Choosing the Perfect Wedding Stationary

Posted on June 11, 2019

Ah, wedding stationery. We know it, we love it, we spend hours admiring it on Pinterest. Your stationery conveys all manner of information to your guests about your wedding. For example, your invitation may clearly state when and where you’re getting married, but it also gives guests a glimpse into the theme, color palette, and general style of your big day.

For this reason, stationery is one very important part of the wedding planning process. But when it comes to choosing the perfect stationery for your special day, many couples find themselves overwhelmed by all their options! If you’re struggling to find the perfect stationery for you and your sweetheart, don’t worry; we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

What Do You Need?
Wedding stationery typically includes four different pieces. While each piece has its own unique purpose, it’s best if they all match, as this creates a cohesive theme for all your wedding-related paper products. When you’re deciding on wedding stationery, make sure you remember to order each of these items!

As the name suggests, save-the-date cards let your guests know that there’s a wedding coming and that they should “save the date.” This gives people time to make themselves available for the big day, whether they need to book a flight, request time off work, or simply buy a new outfit! Typically, couples send these anywhere between 4-12 months before the wedding date — depending on whether or not the affair is local or a destination wedding.

Your wedding invitation is the pièce de résistance of your stationery set. This is the piece that your mother will put in a scrapbook, it’s the one you’ll most likely save for posterity, and it’s the one your guests will spend the most time looking at.

Here, you need to make sure everything is clearly stated (and properly spelled): the wedding date, location ceremony start time, and even dress code should be somewhere on this little piece of paper. Invitations should be sent to your guests 6-8 weeks before the wedding.

RSVP cards
While your invitation is the most important piece of stationery for your guests, this little card is absolutely essential for you and your future spouse. Without the RSVP cards, you’d never know how many people are coming to the wedding — and an incorrect head count is a recipe for chaos.

Because RSVP cards are sent out with the invitations (again, 6-8 weeks before the wedding), it can be easy for couples to forget about them. After all, they’re just part of the invite… right? Not always; some stationery companies might include RSVP cards with the invitations, but others may require you to order them separately. It’s important that you keep this in mind and make sure you’ve ordered everything you need.

Thank-you cards
Even after you say “I do,” there’s still a bit more stationery to send out. Sending thank-you cards to your guests is a wonderful way to let them know you appreciated both their presence at your wedding and the gifts they sent (plus, it’s just polite!). Etiquette dictates that couples should send out thank-you cards no later than three months after their honeymoon. Of course, the sooner you send out your cards, the better!

*A Note About Menus and Programs*
Some of you may be thinking, “That’s not everything! What about menus and ceremony programs? Isn’t that wedding stationery, too?” Yes and no: while these items can be included in your wedding stationery, they’re totally optional, and these days many couples are saving a few pennies by scrapping them altogether. If you decide to use menus and programs, they should certainly match the style of the rest of your stationery. However, if you decide not to have them made, that’s ok too!

Popular Choices
These days, it’s easier than ever to order wedding stationery from the comfort of your home. There are countless companies out there that offer customizable invitations and announcements for every occasion! Of course, not every company is created equal, so let’s break down some of the most popular wedding stationery options out there!

Average cost: $1-$5 per card
Turnaround Time: 2-7 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts
Special Features: Can order paper extras like napkins and cloth extras like gift bags
Coupon Codes: 20% Off Your First Purchase When You Sign Up For Email

Zazzle has a massive selection of wedding stationery styles (our search for “wedding stationery” yielded over 479,000 results). These options vary drastically in price, but they also allow for a huge range of design, paper quality, and overall style. You can use a pre-made template as-is or customize it with your photo.

Average cost: $0.50-$1 per card
Turnaround Time: 3-8 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts/blank cards
Special Features: Some designs offer gold foil options for an extra classy touch
Coupon Codes: 15% off your order of $60, 25% off your order of$100 or 30% off your order of $200. Maximum savings $200 with code SAVEMOREUS

Like the other companies we’ve discussed, Vistaprint has a wealth of pre-designed templates you can use to create professional-looking stationery. They also have an option to order a blank card, on which you can upload your very own design (a popular option for engaged graphic designers).

Average cost: $2-$5 per card
Turnaround Time: 5-9 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts/blank card options
Special Features: Custom color options within templates
Coupon Codes: 20% Off When You Subscribe For Minted Email For New Customers Only

Minted is one of the more expensive companies, but they can be great for couples with a very large guest list — the more you order, the lower the cost per card! Minted also offers more customization options for each of their templates, as you can choose templates in different colors to match your palette, and they offer free samples so you can see your stationery before you place an order.

Basic Invite
Average cost: $0.99-$2.99 per card
Turnaround Time: 6-12 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts/blank cards
Special Features: Custom color options
Coupon Codes: 15% off everything for the month of March with code 15FF51

Don’t let the name fool you: Basic Invite is far from basic! Like the other companies we’ve mentioned so far, Basic Invite has a wide range of wedding stationery with customizable themes you can choose from. You can upload a photo of you and your fiance in some templates, or you can change the colors of any given template to better match your wedding color scheme.

Average cost: $1-$2.60 per card
Turnaround Time: 3-10 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts
Special Features: Can order extras like wedding albums or custom cocktail napkins
Coupon Codes: 40% OFF on your first order when you signup for email

Shutterfly is a veritable one-stop shop for couples looking for wedding stationery. This company uses pre-made templates (which you can customize with your own photos), so it’s easy to find matching styles for everything you need.

Average cost: $0.45-$2 per card
Turnaround Time: 4-8 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts and color options
Special Features: Offers pickup in stores like Wal-Mart or Walgreens
Coupon Codes: Up to 70% off cards with code MAKE CARDS

Snapfish doesn’t have as wide a selection as some of the other companies we’ve discussed, but the selection they do have is very beautiful, and their incredibly low prices make them a popular choice for many couples. They also offer in-store pickup with companies like Wal-Mart and Walgreens, which can be convenient for busy couples.

Average cost: $1.59-$4 per card
Turnaround Time: 3-10 business days
Customizable: Templates and blank card options
Special Features: Postable mails the cards for you
Coupon Codes: 25% off your first order with code WELCOME25

Wedding planning is a lot of work, and most couples need all the help they can get. Postable knows this, which is why they offer to help by mailing your invitations for you! You can choose a template, upload your guests’ addresses to your account on their site, and call it a day — they’ll take care of the rest.

Budget Brides
According to some wedding industry experts, the average couple can expect to spend a whopping $750 dollars on their wedding invitations! If that number makes your skin crawl, fear not — there are a few cost-effective options that might suit your style without breaking your budget.

Average cost: $2.50-$36 for a kit
Turnaround Time: None
Customizable: No
Special Features: Can pick up printable cards in the store
Coupon Codes: None

We all know Target. It’s the place where we buy… well, pretty much everything, and wedding stationery is no exception. Target offers a selection of pre-made, fill-in-the-blank invitation kits, which you can write by hand or print from your computer.

Average cost: $0.85-$2.99 per card
Turnaround Time: 3-14 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts
Special Features: In-store pickup options available
Coupon Codes: 40% off all cards and stationery with code MARCH40

Walgreens’ photo center offers a wide range of photo-based stationery for a relatively low cost. They also offer in-store pickup options, which can be great for couples who want to peek at the finished product before they take them home.

Average cost: $0.69 per card
Turnaround Time: 5-7 business days (or next-day pickup in store)
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts and color options
Special Features: Complete suite options
Coupon Codes: None

One of the greatest things about Costco is how they sell almost everything you could ever need. And when it comes to wedding stationery, they’ve made things particularly easy; not only can you customize your invitations with certain color palettes or photographs, they’ve bundled together stationery sets in matching themes! It’s easier than ever to get matching save-the-dates, invites, RSVP cards, and thank-you cards all at once.

Average cost: $0.60 per card
Turnaround Time: 5-7 business days (or same-day pickup if ordered before 2pm)
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts and color options
Special Features: In-store pickup available
Coupon Codes: None

Most people think of Staples as the place to buy office supplies and little else. However, they have a nice selection of wedding invitations that rivals some of the more popular brands — and they’re available at a much lower price.

Digital Invitations
Traditionally speaking, wedding stationery reaches your guests through the mail. But like the song says, “The times are a-changing,” and many couples are considering digital invitations. While this option doesn’t provide you with a keepsake (it’s hard to put an email in a scrapbook), it can save you money and limit your paper use, thereby shrinking your carbon footprint!

Average cost: Varies based on the number of invites, from $39 for 40 to $124 for 150
Turnaround Time: 0-7 days, depending on customization
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts, color options, and blank options
Special Features: Extra customization options
Coupon Codes: 20% off with code GoGreen

Greenvelope is a paperless version of template-based sites like Vistaprint or Shutterfly. They offer a wide range of templates to work with, but they also offer extra customization options (for an additional cost) if necessary, like custom color options or even a custom-made design with a member of their team.

Paperless Post
Average cost: Free – “2 coins”
Turnaround Time: None
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts, color options, and blank options
Special Features: Event management software and coin-based payment
Coupon Codes: $5 off a $25+ coin purchase with code MOREMERI
Paperless Post sells e-cards using digital “coins,” which they sell in groups of 25 for $10. Then, you can choose from a wide range of customizable cards — including several free options! Paperless Post also offers a great event managing service, where you can track RSVPs and manage your guest list right on the site.

Average cost: membership-based: free for first 100 guests up to $6.99 per month
Turnaround Time: None
Customizable: Templates with photo and color options
Special Features: Manage RSVPs on site
Coupon Codes: None

Punchbowl’s membership-based system allows you to create digital invitations for free (up to 100 guests per event). If you want to invite more people, or you want more premium options (for example, if you want to remove any banner ads from your invite), you can pay a monthly fee, but if you’re planning a small wedding this a great way to get the word out and save some money!

Average cost: Free-$50, based on the number of guests
Turnaround Time: None
Customizable: Templates with photo and color options
Special Features: Animated invitation options
Coupon Codes: 10% off any order with code EVITE10

Evite has a huge selection of free digital invitations, as well as some premium invitations which have high-end designs for an additional cost. Depending on the number of people you invite, you can get your wedding stationery with minimal cost and no paper products!

Other Options
Some couples may take umbrage with choosing invitations from a template (even one you can customize) After all, your wedding is a celebration of your unique love story — it only makes sense that your stationery is just as original! If that’s how you and your fiance feel, you’re in luck. There are many wedding stationery options that are just as unique as you!

Paper Culture
Average cost: $1.50-$2.50 per card
Turnaround Time: 8-11 business days
Customizable: Yes
Special Features: Stationery made from recycled paper
Coupon Codes: 30% off save-the-dates, no code necessary; free standard shipping on cards over $125, up to a maximum value of $8.99

Paper Culture uses template-based stationery like Zazzle, Shutterfly, or even Greenvelope. While their selection is smaller, there is one crucial difference that sets this company apart: these products are made from recycled paper, and the company plants a tree for every order they fulfill. This makes them a popular choice for eco-conscious couples who want to have a green wedding.

Average cost: Varies by the seller, from $1.50-$80 per card
Turnaround Time: Varies by the seller, typically 4-8 weeks
Customizable: Yes
Special Features: One-of-a-kind commissioned artwork
Coupon Codes: None

Etsy is the home of customized, DIY craft projects, which means it’s the perfect place to get a truly personalized invitation. Calligraphers, laser-cut artists, watercolor painters — they’re all on Etsy, and they’re all ready to take a commission from you! Obviously, this option tends to be much more expensive than the template-bases services, but the result is a one-of-a-kind invitation you’ll treasure for years.

Magnet Street
Average cost: $2.50-$4 per card
Turnaround Time: 10-14 business days
Customizable: Templates with photo inserts/blank card options
Special Features: Wedding stationery printed on magnets
Coupon Codes: 50% off and free shipping with coupon code CHEERS

Let’s be honest: your wedding invitation is going to end up on your guests’ fridges. Ordering from Magnet Street cuts out the middleman by printing your invitation onto a magnet! This is a particularly popular choice for save-the-date cards; if your guests will see the card every time they grab a snack, they’re much more likely to remember the big day.

So, which wedding stationery option is best? Should you add your image to a Shutterfly print? Send a digital invite with Greenvelope? Hire an Etsy artist to capture your likeness? The answer is very simple: we don’t know! Every one of these options will get you a beautiful set of stationery — the final decision all comes down to you.

Remember, your wedding is all about celebrating you, your partner, and the love that you share. When it’s time to pick your stationery, sit down together and see what catches both your eyes! If you work together, you’re sure to find the perfect stationery for your special day.