My fiancé, Ryan, and I are planning a wedding in Healdsburg, California, in the heart of wine country. Like so many couples, we’re learning that planning a wedding means lots of shopping. Whether it’s paper for invitations or ties for your groomsmen, spending becomes second nature. So, as a bride with a budget she’d like to stick to, I’m obsessed with getting the best deals when I can. Thankfully, Ebates helped me save on so many wedding essentials, such as invitations, decor, attire — even our honeymoon. In this series of posts, you’ll get a chance to see exactly how much I was able to save and how.
The Knot 2016 Real Wedding Study puts the average cost of wedding invitations at $462. (Is it just me or do these numbers seem to be going up every year?) Ryan and I budgeted $400 for our save-the-dates and invitations. I’m happy to report that, thanks to the great deals we found at our favorite Ebates stores, we came in comfortably under budget and well below the national average.
In the end, we saved $124 on save-the-dates and invitations, which was about a third of what we had budgeted.
So how did we do it?
Since Ryan and I live in the Bay Area, our wine-country wedding is not technically a destination wedding. But because so many of our family and friends are traveling from around the U.S. and the world to be there, we decided that sending out save-the-date cards was in order.
We decided to go with Etsy to find a great PDF — created by a talented designer — that we could simply customize and download to send to a separate printing service. We chose a vibrant watercolor design for our save-the-dates. This design from Etsy shopRoseGoldandCopper almost had a feeling of spilled wine, which was lovely and on-theme for us. Cost: $25
After ordering the save-the-dates, I decided to also order a self-ink stamp with our return address, to make labeling our envelopes much easier. Cost: $9.90
Etsy didn’t have any coupons at the time of our purchases, but we were able to take advantage of 1% Cash Back at Ebates. It’s a pretty small return, but I knew I was saving by doing a little DIY.
Ebates Cash Back savings: $0.10
Total saved at Etsy: $0.10
Once our Etsy design was ready, we were able to easily download the PDF and upload it to Vistaprint. The process was simple and completely painless. Vistaprint has a foolproof ordering process for save-the-date postcards (and other add-on goodies, such as thank-you cards and save-the-date magnets). We ordered a set of 90 cards, which came with 90 free envelopes.
At the time I ordered, there was a 40% off coupon for invitations and announcements. After that deal, I also qualified for a site-wide $5 off coupon. These deals, which I was able to access instantly with the help of my browser’s Ebates Cash Back button, brought the printing cost down from $51.30 to $25.77. On top of that, I saved even more with 4% Cash Back at Ebates.
Coupon savings: $25.53
Ebates Cash Back: $1.03
Total saved at Vistaprint: $26.56
The save-the-dates from Vistaprint turned out gorgeous — just as they looked in the store. Now, our task was to stamp the back of all the envelopes and then print all the addresses on the front. We were counting on a hand-me-down printer to do the job, which we dusted off — and realized required some fresh ink.
We jumped back online and found InkCartridges.com. Not only were we able to score an awesome deal ontwo new cartridges that outlasted our save-the-dates, but InkCartridges also delivered the ink to our door that day, which meant I didn’t have to take time to run yet another wedding errand. That was impressive.
I was able to access a 10% off coupon for the ink cartridges. Plus, I got an incredible 11% Cash Back at Ebates. Yay, more savings!
Coupon savings: $3.20
Ebates Cash Back: $3.16
Total saved at InkCartridges.com: $6.36
When it came time to send the actual wedding invitations, we decided to eliminate any possible stress. At this point in the planning process, we had a lot more on our plates, including two full-time jobs and an energetic puppy!
We went with an all-inclusive, fully customizableinvite package through Wedding Paper Divas, and we loved it. With some incredible coupons and Cash Back at Ebates, we were able to get some awesome savings.
Our favorite design was Heritage Vineyard, since it kept a consistent watercolor look but brought more of our wine theme into it. All we had to do was customize an existing template, and we had control over everything from the typeface to what the text said. We changed the font to something a bit more rustic and playful, and we changed the wording to fit our casual style.
Then we personalized our envelopes. All we had to do was upload a Google sheet with all our guests’ addresses on it, and our envelopes were created and sent to us. So simple.
Now to the savings. Ebates found us a Wedding Paper Divas coupon for new customers, and we automatically got $50 off our order! Plus, Ebates found another coupon for an additional 20% off wedding invitations. And then, of course, we saved even more with our 2% Cash Back at Ebates. Once Ebates worked its magic, I saved $91.02. Not too shabby.
Coupon savings: $86.38
Ebates Cash Back: $4.64
Total saved on invitations: $91.02
Total saved on save-the-date cards: $33.02
To sum up all these incredible deals, I saved about $124 and spent just under $265 on invitations and save-the-date cards. That’s about $200 less than the national average and $135 less than our budget.
I’d say that’s a win.
Next up, I’ll share even more wedding deals. Stay tuned to learn how I was able to save big on honeymoon travel.
Chelsea is a freelance writer living in San Francisco, specializing in lifestyle and travel. When she can't get on a plane herself to visit somewhere obscure (Montenegro anyone?), she's training her sweet puppy and taking visitors to wine country with her fiancé. She loves being able to share ideas and stories proving that doing good and having fun can go hand in hand.