In this article we look at exactly how much wedding stationery costs in 2019-20, and how much you should expect to pay.
When I planned my wedding, I didn’t budget enough for the total cost of both wedding stationery and postage. So I have to ask: what is your wedding stationery budget?
Just like several years ago during my wedding planning, today’s wedding stationery world accounts for factors like printing types, paper types, the designer, quality, and quantity. It can be difficult to decide just how much you should end up spending on your stationery.
According to a well known wedding survey data company, the average amount U.S. couples spent on their wedding stationery in the US for Q3 2016 was $445, which includes the cost of wedding invites, reply cards, save-the-date cards, and postage. This cost data is based on 6,843 survey samples collected from January 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. From 2015 to 2016, the average amount remains virtually the same.
It is easy to get carried away looking at glamorous stationery on Pinterest that is WAY out of your league. Read on to see my guide to different wedding stationery price points.
Custom Designed Invites
If traditional wedding presentation is a must-have (and you have some room in your stationery budget), then utilize the talents of a trained artist who can conjure a bespoke design and/or hand- drawn calligraphy wedding invitation.
The process for custom designed stationery is a lot more hands-on. You will work with an actual graphic designer to create a finished product to seamlessly fit your wedding day style and decor. That sounds like a dream come true, but it is definitely the most expensive option.
As with many premium products, it can be illusive to find pricing information. Some individuals and stationery companies prefer the allure of ‘bespoke pricing’ to go along with their bespoke designs. One good thing about these designers is that they are usually online-only. So if you find an invitation designer who lives on the other side of the world don’t worry, you will still be able to hire them.
I checked the top results from a recent Google search for “wedding invitation design studios” to see if I could find updated pricing information. You can expect to pay upwards of $1,000+ for a custom wedding invitation suite.
A trip to your local stationery store (yes, they still exist!) means you will be able to physically peruse a wide range of products at different price points.
Some couples simply love to interact with real wedding vendors in person. Being able to touch the cardstock, feel the paperweight, and communicate your own design ideas is a real pleasure. Walk into a stationery store and you are likely to see an array of different designers all under the same roof.
Once or twice a year you may be able to snag a sale from certain stationery stores in your area. Certainly take advantage of any sale that comes along that fits within your budget.
Stationery store pricing varies, so be sure to shop around! In general, it is reasonable to pay $7+ per stationery suite (invitation, envelope and response card). Adding inserts, like a reception card, typically adds an additional $2 or more per card.
We’ve done a pretty thorough comparison of online stationers in the past, so we know that there are online wedding stationery companies that dominate the space – Minted and Wedding Paper Divas come to mind.
In addition, Etsy is a good place to shop for online stationery. I love Etsy and recommend it as a great option to shop for your wedding stationery needs – ceremony programs, invites, menus, and more.
Finally, I will say that we’ve worked with Vistaprint.com in the past (as a sponsor of this blog and as a customer) and can vouch for the fact that they offer a reasonably stocked selection of invitations at a an affordable price. In fact, in our experience Vistaprint’s prices are quite similar to the cost of DIY wedding invitation!
Average Cost: Today’s online stationers offer many price points to satisfy different wedding stationery budgets. And you can regularly find a promotional deal (10% off or more) to help save a bit of cash!
We get regular emails from online stationery companies with various offers – I highly suggest waiting for a promotional offer before paying full price for your wedding stationery.
Online invitations stores such as the ones mentioned above will set you back about $3+ per invitation suite (invite, response card and envelope), not including any promotional discount.
Print at Home or Online?
“Sometimes it is easier to buy than DIY”, but sometimes a DIY project is more fun!!
For brides on a budget, this is the best way to go.
Not the creative type or haven’t befriended a graphic artist lately? Don’t be afraid to buy a digital download wedding invitation template off Etsy. The templates usually range between $25-$35, but you can sometimes snag one for $12.50 or less!
Of course, the price will vary depending on how many extra templates you want to include. Some come with complete sets of thank you cards, table number, escort cards etc. Purchase a template and then give the designer all your wedding details and colors. Once you proof your invite and they have your approval, the PDF will be sent to your inbox.
Simply buy the right cardstock, and either print at home or professionally produced at a local print shop.
This gives you a semi-DIY process without having to stress over designing an invite. You can always check out our very own FREE printables to get you stared (psst, they cost $0).
One thing to keep in mind if you decide to print your invitations at home is that most home printers can only accommodate a paper weight of up to 80 lbs. Cardstock paper is simply too firm to bend and will usually not be able to accommodate a home based printer.
Design & Print Yourself
Yup, that’s me and my husband on our engagement trip in Florence, Italy. We made our own engagement photo cards — and so can you.
If you are crafty in the graphic design department and have a great photo from your engagement shoot, then put your skills to work and let your talent shine through. Create your own fabulous engagement party, shower, or wedding invitations!
We designed our engagement party invites and had them printed at a local big box retailer for a decent price. You could also use a company like Vistaprint.com and not even leave the comfort of your own home. DIY allows you to be creative, but at the same time cut a huge money drainer from your budget by designing yourself.
Be prepared to pay 0.29¢ – 0.52¢ per card to create your own and have them printed.
Wedding Stationery Kits
For brides on a budget who just can’t fathom spending all that money on paper that is going to be thrown away, another cost effective route are wedding invitation kits.
There is a little DIY-ing involved, whereby you need to download software and use your inkjet or laser printer to create the finished product. In the end they are clean, simple, and functional invitations. At the end of the day, isn’t that all a guest needs?
Wedding stationery kits will set you back about $25+ for 50 invitations.
The 2019-20 wedding planning season is in full swing. I suggest you review your budget and decide just how much you can afford to spend on wedding stationery. In the end, whether you choose to DIY, buy online, or go with a custom stationery option, I am sure the final product will wow your guests and set the perfect tone for your wedding!