How Much Do Invitations Cost and How Much Should I Budget

If you have begun your wedding invitation search, you’ve probably landed here because you’re surprised at the cost! You may be wondering,

“How much do invitations cost, how much should I budget, and why are they SO expensive!?!”

There are so many factors that can affect the cost of your wedding invitations. So, before you fall in love with something you that is out of your budget, know what you can spend and make sure to communicate that with your invitation designer.

The average wedding cost is somewhere around $30,000, according to TheKnot.com and the average wedding cost in Nashville, Tennessee about the same.

If you Google wedding budget planner, breakdown, calculator, percentages, etc., you’ll see many sources with outdated advice that suggests allotting 2-3% percent of your total wedding budget on your wedding invitations and paper goods.

I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but 2-3% isn’t going to get you very far; especially if you have more than 50 people on your guest list. All of that gorgeous stuff you see on Pinterest and style shoots on wedding blogs – are not something you’ll be able to fit in that budget range.

A more realistic number you can expect to allot of your budget on wedding invitations and paper goods is 4-10%. That percent should include your overall invitation budget, which is anything you’re having printed like programs, place cards, postage, etc.

Most wedding invitations, with 2 or more enclosures or double envelopes will need extra postage.

Here’s a breakdown of what an average wedding budget and a percentage breakdown of what you can expect to spend on paper goods. We’ll use the rounded up national wedding budget average of $30,000.

2% – $600   |   3% – $900   |   4% – $1,200   |   5% – $1,500   |   6% – $1,800   |   7% – $2,100   |   8% – $2,400   |   9% – $2,700   |   10% – $3,000

It may be hard to find where you fit in because there are SO many factors to consider, and that is okay. A good invitation designer can help you make good choices to fit in your budget.

Let’s look at the average bride who will need an invitation, save the date and wedding program.

A low cost estimate of a small, basic single envelope invitation suite: 100 Invitations, Save the Dates, Programs, Postage is about $4.00 – $5.00. This is a benchmark cost for an average invitation with average card stock, at a suitable weight, a simple save the date and program, all with digital printing and postage.

This pricing does NOT include envelope printing or calligraphy or any embellishments, like ribbon. You can already see that the outdated 2-3% recommendation barely gets you invitations for 100 people because $4.00 an invitation + $2.00 for a save the date + $2.00 for a program, multiplied by 100 invitations is $800. If you budget is $30,000, 2% of that is $600, so you can see you’d come up short and be surprised by your budget.

Don’t let this math scare you. We can help! 

Don’t let underestimating your wedding invitation budget ruin your overall wedding budget. Don’t let yourself be surprised! Be smart and use these numbers to your advantage.

So, what can you expect to spend on different invitation styles?

$4-5: single layer invitation with 1 enclosure with digital printing, smooth, matte card stock

$5+: single layer invitation with 1 or 2 enclosures with digital printing, linen, cotton or shimmery card stock

$6+: 2-layer or 3-layer invitation with 1 or 2 enclosures; printed envelopes will probably start at this level

$10+: Pocket invitations with enclosures

$12+: Pocket invitations with metallic papers, ribbons, rhinestones, lace or other embellishments.

Why all the ranges? It’s just about impossible to offer specific pricing because it all depends on your choices.

I find that it helps for me to plug those ranges in with your quantity to see a true reaction. If you are having custom invitations designed, let your designer know your budget so they can help guide your decisions.

Brides, be realistic.

Start plugging in numbers for your total budget, set your priorities and play around with your numbers. Look at your invitation budget and see what category you best fit into. Be upfront with your invitation designer about what you can spend.

Otherwise, it ends up being a waste of time for everyone. Don’t get me wrong; I want to help you in every way possible. But I don’t want the situation of not being able to give you what you want and disappointing you. I can’t handle the disappointment face!

Ultimately, you need to be happy with your choices. There is something out there for everyone. I hope I can help you find your perfect wedding invitation! If you are interested in booking an appointment with Jennifer to have your wedding invitations custom designed, contact us to book an appointment.