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Wedding Invitations on a Budget!

13 December 2011

What do our guest need to know? How many invitations should we order? What am I supposed to stuff into those envelopes? How much is this going to cost? 

Well, it all depends! Some websites suggests that between 1-4% of the total budget should be dedicated to stationary. For the average cost of an American wedding that is at most $800. I don't know about you, but that sounds ridiculous! I often like to equate dollar amounts to sandwiches and that is about 160 sandwiches.  When it gets down to it, the single most contributing factor to the cost of wedding invitations is how many you have to send; translation, the number on the guest list. Also, the fancier the wedding invite, the more costly. So what is a couple to do? 

Again, it all depends! Not only are you paying for the invitation, the RSVP card (of some type), the reception card and hotel information but you also have to budget in postage! This is where the size of the invitation envelope and the weight of the components really make a difference! One way to save on postage is to send a postcard save the date and/or RSVP card requiring a $0.29 post card stamp. For 125 invitations that is an $18 savings in postage that can be applied elsewhere! Alternatively, Mr. Collier and I decided for our guests who are internet-friendly were asked to RSVP on our wedding website. Two clicks and they were done! 

Another consideration is shipping. If you decide to order from a company on the internet, be sure to check for promotional or coupon codes before ordering. Anything with the word "wedding" attached is already marked up in price, why pay for shipping on top of it! If you can't find a promo code or if you are purchasing on a marketplace such as Etsy email the vendor to see if they won't come down on price or negotiate. 

The image below from USPS depicts the necessary requirements to utilize a standard $0.44 stamp on the invitation envelope. Our wedding invitations from Vistaprint came with envelopes requiring a standard stamp. 

Height3-1/2 inches6-1/8 inches
Length5 inches11-1/2 inches
Thickness0.007 inch1/4 inch
Any item smaller than the minimum dimensions is not mailable.
For larger items, see large envelopes or packages.
For envelopes, length is the dimension parallel to the address.

For items over 3.5 ounces, see large envelope or package prices.
Letters that meet one or more of the nonmachinable characteristics below are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.
  • It is a square letter
  • It is too rigid – does not bend easily
  • It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
  • It has an address parallel to the shorter dimension of the letter
  • It contains items such as pens that cause the surface to be uneven
  • The length divided by height is less than 1.3 or more than 2.5
Square Envelope
The minimum size for a square envelope is 5" x 5".
Square letters are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge.

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