One of the first questions I ask my brides when starting the wedding invitation process is “HOW MANY INVITATIONS DO YOU NEED?” Sometimes the invitations are one of the tasks that is overlooked in the wedding planning… think it can be done with a snap of your fingers and everything is fine. I wish it was the easy, but there is a lot that goes into this task. Besides, you kind of need invitations to let your guests know when and where to show up… I would hate for you to get all dolled up in your breath-taking wedding dress and start walking down the aisle to ZERO GUESTS (unless you are eloping then that’s a different story).
Here are some things I have been told by brides…
“I have 200 guests… I approximately need 100-150.”
“I am short 10 invitations… I needed them yesterday.”
I get it… I was in your shoes not long ago with my own wedding (pre-stationery business) and I had no clue either. I have put together some tips on how to calculate the number of invitations you need.
COUNT THE HOUSEHOLDS
Unless all your friends and family members are single and don’t live under the same roof, it is best to count the number of households (aka the addresses) in lieu of the number of people. Typically the number of invitations is about 60% of the headcount… 100 guests = 60 invitations
Besides you dress and photographs, the invitation is the only thing you get to keep of your wedding day… the food had been eaten, flowers have wilted, and the music has stopped playing. Order a few extras to keep for yourself and for both sets of parents for sentimental value. You can even frame your invitation so that you can see it year round as part of your decor.
I always recommend ordering 10-15 extras… especially if you forgot to add someone to your original guest list. Also, if you have some guests not receive their invitation because of the post office losing it. Plus give one to your photographer to use with some of your detail shots on your wedding day.
You don’t want to order to many extras for budget sake but it is best to order some more on the front end then be 5 invitations short and have to rush order more at a steeper rate for a the less quantity. Keep in mind, some stationery companies require a minimum.
On top of ordering some extras, I recommend ordering 20% envelopes if you are DIYing or having a calligrapher address your envelopes. In an ideal world, there would be no mess ups on the envelopes, but we are human and there can easily be a mistake. If the stationery designer is taking care of it for you then not as many extras need to be ordered.