Reasonably Priced Custom Invitations? Do You Use RSVP Cards Still?

Updated on April 26, 2012
M.G. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
13 answers

Son's bar mitzvah coming up. Would like to save money on invites that typically go in the garbage & use towards other items for the event. Still want it took look nice & good quality paper.

Some suggestions that I've been given were (limited choices, no RSVP cards, price rocks!), (seems good, but can add up to same as the books with custom envelopes, etc even with sales deals), party city (new to market, limited design - zazzle more options but party city local), design own & print off your printer (hard to find paper/kits fitting for bar mitzvah/price/need printer) @Kinkos. Thoughts? Experiences?

Also, thinking about skipping response card for email RSVP listing on invite as I hear that is where things are going but don't have experience & only 1/2 seem to respond anyway these days ;-(. Is it tacky just to include email/phone? or should I suck up the tacky thoughts & laugh it away to use the $$$ savings for more important items for the party? Willing to print a few RSVP cards for the over 80 set who don't have email if needed... Of course, will do Thank Yous - frugal but grateful!!!!

Also, what printer type/brand do you recommend to print addresses on nice envelopes or did you use labels?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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answers from Chicago on

I second I just got my son's B-day party for $10. She emailed me the PDF - I took it to Kinkos and they printed and cut the invites for about $20 (30 invites). At kinkos you can pick the kind of cardstock you want so you can determine how much you want to spend. Good luck!!

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answers from Chicago on

Hello M., I make all of my beautiful invitations greeting and thank you's, at Sam's Club, (you may also try Cosco and not all Sam's have a photo department). I use their Fuji or Kodak photo maker, as they each have a selection, and with the best photo of my son, that is appropriate for the occasion, create a beautiful custom announcement & invitation card, for between 35 and 50 cents (two sizes), each, and Sam's provides really nice matching envelopes (ask for a few extra for printing mistakes).
The photo machines have a variety of seasonal and event frames, but if you don't see one you like, you can select a nice "border" that you like. If you need help, of one of the employees can show you how to add the text, change the size, color and font, but it's pretty simple. I always add an additional separate text box on the card with the R.S.V.P. request and phone & e-mail information.
And a little secret for the thank you's--do the same for the thank you's--but with great photos from that past event (hand write an individual note on the back)--and for those special people, use a photo of your child with that guest, from the event, on one of their "thank you" border frames, or again, just a border, with your own text. I always get a call and a "thank you" for my thank you cards from those "special" friends and relatives, and all of the guests (even folks that sent a gift and couldn't make it) get two memorable photos of my child--one as an an announcement and a thank you from the event for the gift).
I print the addresses directly on the envelopes with a nice large font.
My niece has a program, and makes her own from her home computer, but with the materials, I am sure hers costs lots more to make. But she does have a wider selection.
I have to add that it is cheap, looks great, and if you have a little time, it's lots of fun--and your guests probably won't toss them into the trash.



answers from Washington DC on

I hear Costco has very reasonable invitations. I would stay away from an evite for such an important occasion. It's not like it's a bbq. I think with RSVP cards, it depends on how many you are inviting. All the bar/bat mitzvahs I went to as a kid had hundreds of people at them, in that case, I would want an RSVP card. If you are having a much smaller affair, I think you would be okay with a phone/email response. My only problem with that, is if you get a call or an email and you don't log it right away, you may forget and not have an accurate accounting if you are using a caterer. I would use labels. You can get clear labels if you want a little nicer. My sister printed her own invitations for her wedding at home, but by the time she bought the 100 invitations she needed, and the ink, she would of done just as well using vistaprint or another online outlet.



answers from Chicago on

Hi M., We were just invited to a Bar Mitzvah at Beth Am. She did not have RSVP cards and did have a special email set up for the RSVP. The email adress was [email protected] I did not see a problem with it. She did respond with a thanks for RSVPing to every invite.



answers from San Francisco on

With mailing prices at 50 cents and to save paper, it's perfectly fine to give a phone number or email for the rvsp. Guests will appreciate the nice invites and probably appreciate the convenience. The only reason you might need something more formal, as someone else mentioned, is if you need meal info for the caterer.

I think if you have the time, hand written addresses are the nicest and honestly may be less time consuming than feeding envelopes/labels through a printer unless you've done it before and know the printer is worthy ;) But it sounds like you'd need to buy a printer. Ink alone can run your bill way up. And inexpensive printers can be a real hassle with nice projects like this. You could see if anyone you know (or on here) has a printer they'd recommend.

Otherwise, maybe have the pros print the invites and provide the envelopes - sometimes they print the return address for you - then you can address the envelopes by hand. (Or if you don't like your handwriting, enlist someone who writing you like :) If you're worried about the printed return address looking "funny" with the hand written addresses, you could have the return addresses printed on the back flap.

Mazel tov!


answers from Jacksonville on

Nope, most RSVP's I get are email or phone. I think that it is actually preferable.

If I have them I use labels. That way, if after writing 80 invites, my handwriting gets sloppy they can still read the return address.



answers from Chicago on

Have you looked at etsy? I have bought invitations for our daughter's birthday parties the past two years there. There are some super cute invitations...everything from classic to vintage to modern...I'm sure you could find something.

Also many charge for the proof and email that to you then you can take it to Kinkos or whereever and print as many invitations as you need. Much more cost effective plus you get to choose the paper you want...I'm sure you could do a RSVP card add on as well.

Its worth looking into....good luck!


answers from Nashville on

I bought my wedding invitations at Walmart and printed them my self. They come with RSVP cards, and envelopes. I printed my address labels and stuck them to the envelope.... good luck!



answers from Boston on

In my social/family circle, the bar/bat mitzvah invitations that we have received have been as formal as wedding invitations, but they were formal affairs where you had to choose your dinner etc. so the RSVP cards were needed. If I recall correctly, all of the addresses were hand written. Honestly by the time you type in all of the names and addresses, figure out the format and run the envelopes through your printer one at a time (labels are tacky on a formal invitation), you could have been done with hand writing them. Addressing envelopes is something you can do a few at a time while sipping a glass of wine and watching TV.

Anyway...if in your circle the celebrations are more casual (buffet instead of a plated dinner, etc.) and such that you don't need an exact head count and meal choices for the caterer, then I think that RSVP via e-mail and phone is fine. I used inviting smiles for my sister's baby shower invites and they were really nice invitations at a good price.


answers from St. Louis on

I bought paper stock online and did them using Word. They looked very good though my poor printer choked on the RSVP envelopes. :(


answers from Chicago on

My sister recently hosted a stag/stagette party and did it entirely via evites. But, all of the guests were under 35 yrs old. Just think about your particular guests and determine if they are all computer-users. If so, I'd go the e-vite route.



answers from Los Angeles on

I bought my own on sale at Target.

My wonderful SIL printed them on her computer in a beautiful cursive font.

Loved them!

Came w/RSVP cards, envelopes for both the invitations & the RSVP cards.



answers from Chicago on

I had my daughter's 1st birthday invites custom made for a VERY reasonable price!! check out
Dedrea does an excellent job and can even address and mail out your invites for you to save time!

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