Photo by Charmaine Mallari
Wedding invitations are usually the first thing you spend money on in the wedding planning process and, like most wedding expenses, you might be in for a bit of sticker shock if you'd budgeted only $200 or so. And, as with all wedding expenses, the final total really depends on your guest count, and how fancy your tastes are.
According to theweddingreport.com, the average price for 150 invitation suites is as follows (I've translated it into Canadian dollars):
$327 CAD - invitations and RSVP cards
$152 CAD - save the dates
$152 CAD - menu cards
$144 CAD - programs
$123 CAD - thank you cards
$103 CAD - place cards
$1000 CAD TOTAL
Now, of course, you might have a much smaller guest count, or not need menus or programs, so your figure could be a lot lower... but they could also be a lot higher!
How much do my clients typically spend on their wedding invitations? My invitations are made with high quality paper and would be considered in the moderate price range, depending on the design selections and quantity. My clients typically spend $1000-$1500, and I don't accept orders under $200.
Side note: If you ARE on a tight budget, I totally feel you. That's where I was back in 2014 when I was getting married. Here's what I did, and what I recommend you do. Design them yourself, or find a friend who's good with artwork who's willing to lend you a hand. Have them printed at a Staples or another local print shop. If I can remember correctly, I spent about $145 printing about 100 invites and RSVP cards, about $50 on envelopes, I hand addressed them myself, and then saved on postage by dropping off all the ones that were local (which was actually a lot of fun!)
Whether you design them yourself or hire a professional, here are some of the factors that will affect the cost of your wedding invitations:
1. Guest Count
Each guest you add to your guest list gets another invitation, RSVP card, envelope, postage stamp, save the date, menu, program, or any other paper item in your invitation suite (that goes for other things too: they get another meal, another place card, another wedding favour... the list goes on). I always recommend looking at each additional guest from a financial perspective. As much as your mom would really love her second cousin to be there, it's going to cost you!
The smaller your guest list is, the more you'll be able to spend per wedding invitation, and the more upgrades you'll be able to do with your invitation suite.
Your paper choice has a big impact on the final price of your invitations. Not only do you multiply paper cost by number of invitations you're sending out, but you also multiply it by the number of items in your invitation suite.
It looks like this:
Paper cost x # of invitations to be sent x # of items in your suite
If you're sending an invite, an RSVP, a save the date, and some sort of informational card, that's a lot of paper (not to mention, your envelope will be pretty well stuffed and would surely be bumped up into the next postage category when you take it to Canada Post to send off).
Letterpress includes any kind of stamping: gold foil, blind debossing, embossing, etc. These styles of design are beautiful and hugely popular right now. They require the creation of a unique metal plate, which is something that needs to be designed and sent away for. Then each piece of paper is stamped by the metal plate against a sheet of foil in the printing process.
My parents owned a letterpress shop (before it was cool) and I remember growing up watching my mom print gold foil business cards by hand in a letterpress machine. As you can imagine, for all the extra time and materials, letterpress really adds up in cost. In my opinion, though, it's very worth it!
Take the time to weigh the needs of your wedding invitations against the current budget you've set for them. If what you want outpaces how much you have decided to spend, you'll need to do one of two things: lower what you want, or raise your budget.
At the end of the day, I know you'll make the right decision! When you're ready for me, you can contact me, or read a little further about when you should send your wedding invitations and save the dates.