I know – you’ve read everything there is to know about the price of invitations and wedding budgets more broadly. You’ve never planned a wedding before, and hardly anyone has their prices on their website, so how are you supposed to budget? Well, I challenge you to take a new perspective…
I can’t really tell how much invitations cost. #sorrynotsorry. Let me explain.
Money and Value
Let’s talk MONEY first. Is it a dirty word?
If I said to you “I spent $1000”, it’d be hard to work out what your response should be.
Is it $1000 on a new car? Sweet! (But what’s wrong with it?)
Is it $1000 for a bottle of water? Er…
Is it $1000 on wedding stationery? Your reaction depends on what you value.
So what do you value? Our past experiences determine how we view money, and these beliefs direct our actions around money.
Money is all relative, and that anything you get in exchange for your money is about its value to you. Money can be relative to your lifestyle, your upbringing, your current bank balance, your beliefs about what will happen in the future, and a whole host of other factors. What one person views as expensive can be viewed as really cheap by another.
The Lock and Key
Since every client values money differently, everyone is looking for something different. The truth is that there is a large range of options out there. Your job is to search for the supplier who is providing something that you value for a price that you believe represents it. I’ve really seen invitations at all price points (including over 10K), and there are clients that suit all businesses.
Clients and suppliers are like a key to a lock. Take your specific key and explore until you find the right lock – the gateway to the product and experience that you’ve been searching for.
No price point is better or worse, they just reflect the value that the client sees and the value that the supplier delivers. So don’t shop by price – find what you like, then decide if you’ll feel like you’ve won when you hand over the investment. Because when that key finds its lock, both parties feel good.
So, pricing is a match between the client (the key) and the supplier (the lock). There are client factors that determine what they value and therefore what is an appropriate budget, and there are different supplier factors that determine their pricing. Why is there such a range of prices across suppliers? Let’s unpack that.
There is certainly an element of “you get what you pay for.” Whilst there is absolutely a range, you cannot get paper goods printed under a certain amount – there is a lower limit. Then there is actually a whole swag of things that get “put on top” of this cost – not because suppliers are trying to price unfairly, but because there are quite literally about 30 other things that need to be paid for when you are running a business and providing a service, and THEN there is a profit – yes, a take-home salary that has to pay the bills, support the family, and pay for a nice holiday. The easiest way to look at it is this – how much do you earn? Suppliers have to add their salary to their prices. This is to support themselves and keep their business running in the future to continue serving clients.
You can absolutely DIY for cheaper – that’s the whole point. Clients don’t have business expenses or need to factor in a salary. And don’t forget the time and effort it will take you to DIY, we can always get more money but time is finite and we’ll never get it back. (Everyone regrets the DIY when they’re up at 2am with the scissors glued to their hand).
There is something I haven’t mentioned. The X factor. That thing that your supplier can do that no one else can do. That element of exclusivity. The creative mind that sits between two ears of a very special person. When someone has a gift, they’ll charge a premium price for it. Think about art – when you find that special artist or magical florist or amazing stationer that is creating things that have never been made in that way before, you bet they’re charging a higher price. They’re doing this because they want the price to reflect the value they’re bringing. If they undercharge, people start to wonder what’s wrong with the product and then don’t want to invest. This premium price is also there to actually decrease demand from the masses so that the supplier can more easily find the right key for their lock.
Knowing all of these factors, it would in fact be highly unlikely for every supplier to have the same price.
So How Much Do Wedding Invitations Cost?
I know when you started reading this you wanted specifics – ok ok, let’s outline some.
Here are some hot tips and ball-park figures:
- Stationery is usually per head. And if you have smaller numbers, the prices per head will probably go up because your supplier (and their printer) still need to do all the extra work to set up and create your job despite how many copies you want.
- You don’t just pay for invitations. Invitations themselves have multiple cards, envelopes, and usually some pretty additions, and then you want to purchase coordinating stationery like place cards, menus, ceremony booklets, signs, and potentially other cards like save the dates and thank you cards.
- Expect to pay between $4 and $10 per standard invitation, and then much more if you’re adding other elements – let’s say between $10 and $25 per invitation. That’s just for the invitation suite. Usually you’ll get some choice about what type of design and additions you want, so you have control over the price within these ranges.
- Smaller items for the day can be between $2 and $6 per piece for standard designs.
- Signs vary a lot and can be anywhere from $100 to $500 and more, depending on factors like the size, material, and labour. And then you want to allocate additional funds for hiring or creating sign stands.
- Don’t forget the X factor – the more exclusive or unique the product or brand, the more expensive it will be.
I know, I didn’t narrow it down for you. But remember, there is a lock (or price point) out there for everyone.
Work with me, and expect to invest anywhere from $600 to $3000 depending on your guest numbers and what elements you value.
So – do your research, and ask questions. Your job is to find the right lock to your key.