing & postage for that.
* All the invitations include our website, where people can email RSVPs -- again, no paper, printing or postage.

I don't suggest that my methods here are the best idea for everyone out there. It certainly helped that I had tons of free time this spring, as the acting biz was slow. I may not have been able or motivated to invest as much of my time as this took if I'd been busier. (Then again, if I'd been busier I probably could've afforded to out-source it.) Besides, I really enjoyed "the thrill of the chase" -- being on a mission that had me swinging by the gift wrap aisle of Target when I was just there for paper towels, or hunting down the company that made our cardstock (which was far more difficult than it should've been in 2009.)

Ultimately, it comes down to this: I'm stubborn. I have very particular taste, and I'm loathe to trust my vision to other people when I have the time & ability to do it myself. But I'm also very proud of myself -- so there.


Meg said...

Maybe overly ambitious, but the results look amazing! My mom is doing our invitations for us, but after seeing this, maybe I'll help her out!

anna and the ring said...

I agree meg, awesomeness.

I am a little too in love with the wrap around address labels!

Indie B said...

Your invitations turned out great, and I think you definitely saved a ton over what they would've cost to have made for you!