You just got engaged and you’re struggling to put together your wedding budget, one of the most stressful tasks of wedding planning. When it comes to the invitations and other stationery, how much do you budget?
Most of our clients don’t have any idea what an appropriate amount is to budget for their wedding invitations and day-of stationery. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault! You’ve likely never planned a wedding before and those budget articles that break everything down into “X% of your budget” don’t really help much either. When you buy a greeting card it costs about $3 to $5 for a name brand card, but it isn’t personalized. How much does a personalized invitation cost?
Alright, so what is the average cost of wedding invitations these days? Here’s the short answer (for Americans anyway):
According to The Knot, couples across the United States spent an average of $439 on wedding invitations in 2014. That means if the average couple bought 75 invitations (sent out to roughly 150 guests), then they spent $5.85 per invitation.
Note that figure does not include postage (response card and invitation!), day-of stationery, or other paper accessories (save the date cards, ceremony programs, menus, thank you notes, etc.). It is ONLY invitations. So now you know the “average”… but is your wedding average? What should YOU budget?
Below is a quick reference of price ranges for common invitation styles, from low to high:
Important note: Invitation pricing will vary based on where you are located (i.e. prices will be higher in large metro areas and on the coasts) and who you are ordering from (a pocketfold from an Etsy seller will likely cost less than one from a high-end invitation designer). Also, a number of factors affect invitation pricing (paper choices, printing method, embellishments etc.). The pricing below reflects a standard invitation of the type listed. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just something to get you started!
Online/E-mail Invitations = < $1+
Yes, they exist and personally, I do not think an email invitation is appropriate for an event as important and special as your wedding. Birthday party, yes. Wedding, no, no, no. Nonetheless, it is an option that some couples with very limited budgets or super informal events may want to consider. Online options are usually priced as a flat rate (i.e. $79, $99 etc.), so the price per invite will depend on the number of invites you are sending out.
Print Your Own Invitations = <$1+
“Print your own” would refer to the boxed invitations you can find at your local big box craft store – the kind that come with all of the pieces and you are responsible for printing the invite yourself. These invites range in price, but can often be purchased for less than $1 each (sometimes much less if you have a good coupon). Don’t forget to add in the cost of the ink cartridges you’ll use from running these through your home printer, as well as any extras you might need to purchase to account for printing issues (smeared ink, etc.).
DIY Invitations = $2+
Do-It-Yourself is tough to provide an average for, as there are so many options that fall under the DIY category (online printables, DIY kits, designing your invite completely from scratch). That being said, you can bet you’ll be spending a minimum of $2 for your supplies, tools, adhesive, etc. and possibly much more, depending on the complexity of your project and how many of the tools you already own. Keep in mind that if you do purchase all the paper, materials, and tools, you may be stuck with a bunch that you may never use again after the wedding.
image found here
Standard Single-Panel Invitation = $2 – $5
This would include your standard invitation package consisting of a single panel invitation with response card and matching envelopes. This pricing would cover a range of album companies, online companies, and even some custom options. Again, the simplicity of the design and the quality of the materials is what will dictate pricing in this category. This option includes our Signature Collection invitations.
invitation from weddingpaperdivas.com
Upgraded Panel Invitation = $4 – $8
Here you would be looking at a panel invitation (possibly with backers) made from higher quality papers such as thicker paper or cotton paper, and possibly featuring embellishments (ribbons, crystals, etc.). Again, this would include mid-range album invitations, online options, as well as custom design options. This price range includes our Signature Collection invitations with Adornments, as well as our invitations with laser cut enclosures.
invitation from La Rue Louise
Pocketfold Invitation = $5 – $9
Pricing on pocketfold-style invitations can vary greatly based on the quality of the pocketfold and the type of invitation design. More inserts and embellishments are going to equal higher prices.
invitation from Jupiter and Juno
Standard Boxed Invitation = $8 – $12
Boxed invitations can also range greatly, based on exactly what’s inside the box and what it’s made of. This price range would be for a standard type of invite in a cardstock-based box.
invitation from Hip Ink
Luxury Invitations = $15+
When it comes to luxury invitations the sky is truly the limit. But don’t expect to pay anything less than around $15 per set. This category would include things like large crystal embellishments, engraving, silk boxes or folios, and uncommon materials (acrylic, metal etc.).
invitation from Twig and Fig
The important thing to understand is that invitations work like pretty much everything else when it comes to weddings – you get what you pay for. What’s important in the above information is the minimum cost for each category. If someone is out there selling $3 pocketfolds, you can bet that you’ll probably be unhappy with the quality, design, etc. and there is a reason that they are only $3. The good news is this- there is an option out there to suit every couple, every style, and every wedding budget!