Creating your wedding stationery budget

On Monday, we looked at how to create your wedding guest list. Hopefully, you’ve made a start, it’s a big job, but it honestly saves a lot of time in the long run. Read the full article for tips and tricks!

And yesterday, we made decisions on the wedding stationery required for your big day.

Today, and although this might seem backwards, let’s look at your wedding stationery budget.

It’s reported by Bride Magazine’s Cost of Love Survey, that the average wedding costs $90K… Eeek!

I think it is much easier to work out what you should budget for wedding stationery once you know your actual numbers (including a couple extra to buffer for the “Reserve” guests - see Monday's post).

Here’s why...

Most (if not all) stationery supplier price wedding stationery items per unit. And most allow you to order online. So going shopping without knowing the numbers, does not give a true representation of what you should budget.

And let’s be honest, wedding stationery (as seen in yesterday post) is much more than just the wedding invitation.

In our previous posts, we provided a spreadsheet for your Guest List. On tab 3 we have listed all of the stationery items you may require. Now go ahead and place quantities required next to each… now for the fun bit - go shopping and compare providers prices.

Tips and tricks

    • Order extra (non personalised) invitations this will save time and cost you less than having to get extras made later.
    • When factoring in the cost of stationery, don’t forget to include postage costs and stamps for the RSVP card.
      • Note: Last year, Australia Post changed their cost of stamps based on expediency (ie. regular, priority and express). Additionally see their website for letter size classifications which attract different stamp prices based on the envelope size and weight (ie. small, large (125g), large (250g), large letter (500g). Have a play with their postage and delivery form.
    • Opt for a wedding website (wedsite)… all of your additional printed elements that accompany the wedding invitation: RSVP card, accommodation options, transport guide, gift registry etc, are available online at your guests fingertips which saves on printing and posting costs (read more benefits).
    • Email wedding invitations (evites) reduce the cost of stationery significantly. Services such as ours allow you to send email, print or a combination of both...because let’s face it, some guests might need a printed version as opposed to an email.
    • Place your stationery order with one wedding supplier...this will ensure consistency across all of your stationery...and who knows, they might do a deal for you.
    • Proofread your wedding invitation thoroughly! You don’t want to have to pay for re-printing of your wedding stationery.
    • If you need further budget assistance, check out this fabulous online budget tool! Or i-do for tips and budget advice for you wedding day.

What wedding stationery do you need?


Now that we have a better handle on your wedding guest list, we now need to turn our mind to what stationery you actually need… and largely, this will be driven by the style of wedding you are having. I’m sure you’ve got the big day played out in your mind!

Below is a list of stationery items that you could incorporate into your wedding. Additionally, I’ve included when, ideally, you should order the items, when they should be sent, and what method you could use for each item. Please note, I’ve solely focused on the wedding, and therefore haven’t included engagement announcements/invitations, hen’s and buck’s invitations, kitchen tea invitations, etc.

 wedding stationery

It’s a bit of a mind field, we know!

To help, in yesterday’s post, we provided a spreadsheet for your Guest List. On tab 3 we have listed all of the above stationery items. For now, just place a Y or N for each item you require. In tomorrow's post, we go shopping!

Tips and tricks

    • When choosing your wedding stationery, there is a multitude of design, print and distribution options. If you’re wanting a bespoke design, start this process early and provide your supplier with examples of styles, fonts, images, colours that you’d like… this will speed up the process enormously! Alternatively, there are many ‘off the shelf’ designs or the ability to customise colours on ‘off the shelf’ designs.
    • Save the Date card: if you are planning an overseas wedding, try and order these soon after you have the date and venue locked in. This will hopefully help guests organise and get the best travel (flights, accommodation) deals.
    • Wedding website: whilst not strictly a stationery item, we see it as relevant as they can replace a number of printed stationery items. Ideally you will ‘go live’ with your website at the same time you send the wedding invitations (especially email invitations, as with our websites, the invitation integrated with the wedding website, meaning, when guests receive the email invitations they will click RSVP and be taken directly to your website (where they’ll need to log in with a password).
    • Decide on what information you need to share/capture and therefore stationery required:
        • Capture: RSVPs (including the names of ‘plus guests’), dietary and special requirements, following day celebration attendance, quirky facts: favourite song, cocktail.
        • Share: accommodation options, transport details, gift guide, love story, bridal party, following day celebrations.
    • Order of Service, Table Plan, Place Cards, Menus, Bonbonniere Cards, should all arrive to you no later than 1 week prior to the wedding. You will want to be able to provide these to the venue no less than 3 days prior.
    • Consider email wedding invitations (evites), they reduce the cost of stationery significantly and increase the speed in which your guests receive and reply to the wedding invitation. Services such as ours allow you to send email, print or a combination of both… because let’s face it, some guests might need a printed version as opposed to an email.
    • Place your stationery order with one wedding supplier. This will ensure consistency across all of your stationery… and who knows, they might do a deal for you. If they don’t list an item on their site, always ask!
    • Proofread your wedding invitation thoroughly! And then give it to someone else to proofread! You don’t want to have to pay for re-printing of your wedding stationery.

Creating your wedding guest list


Creating your guest list is by far the biggest task, but setting it up correctly from the start will save you enormous time and tears in the long run.

This week, I will walk you through a simple, day by day plan to get you 'wedding stationery' organised and have your invites sent ASAP! 

Below are my tips to make this task easier for you (and will help your suppliers). I’ve also created a template so you can get started straight away. 


Have one source of truth

By this I mean, only have one version of the guest list that you and your partner both have access to and can add and update guest details as your source / receive information. My preference is Google SheetsLogin or create an account, and save the template to your Google Drive.


Get onto it early

Too often I see couples who have chosen and ordered their stationery, but the guest list is still in its infancy stages and/or not complete, for example, address details missing or with spelling errors, names of guest's partner / spouse / 'plus 1' unknown.

So what happens is, the stationery is developed, either print or email, but there is a delay in sending as the couple are still chasing guests for details.

That is why we love evites (email invitations)... your guests details are incredibly easy to source! And you probably have most (if not all) email addresses already.


Information you’ll need to capture

Create separate columns for each of the following (or our template has it set up for you):

    • Title
    • First Name
    • Surname
    • Invitation Name (see point 4 under Tips and Tricks)
    • Email Address
    • Postal Address: Street Number and Name
    • Postal Address: Suburb
    • Postal Address: State, Post Code, Country
    • Invitation Type (print or email)
    • Invited by (see point 6 under Tips and Tricks)
    • List: A, Reserve (see point 2 under Tips and Tricks)


Tips and tricks

    • Know your limits: does the number of people invited work to your budget? can the venue only hold so many? are children invited? how close/often do you see your invited guest? what family politics are at play (you know what I mean...)?
    • It’s easier to cull guests once you have a full list. List all of the friends and family you would like to invite, then categorise them as an “A” guest or “Reserve” guest (under the “List” column).
        • Now move all of the “Reserve” guests to a second tab. Unfortunately, and we know it’s your wedding day, but there will be instances of regretfully decline. Best to have some back ups that you can quickly email / post an invitation to.
        • Additionally, don’t leave it until after the RSVP date to invite others, this screams “you were on the reserve list”. Get in early: evites are super quick to send (see our FAQ’s), and if you’re printing your invitations, I’d suggest having your supplier create some blank invitations (ie. no names on the invitation) so you can handwrite names and send ASAP.
    • Start a new row for each person, don’t combine couples, families, ‘plus 1’ guest, etc. Again, this help for quick count of final numbers.
    • Invitation Name: next to each person's name, list the name(s) as you would like them to appear on the invitations. This is where you can couple guests or families, for example: Paul and Sarah; The Johnson Family; Mary and Guest. 
    • For ‘plus 1' guests, just add the guest name on one row, then repeat underneath on another row but add +1 after the surname (until you have their details). For example:
        • John Smith
        • John Smith +1
    • For Invitation Type: only use 2 options, e.g. “Email”, “Print” - this will help with filtering and quick counting of final numbers for each stationery required.
    • If you are trying to keep the guest list as equal as possible, you could include a field (column) titled “Invited by”. I know many couples who have specific restrictions on the numbers the venue can hold, so they agreed 50:50 and invited whomever they like (I’m sure within reason…)