Save the dates, invitations, seating charts, menus, programs, place cards and everything in-between. It's no wonder that for some couples printing can really bust a wedding budget! Your big day should be about happy memories, not how much money you spent on paper and ink. No need for a big budget especially when it comes to what needs to be printed. With these helpful tips, you can save big on your printing costs and reduce stress.
1) Go Local
As much as everyone loves national retail chains, local print shops may be willing to negotiate price points with you. Ask for a price quote from both types of stores to verify.
2) Print Early
The earlier you print, the better. It gives the printers more time to get your products to you, but the reduction in stress can also mean a price reduction. Plus, if something goes wrong, you’ll have advanced notice.
3) If possible, print in black ink
Black ink is far cheaper to print in than in color, so use full black as much as you can. If you have one red heart and the rest is all black, consider printing in all black. Black ink is more cost effective because it’s used most often. Color can be as much as double the price. The price difference could be significant if you do decide to print your paper goods in all black. Of course, get quotes on both styles to verify. Remember that when you go to purchase ink at the store, black ink is usually cheaper. The same price rules apply for professional printers.
- Example: A typical 8.5×11 standard weight, non-gloss, one-sided black ink print typically runs about $0.10-$.25 per copy depending on your location and whether or not it’s a local print shop or national retailer. The same print in color typically runs about $0.45-$0.75 per copy, sometimes even more depending on design. This is why it is best to compare price quotes for both.
4) If you have a bleed, your cost may increase
A bleed means that your image goes to every edge of the paper. Because of a bleed, images can’t be next to one another for a multiple-up, meaning more than one image on a piece of paper. Some space has to be in-between, which means less images fit on a page. Consider having no bleed, which would save money and paper in the long run.
5) Print multiple-up with cut lines
Cut lines show printers where to cut, but they won’t show up on your final product. It makes no sense to print one 4×6 invitation on an 8.5×11 or 12×18 piece of paper, so instead, have multiple invitations on one big piece of paper and have them cut out. Ask if there’s a cutting fee. The more items you can fit on a page, the better. It saves on paper, time and labor needed to print.
- Example: Imagine printing 100 items on 100 pages. Then consider fitting 4 items on 25 pages. If the cost is $.10/page, 100 pages would cost $10.00 whereas 25 pages would only cost $2.50. Even if you had a cutting fee of $5.00 (which is high for this example), your total would be $7.50 instead of $10.00 with $2.50 in savings. My guess is that the 100 pages would still have to be cut depending on the graphic, so you might incur a cutting fee in that scenario, anyway. In this case, your savings could actually be greater!
6) See if there’s a price difference for single-sided versus double-sided prints
Hey, if you can get a double-sided invitation for the same price as one with only one side, do it!
7) Ask for a free sample
Asking for a free sample will eliminate any doubts on ink, paper, coloring, cutting or anything else you’re unsure of. This is your wedding; make sure you get it your way!
8) Special orders = high costs
If you want to special order paper, consider asking if you can do it yourself and bring it in. If you want special cutting, compare the cost difference between them doing it and you doing it on a Cricut-type machine if one is available.
- Examples: Plain white cardstock is usually kept in stock by most printers—it only costs a couple cents, if that. Specialty paper, on the other hand, may not be in stock. It would have to be ordered and shipped, which can quickly increase prices. Rounded edges can also quickly increase your costs because it’s not a common request and requires more work.
9) Be friendly with your friendly printers
They’re normal people just like you. If you place multiple orders with them, they may just give you a discount—ask!
10) Your print job isn’t the only order they have
Remember, be patient! Your printers will have it done and will work with you, but they also have other orders as well. This is another reason why it’s important to get things printed early.
Good luck on the wedding, and happy printing!
For more ways to save on your wedding, read: