The average cost of a wedding invitation suite, printed and mailed, is between $5000 and $8000 for 100 invitations (according to Katherine Hollensteiner of Cheree Berry Paper). That's fine if you have the luxury of a big budget, but that's a no-go if you're trying to keep your wedding budget tight.
Just a thought - $5000 would take a long way on a pretty luxury honeymoon, or fund it outright. Of course, it all depends on your priorities.
You could pretty easily keep your wedding stationery budget for 100 invitations under $5000, but wedding invitations under $450? Challenge accepted!
A large part of the cost of wedding stationery is the design time. Custom design is a premium service, and it adds up very quickly with every little tweak and change that you make.
You can eliminate that cost completely by purchasing one of Get Wed Printables' wedding stationery templates. With a single template running for around $30, or an entire suite costing only $62, the savings are massive. Plus they're designed by me, an independent graphic artist, so you're getting high-quality professional design without the custom studio price.
All Get Wed templates come with a Home Printer version. Select the file with Home Printer in the file name, and customize it with your details. Detailed instructions on how to print your invitations at home are also included in your download package, and are available here.
There are a lot of traditions and etiquette around wedding invitations, but that doesn't mean you have to follow them. There are good reasons for including each piece of wedding stationery, and you should seriously consider them before deciding to leave them out. But if you are on a serious budget, you can keep it to the absolute essentials.
You can get away with only sending Wedding Invitations, RSVPs and Thank You Cards. You can direct your guests to a wedding website or Facebook event page with all of the wedding details to save on sending out directions cards and any other information.
You can also find great deals on wedding stationery template suite bundles. Get Wed's stationery suites are only $62, which is a great deal for everything you need.
The cost of paper and printing your invitations is another expense that you can control. Wedding invitations can cost $2.50 per copy at least for basic printing. It goes up significantly from there if you would like thick paper with special textures and finishes, embossing, or gold foil. You are looking at a minimum of $250 - $450 for basic professional printing, and much more for more specialized printing services. A whole suite would run you about $3600.
You can cut that cost dramatically by purchasing your own paper. A heavy matte card is the best choice. It is thick and heavy, and will have an expensive look and feel. You can buy luxury papers from craft stores, or online shops like Michaels or The Paper Mill Store. Cotton cockle is my wedding stationery favorite.
You can buy 100 - 250 sheets of high-quality card stock for around $30. Paper is often on sale, so you will likely find great deals on beautiful paper pretty easily. You can then pop your paper into your printer, and print your stationery. You will need to already have a color printer for this to work. If you don't, you can take your paper to a local print shop, and they should give you a discount on the printing because you are providing the paper.
When you print at home, keep in mind that printers have a paper weight limit. Make sure you check your printers paper weight limit, and buy paper that is at, or under, that limit. Download Get Wed's Gorgeous Paper Guide for a detailed guide on the different types of paper finishes and weights, and selecting the right paper for your invitations.
Another cost of printing is the cutting. You can eliminate this by doing the cutting yourself at home. Disclaimer: this will take a long time, and it will get frustrating if you get bored easily. It's is a meticulous task, but it can be relaxing if you enjoy slow and repetitive craft projects. It will also be rewarding if you are hell-bent on cutting your wedding stationery budget.
The best tool for this job is a guillotine or paper trimmer. They only cost about $30 from a craft store, and they cut straight, accurate lines quickly and easily.
If you don't want to invest in a paper trimmer, you can also cut your stationery using a cutting mat (about $15), a ruler ($3) and craft or x-acto knife ($7). Simply place your invitation on the cutting mat, line your ruler up with the invitation crop marks, and use the outside edge of the ruler to guide your craft knife along as it cuts the paper.
You can also use old fashion scissors and hand cutting. This takes a lot of time and precision, but hey, it's free because you probably own scissors already. This could get frustrating because there is nothing to guide you along the cutting lines, and jagged edges will happen. However, imperfect lines can be beautiful in their own right.
Let's see how we did. Here is a budget breakdown for 100 wedding invitations under $450. I've used the easiest options that cost the most to show you what the maximum budget can get you. You can reduce it further with some of the tips above if you really want to.
Wedding Stationery Suite Templates: $62
Paper: $60 - you will need about 350 sheets to print out an entire Get Wed Printables suite, including menus, table numbers, and envelope liners.
Ink from Home Printer: $52.50 - for 350 colour sheets of paper
Paper Trimmer: $30
Envelopes: $70 - for 300 A7 Euro Envelopes (the wedding invitation, RSVP and directions card are sent together in one envelope)
Stamps:$147 - for 300 US postage stamps
$421.50 is a pretty big saving compared with the average $5000, but I bet we can do better. Here is an even cheaper budget option for 100 invitations, just 'cause I love you.
Wedding invitation, RSVP and Thank You Card templates: $80
Paper: $30 - you will only need about 100 sheets to print out these three essential pieces of stationery.
Ink from Home Printer: $15 - for 100 colour sheets of paper.
Scissors: free - since you probably have these already.
Envelopes: $46 - for 200 A7 Euro Envelopes. The wedding invitation and RSVP are sent together, and the Thank You Card is sent separately later.
Stamps: $98 for 300 US postage stamps
$269? That's pretty darn cheap!
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