Wedding Invitation Fees

I am curious to learn what people charge for letterpress-printed wedding invitation services…I’m wondering what price range people charge for the design and production of a full suite, excluding materials.

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There is no way to give you an answer to that question,
a full suite can be 5-21 pieces, how many colors? anyyadditional services like Foiling, Die cutting, rounded corners, colored edges, holes punched, ribbons added, etc.

Production is faster on a Windmill than a handfed Platen or proofpress. There are so many variables to consider, your question is to broad.

Thanks for the reply. I realize it’s an open-ended request. Just wondering what a range might be given the range of possibilities.

So many variables. Setting a per hour fee seems to be the fairest way. At least this seems to work for me.

We are selling a service. Makeready takes the most time. Price accordingly.

While the question is broad, you can find information online on pricing. Many companies spell out the costs so wedding couples know what to expect. You can find someone offering something similar to what your capabilities are, I’m sure.
It does take research, and a knowledge of roughly how long all aspects of a job will take you. While you might come up with your own pricing guide, it still has to be balanced against what others are charging for similar work
Good luck!

Thanks to all for the positive feedback!

You should be able to develop some pretty simple price grids. Every job is pretty much a combination of setup cost and run length. Your setup costs are pretty well fixed. Cost for plates, ink, wash up. These things all cost about the same every time, per color, whether you print 1 or 10000. Run length costs come down to how much paper stock you will need to make count plus waste and how many pieces you can print per hour. You can use two different sets of cost per hour for printing if you split it based on registration as well.

I printing teaching back in the mid-60s said to use this a guide.

Add up all you cost for the project and do a 2.5 times that cost.

If the plate, paper, misc items cost you a total of $50.

$50 x 2.5 = $125

The selling price is $125 for the job.

I’ve usually heard the multiplier is 3, and sometimes 4. A lot of the price also centers on just how much information/art/specifications the client provides you. I would tend to bill higher to the client who doesn’t know what they want, as I’m likely to have to make changes in the composition phase of the project.

Another way to figure it is at $60 an hour—based on commercial rates of timing—so the presswork may be $60 ($20 makeready, $30 press time, $10 washup). Basically $1 a minute—and for some shops, this is actually a low bid.

Possibly use a little subterfuge*** (as the Costing and Estimating dept,s did way back.!!) and also that which the Print Farmers also Cottoned onto.
By all means do the homework, but in the process and before written quotes use the above*** to ascertain what the potential opposition is quoting, take an average of at least 3, and then go in at 5-10% less, underhand Maybe, but that is exactly what the big boys do.

From the Huge outfits down to the 2 Man/Women units, a racing certainty that the Rep,s/Sales Staff all do it, and even trade/swap jobs (unofficially) on a mutually beneficial arrangement.

When the author worked in a self employed basis, Casting type with the Monotype & Printing with The Thompson Platen one of the first *customers* in the door was a Print Farmer, as above, knew almost nothing about Letterpress Printing BUT carried an impressive portfolio, covering most aspects of the medium, Straight letterpress, Embossing, Die cutting, Thermography everything that was applicable to the Thompson.
Always ready to offer 2/3/4 local estimates/quotes, consequently always a perfect target to aim at OR decline, probably still a good Yardstick to go by.!!

It may even be considered using the *Lost Leader* system, I.E. supplying the first one or two jobs at bare cost, (without losing of course) if you are competetive the word will go forward.!!

Make sure your eye catching Compliment slip is either enclosed with order or File Copy is on the outside of the well wrapped consignment.???

Really smart,!! , , Personalised tape or Stickers on the wrapper.…Good Luck… Mick.

Barring dificulties Estimating paper costs and materials, it should be as straightforward for you to estimate out the WORK that will go into the job versus any other general custom work you do. You base this on your existing price-per-print-run formula. If you’re designing and printing, I think this is a wild-hare question that could run all over the place; but if you are dealign with other’s designs it shouldn’t be all that difficult. You can multiply what you’d charge for a 2/2 5x7 piece times 4 and then work back from this in steps of 25% until the customer is happy and base the work off the general budget they are considering.

Now comes my funny piece of advice:

Consider that you’ll possibly be dealign with a handler, or be dealing with a couple directly, who have a strict deadline for their needs to be met. Consider that you may have to re-do the job on an overnight basis, and ADD this to the cost straightaway before you give the estimate.

Give the couple or the wedding planner both estimates. Explain that it will be the lesser of the two without changes, the latter of the two with last minute changes.

This has worked for me in the past.

Printing etiquette question: do you print your press name somewhere on the invitations?


I would say it would be in poor taste to put any indication of the printer on an invitation, unless the work was done as a gift to the bride. Even then, it might be somewhat tacky.

You could, however, do some special packaging or wrapping of the set with printed wrappers exhibiting your press name, etc.

John H.

It’d be in poor tact to do that IMHO, but ymmv depending upon the bride and groom? A wedding invite isn’t something so trivial as your average crappy rubbish bound greeting card- it’s a bit more premium of an ephemera item worthy of keepsake. Who wants really trawly, chummy advertising on the keepsake for their special, once in a lifetime day?

You could also think of it this way- give your bride and groom a complimentary stack of your own printed cards, to dole out to curious parties at or on the wedding-day should anyone inquire as to the person(s) responsible for their unique, precisely printed, very luxurious invitations. You might even consider having them pass one off to whomever catches the bouquet.

Better still, leave a stack next to the wedding cake.

Sorry, promoting your business at someone private social event is wrong in my book.

If a company event, and you did printing for the event YES!

A private event is NOT about you, it about them.

I would never put my business info on something I printed, unless it was printed for free as a favor to a business, or it was *my own* promotional items.

Had I paid for wedding invites and other materials and found a business’ logo on them, I would have refused to accept the work, even if it meant losing the deposit. And I’d be considering going to small claims court for damages… claiming that the goods were useless to me, I’d give myself a decent shot at winning.

(Right, if the utter sarcasm didn’t come through on my second two posts, they ought to be seen as such)