Custom Wedding Invitations: Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a wedding is an exciting process, and one of the most personal moments is choosing your wedding invitations. Custom wedding invitations set the tone for your upcoming nuptials, and reflect your personal style as a couple. With over 30 years of experience designing wedding stationery in San Francisco, we are here to help you navigate this important task. We’ve put together some of our most frequently asked questions and their answers below.

How to order wedding invitations?

We offer a wide range of semi-custom and completely custom invitation styles. Make a FREE appointment to come in to our San Francisco brick and mortar storefront, and one of our designers will be more than happy to walk you through all the different options to help you create the perfect paper suite for your special event.

Once we are aligned on your specifications and price estimate, and you are ready to place your order, the next steps are:

  1. A rough 50% deposit is collected to begin any design work.
  2. You provide us with your desired wording for all of the printed components in your wedding invitation suite. Our wedding wording guide is available to help you with content, or we are also happy to assist with any particulars and advise on formal etiquette, as needed.
  3. With the above steps completed, an initial PDF proof will be emailed to you within 2-4* business days. Revisions are turned around in 1-2* business days. Once everything looks 100% perfect, you give us your final approval to proceed. No changes can be made after approval.
  4. Your order goes into production. If we are printing your envelopes with digital calligraphy for guest names and addresses, this is a great time for you to complete your Excel template!
  5. We take delivery on all the various components of your invitations, and add the finishing touches, such as digital calligraphy, wax seals, ribbons, assembly, etc.
  6. All done! We will let you know that your order is complete and ready for pick up or shipment.

*Turnaround times are general guidelines, and may fluctuate throughout the year. We will provide you with a personalized timeline.

When should I mail save the dates?

Our recommendation is to mail save the dates 6-12 months ahead of your wedding date. If most of your guests have to make travel plans, we would lean towards the earlier time frame. However, we do not suggest mailing them more than a year out, as this can cause confusion sometimes with the year, and also most flights and hotels cannot be booked more than a year out.

When should I mail wedding invitations?

A general suggestion is to mail your wedding invitations 8-16 weeks ahead of your wedding date. Destination weddings that involve travel may command more time. There are also factors of your rsvp date and whether or not you are doing an rsvp envelope or online rsvp option. This timeframe is a comfortable spot that allows an adequate amount of time on both ends for both your guests to plan and respond, and for you to finalize seating arrangements.

When should my rsvp deadline be?

Typically, final numbers are due to your venue and/or caterer anywhere from 3-20 business days before your event date. With that in consideration, most rsvp by dates are between 4-10 weeks ahead of your wedding date. While the above information are standard timelines, we defer to your preference and will work with you to come up with the best timing for your specific circumstances.

Do you offer rush options?

Rush options may be available on a case-by-case basis for an additional fee. Please inquire.

floral wedding invitation suite with lavender, coral, and pink for beringer vineyard wedding shoot

How much do wedding invitations cost?

This is probably the most frequently asked question, and rightfully so as the answer can be quite complicated. Wedding invitation costs are highly variable and dependent on a number of factors, such as quantity, number of cards, size, printing methods, paper type, embellishments, and more. Every couple is unique and as follows, so are their needs and wants for their wedding invitation suite. We will provide you with a personalized price estimate based on your specific order details.

To promote transparency, below are starting price points for 100 A7 (5″ x 7″) basic invitation cards with unprinted and unlined single envelopes as of today, June 19, 2024. Some optional add-ons that will quickly change the pricing include envelope printing, envelope liners, paper upgrades, additional enclosure cards, multiple ink colors or press runs, embellishments, and more. Generally speaking, the higher the quantity, the less each printed card becomes, especially for press-based printing methods.

  • ($) Digital Printing (Full Color, Flat) ≈ $275+
  • ($$) Thermography (Single Color, Raised) ≈ $375+
  • ($$$) Letterpress (Single Color, Indented) ≈ $455+
  • ($$$) Foil (Single Color, Slightly Indented) ≈ $495+
  • ($$$$) Engraving (Single Color, Raised) ≈ $610+

We also offer other specialty printing methods, such as blind embossing or blind debossing. Other finishing options are also available, such as beveling, painted edges, gilding, and more. Our professionals are here to help you every step of the way, and we are always happy to brainstorm and collaborate to create wedding invitations that suit your taste and budget!

What is your turnaround time?

Turnaround times definitely fluctuate throughout the year, and are based on current workload and capacity. Generally speaking:

  • Digital: ~ 2 weeks
  • Thermography: ~ 2.5-3.5 weeks
  • Letterpress/Foil: ~ 3-5 weeks
  • Engraving: ~ 4-8 weeks

These turnaround times begin from when we receive final proof approval to proceed into production. Rush options may be available on a case-by-case basis.

william arthur ecru beaded border wedding invitation suite printed in black thermography ink with custom monogram

What goes in an invitation suite?

Simply put – anything you would like! Formal etiquette would dictate having a separate card for each and every detail. However, times are changing and much of the information that was traditionally mailed within the wedding invitation is now living online on couples’ wedding websites. At a minimum, you need your wedding invitation card that invites guests to the wedding ceremony (and the reception, if the information fits). Outside of that, other cards that should be considered include rsvp/respond cards, reception cards, details cards, event cards, and more. Read our article “What To Include In A Wedding Invitation Suite” for more details and many examples.

Do you help with wording for wedding invitations?

Definitely! Check out our free wedding invitation wording guide for examples. We can also offer etiquette advice and suggestions for any scenario that you might need assistance with.

What is the best way to seal my invitation envelopes?

All of our single or outer invitation envelopes come pre-gummed with adhesive for easy sealing. The most accessible method of sealing is to simply use water – just be aware that too much or too little can affect how well the glue adheres. Alternatively, you can also use a glue stick to easily and securely seal your wedding envelopes. Last, but certainly not least, is a double-stick tape runner. These are very easy to use and also offer the most secure seal – perfect for extra bulky invitations.

peachy blush wedding invitation envelope with digital calligraphy machine printed guest address in hand calligraphy style

Can you print my guest addresses?

Yes, we sure can! We specialize in digital calligraphy which is machine-printed directly onto your wedding envelopes. The fonts and style can be matched to your invitations for consistency, and we can even print white ink on dark colored envelopes. Learn more about our envelope addressing services here.

Do you offer hand calligraphy?

While we do not, we are more than happy to refer you to our favorite hand calligraphers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Note that they will generally require 10-20% extra envelopes.

How many wedding invitations should I order?

Keep in mind that you typically mail one invitation per couple. For example, if you are inviting 200 individual guests, you will likely need to order between 125-150 invitations. Don’t forget to include some extra invitations, just in case of:

  • Keepsakes
  • Forgotten folks
  • Addressing mistakes
  • B-list
  • USPS blunders

If you need to order more invitations after the fact, the additional cost tends to be higher than your initial bulk order, and it will also take the same amount of time.

Will my invitations come fully assembled?

Our standard service does not include any assembly. You will receive your invitations in separate parts (stack of invitation cards, stack of envelopes, stack of rsvp cards, etc.) for you to assemble and stuff, stamp, seal, and mail them.

How much does it cost to mail wedding invitations?

Postage rates depend on several factors, such as weight, dimensions, rigidity, orientation, and final destination. We always recommend that you bring one complete invitation to your post office to get a quote and purchase stamps. Don’t forget to also buy postage for your rsvp envelopes!

What is hand canceling?

Hand canceling is a manual service that keeps your invitations from going through the automated sorting machines. This is not offered at every post office, and your invitations may still go through postal machines at different points in their journey. We recommend contacting your local post office to see if they offer this service, as it varies from location to location. Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy is not responsible for any delivery issues once the invitations are given to the post office.

Can you mail our wedding invitations for us?

Yes, we can! We offer a stuffing, sealing, stamping and mailing service that starts at $1.00 each, and increases based on level of complexity. This price does not include the cost of postage stamps. Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy is not responsible for any delivery issues once the invitations are given to the post office.

wedding tablescape with custom cream menu cards printed in slate thermography ink

Do you offer wedding day of stationery?

Once the wedding invitations are completed and mailed out, there are still more stationery items to consider for the actual wedding day and beyond. Here are some of the most popular items:

  • Thank You Notes
  • Escort Cards or Place Cards
  • Menus
  • Table Numbers
  • Programs
  • Seating Chart
  • Welcome Sign
  • Napkins
  • Favor Tags, Labels, and more!

What is a PDF proof?

Our invitation designers will take your wording, invitation specs, design preferences, fonts, colors, and any other pertinent details and create a PDF file that is emailed to you that shows how each and every printed item will appear. These are set to actual size, and we strongly recommend printing out your PDF proofs at actual size/100% (do not select “fit to page”) to review all the details very carefully. This is where it can be great to get additional sets of eyes to make sure nothing is missed.

Will I receive a physical proof?

We email digital PDF proofs for you to review prior to production. Due to the nature of our print processes, we do not offer physical proofs. A physical proof for digital (flat) printing may be accommodated for an additional fee.

What if I still have questions?

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or give us a call at 415-626-0461. Our location is at Three Embarcadero Center on the Street Level in the financial district of San Francisco. We look forward to working with you to create custom wedding invitations!

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