Wedding Invitation Costs

Your invitation is the beginning  of your big day and sets the tone, giving your guests a sneak peak. With so many options to choose from; such as catalogues, online and custom invitations… leaves the question is “What will be my wedding invitation costs and how much should I expect to pay?” As a custom stationery designer, my goal is to create a one of kind piece, which will reflect my client’s style and vision. I also try to educate my clients on the costs and assist with finding other options to stay within their budget.

So to start you on your way, here are things to consider when determining your wedding invitation costs.

Invitation Budget  
Most couples have no idea what an appropriate amount is to budget for their wedding invitations. Don’t worry, as it’s common, not the fault of you and it can be complicated. The % of your overall wedding budget does not help so much either. The average couple spends $659 on invitations and reply-cards, according to The Bridal Association of America.[1] So based on the average cost of wedding invitations of $659 and 100 invitations the formula is as follows…
$659.00/100 = $6.59 per invitation
 
Note that this amount is based on the Invite, RSVP, Additional Insert & Envelope and does not include Assembly, Printing of Envelopes, Postage, Save the Dates or Day-of Stationery (Place cards, Menus, Programs, signs, etc.) which will definitely add costs. Heartfelt Design will work with clients and their budget.
 
With this all said, what should *you* budget? Invitation pricing varies based on where you are located (ie. prices will be higher in large metro areas) and who you will order from. Remember, there a few factors that will affect invitation pricing (paper choices, printing method, embellishments etc.). The pricing below is based on a standard invitation of the type listed. This is just a guide to assist you!
 
1) Print Your Own Invitations $1.00+
These sets include all of the pieces and are available at most craft stores. However, you are responsible for designing and printing  yourself. These invites range in price, but can often be purchased for $ per invite. Sometimes much less if you get on sale or have a good coupon.
 
michaels
 
 
2) DIY (do-it-yourself) $2+
Do-It-Yourself is a difficult to average for. There are many options that are in the DIY category (online printables, DIY kits or  design from scratch).  The minimum cost for your supplies, tools etc. is about $2, but could possibly be much more, depending on the complexity of your invitation set.
 
weddingbee
 
 
3) Basic Single Flat Invitation Set $2 to $5
This consist of a Single Flat Invite, Response Card w/Envelope, Outer Envelope and 1 Insert.  The pricing is based on the design, paper, and any simple embellishments (belly band or single crystal).
Cherry Blossom Watercolor Ensemble

invitation from heartfelt-design.com

 
 
4) High Quality Flat Invitation Set $4 to $8
A Flat Invite with 1 or 2 extra matting (layers behind invite), Response Card w/Envelope, Outer Envelope and 2 Inserts.  Maybe a more intricate custom design with high quality paper (metallic or patterned) and embellishments (Buckle with Ribbon, Crystals, etc.).
Double Happiness 7x7 Envelofold Inside

invitation from heartfelt-design.com

 
 
5) Enclosure Invitation Set (Pocket Fold, Pocket Cards, Gate Fold, etc.) $5 to $15
Pricing on pocketfold-style invitation can vary largely. It is based on the paper finish and size along with the Design. The more inserts and/or embellishments, the higher your invitation cost will be.
Aref 5x5 Booklet Inside

invitation from heartfelt-design.com

 
 
6) Boxed Invitation Set $15+
Based on exactly what is in your Boxed Set, will reflect the cost.
 
Amanda 5x7 PF Side Boxed

invitation from heartfelt-design.com

 
7) Luxurious Invitation Set $25+
This category is truly the sky’s the limit and can include large crystal/rhinestone embellishments, letterpress/thermography printing, invitation box and could also include a white glove service (full assembly, stuffing and mailing out invitations).
 
Beri Boxed

invitation from heartfelt-design.com

 

Remember and understand is that invitations work just like everything else when it comes to a wedding… you get what you pay for.  There are options that will  suit every couple, whatever their style and budget.

Assembling Invitations 

If you have a lot of components to you invitation (extra layers, rhinestone buckles with ribbon, etc.) you need to decide if you want to assemble the invitations yourself or have your stationer do so.  You need to have enough time to assemble, stamp and stuff the envelopes. most brides don’t think this is not important to add-on addressing services, I believe that most would rather not deal with the time-consuming task of addressing their own invitations. There is the option of hiring a calligrapher or order envelope printing services. On average envelope printing services can start at $2.00 per invitation set, whereas calligraphy services, you can expect to spend an average  of $4.00 per invitation set. With so many fonts that stationers have access to, printing can look like calligraphy.

 

Postage  

When you think you’ve  checked off your invitation expense off of your budget, you didn’t realize to include the cost of Postage! Unless you’re planning to add a personal touch delivering your invitations by hand;  you must take into consideration the cost of mailing invitations and also purchasing postage for each Response Card.

There are several factors to determine the cost of  postage…

1) Size – the bigger the invitation (i.e. 6 x 9 will cost more in postage than a 5 x 7)
 
2) Shape – a square invitation is considered odd-sized/non-machineable and will incur a surcharge of $0.21 per envelope, in addition to the postage required for the weight and dimensions of your envelope. Here are some other factors that will result in you paying a postage surcharge:
  • envelopes that are too rigid
  • envelopes that don’t bend easily
  • envelopes that are more than 1/4″ thick
  • envelopes that have clasps, strings, or other non-standard closures
3) Weight – Take your fully assembled invitation in it’s envelope to the post office to have it weighed so you will know how many stamps you will need and what the exact cost is per invitation. Doing so, will keep from having invitations returned from insufficient postage. Here are some other reasons that will affect the weight of your invitation set:
  • Enclosure (i.e. Pocket Fold, Pocket Card, Gate Fold, etc.)
  • Extra Layers
  • Quantity of Inserts. Try combining a Map on the other side of the Directions card. It seems like a waste to have a small Reception card, when it can be combined on the same side as the  Accommodations.

4) Response Card– traditionally your response card is with an envelope. However, if you opt to do a postcard, your cost is $0.34 whereas with an envelope is $0.47.  It may not seem like a lot, but we believe every penny counts and with 100 invitations… $34 to $47 is a bit of savings. Especially if you wanted to add that extra layer for your invite.

Most invitations require special care, such as “hand- cancelling”., which most Post Offices charge a small fee. Hand-cancelling means that your invitations are manually stamped by a clerk instead being fed through the mail meter. Please read our post about it.
 
Addressing Services 
Though most brides don’t think this is not important to add-on addressing services, I believe that most would rather not deal with the time-consuming task of addressing their own invitations. There is the option of hiring a calligrapher or order envelope printing services. On average envelope printing services can start at $2.00 per invitation set, whereas calligraphy services, you can expect to spend an average  of $4.00 per invitation set. With so many fonts that stationers have access to, printing can look like
 
 
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