It occurred to me as I was sitting down to write this post about long time APW sponsor e.m. papers that, if e.m. papers had existed earlier, APW might never have existed. (Crazy but true.) I just finished touring the country telling everyone, including NPR, that I started APW in 2008 after coming home crying when I found a “budget invitation option” on a blog… and then figuring out that the “budget option” was $2,000. For invitations. Which? Possibly lovely, clearly not budget. Cue the tears, the mini-breakdown, and the suggestion from David I start APW. Which is a long way of saying that I’m so grateful to Eleanor and e.m. papers and the affordable and gorgeous invitation options that she’s creating for all of you. This means that, unlike me, you should be spared a sobbing meltdown, and it will be replaced with a happy paper goods buzz.
Here is how it works. Eleanor (who you’ll remember from her beautiful international wedding) designs simple and lovely invitations. You can go to her website and browse and find something you love. You can buy wedding invitations, save the dates, programs, menus, and basically everything you could possibly want on their own, for super affordable prices (wedding invitations are just $29)—or you can buy full wedding sets with everything you’ll need for $69 or $129.
Each template is a PDF form in which you just type in all of your wedding information, you can download the templates directly from the site and be ready to go immediately. And yes, you can totally change the colors. Send Eleanor an email with the color(s) you want, she’ll work with you to create the custom templates and will then send you your files via email.
And! In case you’re worried about printing invitations, it’s totally not scary. In fact, we at APW have already done a two-part How-To tutorial for you where we walk you through printing your invites at home, or printing them using a professional print service. So go forth and save money (and stop fretting!) Plus, e.m. papers is offering 15% off on all APW orders until the end of March with the code apwem, either punch it in at checkout (if it’s a custom order, mention it in the email). Which makes all this just about perfect.
As a long time member of Team Practical, Eleanor totally gets you. She told me, “I like working with APW couples because they are so down to earth and well, practical. All of my experiences with APW customers is that they have been fun, easy people who communicate well, and appreciate working with small vendors.” (And did I mention that she provides a free wedding invitation template, just because she knows a few of you will need it? Yes, she’s totally a doll.)
She says, “My artistic philosophy is that good design trumps all and form follows function and keep it simple! I try to make sure that the design is lovely, cool, and awesome enough so that even if you print the templates out on bargain bin cardstock from Staples and a ream of copy paper your partner stole from the office supply room it’ll still look great. I also create my designs in a way that doesn’t require having a printer with fancy features like borderless printing and that don’t have too many massive fields of color or full bleeds (where the color goes off the page); this helps to not use so much ink. All templates are designed to minimize any fussiness and difficulty. Where I can reduce the amounts of cuts and folds on a template, I do. Any design feature that has a chance of resulting in tears and frustration at 2 a.m. is studiously avoided!” Right? Right.
Eleanor is also hard at work on a bunch of interesting projects. She’s one of the designers for the APW+Glö partnership, so you can also get a matching wedding website with her designs. She’s also rolled out a lot of (gorgeous) new wedding invites in the last year. (Hint: If you see an invite design and want other templates that match, just ask, and she’ll make this happen.) Plus! She launched an international site, and all of her items are also available in A4/ISO compatible templates with fonts that support all European based languages. She says, “I have customers from Norway, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, and South America and many other places and they’ve all been able to type in their ø’s, ö’s, ç’s, ß’s, and ñ’s on the international templates with no problemos!” Hurrah!
So, APW-ers. There doesn’t need to be any more sobbing meltdowns over $2,000 “budget” wedding invitations because now we have Eleanor and the lovely e.m. papers. The meltdown that started APW is meltdown enough. So go, print wonderful and affordable wedding invitations, and enjoy.