The average price of wedding invitations comes as a surprise to many brides. Most printing is done at the office on someone else’s dollar, making it feel like no big financial deal. As a result, brides shrug it off as no big deal during the wedding planning process, only to be shocked when they discover the cost.
We’re here to help you plan accurately. Read on to discover average wedding invitation pricing, the elements that contribute to those costs, and a few cost saving tips.
Brides often Ask
What is the Average Cost of 100 Wedding Invitations?
The average price of 100 wedding invitations ranges from $400 to $600 in most scenarios.
What is the Average Price to Spend on Wedding Invitations?
Couples will spend an average of $530 on wedding invitations depending on a few choices.
Average Price of Invitations for Wedding
Couples are budgeting an average of $400 to $600 for their wedding invitations and an average $2000 for the entire invitation suite. There are a lot of elements that contribute to invitation costs, which can get as high as $6000 with premium choices. A wedding invitation suite includes:
- Response cards
- Reception cards
- Wedding programs
- Menu cards
- Place cards
- Thank-you cards
What Goes Into the Cost of Wedding Invitations?
- Custom design
A custom design created specifically for your wedding will often be more expensive than choosing a pre-made template. This is because the designer will need to spend time creating a unique design that fits your style and vision.
The 3 main approaches to the design of your wedding invitations are choosing from a library of templates, designing your own, and hiring a professional designer.
When working with a designer, they will need to interview you to understand your vision, produce a series of rough drafts, work with you on approvals, coordinate with print shops, and cover their overhead.
- Letterpress printing
Letterpress printing involves pressing inked type or a printing plate into paper to create a textured, debossed effect. This method is often more expensive than digital printing because it requires more time and specialized equipment.
One of the major appeals of printed wedding invitations is how tactile they are. Letterpress is a printing technique that physically impresses into the paper where the ink sits. This requires specialized experience and equipment and much more time than regular printing, which drives the premium cost.
- Foil stamping
Foil stamping involves using heat and pressure to adhere metallic foil to the paper. This method can add a luxurious and eye-catching element to the design, but it is more expensive than digital printing.
Foil stamping is a printing method of adding texture and luxury to wedding invitations. Heat and pressure are used to fuse foils to your invitation paper. Traditional foils are gold or other metallics, but modern technology allows for any color. Consider cold stamping, which uses UV light, which costs a little less but produces similar results.
- Hand-painted or hand-drawn elements
If you want a design that includes hand-painted or hand-drawn elements, such as watercolor illustrations or calligraphy, this will require more time and skill from the designer and may increase the cost.
Handcrafted wedding invitation elements always impress. There are still plenty of artisans that are skilled with a paintbrush who can produce your couple’s logo, watermark, illustrations and hand-written calligraphy. This takes a high degree of skill and time which will increase the average cost of your wedding invitation.
Embellishments such as ribbons, crystals, or laser-cut designs can add a unique and luxurious touch to your invitations, but they will increase the cost as well.
Embellishments can significantly add to your wedding invitation costs. Ribbons require manual labor. Custom-shaped laser-cut designs require specialized equipment. Crystal appliques will add up quickly depending on the quality, size, and quantity. Any embellishment will provide an instant upgrade to your invitations, but you’ll want to consider the substantial cost increase before pulling the trigger.
- Complex layouts
If you want a design with a complex layout, such as multiple layers or folds, this will require more time and resources to produce and may increase the cost.
Envelope liners and artistic folds are easy ways to add some visual interest with only a modest additional cost to your wedding invitations. Custom layouts, especially when they are complex, cannot be automated for short run printing. This means that the extra manual labor and time will add to your costs.
- Type of paper
The type of paper used can affect the cost of the invitation. Premium paper types, such as cotton or linen, are often more expensive than standard paper types like cardstock or matte paper.
The material that your wedding invitations will affect how much they cost. Paper is most commonly made from wood pulp, but can also consist of cotton, hemp, straw and other materials. Each of these interact with ink and color, and will feel different to the touch.
The weight of the paper can also impact the cost. A heavier weight paper will be more expensive than a lighter weight paper.
The weight of paper refers to how thick and dense it is. The average price of wedding invitations is based on 80 lb weight and will cost more if you want something a little heavier. It’s best to physically feel the different weights between your fingers when making a decision.
Textured paper, such as felt or embossed paper, can add a unique touch to your invitations, but it can also increase the cost.
Certain types of paper, like felt and vellum, possess a lot of unique texture. You can also get creative results by embossing or debossing your wedding invitations. Costs will vary depending on how elaborate you get.
If you want a colored paper, it will generally be more expensive than standard white or cream paper.
Adding color will increase the cost of your wedding invitations. However, there is more than one type of color. Metallic ink, for example, literally has metal particles in it, making it more expensive to produce. This isn’t compatible with all paper, which may drive up the cost even more.
The finish of the paper, such as glossy or matte, can also affect the cost.
A paper’s finish describes how shiny and smooth it looks and feels. Some brides prefer the sleek feel of a glossy finish while others like the styling of a matte finish. Be aware that your choice will affect the printability, making your colors look a little different.
- Recycled or eco-friendly options
If you prefer to use recycled or eco-friendly paper options, these may cost more than traditional paper types.
Eco-friendly paper can be seeds, bamboo, recycled, reclaimed straw, and many other materials. While these efforts provide sustainable options, the quality and cost of your wedding invitations will vary. Make sure you test samples to make sure you are happy.
- Digital printing
At an average cost of $850 for 100 wedding invitations, digital printing is the most efficient balance of quality and cost, especially when color is involved. It’s also one of the fastest options making it an all around great choice.
- Letterpress printing
Letterpress printing provides crisper edges and leaves a textured imprint because of the physical impact of metal on the paper. It also handles a much broader range of thicknesses compared to digital printers which are limited to about 80lb stock.
Thermography uses powdered resin to physically raise the ink on your wedding invitations. Most resins are clear, but you can opt for colored, metallic, or even glow-in the dark resins for extra unique results. This is slightly less expensive than embossed options but will still add to the cost of your wedding invitations.
Engraving is one of the more expensive wedding invitations but offers the most consistency and crisply defined lines. Many people love the look and texture of the impression on the paper from engraving plates. This is more costly than digital printing, but the results are more vivid and elegant.
Be sure to know how many invitations you will be printing. Some more expensive options get cheaper as the print volume increases. The opposite is also true, especially invitations that involve manual work like adding crystals and ribbons. The price goes up as the amount of work needed increases.
Most of the variables mentioned above also apply to envelopes. Custom shapes, the type of paper, and how they are designed and printed will all impact the overall cost. The average cost of wedding invitations do not include envelopes or any additional elements. Make sure to calculate everything together when making final decisions.
Many brides send wedding inserts in addition to their wedding invitations. These cards will provide direct information like directions to a second location, dress code, or transportation details. As always, more paper and more printing will increase the cost of your wedding invitations.
It’s easy to forget about postage when researching the cost of wedding invitations. But, since you are adding $50 or more per 100 invitations, you may as well take the time to find a stamp design that compliments invitation design.
How to Save on Wedding Invitation Costs?
Choose Affordable Materials
- Instead of opting for expensive materials like handmade paper or letterpress, consider using affordable options like cardstock or digital printing.
Even the most budget-friendly paper, ink, and printing process can be gorgeous. Just let your creativity do the talking. The right layout, color combination and font choices will easily overshadow light paper stock or lack of embellishments. However, you won’t have to make a big compromise. Although most affordable paper stock isn’t overly glamorous, they won’t feel cheap. Also, digital printing technology has come a long way. You can expect vivid color and fairly crisp lines.
Keep it Simple
- A minimalist design can be just as elegant as an intricate one. Consider using a simple design with a few select colors and fonts to keep costs down.
The more elements you add to your wedding invitation design, the more expensive it becomes. Limiting your invitations to one or two colors and a single font can keep costs down. Some printing methods will charge by the color. A single, solid color also maximizes what types of paper you can use, leaving more inexpensive options.
Limit the Guest List
- The more guests you invite, the more invitations you’ll need to send out. Consider limiting the guest list to close family and friends to reduce the number of invitations you need to print.
The more invitations you have to print, the more expensive they become. Not only will limiting your guest list save on your printing and postage, it also saves you plenty of money in other aspects of your wedding such as your menu or venue size. This is the number one cost-saving tip for couples on a tight budget.
Send Electronic Invitations
- Electronic invitations are a cost-effective option that can be just as beautiful as traditional paper invitations. There are many websites that offer customizable e-invites for weddings.
Sending out digital wedding invitations will miss out on the tactile aspects. However, you’ll have many more design options such as more colors or even animation. You still have the option of designing it yourself, hiring a professional, or choosing from dozens of gorgeous templates. You’ll also enjoy more flexibility when it comes to shapes and sizes for your invitations.
- If you’re crafty and have some time, consider making your own invitations. You can purchase invitation kits at craft stores or design them yourself using software like Canva or Crello.
A huge portion of wedding invitation costs come from the labor and equipment that go into creating them. The DIY approach absorbs these costs, leaving only the costs of material since you’re doing everything by hand. You can throw specialty ink and all of the embellishments your heart desires without going overboard on budget.
Skip the Extras
- Skip the extras like envelope liners, ribbons, or wax seals, which can add up quickly. Instead, focus on the essential elements of the invitation, such as the wording and design.
Envelope liners, ribbons, wax seals, and crystals look great, but they aren’t really necessary. Focus on the quality of standard design options and the beauty of your particular wording for gorgeous wedding invitations that don’t break the bank. If you absolutely adore embellishments, keep it simple with one option to keep costs down.
As you can see, all of these variables can drastically affect the average price of wedding invitations. To stay on budget, choose your priorities and be willing to compromise. Make sure to consider all of the combined costs before moving forward so that there are no surprises.