Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now it’s time to start planning and looking for that perfect wedding stationery. When you start looking into wedding stationery, a big factor can often be price. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to predict how much stationery will cost for any given wedding, because so much of every wedding is unique.
Fortunately, the internet has a wealth of information about stationery, and a plethora of stationers to choose from. Some vendors on Etsy allow you to customize your stationery, and can give you some prices to work from. The larger, more traditional stationers also have some pricing information available on their websites.
The primary drawback to these sources, however, is that they often don’t mention all the pieces you’ll need to complete a stationery suite, or even an invitation suite. They often try to pique your interest with low per-item costs, but don’t mention how much you’ll have to add on to have a complete suite that you’re happy with.
For instance, you may find a vendor that will sell you invitations from US$2.95 each, but they won’t include printed envelopes and the per item price is for 300 invitations (fewer invitations mean a higher cost per item). Or, you might find someone who includes an invitation and printed envelope from US$3.95 each, but there’s no mention of a response card or any additional inclusions for your invitation. For this reason, it takes a little more work to put together truly equivalent pricing for different stationers.
When you’re looking for your stationer, make sure you have complete pricing for all of the following:
Pretty much required:
- Invitation Envelope (does it include any printing on the envelope?)
- RSVP/Response Card
- RSVP Envelope (does it include any printing on the envelope?)
- Save the Date Card (and envelope, if needed)
Optional, but highly recommended:
- Return address printing/calligraphy on the invitation envelope
- Recipient address printing/calligraphy on the invitation envelope
- Return address printing/calligraphy on the RSVP envelope
- Information Card(s) (where to stay, what to do, directions/map, etc., info that should not appear on your invitation)
Once you’ve gathered the prices for each piece, figure out the per-suite (everything needed for a complete invitation) and total prices (include shipping/handling here), making sure to factor in some extra invitation suites for last minute additions, addressing mistakes, and keepsake copies. This will make it much easier to compare options as your search continues.
There are additional printing styles, layering, envelope liners and pocket or folder options, as well as embellishments, that will affect the overall cost of your invitation. These can be overlooked when price comparing but they are very important to recognize so that you know you are comparing equivalent pricing.
Now that you’re better armed to calculate and compare the actual prices of different stationery options, it’s time to consider some other items. Many couples want custom menus, programs, table numbers (or names), escort cards, signage and thank you cards made for their weddings, and these need to be factored into your overall budget when that budget is created. Too many times couples forget these important details when budgeting.
This brings me to some of the intangible values you’ll need to consider in your stationery decision. Can you get a completely customized, coordinated set that includes your invitation suite and other stationery, and how important is that to you? Are you running close to your invitation sending deadline? Do you need to be able to make last minute changes? And does your stationery give you that “perfect” feeling?
If you’re short on time (less than a few weeks before you have to send your invitations), you’ll need to find a vendor that can work, and make changes, quickly. Most vendors will charge a rush fee if your order needs to be completed in a short amount of time.
If you’re planning well ahead, with plenty of time before you need to send out your invitations, you have the opportunity to make sure your entire stationery suite matches.
There are also a few important items you want to know from your stationer before you begin your work:
- What are the expected timelines for; receipt of information from you, stationer responses and delivery?
- How many previews/revisions are included with your order? What do additional previews/revisions cost?
- Are there any nonrefundable costs in your order?
- Once the price is finalized, can you change your costs with a reduction of items ordered or is the cost set in stone?
Do take the time to check pricing, you’d be surprised how affordable fully custom invitations can be. Platypus Papers would be happy to show you. Good luck in your search for your perfect wedding stationery!