Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saving money while saving the date

My initial hesitancy to embark upon the STD journey was mostly budget-related.  I viewed STDs as excessive and unnecessary; I could cut them out and save everyone a bit of cash, time, and energy.  However, now that they're nothing but a memory, I've looked back upon the process to realize that it was surprisingly low-key and low-budget.  So, in the hopes of helping another bride-to-be figure out if STDs are in her budget, here are a few tips I picked up along the way.

 Image via Bridesmaid Blog

1) If using VistaPrint, don't pay for the postcards!  They run those periodic sales which you can have pop up in your email inbox, if you so desire.  Or you can turn to Google and search for something like "Vistaprint free postcards" and get them for free whenever you please!  It seems like they are always trying to lure in new customers, so with a little bit of legwork, you can get your hands on a good deal even when it isn't advertised across the entire website.  I don't know if this is always the case, but the free postcard promotion I used also entitled me to 50% off upload fees, which also helps you save a couple buckaroos!

2) If using postcards, don't bother paying for color back side printing.  The back side probably contains "boring" information like the guest's address and some short greeting from the bride and groom.  The majority of people who plan to display your STDs will show the side with the fun text, picture, calendar, whatever.  The difference in cost between color printing and gray-scale printing on the back side was only about $4, but when you're looking to save every penny you can, it's something to keep in mind.

3) 100 postcards not enough?  Utilize VistaPrint's "reorder" function.  Once you've set up an account on the site and ordered your first batch of free postcards, log back in and search for your recent orders.  When looking at your previously ordered products, there should be a prominently featured button that says "reorder" - this function allows you to purchase the exact same product in the exact same quantity and only pay for printing/shipping.  In other words, you don't need to pay for a second round of uploading fees in order to get your hands on 100 more.  Even better news?  As long as you pay attention to what's in your cart, you can successfully use the free postcard promotion for your second batch of 100.  If you do this, you only have to pay for shipping, yet again!

4) Don't bother paying for accelerated shipping.  I opted for the slowest mode possible, which is supposed to be up to 21 business days.  Apparently "21 business days" is code for "4 business days."  I had the postcards in hand very promptly, both times I ordered!

Overall Cost Breakdown
- Postcards, first order (includes shipping and uploading):  $13.48
- Postcards, second order (just shipping): $9.50
- Stamps (130 postcard stamps): $36.40
- Corner rounder (reusable, purchased with a ubiquitous Michael's coupon): about $8.00

Grand total: $67.38 for 130 postcards -- just over 50 cents per STD (and more than 50% of this per-STD cost was postage alone!)

Plus, I have 70 postcards left over!  Sure, I won't be able to use them for anything beyond bookmarks and mementos, but "buying" another batch of 100 free postcards was significantly less expensive than buying a smaller batch of 25 or 50.  It also gave me the peace of mind I so greatly needed to dabble in corner rounding, knowing I could make an mistake (or 70!) and still be good to go.

Even though I was hesitant at the beginning, I'm really glad we opted to do the STDs!

Did you learn any great money-saving tips while doing your own wedding mailers?


  1. this is an AWESOME suggestion! thanks for the post :)

  2. Don't you love when things turn out to be less expensive then you thought they would be? That is seriously the best feeling! haha