Some of the first things you'll spend money on when you decide to get married (besides the ring) are the wedding invitations. While you want your invitations to be classy, unique and of good quality, you'll probably also want to find ways to save on wedding invitations as well. Here are the top ways to send out invitations that you can afford-and that your friends and family will be impressed with.

Keep your guest list small.

The more people you invite to your wedding, the more invitations you're going to have to send out, so take a little time to create a guest list that you and your spouse will be satisfied with-and one that will fit your budget. Let your friends and family know when you'll be getting married as soon as you can, so that they can tell you if they'll be able to make it. For those who won't be able to attend, you can send alternate invitations on different paper that may be a little less expensive, so that your loved ones can still keep a reminder of your special day. Now is not the time to be extremely polite-this is your day, and you deserve to have the people you love at your ceremony. Just because people know that you're getting married, doesn't mean they all have to come to wedding. Remember, the more invitations you send out, the more people that will show up, the more reception dinners you'll have to pay for…and the list goes on. Keeping your guest list small will help you to save on other wedding costs as well, so choose wisely.

Make your own invitations.

If you're especially crafty or know exactly how you want your invitations to look (and haven't seen this look in stores or online) you may want to consider making your invitations yourself. This way, you can save money, and add your own special touches to make an invitation that really is unique to your ceremony and your relationship. Of course, you may still have to ask for help, but if you need friends and family to give you pointers on the invitation design or provide supplies for you to use, you won't have to pay for labor. You can also be sure that no one will have your invitations, and this will be another way to give guests the impression that your wedding will be an event to remember. You can also look online for wedding invitation templates to follow if you want to keep things a little more traditional, or aren't quite ready to try your hand at such a crafty task. Here are some sites that may help: www.southworth.com, www.yourinvitationplace.com, and www.theweddingplace.com.

Use less paper.

Your invitation doesn't have to be two or three pages; you can save the story of how you met for the wedding video or the wedding programs in order to cut costs. A single sheet invitation will usually save you money, and looks very classy and sophisticated. If you want to add photos to your wedding invitations, you may want to use a photo of wedding rings, or a picture of you and your fiancé as a backdrop, and include all the information about the ceremony on the same sheet. Using one ink color and a smaller border can also help to save money. The key is to make your wedding invitations look interesting and tasteful enough for people to want to attend the ceremony, and you can definitely do this without spending a whole lot of money. After all, you want to save for that fabulous dress and great reception-these are the things that will keep your guests remembering your day for years to come.