Our goal was to keep the invites under $300. That would include response cards and envelopes. For a 50 person wedding this is NOT unreasonable. Our estimate ended up over $400 and my cousin didn't really even "love" the invites. We left the appointment feeling a little frustrated and started to consider the options.
Here's what we discussed...
1. Make your own invites. Go to Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Archivers and get paper, stamps, etc. Anything you may need to create the look you're feeling. Search online, and get crafty!
2. Find a "do-it-yourself" kit. Michaels, Target and even Walmart has plenty of these. You buy the kit, which can run from $29.99 up to $50 for 30 invites, go home and print the invites yourself. This ends up VERY cheap but you may not necessarily find the exact look you're looking for and also, make sure you have a good printer with plenty of ink.
Check out Michaels selection of invites here!
3. Go online. There are TONS of places that make invites online. You can customize and search for the look you want and then order a sample before you actually commit to something. We found invites for as cheap as $1.50 each.
Wedding invitations websites:
My cousin ended up choosing option #2. We found a cute kit at Michaels went home and began printing (after she purchased a new printer). She added her own touch by stamping a personal stamp on each invite. In the end we only spent around $70 on the invites... including the stamp. It took the four of us about 2 hours to print, stamp and stuff the invites. Once the invites are sent I'll post a photo.
In the end, explore your options. If you're craft, make your own invites and don't be afraid to ask for help... that's what bridesmaids are for. If you aren't so craft, try the kit idea or look online. Do NOT go over budget on invites. They end up in the garbage and honestly no one really looks too closely at them.