How much should I pay for Wedding Invitations?
How much should I pay for wedding Invitations? This is a question that I know a lot of you are thinking, and when I got married it something I had to consider too. Money is one of those tricky topics but it affects everyone so I decided it might be helpful to share a little bit about it since I deal with this issue everyday.
Something I found interesting when I first started designing invitations was the different comments I would get about my pricing. Over time I have received opposing comments – one bride overjoyed and saying “What’s the catch? Your prices are far too cheap!” while another asking me “Why do invitations cost so much?” So which one is it? Are my prices cheap, fair or overpriced?
The answer of course will vary because it depends on the bride’s expectations, what she perceives as value, and what her budget for her wedding is. But here is something that might provide you with a bit of insight.
When I first started out, I tried doing things really cheap. I thought that I would be helping people by offering discounts and lowering my prices. Unfortunately what I realised is that many people didn’t understand the value in what I was providing them, and as a result they didn’t appreciate what they were getting.
Many people don’t realise that wedding papers are usually a premium range. They are thicker, nicer and far better than just any old standard paper. And because of this, they come at a premium cost (not just to the bride but to me as the business owner who needs to purchase those paper stocks). When I was trying to offer things at a lower price, I realised that people didn’t understand what they were getting for their money and just how good their paper was – not to mention the quality of the printing and envelopes too! I’ve discovered that someone will far more appreciate something of a premium quality, when they have payed a little bit extra for it rather than a stock standard price.
This will also answer the question for those of you who wonder why ‘wedding’ items seem to automatically cost more than say something for a birthday or regular party. Most business owners in the wedding industry actually aren’t trying to rip you off. We understand that this will be one of the biggest and most important days of your life, and therefore you will have high expectations for that day. So we use the nicest materials we can find, and offer you a service that is of the best quality we can possibly offer. It does cost extra to do this but it is worth it because you will have a beautiful wedding day to remember in the years to come. For everyday occasions like birthdays, we don’t necessarily need to go to the same effort or quality and most people are ok with this.
Here is another thought – because there is a big difference between the value of something and the cost of it.
How much would you spend on average on a greeting card for a friend? $4? Maybe $5 or even $6? Is it mass produced? Yes. Will you find that same card in lots of other shops? Most likely. Is it personalised for you? Probably not. So why are there so many people out there who think that $4-$6 for a personalised wedding invitation is expensive? As a small wedding stationery business my profit margins are much smaller than a large card company who can mass produce thousands of cards. They key here is that most people miss the value in what they are receiving. A personalised invitation with whatever wording or information they want on it, on a premium card stock, with exceptionally high quality printing and premium envelopes has far more value to it, than a run-of-the-mill mass produced card you will find at the shops. And don’t forget the time it took someone to answer all of your questions and to put together all of your personalised details in your chosen design.
So let’s come back to my own journey of starting and running my wedding stationery business.
Because I came to the point where I realised that if I lowered my pricing too much, I was actually devaluing my skills and what I had to offer. Many of my designs are hand drawn and hand painted, and I have poured as much beauty and creativity into them as I can. Maybe I am not the right person to say this because I know my love for stationery makes me biased…but I see your wedding invitations as one of the most significant stationery purchases you will ever make and they are an extremely important part of your event, helping to tie colours and themes in together whilst communicating important information. They are a first impression for your guests and offer a sneak peek of what the day will be like. To me, they have incredible value.
And to come back to the cost…
The best advice I can offer is to be realistic with your expectations and decide on a budget that is reasonable for you. Know that you probably won’t be able to get things dirt cheap but rest assured that most people out there aren’t trying to rip you off. At the end of the day we are all just trying to make a living. Making invitations isn’t just a hobby for me, it’s my livelihood. Yes I love what I do and I am so lucky to have this job, but without it the bills wouldn’t get paid and my business couldn’t keep functioning. I do it because I love paper, design and creativity, but I also do it because I love people and want them to have the best wedding possible. Seeing a bride’s face light up or receiving emails with overwhelmingly happy feedback helps me know that I have done my job well. I put an incredible amount of care and pride into my work, and I know I speak for other stationery designers when I say we want you to know how much of *us* goes into what we do for *you* 🙂