Budget Bride Tip for June 25: Make the invitations a family project

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.

Guadalupe Escamilla had her heart set on boxed invitations for her wedding this Sept. 1 in Ventura, Calif.

But she quickly discovered that the upscale invites would cost her at least $10 a piece.

“I was going to cut the cost and do envelope invitations, but my mom said, ‘No, your dream is box invitations, and we’re going to find a way to make it happen,’” says Guadalupe, 28, a real estate broker.

And with her family’s help, Guadalupe did just that.

She found boxes and Swarovski crystals in bulk online; paper for the invitation, RSVP and reception cards at a Michaels craft store; and ribbon and fabric in the Los Angeles fashion district.

Then, for three months of Sundays, Guadalupe took over her parents’ dining room, as well as her family's and friends’ time.

Her sister, Mari Escamilla, designed the invitations according to Guadalupe’s instructions and had them printed and cut at FedEx Office. Her mom, Maria Zendejas, sewed small pillows for each invitation to rest on in the box.

“I can only glue,” Guadalupe admits.

She did a lot of it: 17 crystals were carefully placed on each of the 150 invitations. Her fiancé, Luis Calderon, 25, a ranch manager, glued his share, too.

The average cost of wedding invitations was $231 in 2011, and postage was $100, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.

Guadalupe says her homemade boxed invites cost about $5 each, and $1.70 to mail — above average but half what she would have paid to have them done professionally.

Plus, “they’re beautiful,” she says.

Here's Guadalupe and her fiance, Luis ...

This is her family hard at work on the wedding invitations. That's mom, Maria Zendejas, on the sewing machine, sister Belen Escamilla in the middle and Guadalupe working the glue gun on the right ...

This is one of the invitations they created ...

Here are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:

Budget Bride Tip for June 1: Throw a potluck dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 2: Say 'yes' to an affordable dress

Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Budget Bride Tip for June 4: Put dad to work

Budget Bride Tip for June 5: Turn your reception into a barbecue

Budget Bride Tip for June 6: Take the ceremony to the beach

Budget Bride Tip for June 7: Cupcakes make tasty wedding favors

Budget Bride Tip for June 8: Hold down the guest list

Budget Bride Tip for June 9: Feed your guests wedding cake from Costco

Budget Bride Tip for June 10: Decorate your reception with Craigslist

Budget Bride Tip for June 11: Buy dishes for the wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 12: Go with a lunch instead of a wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 13: Buy your wedding veil online

Budget Bride Tip for June 14: Rent a summer camp for your reception

Budget Bride Tip for June 15: Hire a friend to make your wedding gown

Budget Bride Tip for June 16: Tie the knot on a Sunday

Budget Bride Tip for June 17: Take a pass on gift bags

Budget Bride Tip for June 18: Ask guests to RSVP online

Budget Bride Tip for June 19: Hire a one-man band to provide the music

Budget Bride Tip for June 20: Build, stock and staff your open bar

Budget Bride Tip for June 21: Decorate with locally grown flowers

Budget Bride Tip for June 22: Skip the champagne toast

Budget Bride Tip for June 23: Let guests pour their own drinks

Budget Bride Tip for June 24: Create a homemade photo booth

Thanks to Guadalupe Escamilla for sharing these photos with us.