The wishing well is one of those topics that always comes up in my consultations with my clients. I know there are couples that feel very uncomfortable asking their guests for money instead of presents. The act of giving and receiving money is still taboo in some respects mainly because we associate this with charity funds. However couples moving in together before marriage is becoming very popular in our modern world and add in the fact that renovating and styling your own place is now an exciting activity (i.e. The Block style) there really is no need for unnecessary household gifts anymore.
While the main point of having a wedding is to celebrate and share your marriage with your loved ones, everyone knows that an awesome party costs money. Unless you live a Gatsby life, weddings usually mean credit card debt and perhaps even loans. Hence having a budget and spending within your means. Even though most wishing well poems will have something along the lines of "your presence is present enough" we all know that at the end of the day, if you host a wedding celebration you can expect that your guests will bring something with them whether it's a present or money in a card. This is just wedding etiquette passed on from generations.
In my opinion the best way to work out this dilemma is to honestly figure out what you would like to receive on your wedding day. Unless you imply a very strict no presents rule, it's better to have your guests give you something you would want and use rather than a shed full of useless items that you will probably re-gift later on. If you prefer to have cash over anything else then by all means use a wishing well. The fact is that your guests are probably quite close to you and will understand your request. This will also free up their time of looking for a gift for you.
If having a wishing well is not your thing (and that's completely fine) I think a gift registry is a great option where you can choose what items you would like and control how much your guests spend. Most department stores and specialty stores have gift registries so you can choose to your heart's desire. It's sort of a win-win situation for everyone.
Another option is going digital through Envelope Registry. It takes the awkwardness out of asking for money and is a great concept!
In conclusion I don't think the wishing well is a terrible thing. It saves your guests a lot of time and wasted money. You can be creative with the text on the wishing well making it a fun thing rather than an awkward request!
The most common question I get asked about my digital printable designs is where to take the files for printing. There are a few options for printing depending on your budget. So here is my list of possible options.
1. Leave it to the pros
For those that want to outsource their invitations to a printing company, there are a lot of online printing services where you can upload your files and they will take care of the rest. This is the most expensive option and I recommend it if you want your invitations on extra thick or luxurious specialty paper. The great thing about having your invitations professionally printed is that it delivers immaculate results and you have almost no restrictions on paper stock or finishes. It also saves you time on cutting out your invitations. (If you place a printable order with me, I am happy to design your file to the necessary specifications of your chosen printer for free).
These are my recommended printers:
Officeworks Print and Copy now offer invitation printing services. They have a small range of specialty paper stock you can choose from for an affordable price. Although the choice of paper stock is limited, it is enough to make your invitation look and feel beautiful. You can upload your design onto their website and pick it up at your local store or get it delivered to your door.
3. Print at home
If you are on a super tight budget and not too fussed about the print quality, your home printer can do a decent job. However keep in mind that home printer ink is quite expensive and you may have ink leakages or unexpected technical problems. I would only recommend this option if you're printing items such as Save the Dates or party invitations on lightweight paper i.e. not cardstock.
My printer at home is an Epson XP-700 which I use to print out my designs as a sample to see what they look like. The other day I needed to print just one page in black and white but I had run out of black ink and had to buy the whole set of 5 colour cartridges because my printer wouldn't work without all of them. So that ended up costing me over $120 in printer ink.
Having said that, I have used my printer to print personal invitations on beautiful textured stock such as 300gsm Wild (35% cotton) Paper and Card from Paperpoint and they turned out amazing. My printer has a rear feeder which allows for heavier cardstock to be used so check if yours is capable of printing on card before purchasing any paper.
4. Get creative
Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean your invitations can't have the wow factor. If you plan on printing your invites at home, you have the freedom to get creative and add the handmade element to your invitations! You could print the design on beautiful light translucent vellum and attach it to a metallic card using split pins. Or print it onto lightweight paper and roll it up into a small bottle (just make sure your guests can take the invitation out!). Or to save costs on envelopes, fold an envelope out of your invitation and post it like that.
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