The question has been popped, the dream venue is booked, now it's time to invite your guests.
So how much do invitations actually cost?
Wedding blogs and magazines (as much as I love them) often give couples unrealistic ideas regarding stationery budgets, especially in relation to the beautifully styled examples they showcase. They often talk about 'average costs' for the 'average wedding' but the pinterest-worthy stationery that they feature is often extremely high-end and would come with a much higher price tag than their 'average'.
The good news is that no matter what your budget, there will be a stationer to suit your needs and some (myself included) will even have a range of options available for couples at either end of the scale.
Off the peg or house collection designs are a great way to get unique stationery without paying bespoke design fees. All of my designs are illustrated by me and finished with my own style of calligraphy script, so you won't see the same artwork anywhere else! These designs range from £60 - £400 (depending on suite and quantities) and are available for 'day of' stationery too. If you're on a really tight budget, some stationers will even offer printable versions of their house collection designs (just please don't try and print them on your home printer!).
If you're wanting to dedicate a larger chunk of your budget to beautiful stationery, then going bespoke is a great option. From venue illustrations to custom crests or maps, the possibilities are endless (and that's before we even get to special finishes such as foiling, letterpress and deckle edges).
So how much should you expect to pay for bespoke?
The average stationer will charge between £200-300 for their bespoke design fee, others may charge more if lots of illustration is involved. Then there will be the printing and material costs and if you're a bit of a magpie and love hot foil, your total will tot up pretty quickly!
£200-300 may seem like a lot on top of the printing costs but bespoke work can be very time consuming, particularly when starting from scratch with original illustrations and custom calligraphy, not to mention all of the time spent going back and forth with amendments and emails.
If you're looking for your dream stationery but would like to save a little money along the way, here are my top tips for doing so – you can thank me later!
Skip the Save the Dates:
I love save the dates, they're a fantastic way of announcing your wedding date plus they give your guests plenty of notice, so there's no excuse for them to RSVP 'no' when the time comes. If you're on a budget though, a great way to save money is to skip the save the dates and send your invitations a little earlier instead.
Don't bother with RSVP cards:
I'm quite old fashioned in that I love sending and receiving letters, so I do like to include RSVP and details cards in my stationery suites. If you're trying to save money however, they should be the first things to go. Get yourselves a wedding website and fill it with all of the useful guest information you would have liked to include on your invitations. Most of them have an RSVP form available, and your guests can choose what they're eating too!
Now this may seem a little counter productive but it's always handy to have extra invitations, especially if lots of people RSVP 'no' and you have to replace them. Most stationers will have a minimum order quantity and if they don't, you can expect to pay a hefty amount per card if you're only wanting a small amount. With my products, the price per card decreases the higher the quantity, so you'll definitley save a penny or two in the long run by ordering an extra 10 or so!
Forgo the hot foil:
Now in my opinion, the quality of hot foil is infinitely better than that of digital foil but I understand that not everyone has the budget for it. So if you are looking for foiled invites, digital foil is still a great option (and your wallet will thank you too!)
Hopefully this will give you a clearer idea of what you can get for your money when it comes to your invitations and give you some helpful budgeting tips too! Of course, none of the above pricing includes 'on the day' stationery, which is another important one but I'll save that topic for another day!