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Many brides are surprised by the cost of invitations. Between the design, paper, envelopes and cost of postage, the price can be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars for things like calligraphy, custom design, handmade paper, and other accessories. We’re going to explore the cheapest way to create and print nice, stylish invitations so you don’t have to compromise just because you’re on a budget.
The cheapest way to do wedding invitations is digitally through email or text message. Sending digital invitations can cost as low as $0. Next, the cheapest way to send physical invitations is to print them out at home and send them via regular mail with postage stamps.
What is The Average Cost of 100 Wedding Invitations
The average cost for 100 wedding invitations is $118.83. This is based on a comparison of the 12 most popular places to get invitations printed. This average does not include 100% digital invitations, printing invitations at home, or working with an artisan to craft fully custom invitations.
We’ve found by talking to hundreds of brides that most are getting their invitations printed from a reputable online retailer like Minted or Shutterfly. Only a small subset are trying to cut costs or just extra crafty by printing at home. And only a small subset with higher budgets are commissioning custom invitations and spending $500-1000+ to do so. Keep reading to find out more about these ranges and where you can find invitations for your wedding at any budget level.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Digital Invitations
First, it is no surprise that most cost effective way to send your invites is to skip the paper and post office and use electronic communication methods. But if you feel like you’re missing out or it’s too informal to send an email, this approach is not all or nothing. Try sending out a digital save the date or keeping all of your details on your wedding website so that you can at least save on some of the paper costs. You can also use digital invitations for your engagement party, shower, rehearsal dinner or other wedding events.
- More sustainable
- Easier to track who has received or not
- Automate RSVP tracking
- One-click to your website for more information
- More casual
- Harder for less tech-savvy / older guests
- Can get “lost” in guests inboxes
- No physical memento for you to keep
- Not as traditional
One of the biggest pros of digital invitations is how environmentally sustainable they are. Less paper and less waste are more eco-friendly options and an easy way to decrease the environmental impact of your big day. We have more simple tips for keeping your wedding carbon footprint down here.
Where to Find Digital Invitations
You can find digital invitations by doing a quick Google search but you’ll find the best designs and functionality at a few of our favorites below:
Canva has exploded recently as a favorite tool for influencers and beginners looking for an easy, free graphic design tool. There are a number of free templates to choose from and it’s simple to add your own names, date, and other information. Once you’re finished, download your template and email it to your guest list.
The downside to using Canva is that you can’t automatically track RSVPs directly. If you link to your wedding website, depending on your provider, you can track them there.
There are also a number of templates available for purchase or with Canva Pro. Make sure if you want a free design that you choose one that is marked as “free” in the lower right hand corner of your search results page. Or be willing to pay a few dollars for the right design.
Etsy has been known for many years for handmade and vintage goods. But did you know there are also a lot of sellers offering digital downloads? You can find affordable pre-made templates or even spend a little bit more to have a custom invitation painted or designed.
Semi-Custom Designs: When you purchase a digital download from Etsy it is usually made with an easily customizable template from Canva, Templett, or Corjl. These websites allow you to customize the design without downloading any software or fonts. You can also find sellers who will customize the template for you and send you a fully completed design that’s ready to print or email.
Fully Custom Designs: A fully custom design is one that a seller makes for you and is unique for your wedding. These designs are usually a little bit more expensive than semi-custom ones because the artist has to design something from scratch for you. It can also take a little bit longer than semi-custom templates which are available as soon as you purchase.
Many people are familiar with Paperless Post invitations for birthday parties. They have a large selection of designs you can use for your wedding as well. One major pro with using Paperless Post is that you can easily track who opens your invitation and RSVPs within their system. You can also effortlessly send reminders or broadcast additional information to the same list of people and segment by whether they have responded with a yes or no or not at all.
Paperless Post can be free if you find a free design and send it out to a small guest list. They make it tricky to figure out how to send it for free even if you search for free designs only. Here are some tips to keep costs or “coins” as they call them down.
They charge extra “coins” to include a virtual backdrop, envelope, and liner. Which is pretty silly because you don’t need any of those things and it drives up your cost per person 3-4x. To keep costs down, remove the backdrop, envelope, liner and anything else that costs additional coins.
They also charge extra for sending to more than 50 recipients. Overall, it’s still a pretty affordable way to send invitations and the tracking they provide you may find to be extremely useful. Keep reading to see how these costs compare to other options. We dive into the specifics later on in the post with comparisons.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Printed Invitations?
If you have your heart set on printing and mailing invitations, you can still do so in an affordable way. Here are the top pros and cons of printed wedding invitations.
- More formal for the occasion
- Can be kept afterwords as a memento framed or in a wedding scrapbook
- Easy for people to stick on their fridge to remember the details
- Easy for people to bring with them on the day
- Traditional for older guests
- If they lose the invitation, they can’t just look it up on their computer
- Slower to deliver to their address via mail service
- More expensive
- Less environmentally sustainable
- Harder to track RSVPs
Overall, this is the more traditional and formal route. And many brides and grooms think it is appropriate to send out a physical invitation for such a momentous occasion and you’ll find many guests, especially older family members, who prefer a printed invitation.
How to Print Your Own Wedding Invitations
In general, the only thing you need to print your own invitations is an affordable photo printer and nice cardstock or other thicker printer paper.
You can cut the invitations to size using an inexpensive paper cutter like this one from Friskars or buy the paper pre-cut. Envelopes and other accessories like belli bands, ribbon, or wax seals are also easy to find on Amazon or Etsy. If you’re looking for more details on how to make your own invitations at home we have a step-by-step guide here. It includes how to print on more specialty paper or acrylic.
You can also get them printed at a local print shop, like a Staples or Kinkos. We compare the cheapest places to print and our recommended option below.
Cheapest Place To Get Invitations Printed
We compared the top twelve places to print wedding invitations to show you how much it’s going to cost to get yours done. And we included what it will cost you to print at home so you can compare and decide if it’s worth DIYing.
For this comparison we added up what it would cost for 100 invites including an envelope. We chose the standard options for paper, envelopes, and shape. And we didn’t include any extras like envelope liners or addressing if that cost extra. We didn’t include shipping in the table below which varies based on your location and how soon you need the invitations. We also left out any discount codes or promotions that the retailers offered. This is an important note because most of the them offer discounts of up to 25% frequently so you may be able to do better than these prices throughout the year.
|Retailer||Cost for 100 Invites and Envelopes||Cost per Invite|
|Costco||$66* requires membership||$0.66|
|Print it yourself at home||$12||$0.12|
The most expensive of the list is Magnet Street. We were surprised by this one because it is so often cited as an affordable option among budget conscious Facebook groups. They do sales frequently and at the time of writing were running a 75% off sale. With that sale they were actually $0.69 per invitation set. Not the cheapest option but among the least expensive. So it’s worth looking out for a promotion if you’re interested in their designs.
The cheapest of the list is Walmart’s photo department. This is not surprising because Walmart is known for low prices. But you may not be aware that Walmart was even an option for your wedding stationery!
But what about quality? Price isn’t all that matters. Here’s my review of the best quality wedding invitations for your money. And individual reviews of Zazzle, Vista Print, and Minted.
Are Custom Invitations Worth It?
Custom invitations are more expensive than many of the other options available for stationery. But it is worth the money if you want a unique piece that’s worth keeping. You can frame it as a one of a kind artwork in your home for years to come. You can’t exactly frame an email invitation.
The cost to design a custom invitation suite for your wedding can range from $100 – $1000+ depending on the number of pieces, printing options, and the individual designer. That’s a lot of money to spend on invitations but not a lot of money to spend on artwork. So it really just depends on how you view your invitations. Some couples will think it’s worth it to get something totally unique and others would rather spend the money on another aspect of their wedding.
How to Save Money on Wedding Postage?
Finally, our last tip is about postage. The USPS just raised prices for 2022. As a result a lot of couples are questioning how to fit the cost of sending 100 or more save the dates, invites, and rsvp cards with return envelopes into their budget. And what seems like a minimal expensive soon adds hundreds of dollars to your total. Here are a few easy tips to keep postage costs down:
- choose a postcard for your save the date and take advantage of postcard rates
- use a digital RSVP method instead of a response card and envelope
- don’t use a square shaped invitation or other irregularly shaped envelope because this will cause your post office to hand cancel the envelopes
- avoid stuffing too many accessories in your envelope for the same reason, if it can’t fit into the machine, it will cost more
- send one invitation to families who live in the same household and write all of their names on it
- hand deliver any invitations to people who live close by
Now that you know more about wedding invitations and how to find cost effective options, you’re ready to spread the word about your wedding!