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 a recent survey we did of over 1,000 couples shows that they are spending between $400-$500 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 $400 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 the average cost of wedding invitations, below!
WGM Says: The following prices do not include postage or save the dates. For postage of a 1st class, 1 oz. envelope the cost is $0.66. For postcards the rate is $0.51. Click here to see more postage rates. For Save-the-Dates you can expect an average postage cost of $51 for 100 postcard STD’s.
Wedding Invitation Design Studios
Average Cost: $2,000+
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 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 designers here.
How Much Invitation Designers Cost
Invitation suites at design studios such as the ones I’ve highlighted can start at $2,000 for 100 invites and go up to $6,000 or more for a range of $20-$60 per invitation suite.
Wedding Stationery Stores
Average Cost: $700+
Sadly, brick and mortar stationery stores are becoming increasingly rare. As text messaging has surpassed letter writing, it has left these stores high and dry, and most of the nationwide ones (Papyrus and Paper Source) have filed for bankruptcy. Local favorites like Kate’s Paperie in New York City have also closed, and other have moved online.
How Much Wedding Stationery Stores Cost
However, you can still find a couple local stationery stores if you look. While some stationery stores will of course be more higher (or lower) end than others, expect to pay $10 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 Wedding Invitation Stores
Average Cost: $400+
While most brick-and-mortar stationery stores also have online ordering (Paper Source), there are also several online-only invitation retailers that have risen to the top. Minted, Zola, and VistaPrint are some 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 25%-35% 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).
How Much Online Wedding Invites Cost
At online stores like Minted you can expect to pay around $4.50 and up for quality 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 around $2 and up for an invite, RSVP card, and envelopes…which is basically DIY prices. More on that below!
DIY Wedding Invites
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 Creative Market, 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.
How Much DIY Wedding Invites Cost
A blank wedding invitation, response card, and envelopes at LCI came to around $127 for 100 (that’s $1.27/each), while a similar suite was $2.29-$4.14/each at Paper Source (depending on whether there was a sale. Etsy sells printable wedding invitation suite template in the range of $12 (although I’ve seen some for $40+). 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 80 lb. weight paper (compared to 130 lb. for a ready-made invitation from an online retailer). 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. Instead, you can print your invitation template at OfficeMax or Staples.
Wedding Invitation Cost Breakdown
Ever wondered how much wedding invitations cost for 100 guests? 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!).
- 100 save the date custom postcards from Etsy: $115
- Shipping (ground): $13
- Postage for 100 save the date postcards ($0.51/each)= $51
- 100 wedding invitations from Minted (envelopes included): $250
- RSVP cards (envelopes included): $185
- Taxes (CA): $32
- Shipping (ground): $10
- Postage for the 100 wedding invitations and reply cards ($0.66/each)*: At least $132, since most invites typically require at least two stamps for the outer envelope.
WGM Says: 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!
As you can see, the costs add up quickly! My recommendation for brides is to figure out how much you can allot 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, Basic Invite, Artifact Uprising and Vista Print…they have some great options! We wrote a post on the best site for cheap wedding invitations here.
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 on Your Wedding Invitations
Whether you’re looking to DIY or buy your entire invitation suite online, here are a few ways you can save:
Dress Up Plain Invites With Accessories
This same theory applies to wedding cakes, wedding venues, and even wedding dresses! Opt for a plainer (aka cheaper) wedding invitation design and up the ante with fun accessories and embellishments. Buy a return address stamp or embosser, wax seals, 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 the RSVP Card and Other Pieces
Skip additional items like an RSVP card and Reception or Directions card, which can end up costing you an additional $1+/each. Instead, opt for the invite only, and your wedding website url on the bottom or back to instruct people to RSVP. You can also add a QR code for each access. Truthfully, most people end up losing those extra cards, anyway!
Don’t Go Larger Than 5×7
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.
I would not use a postcard for your actual invite, but definitely for your reply cards and/or Save the Dates. Using postcards will not save you a huge amount (about $66 per 100 just on postage) but every little bit counts!
Don’t Overdue Your DIY
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, so that was $200 in the hole!
Be Open About Your Budget
If you love a wedding invitation design from a designer you found online or on Etsy 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!
Avoid Special Printing and Paper Types
Foil stamping, letterpress, and other “fancy” types of printing can double or triple your wedding invitation cost. Same goes for thicker cardstock and handmade paper with special finishes. Instead, opt for standard digital printing and type of paper.
How much are you spending on your wedding invites? Let us know in the comments section, below!
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