Skip to Content

7 Reasons Why Wedding Invitations Are So Expensive

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details..

You’ve finally picked a wedding date, settled for the perfect wedding dress, and found the wedding venue of your dreams. It’s now time to send those wedding invites. 

There are a variety of invitations to choose from for premade to custom designs, but the ultimate choice will depend on your budget and design preferences. 

However, when scouting for options, you may realize that wedding invites are not cheap.

Wedding invitation with flower decoration

Wedding invitations are expensive because of the printing methods, the type of paper you choose, the colors used, the number of invites, and other accents added. All these factors can quickly add up.

Understanding how the above factors could make your wedding invitation budget skyrocket is difficult. Read on to learn more about why wedding invitations are costly and how you can cut down on their costs.

What’s the Average Cost of Wedding Invites?

Wedding invites account for 4%-6% of the overall wedding budget. A wedding invite can range from $150 for DIY invites to $2,500 for luxury printed cards. 

Note that these costs may vary depending on the quality, quantity, and other design elements. Knowing how these factors impact the wedding-invite cost can help determine how much to set aside. 

wedding decor invitation, wedding, card, background flower

7 Reasons Why Wedding Invites Are So Expensive

Here are seven reasons why wedding invites are costly.

1. Printing Method

The printing method contributes to the high cost of wedding invites.

Some of the printing options available include the following:

  • Offset Printing 

Flat or offset printing involves mixing the inks and transferring the design through a press. This method produces a high-quality print and gets you the exact color shade. 

Some printers also use thermography, where the powder is added to the ink to deliver a raised texture on the paper. 

  • Digital Printing

Digital printing is one of the budget-friendly printing options. The process involves setting up a file on the computer. 

You can opt for this method if your invites have multiple colors, as everything is done digitally. 

gold wedding rings with a invitation wedding
  • Engraving

Engraving is an expensive type of printing but the preferred option for couples looking for an embossed look. This type of printing is labor-intensive compared to digital printing. 

  • Letterpress Printing

Letterpress printing on your invites involves creating custom presses for each color and design. That makes this printing expensive. 

2. Type of Paper

The type of paper you choose for your invites will determine how much you spend. Some of the standard paper types include the following:

  • Vellum Paper

Vellum paper is a see-through material. Some printers use it to print the invite, while others use it as an enhancement and include it as a belly band. 

  • Linen

Linen paper is a bit more expensive than parchment paper, but it is durable and of good quality. 

wedding flat lay invitation set, wedding details
  • Parchment Paper

Parchment paper works for couples looking for an antique-style of invites. The paper has a different texture that allows you to roll it into a scroll.

  • Cotton Fiber Paper

Cotton fiber paper has a cotton-like texture that absorbs color. Couples looking for unique printing like engraving and letterpress will prefer this type of paper as it’s easier to print on and absorbs color well. 

  • Glossy or Matte Paper

Most printers use glossy or standard matte paper to print wedding invites. It’s also a popular option for couples who want to create DIY invitations. 

Pink wedding invitation on a table with green sprigs and wedding ring
  • Handmade Paper

Handmade paper is becoming popular for couples looking for an eco-friendly option. Although this paper is more expensive than parchment paper, it’s more affordable than cotton fiber.

3. Number of Wedding Invites

Your guest count not only affects the cost of your wedding venue and catering but also impacts the cost of your invites. Expect to pay more when ordering a lot of invites.

4. Customized Designs 

Wedding rings and wedding invitation with word love on the table

While having a unique design on your wedding invitation is a fantastic way to let your guests know about your big day, it’s also one of the most expensive options. 

Remember, you’re paying for creativity and design.

Some printers will have a design fee as part of their package, which involves creating custom artwork, digitizing the calligraphy, rendering artwork, and sending the invitation to print.

All these details take time and effort. There are also taxes and fees included as part of the overall cost. 

5. Decorative Accents

Decorative elements can also contribute to the high cost of your wedding invitations. The more accents you have, the higher the price will be. 

Some of these decorative accents include the following:

  • Embossing

You can choose to emboss family crests, monograms, and other accents. With such accents, you’re looking to spend about $400 for 100 wedding invites. 

  • Edging and Bevel Cut
scroll paper wedding invitation designed with butterfly

You can have the edge of your invitation painted or cut in thick stock. Edging costs at least $100 for 100 wedding invites.

The designer can also cut a 45-degree angle on the wedding invitation and paint it. That makes the edge visible compared to simple edging. Bevel cuts cost $400 for 100 invites. 

  • Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is another design trend many couples are incorporating on their invites. You can have your name on gold or silver foil as an embellishment.

Gold foil accents will set you back $400 for 100 invitations, while full foil stamps can cost up to $2,000 per 100 invites. 

  • Wax Seals

A printer can pour liquid wax on the envelope to create a unique design. Wax seals cost up to $200 per 100 wedding invites. 

Wedding invitation card with wax seal and flowers on the table

6. Wedding-Details Insert Cards

It’s rare to only send an invitation with an envelope.

Most couples will include an RSVP card, details about the venue, reception cards, and other inserts. Sometimes couples may choose to add menu cards, directions, and other wedding details. 

The more inserts you have printed, the more the costs will increase. 

7. Shipping

Postage and shipping are other reasons wedding invites can be expensive. You can expect to spend about $60 for shipping for 100 invites. 

Tips on How to Save Money on Wedding Invites

Data by The Wedding Report revealed that the cost of 150 invitations was $245.

That cost was for an average invite that didn’t include menu cards, save-the-dates, place cards, or thank-you cards. All these costs combined could easily make your invites expensive.

Here are some tips on cutting costs on your invites without making looking cheap or tacky.

Find Unique Ways to Make Cheap Invitations Look Expensive

Preparing wedding invitations and folding envelopes on wood

You don’t have to print your invites on metallic paper or use elaborate printing techniques like engraving to make your invites stand out.

A method like calligraphy for the text is affordable, and you can use wax or an embosser for the finish. 

If you have an artistic friend, consider asking for help to create quality invites. There are different premade graphics that you can include as part of your wedding theme. Ensure you use quality but affordable paper. 

Skip the Extras

Having place cards, save-the-dates, and menu cards isn’t necessary. Additions like directions, RSVP cards, and reception details may seem essential and not big items, but combined, they all add to the overall wedding invite cost.

Consider printing invites for out-of-town guests and sending paperless invites to other guests. Choose a simple but elegant design. 

wedding invitation card decoration lay flat and wedding rings in a box

Final Thoughts

The cost of wedding invites will mainly depend on the number of guests and the design you choose. Sending in-person invites could be costly as you have to include other costs like printing, envelopes, and shipping. 

Having a budget in mind when choosing your invites is essential as this will guide you on whether to go digital or stick to in-person invites. Our extra tips above will also help you cut costs without making your invites look cheap.