Wedding invitation styles are about as plentiful as you can imagine. There is an endless supply of designs to choose from, and then there are the customizations. From adding extras to springing for postage, lots of factors influence the ultimate price tag for pretty invitations. Here are some things to consider when you’re learning how much wedding invitations cost — and how much you’re willing to spend.
A recent survey found that the average cost of wedding invitations is about $590. Other sources view wedding invitation costs in terms of percentage, with couples shelling out 4-6% of their overall budget for invites. This includes not only the main invitation but also other key pieces of stationery such as save-the-date cards, programs, and even menus. If you’re interested in breaking those numbers down further, you can expect to pay between $3 and $8 per professionally printed invitation.
The total price for stationery suites depends not only on what’s included but also who you’re buying from. A small boutique may not have access to the printing options and bulk paper discounts a larger store does. Brick-and-mortar stores have more overhead, which can significantly boost costs, while online stationery stores save money by keeping most of their operation virtual. And geographic location matters, too. The same survey referenced above discovered that invitation costs are significantly higher in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. as compared to the west coast.
It probably goes without saying that invitations are charged on a per-piece basis, meaning you pay for every invite you order. The more you ask for, the higher your bill. But there is a sort-of exception to that rule. Some stationery stores lower the per-piece price as you increase the number of invitations you order. For instance, if you buy 20 invitations, that might cost you up to $10.20 for each invite. Order 200 invitations and the cost for each invitation drops to just $3.64.
Bear in mind that you’ll likely want to buy extras. In addition to those you’ll be ordering for each invited guest, get copies as backups (you never know when there will be a spill or last-minute addition to the guest list) as well as copies for framing or to tuck in your scrapbook.
Paper is paper is paper, right? Not so fast. There are so many types of paper and even finishes that can help your vision of the perfect wedding invitation come to life. Most full-service stationery stores offer a wide variety of paper selections so you can pick the option that suits not only your budget but the style of invitation you love the most.
Some popular options include:
- Premium smooth is an affordable but still beautiful paper that lacks texture, instead embracing a silky-smooth feel that’s perfect for any design.
- Luxe satin has a velvety-soft, matte finish and is the go-to paper for invitations featuring raised foil.
- Luxe pearl stokes shimmer with a subtle shiny finish that has a softening effect on photos and even bright colors.
- Double thick paper exudes quality, making an impression on everyone who touches it.
- Triple thick is the ultimate in luxury stationery, setting the scene for an uber-elegant wedding — and it’s also perfect for keepsakes!
The higher the quality of your paper, the more you’re going to pay. For instance, premium smooth and luxe satin are likely included in the base price of your invitations, while top-tier triple thick paper could easily run you hundreds of dollars more.
Some couples are all about the glitz and glam. From Swarovski crystals hanging off floral centerpieces to bridal gowns bedecked in bling, glam weddings and sparkle go hand in hand. To bring that same glitter to your wedding invitations, consider adding raised foil. This innovative and fascinating design feature brings subtle raised texture to invitation designs courtesy of embedded foil in your choice of gold, rose gold, or silver. Not all invitation templates can accommodate foiling, but you may be surprised at how a touch of foiling can completely transform both the look and feel of your stationery.
And don’t dismiss the idea of foil for a rustic or country chic wedding. Add a smattering of glistening rose gold to a charming spring wedding invitation and wait for the compliments to roll in.
Foiling runs about $180 per 100 invitations, though that cost can vary dramatically from retailer to retailer. Some reputable stores offer deep discounts that can bring the price down significantly.
Your main invitation is only the start of the stationery you can send out to potential guests. Once you choose a style you love, you can add on:
- RSVP postcards
- Enclosure cards
- Envelope liners
- Label & seal sets
- Return address printing
- Guest & return addressing
Some extras, like envelope liners, are primarily for aesthetics. They don’t necessarily contribute to the function of your invitation, but they sure do look good. RSVP postcards help ensure your guests respond in a timely manner and make it easier for you to organize responses on your end. Then there are add-ons like address printing and seals that take the sting out of hand-addressing and (horror of horrors) manually closing hundreds of envelopes. Which extras you choose is entirely dependent on your budget, what you view as convenient, and what kind of invite experience you want to create.
You don’t always have to pay full price for your invitations to ensure you’re getting the very best quality. Even high-end invites can be found for reasonable prices if you know where to look. Some stationery stores will discount wedding invitations throughout the year, though the timing can be unpredictable. Wedding checklists typically suggest sending out invitations two months before your big day, so you’ll likely have plenty of opportunity to search for sales in the months prior. The best way to nab a deal is to find a stationery retailer you love and sign up for their mailing list — that way, you’ll get an alert when prices dip.
All that said, it’s important not to let price alone determine where you buy your invites. To protect your investment and your wedding, look for retailers that:
- Offer tons of personalization so you can tailor your invitations to you and your sweetheart’s shared aesthetic
- Have their own in-house graphics team to create and tweak design templates as needed
- Manufacture products themselves to help keep overhead low
- Use award-winning printing technologies for the best possible result
- Are committed to customer service, so you can get expert assistance with design, ordering, and beyond
Ultimately, the answer to the question, “How much do wedding invitations cost?” is “However much you want to pay.” You control every aspect of the design, embellishment, and even addressing. Choose the aspects that are most important to you, and you’re sure to love the outcome.
At MagnetStreet, we offer two options for wedding invitation samples so you can be sure you love your design before you commit to a full-sized order. Request a sample kit and you’ll have access to examples of all your essential wedding day essentials, or order a personalized sample and see how your exact mockup will look once it’s printed and shipped.