3 Forgotten wedding invitation expenses

“I don’t want to spend money on something people are just going to toss away.”

I hear this frequently. I think people assume since it’s paper, that it’s not a valuable part of the wedding day. Without the invitations, no one would know to come! It is important. Not everyone throws them away either.

classic brooch wedding invitation

It’s been almost a year since my grandmother passed away. Last December my grandfather drove from Chicago to Augusta, Georgia to visit me. On his visit, he brought a large envelope stuffed with photos, letters and cards from me to my grandmother that she had saved. I was shocked when I opened the envelope and pulled out my wedding invitation. She kept it all of these years and it was still just as beautiful as when I shipped it to her.

 

 

The majority of you wedding budget is spent on items that are used once or thrown out, but they are all still vital to the wedding day. The invitations set the tone for the wedding. It gives a glimpse of the fun to come.

Invitation pricing can add up very quickly, but there are 3 very important wedding invitation expenses that my clients forget to calculate when budgeting for the invitations.

Envelope Addressing

For select invitations, I do offer printing for the envelopes. This is an extra cost and the price varies with each design and quantity. I refer a lot of brides to calligraphers and their pricing varies, but averages $1/envelope. If you have 200 invitations, that’s an additional $200 to add in the budget! And don’t forget about the return envelopes, those require addressing, too.

Sure, you can save money by hand writing the envelopes or printing labels, but it’s time consuming.

Postage. Postage. Postage.

Shipping my personal wedding invitations costs more than the actual invitation. I shipped them in a box. A lot of brides don’t calculate that into the price and are slammed with a huge postage bill. Most invitations require additional postage.  I always recommend taking a sample to the post office to have them weigh it.

You will need additional postage if:

  • Thicker than 1/4″
  • Square shape
  • Longer than 11.5
  • Weighs more than 3.5 ounces
  • It has clasps, string, buttons, or similar closure devices
  • Or if it’s too rigid and does not bend easily.

My personal invitations met all of those listed above, therefore, each invitation was a couple dollars to mail.

RSVP Return Envelopes

These are another additional postage requirement that people tend to forget about. These small 4 bar envelopes only require one stamp, but $0.47 can add up quickly. That’s $47 for 100 envelopes.

Wedding Invitation Expenses for International Customers

Shipping

If you order invitations through a stationery company like Jubeelee Art, shipping to your house can add up quickly with higher quantities of invitations.

I work with customers all over the world. International shipping is VERY expensive. When I ship to Australia, shipping can be $60+USD and does take a lot of time to ship.

VAT

That stands for Value Added Tax. It’s a tax on goods imported into your country. It’s not something that is charged by the United States and it’s not charged by me. It’s the buyers responsibility to pay the VAT when they purchase an item from a different country. Not all countries have a VAT, but they do in a lot of European countries. When I first started shipping internationally, I was not aware of VAT and some clients were upset over this charge.

A lot of the postal companies in other countries will hold the package and send a letter to the buyer that they must pay the VAT before the package is delivered. It can be very expensive and is a percentage of the total cost of goods. I should note that it is illegal for me to claim a package as less value than a buyer pays to avoid paying more VAT. I’ve had clients ask this and it’s not something I will claim on the customs forms. I will put the exact amount paid.

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Augusta, Georgia invitation designer. Serving the Augusta area and worldwide, specializing in create customized rustic wedding invitations and special event invitations. Printable resources for the DIY available.