So you picked your venue, you have your dress, you photographer, your wedding day manager (you HAVE booked her right?) if WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! Yes! You do need on! Not hiring a wedding day manager (aka Day-of coordinator) is like not buying car insurance. You don’t need it, until you do, and then it’s too late! Ok, side rants over….where were we. AH yes! You have hired all of your vendors and secured everything you need. Now, you need to secure your guest count! You email an invitation designer and ask for a quote for 150 invitations. Her response is so overwhelming, with 500 choices. You don’t even know how to respond. Have no fear! Crystal is here! I am going to break this down WITH estimated pricing as well! There is nothing more time wasting for the bride or the designer, for a bride to have a $150 budget and want gold foil letterpress on 220# Crane Lettra.  Not possible. The paper alone costs more than $150. So let’s break this down.

Letter Press- Ink and Foil

Here is the thing about letter press. There is not one set pricing.  You will not pay the same price per suite for 50 invitations as you would for 100 invitations. A lot of the cost involved is with the set up and the plate cost. It is very time consuming to set up and clean up a printing press so additional hourly costs are added to the pricing!  Typically, letter press invitations run anywhere from $7 (including envelopes, a 5x7 invitation and an RSVP card) and can exceed $15 per suite.  Please note that all print shops have different costs associate with them, therefore, there is no standard pricing guide.

Here are some things that can increase the cost of letter press invitations:

-Paper Type: For the most part, all letterpress invitations are printed on 100% cotton paper. The ink just works better with 100% cotton. However, because it is such a pure and organic form of paper, it does cost a bit more than industry standard paper.

-Paper weight: the standard options are either 110# or 220#. You can go thicker if you would like but that would require a custom quote.  220# is usually 20% more costly than 110#. 220# is a very thick cotton paper. Below are three examples that show the thickness of the 220#

Left: Grace and Lace Design

Center and Right: Simply Letterpressed

-Number of colors: The biggest limiting factor, yet the one thing that I feel make letter press invitations as classic as they are, are the limiting colors. Every time a new color is used, either a new die/plate is needed or the printer will have to clean off the press and change the ink color. This is very time consuming and costly. You can assume a 20% increase in costs for every color you add.  The typical maximum number of colors that can be used on one invitation is about 4. But this will vary depending on your printer’s experience or capabilities.

Ladyfingers Letterpress

-Ink or Foil?

Most of the time foil carries a premium cost over ink due to the fact that it is in very high demand. However, Grace and Lace partners with another printer to offer our clients the best priced foil invitations on the market! Foil invitations actually cost LESS through Grace and Lace than do regular letterpress. It is much less time consuming than using ink! Much less clean up. However, that being said, it is still not cheap. You can expect to pay about 10-15% less for foil invitations than for ink letter press invitations.

Printing and Design: Grace and Lace Design

-Add-Ons: There are several different add on options for letterpress printing. One of my personal favorites is edge painting.  Depending on the printer, edge painting canbe a one time set fee, or it could have a per suite charge. The one-time set fee’s run around $50 and the per suite charge is between $.25-.50 per suite.

There is also the option for gold or silver foil edging or guilding, and that is something that would be priced custom.

Edge painting can be a great way to add a 2nd or 3rd color to an invitation suite without the extra costs of the die and such. However, it should be noted that edge painting can only be done on 220# or thicker paper!

There are multiple other add-on options such as belly bands, metallic shimmer dust, different shapes and sizes of the actually invitation.  When it comes to invitation design, the world is your oyster (as long as that oyster has a pearl worth enough money in it!).

Digital Invitations

Although the digital invitations world tends to be much more budget friendly than letter press printing, do not be fooled! Options can add up quickly. You can customize your size, shape, colors and style to be exactly what you want it to be! A typical invitations design studio will add anywhere from a $200-$500 design fee depending on the complexity of the design and the experience of the designer.

Paper: There are endless paper options to choose from. However, the most common would be a 90# cotton paper. It has an elegant finish without being too costly.  It mimics the letter press paper, however, with the weight of the paper being less, it helps to decrease costs. Most digital printers have weight limits for how heavy the paper can be that they print on.

Maps: Maps are the perfect way to give your guests a fun overview of the area. However, do not be surprised if this increases the design cost. Maps can be difficult to draw depending on the detail requested

Calligraphy: Calligraphy adds such a personal and elegant touch to the invitation.  There are usually three options for calligraphy on a wedding invitation, full, partial and names/ monograms.

Top and Middle: Laura Hooper Calligraphy                                                                                                                                                                     Bottom: Photography: Jennifer Demo Photography                                                                                                                                                                 Design and Calligraphy: Grace and Lace Design

The more calligraphy you want on an invitation, the more your price will increase. Pricing for calligraphy can start as low as $50 for a monogram and go up to $200+ for full invitation calligraphy.

At the end of the day, when getting custom invitations designed and printed, be prepared to spend at least $400-600 for 100 suites. Pricing will vary; however, you will be hard pressed to find a designer who can give you a fabulous product for less than $400. If you do find someone, go back and read point 7 on this blog entry here!

Grace and Lace Design and Events is equipped and ready to assist you with all of your design and invitation needs! We would love to work with you to create the perfect suite for your “best day ever!”

What is your favorite type of printing? Digital, Ink Letter Press or Foil Letter Press?

For a quote or a complimentary consultation, please contact us here and if you mention you read this blog post, you will receive a 10% discount!

Design and Printing: Grace and Lace Design

Photography: Jennifer Demo