Today we are going to talk about the next part of our “printing trifecta”: Materials.

When we first think about invitations, we normally envision paper. Paper is certainly the most common medium for invitations, but not the only materials we use. Base materials like acrylic, metal, wood, or PVC are becoming more and more popular for stationery design. In addition, embellishments, such as ribbons, twine and brooches are also very popular. Each of these materials comes with different pricing implications.

Photo Credit: Denise Lin Photography

Did you know that your paper choices will have a great impact on the final price of your stationery? Paper sheets come in different sizes and quantities. This means the cost “per sheet” can vary greatly. For stationers in Canada, many suppliers are from the United States. This means that papers ordered into Canada are subject to duties and tariffs, increasing the total cost per sheet.

So, why does this matter?

When we quote couples on their stationery, we look at the total cost per sheet and then see how many items can be printed on one single sheet. If a sheet of 11”x17” paper can fit three 5”x7” invitations, your cost per invitation is going to be higher than a 12”x18” sheet of the same paper which can fit four invitations. Likewise, with materials like acrylic and PVC. Most of these materials are sold in large sheets (4 feet by 8 feet) so the number of items per sheet matters and influences final pricing.

In addition to different sized materials contributing to the cost, the materials themselves also drastically impact the final amount of moolah per invitation. Thicker papers will generally be more expensive than thinner papers. Items with a textured finish like linen, home-made paper, or watercolour stock will most likely be more costly than a flat matte paper. And papers with a shimmer or glossy finish will likely cost more than ones without.



Photo Credit: Denise Lin Photography

Material choices also affect other areas of stationery as well.

You may have dreams of wrapping your stationery in a hand-dyed silk ribbon, but the base material, although stunningly beautiful, can be costly. Alternates like satin are available. Satin may not have identical properties to the silk, they still look lovely and are much more affordable.

This is the second reason why the question “how much does an invitation cost?” requires further exploration with your stationer.

Pro tip:
When you have your consultation with your stationer, leave yourself open to a variety of choices for materials to accommodate different price points.

Photo Credit: Denise Lin Photography

The rest of the posts in this series:

Budgets—An Intro
Budgets—Materials (You are here)
Budgets—Printing Methods