Your top 5 tips for stress-free custom stationery budgeting are here, and they are going to knock your socks off. But first, let’s get the elephant out in the room. Planning a wedding is hard, and budgeting is stressful. But, I’m going to let you in on a secret that will be a game changer: Whether it’s your Photographer, Florist or Stationer – Your vendors want to talk to you about your budget, in a good way! We want to dig deeper into your vision, find out what is important to you, figure out what makes your heart pitter-patter, and be able to deliver all the heart eyes within a budget that fits your needs. If you’re thinking “I don’t know my budget! I don’t know how much [Insert Item Here] typically costs, that’s OK! Be transparent, let your vendor know this, and they’ll help guide you through that conversation.
Now, my favorite, let’s talk about your stationery. It’s the star of the show, the first glimpse into your wedding day. If you are looking to create a heirloom that exudes joy and celebrates your love, you’re in the right place. Here are my 5 top tips to consider when figuring out your budget for custom wedding stationery:
NO. 1: DETERMINE YOUR QUANTITIES
When budgeting for your wedding invitations, first take a look at your guest list to determine the quantity of invitations you will be needing. Instead of looking at the number of people, look at the number of households you will be sending to. Many brides mistakenly base their quantity needed on head count and end up with too many prints. In a nutshell, if you are inviting 200 guests, you may only need 100 invitations. Then, go ahead add on 2-3 for keepsakes, 1-2 for your photographer, and 5-10 in case of any last minute guest additions!
NO. 2: CHOOSING YOUR ECO-FRIENDLY PAPER
If you are reading this, it’s important for me to disclose that I am probably the biggest paper nerd you will ever meet. When budgeting for your wedding stationery, consider the type of paper you want to use. One of my main offerings and missions at Lavena Creative Co. is offering sustainable, environmentally friendly wedding stationery options for all couples, and that all starts with the paper we use. I only offer EPA Certified, Tree-Free, Recycled paper options (view them here!). This is to ensure that piece of the suite is mindful and considerate of the impact paper has on deforestation, endangered species, our carbon footprint, and the environment as a whole. This said, when budgeting for wedding invitations, think about the paper you’d like to use. Papers that are heavier/thicker or a color aside from white, taupe or cream tend to be more expensive due to the dying process they go through.
NO. 3: WHAT’S INSIDE THE ENVELOPE
Traditionally, Wedding Invitation Suites include an Outer and Inner Envelope, RSVP Card + Envelope, Reception Card, Detail Card and Weekend Itinerary (optional). When budgeting for your wedding stationery*, it’s important to remember that each of these pieces can range from $2.50-$4 per piece.* Additionally, one of the most overlooked pieces of the stationery puzzle are envelopes. Envelopes themselves are affordable, but when you start printing guests’ names and addresses on them, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1-$2 per envelope. Thankfully, it’s become more acceptable (and highly encouraged from an eco-friendly gal like myself) to simplify your suite whenever and wherever possible. I always encourage my couples to make a wedding website and opt out of the RSVP card. This saves on postage and extra prints. In conclusion, rule of thumb: less is more and your guests won’t know what you decide not to show, so do what fits you and your budget best!
NO. 4: BUDGETING FOR POSTAGE
On average, wedding postage for your wedding stationery costs around $.49 per envelope below one ounce. If you are sending 200 invitations, you will be spending around $100 in domestic postage. If you are sending abroad, if your invitations weigh more due to that pretty wax seal, or if you are sending within a unique sized envelope, you potentially could be looking at spending more.
NO. 5: YOUR DAY-OF DESIGNS
Next up, let’s discuss your day-of designs. When budgeting for your wedding stationery, don’t forget to think about your day-of designs! This could include your welcome sign, ceremony programs, seating chart, table numbers, bar sign + placemat cards (just to name a few). You wouldn’t wear black pants with a brown shirt, right? Ok good. If you want your paper pieces to be cohesive, make sure you ask your designer if this is something they offer, as not all stationery designers offer these items. And if you’re wondering, YES – I offer all of these options! There’s truly nothing sweeter than seeing all of your wedding designs come together as one big happy family.
So, there you have it. Custom wedding stationery provides you with so many unique options to choose from that best fit your budget. At the end of the day, I’m a big believer that invitations don’t need all of the bells and whistles to be beautiful, but they do deserve to be unique, to reflect your personality and most importantly, leave an impact on your guests without leaving one on the planet.
*The national average will suggest to allocate 3-5% of your wedding budget to stationery. So, if you have a $35,000 wedding, that’s about $1,050-$1,750 to be used on stationery.
View this blog post over at Nat Finley Photography!