The invitation is such an important part of every wedding. It sets the tone for your whole ceremony and reception weeks in advance — so you want to make sure to get it right.
Unfortunately, like most things that have to do with weddings, the prices for invitations can be completely unreasonable. With tons of different options from engraved letters to hand calligraphy and custom stamps, it’s no wonder some brides find themselves spending $500 or more just to ask their guests to come to their party.
While some couples might have the budget for such extras, the truth is that you can find absolutely gorgeous wedding invitations that are still affordable — especially if you’re willing to do a little bit of the printing and assembly yourself.
My mom actually printed out each and every one of my wedding invitations on her home printer, and she added a little red bow to each one because I saw an upscale version with a red bow that I loved (but was way out of my price range).
We spent under $100 to make 200 invitations, and that was five years ago — there are many, many more options now, and I’ve selected some of my favorites to share with you below.
Tips for Selecting Wedding Invitations
Before deciding on wedding invitations, there are a few things you should do first:
- Know your guest list: Before you even look at wedding invitations, your first step is to figure out how many people you’re inviting. This is because most online companies offer bulk pricing: The more invitations you buy, the cheaper each wedding invitation will be.
- Price compare: There are so many places to buy wedding invitations these days, from handmade sellers on Etsy all the way to mass-produced invitations at big box stores. Price compare everywhere, and stay open minded — because you never know where you’ll find that perfect piece of paper.
- Read reviews: I saw many invitations that looked great in the photos but were rated poorly in the reviews, either because the seller wasn’t prompt when problems arose or the paper quality just wasn’t the best.
- Get a sample: This, above anything, is the most important tip I can give you. Although we’re featuring affordable wedding invitations from top-rated and trusted companies below, you don’t want to order 200 invitations only to find out that you don’t like the color up close, you can’t read the type, or you misspelled your own name (oh, I bet it’s happened a time or two)! So, order a sample and make sure you like how it looks and feels when it comes in.
Affordable Wedding Invitations
To help you find the most beautiful but affordable wedding invitations for your event, we’ve searched for some great options to fit any wedding budget. Worry not: Even if money’s tight, there are still some elegant ways to invite others to your party.
All the affordable invitation options below were selected for their high quality, great reviews, and affordability, ranging from completely free to about $240:
Option 1: Email Your Invitation
Cost: Free, baby!
It’s becoming more and more common to email invitations, saving not just on stationary but postage as well. Using a site like Paperless Post, you can actually send out your invitations completely free. Many of their invitations are actually quite beautiful, like this one, and out of all the options on this list, it’s the best priced of them all: 100% free.
Keep in mind that many of their designs are offered digitally and in print — so you could still send a printed invitation to your prim-and-proper grandparents while sending an email invitation to your more understanding friends, saving at least some money.
Option 2: The Elegant Dot
Cost: $17.97 for 50 invitations, plus ink
Many people overlook big-box stores for invitations, blindly bypassing them in favor of high-end stationery stores that “specialize” in wedding invitations. You can actually buy wedding invitations and print them at home though.
I love this invitation from Wal-Mart, and at only $17.97 for 50 of them, you can afford to mess up a few as you practice with your printer.
Option 3: Follow My Lead
Cost: $18.58 for 100 invitations, plus ink
These simple, bordered invitations are an extremely close match to the invitations I used for my own wedding — maybe even the exact ones. Don’t just take my word for it, though, as they have several five-star reviews on Amazon.
What I love most about these blank wedding invitations is that you can really dress them up. They start out simple and elegant, but then you can add a bow or a pinch of color somewhere else to really make them shine.
Cost: $44 for 100 invitations, plus ink
Wedding invitations that come with a sleeve elevate the whole package and give your guests a little something to untie and open after they’ve opened the envelope. This little extra step makes the invitation seem much more expensive than it actually is.
This set from Amazon comes highly rated by over 300 users. You have to print them yourself, but the real pressed flowers and great price make this one a winner.
Option 5: A More Casual Vibe
Cost: $60-$90 for 100 invitations
If you’re looking for a more casual vibe for your wedding — maybe something rustic, whimsical, or outdoorsy — you’ll love the gorgeous selection of invitations offered by VistaPrint that are only around $6-$9 for a pack of 10.
Cost: $168 for 100 invitations
For the artsy couple, go beyond the simple background and fonts and select something truly unique, like these cards featuring an original watercolor illustration of the Boston skyline (other options include Chicago and San Francisco).
Any type of illustrated invitation will set you back a bit more than your typical big-box store print-outs, but paying a little extra can give your event that personalized touch.
Option 7: Match Your Wedding Colors
Cost: $138 (with 20% discount) for 100 invitations
Not only does David’s Bridal offer affordable wedding dresses — they also have a line of invitations too. What I love best about this company is that you can search invitations by your wedding colors so everything coordinates. This is far better than sorting through invitation after invitation like you have to do on many other websites, because you can essentially filter out any colors you know you’re not going to like.
I also love that they are constantly running sales, so if the price on these invitations doesn’t match the one you see here, keep checking for 20%-off deals.
Option 8: Foil-Stamped
Cost: $229 for 100 invitations
If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, you can upgrade your invitations while still purchasing affordable ones. While $229 might not seem affordable, keep in mind that engraved invitations from a boutique invitation store could set you back hundreds more. Adding a little extra glitz like foil helps set your invitations apart while still keeping them within your budget.
Option 9: Support Graphic Artists
Cost: $234 and up for 100 invitations
The website Minted is lovely because they offer wedding invitations designed by independent graphic artists around the world. They have some stunning designs — like this one... and this one… or this one.
Because they’re created by individual artists, they are the most expensive on this list — but still an affordable and original option for a wedding with an overall budget in the $10,000 range.
Other Ways to Save on Wedding Invitations
In addition to purchasing some of the affordable options above, there are even more ways to save on wedding invitations. Here are some examples:
Using coupons is a great way to save more on already affordable invitations. There are a few ways you can use coupons, but the most effective one is to closely follow the websites and vendors that you’re considering for your wedding invitations.
For example, if you want someone on Etsy to create your invitations, make sure to follow their Facebook page if they have one or check in on their shop from time to time. Most small shops will offer sales and coupon codes leading up to the holidays.
The same goes for larger online retailers. Sign up to be on their mailing lists. Many larger companies offer a certain percentage off your first order just for becoming a member of their mailing list. Combine coupon codes with sales to find the absolute best deals and get your wedding invitations cheap.
Ask for Invitations as Gifts
Do you have an aunt who’s amazing at calligraphy? If so, ask her to address your envelopes and response cards as a gift. Do you have a friend or cousin who is a graphic designer? Ask him or her to design your invitation so you can easily upload the file to a free or blank template at an online retailer. Graphic designers can also create personalized wedding logos that can really add an upscale touch to your event.
Additionally, when you’re engaged, people will constantly ask you what you want as a wedding gift. Instead of telling them you want those fancy salt and pepper shakers, ask if they would buy you a book of stamps to help with mailing your invitations. (Postage adds up!) I personally would much rather buy a couple something useful to help with their wedding costs than to buy them another kitchen gadget they don’t need or already have.
If you have a skill that you can trade for wedding invitations, by all means reach out and offer to barter with a wedding vendor. For example, can you babysit in exchange for having someone do your calligraphy? Can you cut and style hair for someone who will design and print invitations for you? Can you offer any type of consulting, coaching, or organizing help to someone who is skilled with graphic design?
To get the most out of bartering, sit down with your fiance and make a list of the skills both of you have, whether they involve laptops or landscaping. Then, make a list of people who can help with different aspects of your invitations, including friends, families, and vendors you find locally and online.
Reach out to them with a courteous email, and outline what you want to trade. Sign an agreement or contract so it’s official and more than just a handshake. After all, you don’t want to risk your wedding invitations not going out because a barter fell through.
Add a Touch of Elbow Grease
Like anything else, you can save money on wedding invitations by doing some of the work yourself. Adding custom touches and flourishes to standard-issue invitations can make them beautiful and unique, and may cost no more than a couple spools of ribbon and a free Saturday.
Similarly, the key to purchasing affordable wedding invitations is to plan. First, shop around and see what wedding invitations cost in your area. Then, compare prices online. Look for coupons and sales at both big-box stores and online shops, and diligently monitor prices.
And keep an open mind. Remember, I got my wedding invitations at Wal-Mart! I looked all over for a simple white wedding invitation with a border, and the ones I liked the best were there! (For the record, there are many more options now than there were five years ago.)
A Final Note
Finally, it’s worth remembering that while wedding invitations set the tone for your event, they’re also something most people will throw away once it’s over. Concentrate more on giving your guests a great experience at your actual wedding and reception, and worry less about the piece of paper they will eventually toss in the recycling bin.
Did you find affordable invitations for your wedding? Did you buy them or make them yourself?