Monday, September 14, 2009

What Determines Stationery Costs? Part 1: Invitation Formats

If you are planning any type of event and are in the market for invitations, sometimes it can be overwhelming that there are so many to choose from! Your budget and tastes can be determining factors as to the type of invitations that would suit you, your budget and your event best.

Overall there are several factors that will determine the overall costs of your invitations. They include:
  • The Format of the Invitation
  • The Stock (or paper)
  • The Printing Method
  • The Design (pre-designed or custom)
Prioritizing what for you is most important, whether it be the printing method of the format of the invitation will ultimately help you stay within your budget. I'll be reviewing all these different factors separately in detail and different posts, but for now let's focus on your invitation format.

The format of is the actual layout and delivery of the finished invitation. You can find a variety of invitations from single card stock, traditional invitations to really luxurious invitations with multiple card stock layers and ribbons delivered to your guests in silk boxes.

One quick thing to remember is the more stock (paper and/or other materials) that is needed to produce the invitation, the more expensive it will be. The costs of producing a single stock, 3.5"x5" piece is substantially less than let's say a 5"x7" pocket envelope invitation with multiple inserts because less materials are used to create the finished product.

Below is a sampling of different format invitation ideas in the marketplace now, listed in the order of how budget friendly they are.

Traditional Flat Invitation- The most standard size you see in the marketplace is 5"x7" but you can get smaller ones as well. You can have a more modern design that incorporates rounded edges or go with a traditional flat design that has multiple, layered cards for a sophisticated look.

From top clockwise: cevd custom invitation design, Pearl & Marmalade, Invite Couture.

Bi-Fold and Tri-Fold Invitations- Very similar to a traditional flat, but the card is folded in a way so you then have a cover and an inside to the invitation.

From top to bottom: Cheree Berry Papers, Liz Hager Design,
Lilah Paper.

Pocket Invitations- Pocket invitations are the more savvy cousin of the traditional invitation. It's basically a traditional invitation, but layered onto a card or envelope with a pocket designed into it. The pocket is perfect for RSVP's and other insertion cards. Because pockets use more paper to create them than standard, traditional flat invitations expect these to be a bit pricier. Pocket invitations are perfect for events where you want to give your guests a lot of information, so you typically see them used more for weddings than anything else.

From top to bottom: top and middle by Invite Couture, bottom by Gourmet Invitations.

Box Invitations- Box invitations are probably the most luxurious invitations you can find. They are basically a traditional, flat invitation and insertion cards (sometimes also in a pocket envelope) that are sent to guests presented inside a beautiful box. Boxes can come in a variety of colors or even in fabrics, such as silk.

Clockwise from left: Lela NY, My Personal Artist, Revelry Invitations.

Stay tuned for part two of this series, Budgeting Your Event Stationery- The Stock.

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