The question I get asked most often by couples is, how much do wedding invitations cost? My answer is always, that depends on a lot of factors.
- How many invitations do you need?
- What pieces do you need?
- Are we ordering from an album or are you looking for a custom-designed invitation?
- What print method do you prefer?
- What type of paper are you choosing?
- Are you looking for embellishments?
Number of Invitations: A good rule in estimating the number of invitations you need is to divide the number of guests you are inviting by 2 and add 15%. If you are inviting 250 people, that would
be 144 invitations.
What pieces do you need?: This is part personal preference and part etiquette.
Church Wedding – Traditionally, the items needed are the invitation, invitation envelope, reception card, response card and response card envelope.
Reception Wedding – If the ceremony is taking place at the reception site, you can eliminate the reception card and note “reception immediately following” at the bottom of the invitation.
Destination Wedding – Destination weddings tend to include more pieces because they usually entail more than the wedding. When people are traveling and making a long weekend of the wedding, typically the couple will plan other activities and will then include some sort of itinerary for the weekend events. Also, additional information for travel plans is appropriate.
Album Order vs. Custom Order: When ordering from an album, the prices are set. It’s simple to price things out and at times, the companies that provide the albums will sometimes offer promotions. This doesn’t happen very often, but is a great help when you can take advantage of a good deal. Custom orders require more time to estimate, some times they may require more time to print & assemble and, of course, you have to add in the time it takes to design a custom invitation. Custom invitations can be competitive with invitations from albums, but more often, they are slightly higher priced. You should also allow for more time in placing your order. If you plan to order custom designed invitations, 6 months before your wedding is a good time to meet with your stationer or designer. If you wait too long, rush charges may apply.
What type of print do you prefer?: The print method you choose can make a huge difference in the price of your invitations. I’ll go more into depth in a separate blog post on these shortly, but for now, this is the breakdown in regards to pricing:
Letterpress, Foil, Engraving, Embossing – $$$ These print methods are all absolutely gorgeous and add a lot of texture to your invitaitons.
Thermography, Offset Printing – $$ Thermography is a raised print (similar to engraving). Offset printin is flat printing. This is the middle of the road on price.
Digital Printing – $ Digital printing is done by computer (similar to home printers, but on a much larger scale). This is the lowest price point for printing invitations.
What type of paper are you choosing?: There is a huge variety of paper options. If you have ever been to my studio, you have seen the crazy amount of paper swatch books I have to choose from. There are smooth papers, papers with a “tooth”, metallic or pearl papers, glitter paper, paper that is lightly embossed to look like tree bark, sheer papers, iridescent papers, and almost every color paper you can imagine. Paper also comes in many different weights or thickness. Some paper is better for different types of printing than others. This is where it is good to work with a professional so they can recommend the best paper for your particular job. As far as pricing goes – the more simple the paper, the less expensive it tends to be.
Are you looking for embellishments?: Embellishments can be pocketfolders, bandwraps, ribbon, jewels, labels, wax seals, lace, twine, etc. There are so many options for personalizing invitations with embellishments! This is also where you can spend a lot of money or save. I usually give my clients the option to DIY the embellishments. That allows them to dress up their invitations without paying for someone else to glue jewels or tie bows. You can use embellishments to make a very simple invitation a little more special.
It’s tough to answer that question, “How much do wedding invitations cost?” But there are many ways to accomplish a goal. I invite clients to come to the studio with a budget in mind, choose the ultimate invitation and we’ll take it from there. A couple might love a letterpress invitation in a pocketfolder, but the budget only allows for a digitally printed invitation with a bandwrap holding all of the pieces together. The wedding guests never saw the pocketfolder, so it is still the perfect invitation!