You’ve got the ring, you’ve set a date and, of course, you’ve selected your bridal party! Now comes the not so fun part of wedding planning – setting a budget. You’re probably willing to allocate a large percentage of it to booking a great photographer (because photos are forever!), securing your dream venue, and ensuring the menu is fantastic. But wait… what about your invitations? Somehow, you’ve got to let your guests know about your big day, provide them with a way to RSVP, and make sure they know what to expect. Your invitations serve an important purpose! After all, you only get one chance to make a first impression. 


Many of the brides I speak with haven’t even thought about their wedding stationery, and they definitely haven’t allocated much (or any) of their budget for it. It’s been said to allocate two to three percent of your budget for stationary. However, if you plan on hiring a stationery designer or calligrapher to create custom wedding invitations, you should allocate an amount closer to six percent. 


So, what impacts the cost of wedding invitations and how much should you actually budget for them? Here are a few important items to consider when budgeting for your wedding paper goods:


  1. What components do you want to include in your invitation suite? At a minimum, you’ll need the invitation along with a coordinating envelope, as well as a RSVP card and envelope. However, there are several other pieces you may want to order: save the date cards, insert cards with additional details (e.g. maps, hotel or registry info) and coordinating thank you cards. Oh, and don’t forget about postage, both for the invitations themselves and for the RSVP envelopes!


  1. Who’s designing the invitations? Are you ordering them pre-made from online shops like Minted or Wedding Paper Divas? These are great, budget-friendly options. If you want something semi-custom or completely custom, you’ll need to hire a stationery designer and/or calligrapher. Custom design is widely priced and typically ranges from $1,500 - $6,000, which is much higher than the average person expects. However, these vendors pour a lot of time and creative energy into getting to know a couple and then creating, printing and assembling an invitation suite. You should expect top-notch customer care and a completely one-of-a-kind invitation suite infused with as many details as your heart desires.  


  1. What printing method is being used? Digital or flat printing, letterpress, foil and engraving are some of your options. Letterpress and foil are currently very popular methods but are also more expensive than digital printing. Discuss printing methods with your designer so you know what they offer and how much each option costs.


  1. How are you addressing your envelopes? Some invitation designers also offer calligraphy services; if not, they can probably recommend someone who can calligraph your envelopes. Hand-calligraphed envelopes typically range from $2 - $5 per envelope. For a less expensive option, consider having the addresses digitally printed on the envelopes. 


  1. What about other paper goods?In many cases, your stationery designer or calligrapher can also provide table numbers, place cards, ceremony programs, gift tags, menus and more! Ordering as many of these items from one vendor ensures they have a cohesive look and may qualify you for a bulk order discount. It never hurts to ask!


In addition to setting a good first impression, your invitations can truly be a unique work of art designed to reflect and preserve your love story. You may love your invitations so much that you have one framed and save it to pass down to future generations, creating a special family heirloom. Remember, your wedding day is all about you and your significant other. So decide what’s important to you, whether its paper goods or a killer floral display, and go from there!


Interested in designing your own custom stationary? Contact Writing on Hearts by clicking HERE!