How much do wedding invitations cost in the UK?

You’ve got your ring; the big day is decided, and the venue is booked – the wedding of your dreams is go! So, what next? Well, top of the to-do list should really be your invitations.

This first glimpse into your big day sets the scene of what your guests should expect from your special day. And let’s be honest, we’ve all judged the book by the cover – no pressure!

This is where a stationer comes in. No matter your budget, and there’s a stationer for budgets high & low, a great designer can help you create the perfect window into to your wedding day.

Do I have to send an invitation?

First things first, why are you spending money on wedding stationery? Not everyone is a paper person, it’s a divided opinion, but no matter what your budget, your wedding invitation is the first thing your guests are going to see.

It’s how your gusts learn about you wedding and all the details, but it’s often the first window in to what your wedding day is going to be like. It’s a taster of your big day, the first step for your guests to get excited.

Secondly invitations are one of the only things your guests get to keep. They live on mantel pieces, fridges, displayed for everyone to see and to keep and remember long after the day.

Lastly- and most importantly for me – we now do everything online. Getting a beautiful piece of mail through the post is so much more exciting than bills, everyone enjoys opening proper post.

What’s the Budget?

Let’s get down to real talk – budget. The amount you should be spending is very dependent on your total budget. A good rule of thumb is to put aside around at least 5% of your total budget on stationery – this includes your invitation suite and items for the actual day such as place cards, menus and table plans. Looking at an ‘average’ £30,000 wedding – this is a total of £1500.

What if you LOVE stationery – then I always suggest you steal some budget from the things you don’t love so much. Loathe it? Do the reverse. There are no hard and fast rules.

How much does it really cost?

Like most things wedding, how much invitations cost is really a case of ‘how long is a piece of string’ – or perhaps in this case, ribbon. To give you a rough, ready and realistic Idea I’ve put together some guidelines. This is looking at 50 sets: Invitations, Details/information card and an RSVP

Looking for no special finishes and an off the shelf design? Budget £250+

Want off the shelf with hot foil, letterpress, calligraphy or other special finishes? Budget £500+.

Want something entirely bespoke with all the bells and whistles? Budget £1000+

Why does the cost increase so much. Those special finishes take a lot of skill to make. Involving skill, expertise, materials and time to create.

With foil each invitation has to be hand pressed, calligraphy envelopes take around five minutes per envelope (along with the years involved to learn it!). Wax seals each need handmaking, deckles edges need hand tearing. You get the idea.

But Pinterest made me do it

Pinterest – the haven for all brides to be, but often a stationers worst enemy. Those beautiful Pinterest invitations have often been created exclusively for a photo shoot, using completely unrealistic methods – in budget terms – to recreate. What this means is that while we absolutely can replicate something like that for you, you probably aren’t going to like it when we quote you in the £1000’s for those hand painted, foiled, letterpressed, gold leafed, all bells and whistles invitations. Tell you what, we most certainly can use those photos as inspiration though – and the results are often even more beautiful.

So, what do I actually need?

​I advise all my clients to focus on the invitation – the star of your paper show. Save the big budget for the big entrance – this is especially important when it comes to spending on Save the Dates. It’s very tempting to spend big early on in your wedding planning, but wedding costs tend to pile up quickly. I have many a client blow the budget on a hot foiled Save the Date and then have to reign it in later on with the invitation.

I also love to suggest you mix and match your finishes. If for example, you love hot foil, use it on your invitation and keep the rest of the suite reserved – you most certainly do not need a hot foiled RSVP (however beautiful) – it’s going to end up back on your doormat in no time.

Costs racking up and need to save somewhere? Wedding websites are becoming more popular and are an inexpensive way of giving your guests more information –most stationers are more than happy to add your website to your invitation to direct your guests to RSVP.

Each wedding is as individual as the couple, but no matter what you do choose stationery wise – an invitation with your wedding details is always an essential.