{guest blogger elisabeth: budgeting for letterpress}


Two comments that I have heard dozens of times before and since being engaged are: I bet you’ll go all out with your own wedding invitations, and You must have already designed your own. I have a small inkling of what they’ll be like: simple and straightforward. I am lucky of course that I can design and print just about anything we might want, but we’re not over-the-top folks so there’s no need to go overboard.

I do know that we’ll be using vintage stamps, some of which you can see here from my searches on eBay. I buy them in sheets, at a premium comparable to what one might pay to have custom photo stamps made.

Here are some tips for brides and grooms in budgeting for wedding stationery, specifically letterpress:

1. 2 color will always be more expensive than 1, big more costly than small. Consider a smaller invitation in just 1 color, like Lexy and Neal’s invitations.
2. Consider including a reply line on the invitation itself, especially if you don’t need to collect information about meal selections and the like. You’ll have to be prepared for the phone calls though.
3. Skip the directions and info card. Instead include a small card that directs your guests to a website where they can find relevant information.
4. Skip the inner envelopes. My clients pay little to me for them, but if using a calligrapher, they have to be lettered too.
5. Ask your friends to help address envelopes.
6. Ask your stationer to create an image file that matches the cards in your invitation set, and have a custom rubber stamp made for the return address on both invitation and reply envelopes. The cost of the blank envelopes will be minimal compared to the cost of having them printed.
7. If you are having small cards printed, ask your printer if they can be printed 2 or 4 at a time. Some of the best looking escort cards and gift tags I’ve printed included a single illustration printed in the center of a card that is cut into quarters, with a little piece on each card
8. Let’s say your invites are illustrated with a design in 1 color and the typography in another. If you need table numbers, or other large cards, ask your printer to run 20 (or however many you need) extra cards that contain just the illustration, then add the numbers or text to the cards by hand
9. Bells and whistles — belly bands, ribbon, overlays — cost more and won’t always enhance your invitations
10. Unless you are hosting a black tie affair, include a reception line on the invitation

I’m sorry if I sound too bossy.


  1. I wish you could have bossed me around when we picked out our invites! We ended up doing very casual invites with a perforated response postcard, a small insert (the size of a business card) with hotel info, and only one envelope. It was a casual garden wedding, and we were really happy with the end product (and the bill!). Great advice 🙂

  2. Hi Greer,
    That’s the way to do it! Very often a client will approach me with a laundry list of must-haves, which I cut in half for them. Unless they want to splurge, which is okay by me.
    Congratulations to you!

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