Recently I was interviewed by a wedding magazine regarding costs and that Custom Wedding Invitation add ons can add up more than you thought. I’m sharing my personal opinions and answers here with you today.
In general why are wedding invitations so expensive? Do you think they are worth the hefty price tag?
High quality wedding invitations with custom features such as one-of-a-kind illustrations, letterpress printing, printed envelope liners, and belly bands can add on to your total. If you are an art lover and one who appreciates fine printing, the price is well worth it. The more expensive the invitation, the more likely your guests will keep them. We have clients tell us their guests still display their Message Bottle invitations we made for them 10 years ago. When you send an invitation you are giving your guests a glimpse of your wedding day. Many times by looking at the invitation, a guest will determine what they wear to your event. Most guests give a wedding gift of $100+, a personality infused wedding invitation that is $4 – $12 each is well worth gifting to your guests. Especially if they are keepsakes.
Can you provide 4-6 facts about wedding invitations expenses/costs that might surprise people?
CUSTOM ILLUSTRATIONS – One-of-a-kind hand-painted illustrations can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the details of each piece of artwork. Pencil sketches may be given to make sure the illustration is inline with the custom request. Emailing back and forth (3-90 emails) and typically 30 minutes to 1 hour conversation before work is started takes time. Because of the value of a keepsake painting and original art, the cost can vary per project.
PRINTING – The printing method can change the price of an invitation. Digital printing is a push of a button and requires less prep then other forms of printing. Letterpress, foil, engraving and thermography / raised printing requires a plate to be made and press time. When we letterpress print, each individual card is fed through the vintage press one at a time. Cutting of each piece of paper is also required either before or after each printing method.
HAND-TAILORING – Handmade features such as hand-torn deckled edges, burnt edges, hand-tied bows, adhering several layers of cover stock together all take time and cost the designer money. Hand-painting brushstrokes on each card takes patience and time to paint and requires dry time on a flat surface. The more add ons the higher the cost of each invitation.
HANDWRITTEN CALLIGRAPHY – Calligraphy is a wonderful way to add elegance and style to a wedding suite. The time involved for a calligrapher to hand write each line of words takes skill and great patience. Sometimes the calligraphy is scanned and digitally retouched for printing purposes. This also takes time, which raises the cost of each piece of stationery.
SPECIALTY INVITATIONS – Wedding invitation in a box and glass bottle invitations require an additional mailing box per invitation when mailing to your guests. Postage rates vary and can cost more when shipping such items. Packing materials are added to each mailing box to ensure safe delivery to your guests.
Why are certain wedding invitations more expensive than others—is it often the materials/technique used? Which are most expensive?
Pricing per wedding invitation suite can vary from designer to designer. Small design studios may charge more or even a lot less than the large invitation companies. A seasoned design team providing professional letterpress printing on a vintage press, hand-painted embellishments on each card, and made-from-scratch custom illustrations add to the value and quality of a suite. Adding more pieces to your suite costs more money per set.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Planning ahead when working with a professional invitation designer creates less stress on the wedding couple and allows for a smooth seamless process. Custom design wedding stationery printing and hand-tailoring can take a total 1-8+ hours to complete just one order. Allow plenty of time to ask questions via emails and phone calls regarding quotes and original design details. Art creation can take 1-3+ weeks depending on the designers current deadlines. Some invitation designers only take on 5 jobs per year. I personally take on much more than that and have to turn away many design jobs due to my work load. If you plan ahead your design dreams can come true.
The wedding invitation budget comes in all shapes and sizes. Inexpensive digital files you print at home can range from $10-$40 + cost of materials and your time to print and cut. Mid range invitations are available from large printing companies, prices vary. High-end custom invitations can range from $5-$17 each invitation suite. Then luxurious wedding invitations are much much more. Choosing what is right for your personal budget is ultimately the best choice for you and your wedding day.
If you purchase digital art to print from at home, keep in mind everyone has access to that printable also. Recently a bride sent out save the dates at the same time her cousin did. Turns out they used the exact same printable invite art from an etsy seller. Many times these printable invites are not one-of-a-kind and are actually bought from one artist then replicated by other etsy sellers. Which means the one printable could be being sold by 100s of sellers. That is why printables cost less. They take little or no effort to put together for you. Most times by people who are not trained in design.
Be sure to plan ahead when working with Mospens Studio for original custom designs. My deadlines for hand-painted custom monograms, crests, landscapes, and more run 2-3 weeks+ for illustrating only. Printing takes 7-10 business days. Please plan ahead to get on my design calendar. Contact us with your quantity (remember to order one invitation per household not per guest) and we will give you a quote.
SAVE THE DATES
Mospens Studio Save the Dates timeline:
9-11 months – Order save the date cards.
6-8 months – Send save the dates.
Mospens Studio Wedding Invitation timeline:
6-8 months – Order wedding invitations.
6-8 weeks – Mail out your wedding invitations to your guests.