How to Set a Budget for Your Wedding Stationery

Sweet As Honey Studio is all about honest, wholesome creative work that explodes with personality.  The moment you get engaged, money is a topic frequently on the table.  This being said, sometimes honest and wholesome advice, doesn't sound so sweet.  Setting a wedding budget is the best way to open lines of communication with your future spouse, to set expectations, and also build a vision of what you will and will not  have on your wedding day.  This post is about the nitty-gritty of designing a wedding stationery budget.  

I want all of my brides to be aware of the costs of wedding paper goods.  It saves heartbreak and also can provide a much needed reality check for wedding needs and wants.  In this post you will learn why wedding stationery is expensive and how to set your own wedding stationery budget.  

With wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty and websites like Pinterest, it is easy to get swept up by the wedding world.  Many of the weddings featured are high-budget or styled shoots.  Styled shoots are when a group of creatives come together and style a mock-wedding.  As a designer who has participated in styled shoots, I only create a small handful of wedding invitations and pour a larger amount of money into them.  Styled shoots give creatives the opportunity to be bold, expensive, and out of the box since they only create enough to take pictures of.  It is our heart to provide authentic styled shoots, but we are also able control the environment 100% more than an actual wedding day.  Please keep this in mind when you are looking at wedding invitations and styling.  

It is wonderful to pull inspiration from Pinterest and wedding blogs, in fact I ask most of my brides to send me pictures of the florals, the ceremonies, and the dresses they love.  Websites like these are wonderful tools to designers.  They help provide wedding vendors with the vision of the bride.  However, they also can build unreal expectations of what the average wedding looks like.  Remember when I told you most weddings featured are high-budget or styled shoots? In no way am I criticizing brides who use these websites and blogs, or the websites and blogs themselves.  I want to bring an honest approach to wedding budgeting and these are some of the facts we have to face when setting a wedding budget.  

The average cost of a wedding in the USA is close to $30,000 according to NYCPost.  When I ask brides what their stationery budget range is, they ask me what a good price is.  And I tell them it is all about what they want, but they can expect to pay close to 4-10% of their total wedding budget on the paper goods.  Custom invitations aren't for everyone, which is perfectly fine! I believe you can have the wedding of your dreams if you are savvy with your money.  If you fall under this category, you can expect to pay between 2-3% of your total wedding budget on wedding paper goods.

After telling you the amount you may be spending on wedding invitations, I know you may seem a little shocked.  If the average wedding is close to $30,000, that means you will be spending between $1,200.00 - $3,000.00.  Let's see why! 

When you are ordering custom invitations from a designer, you are starting on a blank canvas.  The designer will take time to provide you with custom paper selections, will spend time understanding your vision and research what will best fit your desires, and will be in constant contact with you throughout the whole process.  A tad bit different from ordering something pre made online.  A designer's work doesn't start when the invitations designing begins.  They will create mood boards, sketches, and collect the necessary mediums to needed to execute the end vision.  Invitations are a work of art mastered and molded to fit your special day.

Wedding paper goods are expensive because you are using the expertise and artistic skills of a seasoned designer.  Someone who has spent their time honing their craft to give you beautiful results.  Paper goods are more than just card stock with a design, they are the livelihood of those who create them.  All of the designers I know, pour their hearts and souls into getting to know their couples and making something incredibly special for them.

I strongly believe it is important to be informed of where your money is going, especially while planning a wedding.  I want to give you exactly what you want, as a designer, but I also need to be honest with you.  Wedding invitations need multiple envelopes and stamps, plus the price of paper and printing.  Boutique custom invitations are very different from boxed invitations, but you also have to be willing to pay the cost.  

Sit down with your fiancé and talk about how much your total wedding budget is, from there begin to divide the budget into sections such as dress, food, venue, transportation, etc.  Researching and organizing how much you can spend on invitations is a vital asset to not only yourself, but also to your wedding vendor.  You'll be able to set realistic expectations while allowing creativity to soar.