Trying to figure out how much wedding invitations cost is like trying to figure out how much a good haircut should cost. There are so many varying factors that go into it (including the style you’re looking for, the experience of the designer, as well as the quality of the products used). In the end it will all come down to you and your preferences!
The average couple will spend approximately $443 on wedding invitations, that stat does little to alleviate the wide range of prices you’re bound to see out there. It is very difficult to determine how much wedding invitations cost because you have probably had friends or family that spent $200 on basic wedding invitations and others who spent well over $2,000!
With that said there are ranges we can look at to figure out what you can expect to pay according to different values a business can provide to you (IE: quality of the designs, quality of paper, level of service offered). Here’s a look at what wedding invitations will cost you using everything from a studio that will design custom and hand-made wedding invitations for you, a national stationery store, online retailers, as well as the elusive DIY wedding invitation. Of course keep in mind that ALL of these prices are estimates and can vary drastically based on geographical location, printing technique, etc.
NOTE: The following prices do not include postage or save the dates. For postage of a 1st class, 1 oz. envelope the cost is $0.49. For postcards the rate is $0.34.
Custom Design Studios
Average Cost: $1,200+
Bespoke wedding invitation designers are the go-to source for brides looking for amazing hand-drawn, calligraphy, or custom wedding invitations. You’ll find that the majority of these designers are online-only (though you’ll see bigger ones such as Rifle Paper Co. have a presence in multiple high-end stationery stores as well). Invitation suites at design studios such as the ones I’ve highlighted can start at $1,000 for 100 invites and go up to $3,000 or more for a range of $10-$30 per invitation suite.
This is where you are going to get good quality paper, quality designs and exceptional service to help take all the stress off your shoulders.
Brick & Mortar Stationary Stores
Average Cost: $700+
You’ll most likely have a wider range of prices at a stationery store, and also at times the ability to bring in your own idea for a design as well as have them print your wedding invitations. You also have the advantage of seeing a wide range of designers under one roof. Also, stationery stores (like Kate’s Paperie if you live in New York City) tend to have sales a few times a year.
While some stationery stores will of course be higher (or lower) end than others, expect to pay $7 and up per invitation suite (invite, response card, and envelopes). The more inserts you add the more that price will go up. For example, adding a reception card will typically average between $2+/each depending on the printing technique used.
You will get good quality paper, and quality designs here, but the level of service provided can range widely from exceptional to very poor.
Online Invitation Stores
Average Cost: $400+
While most brick-and-mortar stationery stores also have online ordering (Payprus, Paper Source), there are also several online-only invitation retailers that have risen to the top. Wedding Paper Divas and Minted are two of the most popular, and they offer a wide-enough range of prices to fit most every budget for what’s called “custom printing” (you pick a design you like and fill in your details, THIS IS NOT TRUE CUSTOM DESIGNING AND PRINTING). These stores also tend to have constant promotions, offering 10% off in most cases.
We also can’t forget about Etsy, which is somewhere in between an online invitation store and a bespoke designer, since so many of the now big-name designers got their start there. In addition to ready-made designs they also offer bespoke designs as well as digital downloads that you print yourself (more on that in our DIY section, below).
At online stores like wedding paper divas , minted, and Etsy you can expect to pay around $3-4 and up for invitations (invite, response card, and envelopes), excluding any promotions or sales.
At theses online stores you will find average quality paper, average designs, and NO personal service. You do everything online. The only time you will speak to someone is when you get your order and something is not right.
However, sites like Vistaprint.com have a smaller selection but are cheap at $1.20 and up for basic invitations…which is basically DIY prices. More on that below!
Places like this have minimum paper quality, basic designs, and again NO personal service. You do everything online. The only time you will speak to someone is when you get your order and something is not right.
Average Cost: $150+
As if you weren’t busy enough planning a wedding, there is a large learning curve finding supplies, trying to design on your own, finding a quality printer, etc.
There are a handful of online AND offline invitation stores that offer DIY extras such as envelope liners and labels, however to TRULY DIY your invitations we’re talking about downloading a template (or if you or a friend are a graphic designer designing a template yourself), buying the paper and finding your own printing source. Websites such as LCI Paper offer blank wedding invitation suites (which means you’re basically just buying the paper) as well as tutorials on how to print and assemble at home. Paper Source (which also sells custom printed wedding invitations, mentioned above) also offers DIY wedding invitation templates in addition to paper (though due to copyright restrictions they can’t offer the same fonts and artwork you see on the samples, so you’ll still have to search for those). As mentioned above, if you want to semi-DIY it, Etsy offers numerous printable templates from designers. Just remember the number of hours it will take to get everything done.
A blank wedding invitation, response card, and envelopes at LCI came to around $90 for 100 (that’s $.90/each), while a similar suite was $1.34/each at Paper Source. Etsy sells printable wedding invitation suites in the range of $30-$40 (although I’ve seen some for as low as $12 and some for $100+). All they will do is insert your info in the pre-determined design with all your information and then you just download it.
One important note is that if you’re printing invitations at home you’re going to need a lighter paper than the average invitation paper so it can go through your home printer. At LCI, for example, the DIY invitations are 110 lb. (or 298 gsm) weight paper (compared to 120 lb. for a ready-made invitation from Wedding Paper Divas). I would look at your printer paper compatibility and test a piece before you buy wedding invitation paper in bulk online.
If you love a standard quality invitation paper then at-home printing might not be the best for you.
Most TRUE custom designers will not offer templates for you to download because there is too much that can go wrong with finding the right type of paper, and printing. Every printer is different, and so you may see some lighter or darker colors than what was on the digital file! Custom designer’s reputations are at stake, therefore, they don’t leave it to chance that you luck out and find good paper and a quality printer.
Hadley Custom Designs Range
So where does Hadley Custom Designs fit in?
We are a design studio where you will receive high quality invitation paper, high quality designs that are custom made for you! Everything from the font, colors, design, layout, wording, etc are all custom made just for you! The level of service is unmatched. I will personally help you with any questions you have about stationery, send you multiple ideas, and I won’t stop designing until you think it is perfect!
Although we are a design studio, we DO NOT charge the high prices you will see such as $1,000 for 100 invitations. Depending on the type of design you are looking for, I am able to aggressively compete with places like wedding paper divas! If you are going to buy stationery at an online store, why not have your designs custom made for you, for nearly the same price?
The easiest way to think about it, is that my prices are somewhere between Online Invitation Stores and Brick & Mortar Stationery Stores.
As with everything in the wedding industry you get what you pay for! My goal is to create your dream stationery that will be a keepsake for you and your guests for years to come rather than being thrown in the trash, your parents, friends, and grandparents will keep them as treasured memories!
I obviously am not the cheapest, because there are a lot of cheap places out there that will slap something together for you quickly. I create something completely custom for you and it is printed on high quality invitation paper, not cheap photo paper or anything like that! You can check out my reviews on my FB page www.facebook.com/hadleydesigns What I can promise is exceptional service to provide you with a personal experience and your dream stationery!
You shouldn’t settle for the biggest day of your life! It only happens once in your life (At least we hope so! (; ).