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Your big day can be expensive, but it doesn't have to break the bank if you shop smartly. Just have an organized wedding planning checklist so you give yourself enough time to buy all the right decor items to make your nuptials a truly memorable occasion. Here are some tips for how to indulge while still saving money on your wedding stationery:

Splurge
Wedding invitations - Out of all your stationery needs, your invitations will most likely be the most pricey. This is because guests expect something truly special when they receive your invite in the mail. They may even save it for years to come. However, you don't have to use a large portion of your budget on these cards. Purchase your invites from a retailer that focuses on style and quality and you'll have gorgeous yet affordable cards. 

Be sure you have tons of options from which to choose, like texture prints, colorful motifs, ornate fonts and more. Additionally, you can customize the invites to include reception and response cards. Elegant, vintage wedding invitations - or whatever style you select - set the mood for the party. So choose wisely and continue the theme throughout the rest of your wedding day decor.

Save on your wedding stationery needs.

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Map cards - If your wedding is in a hard-to-find place, consider adding a card with directions to the chapel or venue. Even with a state-of-the-art global positioning system, it can be difficult to find an unfamiliar address. So include a simple card with easy-to-follow directions.

Place cards - You don't have to opt out of purchasing place cards when there are tons of affordable options available. Browse through a variety of styles including paneled, embossed and even chalkboard-style cards. Or you can select a favor combo that can function as a place card.

Save-the-date cards - These cards are fun to send, and they are much more affordable than the formal invites. They allow you to share your wedding news excitement as soon as you settle on a date and time. Opt to include lots of color and funky prints in this invite.

Menus - Guests will be pleasantly surprised when they see a printed menu at their tables. It helps excite their appetites while they wait for each course to be served.

Napkins - Personalized napkins are another cost-effective wedding decor item. Just put your wedding date, or the names of you and your future spouse on each one.

Thank-you cards - These notes help you extend your gratitude to each guest. You can choose cards that are as ornate or clean-looking as you would like. Be sure to include a special personalized message on every card.