The most common phrase you will hear whenever you are shopping anything “wedding” is “It will vary” – I
know, it doesnt say much and it really annoys the heck out of couples.
How does it vary? It varies based on 2 factors:
1) How simple, or elaborate your invitation set is, per set
2) How many sets you will have.
So, for simplicity sake: Your set is around $3 a set x 100 people = your cost is $300.
When it comes to invitations, it’s priced by the set (What’s included in a set), and then times by the quantities (Numbers of people) = Cost.
The Mailing Envelopes
The envelope that you are mailing the overall invitation in, with the stamp and the mailing address and all.
Traditionally (very old school), you would have an outer and an inner envelope. I know, crazy right?Tradition would have it that the outer would get dirty from the mailing, and then it’s nice for the person to open, an
d the inner would just have their name “Mr and Mrs. Smith”. Now, with the modern age of eco-friendliness and just basic cost-cutting, it is very standard (the norm now) to just have one mailing envelope.
A standard mailing envelope is $0.40. Common invitation envelopes are sized in A2, A6, A7. A2 are small enough that you would use for your RSVP cards, A6 is mailing envelope that fits 4-3/8 x 6″ size invitations, generally on the smaller size, and A7 fits the 5×7 size of invitation cards.
How to cut cost on envelopes:
Paper Mill Envelopes
If you have quite a few of guests, more than 250 per se, you can call a local paper mill, paper factories online, and order a case, a box of envelopes. Just ensure it is the right size that would fit your invitation. Usually, you can find a box for less than $40, great paper quality. Usually these boxes fit 250 units.
Most local paper mill has “cash and carry” so you can walk in, buy the box, and pay cash. Some online stores would do free delivery, voila. Most invitation company will mark-up on the envelopes, so it’s one way to cut the cost.
Envelopes would end up costing $0.16 each. (As oppsed to $0.40-0.50 each)
The invitation card is the entree of your set, the main event, so naturally, it will be the bulk of your cost. It can be as simple as a card with wording on
it, with some custom design motif, or a little elaborate with a pocketful, or a gate-fold, or as elabroate as a box, or even some clever pop-up.
A simple card with nice designs on it will run you $1 – 2 each
A folded card with some simple embellishments like ribbons or motify will run you $2 – 3 each
A pocketful with embellishments will be $2 – 5 each
Clever pop-up or box like elegence will most likely be $5 – 10 set
With the invitation, you will save some money on having higher volume, as the cost is mostly on the first step, the designing of this. Some invitation place may charge you a custom design fees, a flat rate of say $150-300, while others might include design along with the invitations. There may also be a proof fee, generally around $50. That includes showing you the printed proof, and that’s where you want to be extra careful on all the typing, the wording and ensure what you see is what you are happy with.
Once you have custom-designed and have set your quantities, the designer can likely tell you what the per set price is, or they may give you one total price. After the design, adding quantities really shouldnt cost much more, as it’s just one more print, so you can ask for some volume discount if your quantities is on the high side (That’s more than 150 usually)
On the same token,
if you have a small wedding and you need less than 100 invitations, it’s considered a small order and usually you wont be able to take advantage of volume pricing, and you might see your per set price to be a bit higher.
How to save money on invitations
The key to saving money on invitation is to keep it simple. If it can be all on one card, great, if it can be printed on one side only, even better.
Some brides might also consider DIY. Buy your own cardstock, print your own design, and make your own cards. That’s a great way to go as well and I will write a separate post on DIY Invitations.
The enclosure cards are the RSVP cards, that has its own envelopes so guests can mail back to you. Map cards, or Reception cards.
Generally they are around $0.50 to $1 each depending on designs.
How to Save on Enclosure Cards
You can save a bundle on enclosure cards by firstly – not having them. So if you can do RSVP over email address, or a wedding website, include that on the last line on your invitations.
If you must do a RSVP return card, perhaps you have older folks amongst your guest list, consider a RSVP postcard? That will save you an envelope plus the postage would be lower!
You would be very surprised to hear that postage is a large part of invitation cost. What’s the standard “First Class” (For the American Brides), or “Letter Mail” (For the Canadian Brides) per letter? Almost a dollar each. For the sake of rounding up the math (I am sure this post will get outdated fast and it will easily be more than a dollar per postage soon!)
$1 x 200 sets of invitations = $200 postage
$1 x 200 sets of RSVP envelopes = $200 postage there too!
$400 is easily the same amount you will spend on your invitation!
How to Save on Invitation Postage
– Get a standard size envelope
Standard postage applies to the standard envelope, and does not apply to oversize envelopes, so stick to anything 5 x 7″ A7 size maximum (A8 is already pushing it) and not anything bigger.
– Keep it lean and thin
If you have a thin simple card invitation great! But if you have a pocketful plus many other enclosures, it could be JUST a tad heavier than most and then you are paying the premium mailing price
– Buy in bulk
Your local Costco might have a roll of stamps in rolls of 50 or rolls of 100 and sometimes that saves you a buck or two too!
Hope that was informative, ask me any questions you may have in the comments and I will share more in the next post!