How Much Do Wedding Invitations Cost?

wedding-invitation-cost-breakdown

Trying to figure out how much wedding invitations cost is like trying to figure out how much a good haircut should cost. There are so many varying factors that go into it (including the style you’re looking for, the experience of the designer, as well as the quality of the products used), that in the end it will all come down to you and your preferences…which can apply to pretty much everything wedding-related if you ask me!

While the average couple will spend approximately $443 on wedding invitations, that stat does little to alleviate the wide range of prices you’re bound to see out there. It’s so difficult to determine how much wedding invitations cost because you can easily find one couple that spent $200 on their wedding invitations and another couple that spent well over $2,000!

With that said there are not only ranges we can look at to figure out what you can expect to pay according to various styles (like letterpress, DIY, etc.), but also a few ways you can save on your wedding invitations. Here’s a look at what wedding invitations will cost you using everything from a studio that will design custom and hand-made wedding invitations for you, a national stationery store, online retailers, as well as the elusive DIY wedding invitation. Of course keep in mind that ALL of these prices are estimates and can vary drastically based on geographical location, printing technique, etc.

For a handy breakdown of it all, I created an infographic explaining these details below!

NOTE: The following prices do not include postage or save the dates. For postage of a 1st class, 1 oz. envelope the cost is $0.49. For postcards the rate is $0.34. Click here to see more postage rates. For Save-the-Dates you can expect an average cost of $150 for 100 postcard STD’s.

Design Studios

Average Cost: $1,200+

Bespoke wedding invitation designers are the go-to source for brides looking for amazing hand-drawn, calligraphed, or custom wedding invitations (you can read more about the different wedding invitation styles here). You’ll find that the majority of these designers are online-only (though you’ll see bigger ones such as Rifle Paper Co. have a presence in multiple high-end stationery stores as well). Be sure to check out my favorite wedding invitation designers here. Invitation suites at design studios such as the ones I’ve highlighted can start at $1,000 for 100 invites and go up to $3,000 or more for a range of $10-$30 per invitation suite.

Stationery Stores

Average Cost: $700+

You’ll most likely have a wider range of prices at a stationery store, and also at times the ability to bring in your own idea for a design as well as have them print/assemble (and sometimes mail) your wedding invitations. You also have the advantage of seeing a wide range of designers under one roof. Also, stationery stores (like Kate’s Paperie if you live in New York City) tend to have sales a few times a year that you can definitely take advantage of.

While some stationery stores will of course be more higher (or lower) end than others, expect to pay $7 and up per invitation suite (invite, response card, and envelopes). The more inserts you add the more that price will go up. For example, adding a reception card will typically average between $2+/each depending on the printing technique used.

Online Invitation Stores

Average Cost: $400+

While most brick-and-mortar stationery stores also have online ordering (Payprus, Paper Source), there are also several online-only invitation retailers that have risen to the top. Wedding Paper Divas and Minted are two of the most popular, and they offer a wide-enough range of prices to fit most every budget for what’s called “custom printing” (you pick a design you like, fill in your details, and they do the rest). These stores also tend to have constant promotions, offering 10-15% off in most cases.

We also can’t forget about Etsy, which is somewhere in between an online invitation store and a bespoke designer, since so many of the now big-name designers got their start there. In addition to ready-made, customizable designs they also offer bespoke designs as well as digital downloads that you print yourself (more on that in our DIY section, below).

At online stores like Wedding Paper Divas , Minted, and Etsy you can expect to pay around $3 and up for invitations (invite, response card, and envelopes), excluding any promotions or sales. However, sites like Vistaprint.com have a smaller selection but are extremely affordable at $1.20 and up for basic invitations…which is basically DIY prices. More on that below!

DIY

Average Cost: $150+

There are a handful of online AND offline invitation stores that offer DIY extras such as envelope liners and labels, however to TRULY DIY your invitations we’re talking about downloading a template (or if you or a friend are a graphic designer designing a template yourself), buying the paper and finding your own printing source. Websites such as LCI Paper offer blank wedding invitation suites (which means you’re basically just buying the paper) as well as tutorials on how to print and assemble at home. Paper Source (which also sells custom printed wedding invitations, mentioned above) also offers DIY wedding invitation templates in addition to paper (though due to copyright restrictions they can’t offer the same fonts and artwork you see on the samples, so you’ll still have to search for those. FYI if you’re looking for great fonts and art I love sites like DaFont and The Graphics Fairy). As mentioned above, if you want to semi-DIY it (like me), Etsy also offers great printable templates from designers.

A blank wedding invitation, response card, and envelopes at LCI came to around $90 for 100 (that’s $.90/each), while a similar suite was $1.34/each at Paper Source. Etsy sells printable wedding invitation suites in the range of $30-$40 (although I’ve seen some for as low as $12 and some for $100+). They will customize the files with all your information and then you just download it. All you have to do is buy the paper!

One important note is that if you’re printing invitations at home you’re going to need a lighter paper so it can go through your home printer. At LCI, for example, the DIY invitations are 110 lb. (or 298 gsm) weight paper (compared to 120 lb. for a ready-made invitation from Wedding Paper Divas). I would look at your printer paper compatibility and test a piece before you buy wedding invitation paper in bulk online. If you love a heavier paper then at-home printing might not be the best for you.

So what does this all amount to?

Here’s a snapshot of what it might cost a couple to purchase and send out save the dates and a basic wedding invitation suite with no upgrades from an online invitation store including postage for all (including the reply cards…which you can’t forget when budgeting!).

wedding-invitation-cost

*NOTE: Remember to always take one completed invitation to the post office to ensure you get the proper amount of postage. Also, I highly recommend hand-cancelling your wedding invitations if your local post office offers it. This is usually free!

  • 100 save the date custom postcards from Etsy: $150
  • Shipping (ground): $5.95
  • Postage for 100 save the date postcards ($0.34/each)= $34
  • 100 wedding invitations from Minted (envelopes included): $234
  • RSVP cards (envelopes included): $147
  • Taxes (CA): $36.21
  • Shipping (ground): $7.95
  • Postage for the 100 wedding invitations and reply cards ($0.49/each)*: $98

TOTAL: $713.11

 

Woman Getting Married Says:

As you can see, the costs add up quickly! My recommendation for brides is to figure out how much you can allote to wedding invitations and choose the type of wedding invitation you want based on that. If your budget is $1,500+ I would start off talking to bespoke wedding invitation designers you like and let them know what your budget is and see what they can do. If you’re more in the $500-$800 range I would definitely check out sites like Etsy, Minted, and Wedding Paper Divas…they have some great options! For you $300 and under gals I would also go on Etsy but look for invitation suites that you can purchase and print yourself at home or at your local printer. Before you do any of that, however, be sure to check out my easy ways to save, below. One or two of these tips might help you get your dream wedding invitations!

How to Save:

  • Unless you’re a professional designer or printer, I would be weary of DIY’ing your entire invitation set. This is especially true if you’re wanting something above and beyond a simple design. You can easily end up spending more money than you would have had you gone with an online store from the get-go. For example, for my wedding invitations I paid over $200 for a completely custom wedding invitation design delivered via a printable file. I attempted to save money by printing them myself, but they looked awful once printed. I ended up starting again from scratch to get wedding invitations I was actually happy with!
  • If you love a wedding invitation design but can’t afford the price, see if you can have the designer or store use a less expensive printing process. For example, an Etsy seller might offer a letterpress invitation suite as well as a digitally printed one (of the exact same design) for way less.
    Are you obsessed with a certain designer? E-mail them your budget and see if they have any less expensive option. It never hurts to ask! Click here to see a few of my favorite wedding invitation designers.
  • Opt for a plainer (aka cheaper) wedding invitation design and up the ante with fun accessories. Buy a return address stamp or embosser, twine or other ribbon, as well as colorful or patterned envelope liners and make your wedding invitations look way more expensive than they actually are. Check out these awesome Return Address Stamps from Etsy.
  • Skip additional items like a Reception or Directions card, which can end up costing you an additional $1+/each. Truthfully, most people end up losing those cards, anyway! Instead, put your wedding website URL on your Save the Date and encourage people to go there to view hotel options and other important information.
  • Go for standard wedding invitation sizes (I like 5X7 cards, also known as A7 if you’re buying paper) so you don’t pay for extra postage. Anything oversized or oddly shape could add up. For more tips head over to my guide to mailing wedding invitations.
  • If your stationery store or design studio offers them, postcard reply cards will save you money on extra envelopes (and stamps)!
  • Speaking of postcards…using them for your Save-the-Dates will also save you money on postage. 🙂
  • Trying to figure out the rest of your wedding budget? Find out how much wedding photographers cost, how much wedding flowers cost, and how much wedding cakes cost!

And here’s a handy infographic that sums up all this information!

 

how-much-do-wedding-invites-cost-info

 

6 Comments

  • Eliana says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s a beautiful overview of the pricing in the industry.
    I’ve been creating wedding invitations for over a year now through my design business so really agree with your cost summaries! Thanks ‘Woman getting married’ for acknowledging that like any unique art form there is an increased price tag. Keep up the great work!

  • Deb Field says:

    HI there — do you know how many wedding couples order online versus a storefront? I am in the Portland, Oregon area and I am curious?

  • Alex Trodder says:

    I got a wedding invitation from a good friend of mine yesterday. I appreciate the information about what it can cost to get wedding invitations printed. I don’t think I would want to go the DIY approach with my printer. They would look terrible. I’ll probably go to a local print shop so that they look clean and classy. Thanks for your tips. I’ll keep them in mind when I finally get married.

  • Vicky Durrant says:

    I really liked your post! I’m going to be getting married in a few months, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of invitations that we’re going to be sending out, and how we’re going to get them made. After reading your post, I think that I’m going to go through a stationary store. You mentioned that they should already have a lot of invitation designs ready for me there, and I could even bring some of my own ideas to print. It seems like the best of both worlds! Thank you for the help!

  • Hi Andrea! That is SO awesome to hear. I’m so glad it was helpful, and thanks for taking the time to write in!! 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I wanted to thank you and give you props for putting this all together! I hope I’m not the first one to tell you this but this entire article was very helpful (and trust me, this is coming from a person that already read a ton that were NOT) thanks again!! You rock!

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