Baby Announcement: More for Less

by Paul Fischer

Martha and I had our first child, Eliza Rose, on Oct 1. Since then we’ve been sleep deprived and are suffering from Mommy Brain and Daddy Brain respectively. We both took extensive time off from work to be with baby, and are now back at work. And during that time we tried to keep up with things we would normally do around the house as well as baby specific etiquette things.

The most notable etiquette item that stuck in my mind was Thank You notes. The outpouring of kindness and generosity at the baby shower really blew me away. I am still in awe regarding the overwhelming turn out and things people sent to help little Eliza’s get a good start on life. I spent weeks writing Thank You notes, signing them, and sending them out. Natalie Morris did a big batch for us, which really blew me away. She’s been such a great help.

But after the Thank You notes went out, I got a letter from my Aunt Lenny. You need to know some things about my relationship with her. Where my mom was ADD, my aunt is OCD and as a child I could mess things up or break them the second my aunt’s back was turned. Lenny and I have never really communicated directly, most of our conversation goes through third parties. So I was a little surprised and delighted to get a letter from her. Among the other things in the letter there was a simple note written on a post-it sized piece of paper. It said, “When you send out Birth Announcements make sure you include the people on this list…”

Up until this point I hadn’t really considered the need to send out birth announcements. I sent out invites to the baby shower, posted the birth on Twitter, and emailed 1/2 the known universe. As you might expect, I’m now consumed with the idea of getting the baby announcements sent out. And so, having learned to avoid anything requiring extensive amounts of time to assemble I set about looking for printable birth announcements on the web.

Most of my original findings were in two classes, neither of which interested me. The first was online printing services which would pre-print your custom announcements. The second was large kits which included ribbons, bows, multiple pieces, colors, and types of papers, and therefore required a minute or two per announcement to assemble. Both of these choices were terribly expensive, ranging from $1.25 all the way up to $4 or $5 each. Since I have about 50 names on my list, and Martha probably has about the same, we were looking at a minimum of $125 for 100 invites which we still had to address. Then we had to add shipping to get them to us and postage to send them out. That would round the total to about $175 minimum.

After much searching and modifying my google search terms, I finally found a site that offers blank cards and envelopes in bulk. My Expression offers a small but nice selection of cards which can be ordered blank in bulk for less. We purchased 100 cards and envelopes for less than $60. That includes shipping. I’ll try to post more when they arrive, but they look very nice. Hopefully the picture on the web will meet my expectations.

Once we have the cards we’ll be able to print our own announcement text and then print the envelopes. I plan to include a photo of Eliza Rose in the announcement. Once Martha and I select a photo, I plan on using some of the “50 free photos” trial offers that you see from certain shutterbug websites. If I can find 2 such offers I can get 100 5×7 prints to put in with my 5.5 x 7.75 announcements.

I’d rather not pay someone $0.25 per envelope and $0.50 per card to have them print on blank stock, when I have printers at home which can do the same job. I’d rather take that money and put it in an IRA or 529 Education Savings Plan.

Even thought I’m going to be doing some of the work at home, I’ve limited myself to printing the cards, addressing the envelopes, stuffing the envelopes, and affixing stamps. As much as that sounds like a ton of work, most of it will be done by the old Epson printer I just picked up off FreeCycle. The end result will be a nice birth announcement at less than half the cost with very little assembly work. That’s a win-win situation to me.