Vintage Wedding Invitations

Costs, What to Buy, DIY, and What to Watch Out For

Whilst trends come and go, vintage wedding invitations, not to mention the accompanying vintage wedding, never does. Of course there are various fashions in the whole area of ‘vintage,’ but they don’t really too far away from a set kind of a pattern. Namely hand-made papers and lace.

These days you can get your invitations from online and offline retailers, and there is a wide choice in invitations available. You can also go DIY and print your own – again there are kits available.

In the remainder of this article I will cover these points in greater detail, plus cover some hints and tips which will help you get the best for your money.

How much do vintage style wedding invitations cost?

The average cost is on average about $650.  Of course that accounts for an average number of guests and considering the costs all the way from the low $1.50 end through to the $9 (and over) amount.  In the UK, this its more expensive, and comes in at around £500.  There are ways of getting this price down.

The costs increase with the number of folds that are included – so bi-folds and tri-folds are significantly more costly – and linings or inserts also has an impact on the final price.  In short, the more complex the construction, and the greater the ‘add-ons’ the more you can expect to pay.  And the longer they will take to make (see below).

Whatever you pay, most of the time the printed envelopes are included in the price, as are reply cards.  Speaking of which, you can reduce costs for the recipient by including reply post-cards as opposed to fully blown cards that people have to find an envelope for, or even offering to receive replies by email. 

Where can you buy vintage wedding invitations?

There are a number of places to buy online and offline – you just have to search! (sorry to be unhelpful there…but there are enough and the options are too great to provide details here.).  However, if you are looking for cheap vintage wedding invitations then you can even get them from Walmart!  And as mentioned, DIY is also an option, especially if you enjoy crafts and have the time.

If you do decide to order online, then you should be sent a sample before they go into full production.  And that’s really important because it will give you a chance to proofread the details.  And you should!

In fact, you read it…and get a few other people to read it.  Pay attention to any names that appear (bride’s mothers can get tetchy if you get their name wrong), venue details which means both the wedding and the reception, and the times.  If you decide to include a map, then you need to make sure that’s right and any markers/directions you provide are clear.

Vintage Wedding Invitations Leavers Lace

Vintage wedding invitations...as natural as champagne at the wedding breakfast
Vintage wedding invitations...as natural as champagne at the wedding breakfast

DIY vintage wedding invitations

You’ve really got three very clear options here. The first is to buy a kit. Again, check out Walmart, but you can also go to the larger craft stores and of course there is online. You usually find kits that will allow you to cater for 20 or more guests. Do make more than you need, certainly buy more kits. Often times when you are planning you will think that you have all the guests sorted out, all the invitations go out, and suddenly you remember someone. If you don’t have enough supplies to cover the unforeseen then you could end up sending out an unmatching invitation which isn’t really all that good a form!

And, in fact, this applies to if you end up getting them all made for you. Have an extra 10% printed if your budget will stretch to it. It’s cheaper to have that done than to set up another print run because you run a little short!

Of course, you could just use your own home printer. It could be an idea to invest in some of the higher quality inks which are fade resistant and waterproof since turning up on a wet day could mean those all important directions get washed away! Usually 50 invites and their envelopes will set you back a minimum of about $20.

There is one other option in the DIY, and that is to outsource. By that I mean that you could get them designed professionally and then printed. Unlike the companies that already provide wedding stationary there is more of a chance of you getting your own bespoke design rather than relying on something off the shelf. Expect to pay upwards of $200.

Your designer will be able to suggest a printer they regularly use, or approach a printer and ask them if they know of a good designer.

What materials can you choose from?

I personally think that vintage lace wedding invitations are the best of the lot. There is a certain attractiveness about them. In the UK there is a company called ‘cluny’ who are a few centuries old, and have been making lace since before the loom. There are very few companies now that can produce such high quality cotton leavers lace, and if you are making your own cards then it’s worth going for the cotton version if you can afford to. Of course there is always nylon, but how the lace-work lies on itself does have something of an effect. Nylon lies much flatter.

Some of the most beautiful vintage cards are produced on vellum and using hand-made paper or silk, but of course this all adds to the costs, as does choosing embossed, letterpress or at the highest end engraving.

Finally, other costs?

Really the hidden cost is the postage, and particularly now that in the UK if you go over a certain thickness you can be charged more [editorial note: is this true in the US too? – please leave a comment!].

There are people who sent out wedding invitations to only have them all sent back because they were judged that fraction too thick! The result was not only were they sent back, but they also incurred a further return fee. Very unpleasant and many unhappy people…

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KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Andrew, wonderfully, well written, informative hub. Great tips and advice. Voted up and useful.

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    References (accessed 13th Feb 2010)

    http://www.costhelper.com/cost/wedding/invitations.html

    http://www.bridalassociationofamerica.com/Wedding_Statistics/

    http://www.ddsgamestoys.co.uk/invite_9__How_much_do_wedding_invitations_cost.html     

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