When it comes to wedding planning, one thing becomes clear SUPER quickly… and that’s how fast the costs soon add up!
One area where costs can easily spiral is your wedding stationery. Depending on the type of invitations you choose, it can get pricey pretty quickly.
So, to ensure that you limit those costs you’re going to want to work out how many wedding invitations to order.
This can feel a bit confusing:
Order too many and you’ve wasted precious cash. Order too few and you’re scrabbling around for invitations at a time when you should be doing a ton of other stuff.
Luckily for you, I’m here to help…
Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know to ensure you order the perfect number of invites for your wedding.
How many invitations should I order for my wedding reception?
The first step is to ensure that you’ve got your guest list ironed out.
So, let’s work out who to send wedding invitations to
Everyone who you want to attend your wedding should get an invite. So, get out a sheet of paper, or even better, a spreadsheet, and make a list of everyone that you want at your wedding.
The list of people who need a paper invitation should include your close family (assuming they’re invited, of course) and bridal party.
This might seem like a ‘duh’ statement, but I made this mistake for my wedding…
We went down the DIY invitation route and by the time I’d handmade 50 invites, I never wanted to see another glue gun again – so my family didn’t get an actual paper invitation (they were clearly invited to the wedding!) Needless to say, my mom still hasn’t forgiven me!
Now, let’s work out how many invitations that equates to
So, now you have your guests listed out, it’s time to figure out how many invitations you need.
You don’t need an invitation for EVERY guest on your list – so how many wedding invitations should you order?
The general rule is ONE invitation per household or couple.
This does get a bit messier for other family or relationship situations. For example:
- Single people who share an address (such as roommates) should each get their own invite.
- For families who live across several households (such as parents and grown-up children), each house gets its own invite.
While you’ll need to work out the numbers for your wedding, this usually means that you need invitation numbers to cover approximately 50-60% of your guest list (so for 200 guests, you’d need ABOUT 100-120 invites).
BUT, that doesn’t take into account the extra invitations you might need…
How many extra wedding invitations to order?
A general rule of thumb is to order 10% more invitations than you think you’ll need, as it’s a bit risky to order only the number of invitations you think you’ll need.
So, why might you need extra invites?
Extra invitations for “oops” moments
There’s always the risk that one or two invitations could get wasted due to tearing or having a water spill. So, it makes sense to plan for contingencies here.
Extra invitations for RSVP declines
If you struggled to prune your guest list down to a certain number of people, then you may have a “reserve” list of guests that you’d like to invite should any of the primary invitees decline.
In that case, you’ll need extra invitations to send out in the “second round”.
Extra invitations for photography & keepsakes
Don’t forget about the fact that you may want to hold on to a couple of invitations for sentimental reasons (check out this post on how to preserve your invitation).
Having a couple of extras on hand for your photographer to shoot for your album and for you to keep as a reminder of the day is always a great idea.
How many envelopes for wedding invitations? Don’t forget about extras!
This is something that lots of brides and grooms forget about – you should always have more envelopes than you do invitations just in case you (or your calligrapher) make a mistake when addressing the envelopes.
So, if you order 10 extra invites, you may want to order 15-20 extra envelopes (for example).
(Plus – don’t forget about your wedding address return labels – make sure you have enough for all the extra envelopes you’re ordering!)
How many wedding invitations to order: the quick guide
Is your head still spinning? Fear not – here’s you’re at-a-glance summary to ordering the perfect number of wedding invitations:
- Work out your guest numbers (including close family and the bridal party)
- Work out the invitation numbers needed to send invites to each couple and household and single grown-up (this is usually about 50-60% of your guest numbers)
- Work out the number of extra invitations you need to account for wastage, late invitations, keepsakes, and photography (the rule of thumb here is about 10% more, but this depends on your wedding)
- Don’t forget to order even more extra envelopes to account for mistakes when addressing them.
So there you have it… the definitive guide to the age-old question, “how many wedding invitations should I order?!”
I hope that’s helped!