At Wedding Bell Invitations, we recently celebrated our 11th year anniversary. Now being an e-commerce site on the internet for 11 straight years is almost unheard of. When we began, Amazon was only a bookseller and Social Media had not been invented. In fact, the question most commonly faced by retailers then was, “Will women ever feel safe enough to shop online?”.
So perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that the newest and youngest member of our staff asked, **“Why DIY Wedding Invitations? How did you come up with DIY Wedding Invitation kits? And why do you encourage couples to print their own wedding invitations?”**
Well, therein lies a tale—so pull up a chair and a glass of bubbly as I take you on a journey.
Our story begins as most do, with a problem to be solved. Both my husband and I were marriage counselors and I was also a Wedding Officiant. During our long careers helping couples, we did a lot of premarital counseling and one of the issues facing our couples that was creating an enormous amount of stress was the escalating costs of weddings. Many of our clients had limited budgets and were looking for ways to create the wedding of their dreams on a budget that didn’t stretch as far as they needed it too. And invitations at that time were a significant investment with not a great deal of choice.
So fast forward 5 years when we were setting up our own business on the internet, we knew we wanted to be involved in weddings and we both remembered many conversations with our clients on how to cut costs but not beauty. I love creating things but I am not a true DIYer, I need some parts already configured- so I call myself a semi-DIYer. And I thought, okay, how can I create a product that helps people like me create a beautiful, stunning invitation of their own without costing as much as printed and assembled invitations do?
I began by looking at custom invitations for my DIY Wedding Invitation ideas. There were basically two types of styles with endless combinations: Single Card invitations and Pocket Folder invitations. What makes an invitation unique is the choice of paper both color and texture; the enhancements you add and the type of printing you do. My first DIY Wedding Invitation idea was to produce a pocket folder invitation that was beautiful and could be customized by each couple to make a truly unique invite. At that time most DIY Wedding Invitation kits were single card kits—pocket folder kits were still rare.
I began learning how to manufacture our own invitations which meant gathering information about paper mills and paper brokers; Die molds and Die companies; plus all kind of things that I had never heard of before. But the end result was worth it. I choose the highest quality paper and designed a versatile pocket folder in four colors.
I then decided to make them DIY invitation kits and printable kits as well. Why, because we wanted our customers to be able to customize them as they choose. Each of our DIY invitation kits has a basic price that includes the pocket folder, invitation card, RSVP set and mailing envelopes. Each customer can then enhance their kit with add-on extras: vellums, backer inserts, envelope inserts, ribbons, envelope seals etc.
After creating the kit, we then had to create how to print them. Printing your own invitations is time-consuming but so worth it. We researched paperweight, printers and graphic designers so that the experience of printing your own invitations would be as easy as we could make it.
My husband designed the template format so that everything could be changed. That was and is still unusual but we want our customers to have as much freedom to design their special invitation as possible. We then hired a graphic designer to create our beautiful DIY Wedding Invitation templates so that customers could also just use one of our templates and change the name, date, and address. Our goal is to create an experience of having a unique, and beautiful invitation that truly expresses the individuality of each couple without breaking the budget.
So, that’s where we started, with an idea to create an affordable, beautiful high-quality DIY Wedding invitation kits in 1 style and four colors. Many years later we have 7 styles, 18 colors and over 100 printable templates. And we still are getting a review such as this one:
"I was a little hesitant about ordering DIY invitations for such an important occasion. I have always been semi-crafty but not so much that I was completely confident. Other than my dress this was probably the best wedding purchase I have made. They came out so beautifully. I gave the finished product to my future husband and he teared up. They were perfect. One of our guests even told my mother how lucky we were to afford such beautiful invitations. It took a new cartridge of ink, a printer that I had from college and Wedding Bell Invitations."
- Stacy W.
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