Dollars and Sense: Designer mixes quality with cost efficient results


With soaring wedding costs, affordable vendors can help resolve concerns and turn the focus back to the celebration. (

With soaring wedding costs, affordable vendors can help resolve concerns and turn the focus back to the celebration. (

Ashlee Harris, a 25-year-old college student fell in love with Benjamin Pierce. After an adventurous few months of dating, he took her to Utah Lake, knelt down and proposed with a beautiful rose gold diamond ring.

Weeks later, although the newly engaged glow remained, Harris was hit by how incredibly expensive it was going to be for the two of them to get married. She just wanted to be with Pierce, and have the wedding of her dreams.

Harris tallied up the cost of the wedding dress, honeymoon, invitations, decorations, food, cake, photographer, suit, shoes, ties and every other expense she could think of and recognized she and Pierce would be in debt if they did everything just the way they wanted. She was still happy and excited but finances were stressful.

On Harris’s big checklist of wedding to-do’s she needed to get wedding invitations ordered. Popular blogs stated that wedding invitations vary from person to person, ranging from $200 to $2000.

Harris briefly considered making her own, but as a microbiology major with a heavy course load, she did not have time enough to spare.

Harris was in a conundrum. Unsure what to do, Harris spoke with a friend who referred her to Shantel Peaden with Red Ladder Design to make her invitations.

When Harris went to meet with Peaden, she was not sure what to expect. Harris’s fears were quickly calmed when she sat comfortably with Peaden and had an open discussion of what she hoped for.

A priority for Peaden is to meet the needs of each bride. Peaden works to make custom invitations for each bride, combining their favorite elements until they find the perfect option. She quickly noted Harris’s priorities were, not surprisingly, cost, quantity and quality.

Harris ended up choosing 500 invitations, double sided, including envelopes and insert cards for only $400. A week later, she received not just one, but over five proofs of options for her wedding invitations. Peaden combined all of Harris’s favorite aspects of the invitations, and Harris was ecstatic with the result.

Locally based Facebook pages, Weddingwire, blogs and websites are becoming more common to assist a bride in finding vendors that provide just what she needs.

Harris shared, “I was so happy with what Shantel did to help me with my wedding; I was able to have my perfect invitations for a great price.”

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