I’ve been trying to figure out how to put into words my own thoughts on the Thanksgiving/Black Friday catastrophe that has turned my favorite holiday into a giant marketing mess…. and I’ve been struggling. Elizabeth over at Lark & Bloom says exactly what I’ve been thinking. So check her out, because she is awesome.



Tips and Tricks for finding CHEAPER Wedding Invitations!

Hey Friends- In light of all my friends and family getting hitched recently, we have been bombarded with TONS of wedding information. I loved this article on what to look for in stationary! For more great ideas head on over to our website at

I wanted it all. I wanted the pocket invitations with the four enclosures and pearl shimmer paper. I wanted beautiful calligraphy on envelopes and wax seals. I wanted high grade paper and personalized RSVP cards…. They wanted $1200! WHAT!?!

Searching for invitations for a wedding of 150 guests was throwing me very far over my budget. It was one of those things I didn’t think about when I was allocating money for each category. How much can invitations be anyway?

The answer is incredibly expensive! Here’s my tips and tricks before you get started:

1.Figure out what you really need. You can go really overboard if you aren’t careful. Do you need an enclosure for accommodation information if you are putting all the same info on your wedding website? Do you need to send a separate RSVP card with an envelope or could you think about using an RSVP postcard or having guests RSVP online? What about that secondary inner envelope? If you aren’t having a very formal ceremony that inner envelope might not me necessary.

2. SHOP AROUND. I cannot stress this enough. Check out many, many, many places. Try out where you might stumble across a budding graphic designer who will cut you an amazing deal on personalized invites. Look into places like local printing stores, Staples and Office Max, where there are printing centers.

3. Simple is cheaper. Know that anything that requires massive assembly, lots of pieces or intricate bows is going to be more expensive. Consider the possibility of ordering without the bow and adding the bow yourself… or handing that task off to your craftiest bridesmaid.

4. Be careful about postage! Know that any oddly shaped invitations are going to cost more to mail! Check with the post office to see what sized envelopes mail for the cost of a normal stamp, and how heavy they are allowed to be.

5. Combine products: Consider companies that offer things like “Seal-and-Send”, “All in one” or “3-in-1” type invites that allow you to compile a package deal that includes the invitations, reception card and response card. These are often less fancy than others but also include a much lower price tag.

6. Sign up for email notices! Most companies will send out regular sale information, promo coupons and other deals to their email list. Stay on top of this and you could wind up saving 40% or more. Places like send a 50% off coupon almost every week!

Me personally? I decided to go with Invitations by Dawn. ( This company offers awesome sales regularly and some really great values in the “3-in-1” style invites. Are they 100% exactly what I had in mind? No, but at the end of the day, I am still going to walk away married to the love of my life. And the truth is, no one is going to remember those invitations anyway.

Affordable Invitations

After Americorps

Wow, its been a long while since I managed to log in and post something wonderful. Its my new goal to be better about that. So many things have happened since I last posted, including the summation of my AmeriCorps experience.

The end of my AmeriCorps term was bitter sweet. I was ready to move on to new things, but the future is just as scary now as it was when I turned to AmeriCorps as a reprieve from life over a year ago. The difference is that now I feel like I have accomplished something. I feel like I have made a difference, I know that I have had an impact on the lives of others. More interestingly is the impact that the word AmeriCorps has on my resume. Every time I tell someone that I served, they respond with “Oh really? Wow! I knew someone who did that once! That takes super dedication!” People are impressed with me! This is awesome! Not only do I get warm fuzzy feelings when I think about how AmeriCorps changed my life, I get actual recognition for a job well done everywhere I go.

I love that I spent time serving others. I love how it makes me feel good about myself. More so, I love that I have that personal story, that little bit of experience in goodness, to carry with me wherever life takes me next.

americorps alumni