How to Keep Wedding Invitation Costs Down

Mexican fiesta wedding invitation

Robert and I recently went through the process of ordering wedding invitations.  We were tempted to put more money toward certain invitation extras for which we hadn’t initially allotted money. In the end, we stuck to our guns (the original budget).

Here’s what we’ve discovered can increase costs to help you determine what’s best for you.

  • Invitation size. Ignore the weight for now and simply consider the size of your invitation. Is it oversize? Is it square? Both cost extra to mail because they require special attention that a regular-size rectangular envelope doesn’t.
  • Invitation weight. Reply cards and inserts cost extra to print and extra to mail. Robert and I decided on the unconventional route of directing our guests to RSVP through our website. (Fingers crossed this doesn’t blow up in our faces.) For us, reply cards would have nearly doubled the cost of the invitations, plus the cost of extra postage. (That said, it’s perfectly reasonable to feel this extra expense is worth it to you. Reply cards likely increase your reply rate.)
  • Paper upgrades. We liked the baseline offerings at the letterpress company that printed our invitations, so we stuck with those. However, I will say I would have preferred a sturdier paper if the budget allowed. But in the end, I couldn’t justify going over budget for something that is going in the trash in most cases.
  • Extra invitations and envelopes. Yes, they cost more, but you do need extra. Robert and I rounded up on the invitation order in case we forgot some folks, and so we’d have an extra invitation for detail photos. We also ordered 10 extra envelopes on top of that in case we messed up while addressing them. So figure out the exact number of guests to avoid an unnecessary added expense — but give yourself some wiggle room too.
  • Proofs. Some companies charge extra for digital proofs.

There are plenty of other things that can drive up costs as well — because we opted for letterpress, extra colors cost more because the invitations had to be pressed again. In most cases, custom design and custom colors cost more, but this wasn’t true for us because our letterpress company has no templates — they only do custom work and they always custom-blend ink.

Keep in mind that what’s right for one bride may not be right for another. If design is important to you, allot a larger budget toward invitations. My goal with this post is to simply help other couples make informed decisions.

Note: After our guests receive our invitations  — they go out this week — I’ll show you how they turned out and tell you more about the awesome letterpress company who designed and printed them!

Please tell us about any tips you have about wedding invitation costs in the comments! And check out my post on proper phrasing on your wedding invitations as well as our Pinterest board on wedding paper products.

Photo of fiesta folk art letterpress wedding invitation by Minted. Search for a local printing service to design your wedding invitations here.

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  1. Why are sending your invitations so early? Am I behind? My wedding date is July 20. I already sent save the dates back in November. I’m thinking of sending them Mid-May.

  2. Hi Edwina — We’re sending ours out early because this will be a destination wedding for the vast majority of our guests — probably about 80%. Sending out invitations as early as three months in advance is only recommended if most guests need to make travel plans to attend. The normal time line is to send out invitations at 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. So do not fret — you’re not behind! Sending out invites mid-May sounds perfect.

  3. Ok great!! I did send out save the dates back in November. My wedding is also a destination for about 30% of guests, (including myself and my future husband) so I might send a bit earlier, like early May.
    Thank you!

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