As a master procrastinator, I decided that pricing wedding invitations about 13 months before the wedding was a much more pressing concern than studying... it'd be more fun if I didn't have to re-enter the text at every website, every time, to get a price! I love paper goods and I really wanted letterpress, but with my limited budget, I decided that I needed to look at other options.
I started with the thought that I would make my own wedding invitations à la Cards and Pockets (with a folio and backing and lots of colors). But after purchasing a sample set and attempting to print an invitation, I realized that my printer was not up to the task.
I thought about sourcing out the printing to Envelopper Inc., which does multi-color printing in custom sizes at a fairly reasonable price (even though everything else is more expensive than Cards and Pockets), but with all of the inserts, the price became so high that I wasn't really sure it was worth it to make my own invitationsafter all, the printing was still flat.
I tried MyGatsby.com to have the inserts printed using thermography, which I like better than digital offset printing (but less than letterpress), but I couldn't send them a PDF; I had to work with their line spacing and fonts and isn't that why I wanted to make my own in the first place? Or was that because of the pockets and I didn't want to spend $10 per invitation on them? Wait, do I even need so many inserts when the wedding and ceremony are in the same place? Or even if they weren't? Why am I doing this again?
Back to the drawing board.
My next stop was at FineStationery.com, which has gorgeous engraved invitations that I WANT like these Kate Spade ones that don't match my colors AND I could never afford, but also some plainer ecru engraved William Arthur invitations that I (almost) could. Still too expensive. I looked at the thermography invitations (both William Arthur and other brands), but they were still kind of expensive for their plainness, and the Birchcraft ones had lousy font choices. And I want envelope liners! If I'm getting plain ecru invitations with plain black ink, give me some darn pattern somewhere!
On to the next!
Apparently, a lot of the invitations at The Wedding Paper Divas are flat-printed (and I can't afford the William Arthur letterpress ones that aren't), but I loved the banded damask invitations there in Kiwi, but I still want raised printing! Dang it! Sure they'd be easier than assembling everything myself, but for the same price they didn't offer much I couldn't do on my own.
I finally started making some progress when I found Mercurio Brothers Printing, who will print my own files onto letterpress, giving me 100 5 x 7" invitations and 3½ x 5" response cards and printed envelopes for each for under $600, but I still wanted direction cards (the address for our venue doesn't match the actual location, and getting there is more complicated than a Google map can help with) and thank you cards and I didn't want to spend $1,000 on paper!!!
Anyway, I thought we would most likely end up going with Invitation Consultants, where I can get my invitations, response cards, thank you notes and printed envelopes for under $550. Sure, it's thermography and not letterpress, but, eh, good enough. They will be pretty plain (black ink on ecru), but I'll probably find some black and white damask patterned paper elsewhere and make my own envelope liners to liven them up a bit. Or not. I can't think about invitations anymore! :)