P.I.Y. (Print it yourself!)

Hive, we’ve been friends for a while now. You all know that I don’t have a D.I.Y. bone in my body, and to date, I have not lifted a single craft-impaired finger for this wedding. I mean, why do anything myself when there are plenty of perfectly competent professionals to do the dirty work for me?

Except for the fact that, you know, I’m not working off an unlimited budget here.

Remember back when we decided AFTER our invitations went out that we wanted to host a post-wedding breakfast? Ultimately, we decided that to remind/inform everybody, we would include a note with all the pertinent information in our wedding program. Except for the fact that, at that point, we hadn’t planned on having programs.

Naturally, my first stop was Wedding Paper Divas. I used them for my invitations (which came out looking pretty nice, if you ask me) and I was so pleased with them that I figured they would be the perfect place to order my programs. Problem? Even the least expensive programs would set us back nearly $400. At this point in the game, we have a lot less wiggle room with our budget, since pretty much everything has been accounted for. I mean, if we’d been as invested in the programs as we were in our invitations, we could have justified the splurge, but we just weren’t that into it. It wasn’t high enough on our priority list to be worth the money.

At this point, I got a little cocky. Who says you need to be a special ~invitation designer~ to put together some pretty wedding paper, you know? I have the full Microsoft Office suite and excellent taste – I’ve got this. I can even get really fancy and use the same fonts from my wedding invitations! Or at least, that’s what I thought until I Googled the fonts from my invitations and found out that ONE FONT (Mrs. Eaves, for the curious) would set me back $40. For a font. That I would use exactly once. All of a sudden, the idea of making my programs from scratch became a lot less appealing.

Next and final stop: Etsy. Initially, I was hoping that an Etsy seller could provide printed programs for less than what Wedding Paper Divas was charging, but once I sorted my search results by price, I noticed another option: electronic files that you could print at home. Sure, I can’t D.I.Y. to save my life, but P.I.Y.? That, I could handle.

And then I found How Lovely Paper, and everything clicked into place. I was immediately drawn to Chelsie’s gorgeous, calligraphy-inspired fonts and her simple yet elegant layouts. I contacted her for a custom order, and the rest was history.

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The program design that first caught my eye, via How Lovely Paper

Since the price was right, we ended up having Chelsie design not only the programs, but menus (because people like to know what they’re about to eat), table numbers (because I love our venue, but I don’t exactly love their standard table numbers, and also #yolo), and a few miscellaneous signs for the card box, guest book, and all that good stuff. From my initial Etsy conversation to the delivery of our final files to a last-minute menu revision – LONG story – Chelsie couldn’t have been easier to work with. She’s sweet, professional, responsive, flexible, and she does beautiful work. What more could you ask for? I couldn’t be more thrilled with the final product. I’d share it with you now, but you’ll be seeing everything soon enough anyway!

The next step was to print them at home. Fortunately, before I purchased reams and reams of cardstock, I tested a few pieces in my home printer. I’ve had the same printer since high school, so it’s over ten years old, and while it still handles regular paper pretty well, it was not having the cardstock. Even feeding the cardstock one sheet at a time was not happening.

And here’s where I’ll advocate for local print shops. I used PIP Printing, since my dad has worked with them extensively in the past. They helped me choose paper that closely matched our wedding invitations (recycled ivory 110 lb. cardstock, in this case) and print and cut it all with absolutely no problems, and everything looks fabulous.

All in all, from purchasing all the electronic files to having everything professionally printed, giving us programs, menus, table numbers, and a few little signs, we paid around $200 – half of what it would have cost to order just a set of programs from Wedding Paper Divas, and certainly cheaper than a new printer that’s capable of printing cardstock. I don’t hate it.

What wedding paper did you use for the big day? Did you go the professional route, D.I.Y., or something in between?

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