To most of you it’s 2014, but to me it’s the year of weddings. I’ve been invited to five his year, with the privilege of being the Maid of Honor to my best friend in one. Since May, I’ve witnessed a variety of wedding ceremonies and receptions, from a vineyard to a traditional church and hotel ballroom to a backyard. While budgets and preferred styles for the actual wedding may fluctuate, there is one point where all weddings find a commonality: invitations.
Frankly, I’ve always figured a Facebook event would do the job just fine. (Yes, I’m cheap). But I’ve been told that’s a no-go.
When my cousin Bridget sent out the invitations to her wedding I was floored, relieved and wanted to send her major snaps for ingenuity. Why? Because Bridget’s wedding invitation arrived in my inbox, not my mailbox. Why was I relieved? Because this opens the door for me to do something similar one day, in the very distant future.
Using a website called Paperless Post, Bridget and her husband-to-be designed a beautiful invitation, and saved themselves hundreds of dollars.* Not to mention tons of time, because guests RSVP right to the email, which eliminates having to keep track of all those tiny RSVP cards. The terrifying website Cost of a Wedding says the average cost of wedding invites is $812! Have you ever noticed just how much paper goes into a wedding invite? The big invitation, then that little one about the reception, the RSVP card, maybe one with directions and another with details on brunch for the next day? I’m sure Paperless Post would please the environmentalist crowd.
I decided to investigate just how much it would cost to invite people to a hypothetical party using Paperless Post.
When you sign up for Paperless Post, for free, you’re automatically given 25 “coins”. You can also buy coins, starting at 20 for $6. I went through the process of creating my own invitation to play around with price points.
Paperless Posts offers a variety of free, customizable cards. Naturally, I started there. There are plenty of beautiful invitations for people going the wedding route, but I went with a fun card to send out for my fake party.
I created a card with an envelope, so people feel like they’re opening up a virtual card, which is kind of fun.
After designing the card I got to the checkout and started plugging in guests. It cost one coin per guest and the added envelope touch also set me back a coin. (You can also add a customized stamp for another coin.) So, to send the invite to two guests for a grand total of four coins (look at that fast math!).
If I were using this same system for my wedding, and had 200 person invite list (completely realistic with the size of my extended family), I’d need 400 coins to send out my invites. It would cost $60 to buy 400 Paperless Post coins. That’s significantly cheaper than printing actual cards and mailing them out to guests. I know the Miss Manners of the world would gasp in horror. Call it uncouth if you’d like, but I find the snazzy email invite incredibly savvy.
Here is the snarky invitation to my fictional party!
Hope to see you there!
* I later learned they did traditional invitations for the older generation, but they still must have saved a bundle on invites!
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