How to Budget for Wedding Invitations


When you finally sit down to start deciding what you are truly looking for in an invitation, you are going to be faced with multiple decisions to make, all of which will affect your cost.

Things that will fluctuate your invitation price are:

  • Paper Weight & Quality

  • Size of Invitation

  • Number of Inserts

  • RSVPs

  • Envelope Quality / Quantity / Color

  • Envelope Printing

  • Add-Ons

  • Postage

Paper Weight & Quality

One of the first and main decisions you will make when deciding on a wedding invitation is the quality of the paper. For my invitations, I provide three different paper options: Basic, Specialty, and Premium. A very basic invitation paper is matte, white 80 lb card stock. Anything thinner than 80 lb, in my opinion, is way too flimsy for a formal invitation.

A specialty card stock will bring you a thicker paper quality, typically 95 – 110 lb, that has multiple textures and colors to choose from. Common papers include: Kraft Brown, Linen, Pearl (Metallic), Recycled, Speckletone, & Gloss. These papers will add on an average of .15 - .50 cents more per invitation.

On the top of the paper chain is the Premium quality. Premium paper is 130 lb and makes for a very durable and sturdy invitation. You will not need to worry about this stock getting ruined in the mail, compared to some of the thinner options that may crease or bend while being sorted at the post office. The premium stock also comes in your common paper textures: Linen, Pearl, Recycled, Felt, Gloss, & Cotton. Premium stock will tack on an average of .35 - .60 more per invitation

Size

The majority of invitations are designed using a 5x7 layout. This size allows you to fit both a design and the majority of your wedding information on the front. Also, if you are having a pretty simple wedding, you may be able to fit everything on the front. If you are having your wedding ceremony and reception all at one location and you are okay with having just typography on your invitation, you may be able cut cost by using a 4x6 layout. This can be done but it's not very common. Price wise, the larger the invitation, the more expensive it will cost to print.

Do you love those square invitations?!? Well…they do make for a unique design but they will cost you additional postage : (

Number of Inserts

Once you have picked out a paper and a size, you will need to decide how much information you need to put on your invitations and how many inserts it will require. Your basic information, which includes: names, date, time, and typically your ceremony location, and is listed on the front of your main invitation. Depending on the design you choose, you may be able to fit the reception and dinner information on the front as well.

If you are not able to fit everything on the front, you now will need to decide between printing on the back of your main invitation or including an additional insert. This is commonly known as the “details” or “reception” insert. Other inserts that are commonly seen in wedding invitations include: Accommodations, Directions, Registry, Attire, etc. Each additional insert can range from .30 – $1.00, depending on their size, paper, and amount of sides printed. If you decide against the additional inserts, printing on the back of your invitation usually is about half the price of adding an insert.

RSVPs

When it comes to having your guests reply to your wedding, you do have a couple options to choose from. Your most economical method is having your guests respond online, either directly to a wedding website or even to an email. This option is normally free with wedding websites.

Your least expensive paper option is to have an RSVP postcard made to match your invitation. A postcard has some great benefits. You don’t need to write out or print labels for your return address, you can use postcard postage stamps instead of regular postage, and you do not need to buy an additional envelope.

The most formal and most common option is a paper RSVP with an RSVP envelope. Cost can fluctuate on this style based on two sizes, RSVP or A2. You can decide if you want one sided or double-sided printing, and the type of envelope you choose.

Envelopes

Like choosing your paper, envelopes come in different grades. You have your basic thin text stocks, which are very reasonable, but are on the thin side and sometimes even see-through. They are usually only available with a square flap and in your basic colors of White, Cream, and Kraft Brown. I have found these envelopes for as little as .10 per envelope.

Premium grade envelopes come in a thicker stock, are available with the euro flap (long triangle flap) and in multiple colors and textures. Premium envelopes are frequently .10 - .50 more than your basic square flap envelope. If you are looking to really top off your invitation design, a matching pop of color with an envelope is the perfect way!

You also will need to decide if you are going to include an inner and outer envelope or if you are only going to use one. Inner and outer envelopes are very formal and allow you to write just the family name and address on the outer envelope and list each guest by name, and if they are allowed a guest, on the inner envelope. This lets you skip writing out each guests name with the address on the outer envelope, which keeps your address from getting cramped and hard to read. An inner and outer envelope also works the best for invitations with envelope liners. If you are going to spend the money to add a liner, you most likely don't want your guests ripping it in half before they even see it!