What You Are Paying For
Hi there! Welcome to my first blog post on this site. I'm trying to make my site more well-rounded with complete catalogs and information, and I currently have 45 minutes, so this is the step I'm taking. You're welcome, world.
I browse a lot of wedding forums, like, a LOT. I want to see what couples have to say about the whole process of getting married- the challenges, the nice surprises, the whole planning adventure. Weddings are expensive, but some people seem to think they're too expensive. I've decided to cover some details of what you're actually paying for with a wedding, at least when it comes to the stationery.
A lot of companies, especially smaller ones, provide custom designs from scratch. We want to give you exactly what you want! It's your day, after all. So rest assured, we aren't pulling from an assortment of templates and just plugging in the details. We're coming up with sketches, layouts, and paper strategies all from square one. In some cases, there's custom art involved, such as watercolor paintings. This takes time!
A lot of companies charge $10 for you to see a new version of your invitation. Personally, I don't like this practice, as I know I personally would want to REALLY MAKE SURE that everything is exactly how I want it. That said, making changes to drafts takes time, and when designers have several projects going on at once, time is money.
Many stationers have partnerships with paper companies, but that doesn't mean the paper is free. In my experience, paper might provide the bulk of the cost! If you want to lower costs, get things with white or cream colored paper. Any other color is going to be more expensive (but it'll also look really cool). The more paper you want, the more money you should expect to spend.
Most stationers don't print at home. Similar to the paper partnerships, there are printing companies with whom a rapport is developed, but again, this service isn't free. It costs money simply to start the machines!
If assembly is done before the final product reaches you, there is a cost associated with this, since it takes time. I try and do as much as I possibly can for the couples I work with, because ultimately I thought it was unfair that people were dropping thousands of dollars on stationery and then they still had to spend hours of their time putting it all together. A lot of the time, pieces have to be mounted on other pieces, an address needs to be stamped, a band needs to be made to hold everything together... This is pretty time-intensive depending on how many pieces there are, and being a perfectionist, I don't trust people to be entirely obsessive about how everything is put together, so I do it as something included in my pricing. I want everyone to see the invitations in their best form, not only as a representation of myself and my work, but as a representation of the couple.
I feel like this one is pretty self-explanatory. Sending things costs money.
Chances are, when you walk into a store, that store has expenses. They pay for rent, they pay for membership fees to organizations to help them better their craft, they have costs associated with credit card machines, electricity, packaging, etc. If companies provided everything at cost, they would fail to pay their own bills, and then you wouldn't have anywhere to go to shop for invitations. If you want to support a business by shopping there, please understand that a large part of supporting that business is making sure that the business can cover their expenses.
While weddings are expensive, a lot of places try and keep their prices reasonable, but "reasonable" is a pretty subjective term. Someone might think they can get 500 pieces of luxe stationery for $30, and anything above that is unreasonable (it's not). Someone else might think that $500 for 25 pieces of stationery is reasonable, and that's ok too. It all depends on the paper, the printing, and the design. My advice to everyone is to do some research on the average cost of wedding invitations and what all the "average" wedding invitation includes so that you have some ballpark idea of what you can expect to spend.