How Much Should You Budget for Wedding Invitations?

wedding invitation budget

When you're planning a wedding, it quickly becomes clear that there are no hard-and-fast pricing standards. That's also true of wedding invitations — the average costs can vary considerably based on the paper, style, and design elements you select. Your location, vendor, and the number of guests also play a part.

Given the variables, how much should you spend on wedding invitations? That depends on your vision and your overall wedding budget; it's possible to find beautiful designs at every price point. To help you determine the right wedding invitations budget for your needs, we've put together a set of guidelines that can help you estimate costs.

Wedding Budget Breakdown

Before we dive into the cost of wedding invitations, let's look at how they fit into the wedding budget as a whole. The average budget breaks down as follows:

  • Invitations: 4-6%

  • Venue and catering: 30-50%

  • Photography: 7-15%

  • Music: 10-15%

  • Decor and flowers: 10-20%

  • Clothing: 5-10%

  • Extras: 10-15%

Keep in mind that these estimates are just that: estimates. You might make changes based on your wedding planning priorities. The size of your budget also makes a big difference. If you're looking to spend $10,000 total, a 4-6% estimate for invitations works out to $400-$600. However, if you want to spend more on a venue or a dress, you might need to cut costs elsewhere. Likewise, if your budget is $50,000, you may not need to spend $2,000-$3,000 on invitations.

A 2021 survey found that on average, couples spend $530 on wedding stationery. That's not just wedding invites — it also includes save the date cards, RSVP cards, wedding programs, menu cards, and other paper goods.

5 Factors That Impact the Cost of Wedding Invitations

If you've spent any time browsing through Wedding Invitation designs, you know that prices can vary wildly. Everything from design to handmade paper and embellishments can affect the final price. As you're deciding how much to spend, consider these key factors.

1. Design Choice

Most manufacturers price each wedding invitation design differently. Simple, straightforward options are often more affordable than unconventional wedding invitation sizes or designs with intricate artwork. You'll also pay a premium for designs with special features, such as unique shapes and built-in pockets. Every extra component —response cards, insert cards, etc. — comes with an extra fee. Customizations matter, too; highly personalized invitations tend to be more expensive.

At Truly Engaging, we offer an excellent selection of luxury and affordable Wedding Invitations to suit every budget and wedding theme. Our products often come with a discount of up to 70%, so you can save money without sacrificing on the design. Embellishments and premium papers are available as add-ons, so you only pay for the features you want.

2. Paper and Printing Type

Paper is one of the most important factors in the cost of wedding invitations. Basic smooth or satin-finish papers are usually the most affordable, while thick luxury and glossy papers can drive up the price of invitation suites. At Truly Engaging, our Invitations come standard with your choice of smooth or satin paper; you can always upgrade to premium paper.

Here are our Wedding Invitation paper options, from least to most expensive:

  • Premium smooth: With its matte finish, this silky-smooth paper works beautifully with a range of invitation designs.

  • Luxe satin: Our satin paper feels velvety to the touch and has a matte finish; you must choose this option if you select raised foil accents.

  • Luxe pearl: This paper features a subtle iridescent finish that's reminiscent of a natural pearl.

  • Double thick: Made with a 34-point weight, this paper features a luxe surface texture that adds depth to your images and text.

  • Triple thick: Our premium option, this weighty paper lends a formal feeling to your Wedding Invitation.

Other paper types to consider include linen, vellum, parchment, and cotton fiber.

Don't forget to consider the printing method — some techniques are more complicated and labor-intensive than others, so the finished products come at a higher cost. From cheapest to most expensive, the most common printing types are:

  • Digital printing: This affordable method transfers a digital file onto paper, just like your printer at home. It's a good way to get complicated images or multicolored graphics on a budget.

  • Thermography: This technique uses heat and special ink to create raised lettering. It looks and feels similar to engraving, but costs much less. You might notice that the letters have a soft sheen.

  • Foil stamping: Using heated dies, a printer applies foil to the surface of your invitation. The heat warms up the adhesive on the back of the foil, so it sticks to the paper.

  • Letterpress: Letterpress printers create a plate with a reversed, raised version of your design. They coat the plate with ink, place it on top of the paper, and use a press to stamp the impression. This artisan-style method creates elegant indented lettering.

  • Engraving: As with letterpress, the printer creates a plate of your wedding design. The letters are indented rather than raised and coated with ink. When the paper is inserted into the press, the pressure forces the paper into the indented plate, creating delicately raised, inked letters.

3. Invitation Embellishments

Are you dreaming of shimmering foil lettering or beveled edges? Expect to pay a bit more for these popular options on your invitations. Every embellishment adds an extra step to the production process, so it raises wedding invitation prices accordingly. In some cases, manufacturers need to create a custom printing setup to complete the job.

Some of the embellishments that affect the price include:

  • Embossing

  • Raised foil accents

  • Calligraphy

  • Paper bands

  • Ribbons and bows

  • Rhinestones, gemstones, or pearls

  • Wax seals

  • Contrasting paper textures

  • Laser-cut accents

  • Envelope liners

The more intricate the embellishment, the higher the cost. This is particularly true for invitations that feature ribbons or three-dimensional accents; these elements must be assembled by hand. The most expensive invitations are built into three-dimensional packages that create an immersive experience for guests.

4. Quantity of Invitations

Typically, the more invitations you order, the higher the price. This is an important factor to consider as you're setting a wedding invitation budget and choosing designs. If you're hosting a more intimate wedding, you may have more freedom to add elegant embellishments or invest in luxury paper with a smaller guest count. When you're working with an ever-growing guest list, you might want to increase the invitation budget or reduce the cost per invite by choosing a simple, sophisticated design.

As you calculate the quantity, remember that the number of invitations isn't necessarily equal to the guest list. You only need to send one per household. Make sure to order extras — they'll come in handy when your photographer wants to take detail photos or when you accidentally spill coffee on the invitation you're addressing. It's also nice to have a few to frame or keep in your wedding album. The extra cost can feel daunting, but it will save you money in the long run; if you need to order a whole new batch, you'll be subject to the manufacturer's minimum order size.

5. Shipping and Postage Costs

One of the easiest ways to save money on your wedding invitations is to order them early. That way, you can opt for the most affordable shipping option without affecting the wedding timeline. If you wait too long to order online, you might find yourself paying more for expedited shipping.

You'll also need to factor in postage costs. Lightweight invitations typically require a single stamp, which costs 60 cents as of 2022. For 100 invitations, you can expect to pay $60. Heavier papers and extra embellishments increase the weight, which means you could be paying more. For envelopes weighing more than 3.5 ounces, first-class pricing starts at $1.20. In other words, weighty invitations can double your mailing costs and eat into your budget. Large envelopes or square invitations can also come with higher postage fees.

10 Truly Engaging Wedding Invitations You Can Sample for Free

Wedding Invitation Sample to save money

Invitations are an important part of your wedding. They communicate critical information and establish expectations for the style and formality of the event. At Truly Engaging, we understand how important it is to find a design that reflects your personal preferences and the tone of your celebration. That's why we're proud to offer free Wedding Invitation samples — we don't want you to waste money on an invitation that's not the right fit.

Once you settle on the perfect design and customize it with your wedding information, you can order a single proof. This is a great opportunity to hold your invitation, check the text for errors, and make sure everything looks just right. We only print after we receive your final approval, so you can order with confidence.

Looking for inspiration? Here are just a few of the Truly Engaging Wedding Invitations ideas that offer free samples.

1. Simply Elegant

Simply Elegant | Rectangle Invitations

With Simply Elegant, the name says it all — this Wedding Invitation features a minimalist, text-based design. Using an impeccable combination of a traditional serif font and an elegant script accent, it sets the stage for a sophisticated celebration. This is one of our most versatile invitations; the simplicity suits modern and traditional ceremonies alike.

2. Delicate Florals

Delicate Florals | Rectangle Invitations

Invite guests to a traditional or rustic wedding with Delicate Florals. Featuring hand-painted watercolor flowers in soft pastel tones, this invitation is equal parts romantic and nostalgic. The center frame provides space for all your ceremony details, and there's room on the back to add your wedding website or a date reminder.

3. Royal Pattern

Royal Pattern | Rectangle Invitations

With its graceful script font and classic pattern, Royal Pattern is the perfect Invitation for a regal wedding. The details are rendered in a contrasting font, so they're easy for your guests to read. Customize the colors to complement your decorations and wedding party attire. 

4. Precise Promise

Precise Promise | Rectangle Invitations

Precise Promise proves that rules were meant to be broken. A full-coverage photo forms the background of the invitation, giving it a distinctly personal feeling. Your wedding details overlay the photo in a design that's reminiscent of a modern magazine cover, and a monogram accent adds a chic finishing touch.

5. Ethereal Evergreens

Ethereal Evergreens | Rectangle Invitations

Are you planning an outdoor ceremony or a cabin wedding? Ethereal Evergreens is a lovely way to prepare guests for the nature-centric event. Rows of watercolor pines decorate the bottom of the invitation, creating the impression of a misty pine forest. The flip side features a dramatic watercolor wash in matching colors.

6. Magnificent Margin

Magnificent Margin | Rectangle Invitations

Modern and formal, Magnificent Margin makes a striking statement. The unique column layout captures attention and provides lots of space to include the date, time, and location of your wedding. Apply foil to the lettering for a bold, high-shine effect.

7. Country Blooms

Country Blooms | Rectangle Invitations

Country Blooms puts a modern spin on a rustic invitation. A wreath of large-scale flowers creates a circular frame for your wedding details, which appear in a bold serif font with trendy handwriting-style accents. The flowers, which also decorate the back of the Invitation, come in an autumnal palette of brown, tan, and cream. Pair them with a black background for an edgy look, or go with white for a classic effect. 

8. Mod Paint

Mod Paint | Rectangle Invitations

Not a fan of traditional wedding graphics? Embrace a modern-art effect with Mod Paint. Big, unapologetic paint strokes adorn the side of the card; you can even see the textural brush details. Each color is completely customizable, so it's a breeze to find the perfect match for your decor. Turn the card over to find extra space for a website, date, or another important detail.

9. Dreamy Sky

Dreamy Sky | Rectangle Invitations

Soft, romantic shades of blue wash across Dreamy Sky, a watercolor Wedding Invitation with serious style. The visible splotches and wet edges enhance the painterly effect, giving the impression that you're gazing into a blue sky dotted with airy clouds. Golden splatters add a hint of warmth — they're particularly lovely rendered in foil. The watercolor design repeats on the back, creating an Invitation your guests will be delighted to display.

10. Mod Citrus

Mod Citrus | Rectangle Invitations

If your wedding vision is inspired by a tropical island or summer at an Italian villa, Mod Citrus captures the vibe perfectly. A lush, leafy branch loaded with delicate blossoms and ripe oranges dominates the design, adding a vintage twist to the contemporary font pairing. The rich oranges and varied shades of green let guests know to expect an event that's luxe yet welcoming.

Save on Wedding Invitations with Truly Engaging

Your wedding invitation budget can influence the options you choose. Whether you're looking for a simple card, modern stacked Invitation cards, or a formal folded pocket with coordinating step cards, Truly Engaging has a wide range of designs to meet your needs. Browse our selection of Wedding Invitations today, and order free samples to see your favorites up close.