When it comes to wedding invitations, if you are the DIY type you can get away with not spending too much besides the cost of supplies and the sweat equity you put into creating them. I wouldn’t say there is really an upper limit to the cost of invitations though, if you want to go big and super over-the-top, you are going to pay for it. Today’s couples have countless options, so determine your priorities to make your budget stretch while getting an invitation suite that reflects your wedding day and personal style.
I have created this list to help organize what plays a factor in the costs of wedding invitations, what you can expect to pay, and what you may be able to get away with cutting out.
DIY $ – Obviously making your own invitations is going to be the cheapest option, but only if you are up for it. Your costs are going to be your time and the material needed to design and produce your invitations. At the least, you will need a material for the invitations to go on, a way to print, envelopes, and postage.
Pre Designed $$ – Pre Designed invitations are going to be another affordable solution to couples on a budget. You can find a lot of templates on Etsy. Although you won’t be able to change much, besides the specifics like who, what and when, these are the best choice for those who are not looking to spend too much on wedding invitations but do not want to go the DIY route.
Semi-custom $$$ – Semi-custom wedding invitations are going to allow you a little bit of freedom to customize. The amount of customization will greatly depend on the designer you choose for your semi-custom wedding invitations. Personally, I allow changes to font colors, envelope colors and optional embellishments.
Custom $$$$ – Custom wedding invitations are going to be the most expensive option. A lot of custom wedding invitations include custom artwork, handmade paper, luxury embellishments like wax seals and belly bands.
Paper or Material Type
Smooth Cardstock $ – This is the most common and least expensive. This is a great choice for digital printing and printing DIY invitations at home.
Eggshell Paper $$ – This is my house stock and what I use for most of my designs. Eggshell paper has more texture to it than smooth cardstock and comes in lots of different colors and weights. It is a great choice if you want a little bit more luxury without spending too much.
Cotton paper $$$ – Has a lot of beautiful texture and is more eco-friendly compared to other options. This paper is usually a go-to choice for couples who want speciality printing like letterpress or engraving.
Handmade Paper $$$$– Handmade paper is going to usually be the most expensive option. You will likely recognize handmade paper because of its torn edges, also called deckled edges. Handmade paper usually required specialty printing, adding to its costs.
There are many different mediums you can use, besides paper, to create your invitations. Many couples are opting to use acrylic for modern and fun wedding invitations. Be creative and have fun with your choices!
Digital Printing $ – This can be in-home printing or commercial printing, which uses a more high-end machine than regular printers. With digital printing the design is going to be flush with the paper. If you want a more luxurious feel it may be a good idea to upgrade your paperweight.
Foil Stamping $$ – Generally gold in color. It works by a metal die being heated and pressing a thin sheet of foil onto the invitation. Adds shine and dimension $$
Letterpress printing $$$ – Similar to foil but uses white ink to create an impression into the invitation
Engraving – $$$$ Process of pressing the invitation between an ink plate and an engraved metal plate, pushing the text upward. This form of printing is very labor intensive, making it the most costly way to print.
Wedding Invitation Embellishments
Embellishments are great ways to further customize your wedding invitations, but they do come at a cost. Below are some of the more popular embellishments that you may want to budget for.
- Belly Bands
- Wax Seals
- Vintage Stamps
- Envelope Liners
- Envelope Addressing
Additional Wedding Invitation Pieces
In additional to your main invitation, you may need to include some additional pieces as well. Some examples of additional stationery you may need include:
- Details Card
- RSVP Card
- Reception Invitation
- Accommodations Card
- Wedding Map
- Weekend Itinerary
- Invitations to other events (rehearsal dinner, brunch, etc.)
Wedding Invitation Postage
It is safe to assume you will spend no less than $0.58 per invitation. You can plan for extra postage in certain situations where your invitations are heavy or bulky, are oversized or unusually shaped, have a wax seal or something that causes them to need to be hand canceled.
How to Save Money on Your Wedding Invitations
Sometimes your goal is to cut costs on your wedding invitations, here are some suggestions!
- Make use of space. When the ceremony and reception are at the same location, list the ceremony information on the invitations like: Reception to follow, Dinner and dancing to follow, Formal dinner reception to follow, etc. You can also put hotel information on the back of your map. I would avoid putting anything on the back of the invitation itself though.
- Go online. Opt out of printed Save the Dates or announcements and consider a free online option like: Facebook events, text RSVPs, a wedding website, etc. This is a great way to save costs on second envelopes, addressing and postage. You also won’t have to worry about RSVPs getting lost in the mail!
- Focus on the invite. Highlight the main invitation with foil stamping or double thick paper but keep the other pieces simple.
- Print your Addresses. Calligraphy is beautiful but it can be costly. Consider printing your envelopes at home, you can even find affordable Calligraphy fonts on places like Etsy. If you want to save even more money you may even opt to hand write your own addresses, especially if you are having a small wedding.