When I got engaged, I was over the moon to start planning my wedding. I had a beautiful vision of organic flowers and greenery draping down long tables, candlelight, a romantic dress, and beautiful, calligraphed wedding invitations, perhaps in letterpress. Wedding blogs and Pinterest had given me a wonderful palette to work from and I had many images saved that captured that vision perfectly. But a pin and a post don't come with price tags. Strolling through the web of weddings was like buying a couch at a store without prices. Everything looks good without a $ sticker attached.
The reality of wedding planning is that the budget and the vision often don't line up, whether you're the bride with $100,000 to spend to the bride with $5,000. Uncovering costs can be difficult without reaching out to many vendors and scouring their websites. My visions of a famous film photographer were quickly crushed when my inquiry turned up $15,000 for 8 hours of coverage. So were my dreams of wild greenery on every surface of my event. My florists starting costs for a small wedding were $3,000. Wedding invitations? I spotted some $1,000-2,000 price tags and balked. For someone trying to achieve a wedding under $20,000, those three items had already blown my entire spend.
Though I can't offer assistance in the film photographer department or help you uncover florist pricing, I can offer some insight into what you should expect to spend if you're interested in wedding invitations designer by or embellished by a calligrapher and give you a look at the different types of printing processes associated with them.
Think Minted, Wedding Paper Divas, Tiny Prints, and more. Pre-made invitations are the all-inclusive, budget-friendly option for wedding invitations. You can order from a range of styles - foil pressed, letterpress, flat printed, and customize much of the information on the invitation aside from design. You can expect to pay around $200 for 100 Save the Dates. For a three-piece wedding invitation suite, with flat, letterpress, or foil printing, you're looking at around $650+ (envelope font printing included) for your invitation suite.
Semi-custom Calligraphy Invitations
Semi-custom invitations are often available through designers or calligraphers. They tow the line between pre-made and custom as often the design is set but the actual calligraphy is customized to you! Semi-custom invitations have a range of pricing with design starting between $200-$500. Add in printing and envelope addressing and 100 invitations can range from $1,000-$2,000 (more if you're looking for handmade papers or foil printing). This usually includes calligraphed envelopes, printing, and paper, but doesn't include embellishments like wax seals, vellum, or silk ribbon.
Custom Calligraphy Invitations
Most calligraphers offer custom design. Graphic designers and wedding invitation makers (like print shops and artists) also offer custom design and often the group collaborates together to create a custom product for a bride. Custom design is widely priced and usually reflects the popularity of the designer or calligrapher, the print process used, and the demand for that individual's services. If you're looking at completely custom design, the design alone will range from $600+ with printing and envelope calligraphy pushing pricing into the $2,000-$6,000 range.
Much of the cost associated with custom invitations (and semi-custom invitations) is linked to your printing methods. Gold foil and letterpress are currently very popular print methods and also the most expensive. Pricing for 100 foil invitation suites (3 pieces) starts around $800, letterpress around $500, and flat printing around $250.
The current rate for hand-calligraphed envelopes is around $3-$5 an envelope. Expect to pay around $300-$500 for 100 envelopes.