One of the first things you’ll need to determine during the wedding stationery design process is how many wedding invitations (plus save the dates and inclusions) to order. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But actually, there are a few common mistakes and misconceptions that couples often make. These can lead to ordering too many, or worse, too few invitations, which can be very costly and inconvenient. Fortunately, good advice is at hand! Follow these top tips and you’ll figure out the magic number in no time.
The first and most important thing to know is this:
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS DOES NOT EQUAL THE NUMBER OF INVITATIONS
The most common mistake people make when budgeting for their wedding stationery is thinking they need one save the date or invite per person. In fact, it’s one per household. For example:
- Married couples (or couples living together) = 1 invitation
- Families = 1 invitation
- Single friends = 1 invitation (can include a guest)
- Single housemates living together = 1 invitation EACH
Make sure you don’t forget the wedding party! Even though the fact that they’re invited is a given, they should still receive an invitation.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll be looking at around 60% of the total number of guests for the number of invitations. This is the estimate you can use to get an initial quote, and then work out the actual number when you have finalised your guest list.
The second important piece of advice in determining how many wedding invitations to order is:
MAKE SURE YOU ORDER ENOUGH EXTRAS
I always recommend that my clients order 10-15% extra as spares. This will make sure you’re covered should you have any last minute additions to the guest list, if any are lost in the mail, or for you to have as keepsakes. Grandparents and loved ones often ask for an extra invitation, and you may want one for your wedding album or to frame.
Another important use for extras is to give to your photographer to capture on the day of your wedding. During your wedding planning, you have no doubt agonized over and invested in special little details to transform and personalise your day. Make sure you get some photos! Many photographers love to capture all those lovely details in flat lays and styled shots, and the stationery is an important element. (Another top tip: if you have detail on both the front and back of your invitation, give your photographer two copies, so they can shoot them at the same time.)
Of course, you can re-order extra wedding stationery at a later date if you absolutely need to. BUT for most stationers and printers, there are minimum order quantities required. So whilst you may only need one or two, you might find yourself having to pay for 20+, due to set up fees and print costs. Letterpress or hot foil prints can be especially expensive, as they usually have a minimum print order of 50.
The bottom line is that it’s much cheaper and easier to get your initial order right, rather than re-ordering (or ordering too many!). Follow the advice above when deciding how many wedding invitations to order, and check with your chosen designer if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help!