19 Oct Online Vs Designer Wedding Invitations

ONLINE Wedding Invitations



(are you really saving money?)



Online paper goods retailers are becoming a popular choice for wedding invitations in a digitally savvy modern age.  Invitations of all kinds, business cards, menus..anything in print right at your fingertips.  Yet still, traditional designers and printing experts offer services and goods that rival those of the ‘express’ online versions of wedding invitations.  I think about this often, and I see the appeal, but I wanted to break it down once and for all, to see if there is really a constant value in this option, and by value I don’t just mean saving money.  Value as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary means:

“a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”

In other words, “you get what you pay for”.  We all know this is not always the case, so lets see.  Lets say Donna M. Bride is looking for 100 invitations for her wedding.  She knows she wants matching envelopes and RSVP cards. If she can fit it in her budget, she would like envelope liners and wraps (called belly bands).  In my opinion, if she wants it, she should have it on her wedding day regardless of budget, but thats another blog.  So back to Donna M. Bride…  Hers is a scenario that may be familiar to many of you.  Traditionally, mark up on wedding goods is shameless, because retailers know that the consumer is willing to go the extra mile (or dollar) to get the day of her dreams.

Let’s visit online wedding invitation retailer example ‘Wedding Paper Divas’.  I am not picking on them, they have beautiful products, this is just for research sake!  So I’ve chosen from one of the hundred or so available templates.  Merriam Webster defines template in regards to technology as: 

“a computer document that has the basic format of something

(such as a business letter, chart, graph, etc.) and that can be used many different times”

Well that sounds fun, her wedding invitations are the same as ‘many different’ brides all over. Sweet.  So after she chooses her template, she is able to change the background color, there are five to choose from.  Also she chooses a shape, there are also five to choose from. Thats pretty neat.  Donna is on her way to becoming a designer now!  Oh wait, the special shapes cost $.24 each extra, oh well, she really likes it.  So after entering her info for the invitation she chooses the quantity and it shows her a price of $1.79 each, and $1.39 each for response cards. This brings us to a total so far of $341.00.  

unknownNow we have to choose our envelopes for the wedding invitations, which are $.19 each…but with the liners they are now $.59.  The same treatment for the RSVP envelopes put them at $.59 as well.  Our grand total comes to…..(drumroll please!)   $634.75 after tax and shipping.  This, I would say, is a pretty typical (and fair) price for wedding invitations.

So now we get to quote the same items from a traditional designer, for the test subject we will be using Eye Thee Wed.  Not a shameless plug, as this is my company, but I know the pricing so I can create the same order with the prices a retailer such as myself would charge a client.  Let me give you my background for a moment, so you may better assess the ‘value’ that we talked about earlier.  I am a graphic designer of ten years.  I know more than one should about paper stocks, envelopes, print processes, etc.  Not only that, I am a REAL person.  I am certainly not a template.  I have gotten my degree in art and design, as well as have ten years experience in printing.  All of this is to my clients benefits, as I serve as a guide to choosing and designing the perfect invitations.  

Back to the order for Donna.  The same wedding invitations, but with custom design, not template version, from myself…cost $1.20 each…that is a $ .59 cent difference. Funny, that happens to be the cost of the set of envelopes from the online retailer.  Hmm.  Response cards come in at $1.10/each.  Each wedding invitation/response card and envelope cost is $2.89 each, times on hundred, comes to a grand total of $289, and in the great state of Indiana the sales tax is 7%….putting our toatl at half the cost of the online retailer.  They also come assembled, and with a great deal of experience and love.  So there’s that, my comparison experiment!  Try it yourself!  See what happens, and then call me.  HA!

OH!  I almost forgot, Donnas wedding invitations came in and she realized that she spelled her fiances name wrong!!!  Who does she call???  Well, looks like she will have to place her $634.75, in part, all over again.  The online printer won’t refund or reprint because she signed off that her order is final and they have deemed her technically at fault.  Sorry Donna 🙁  

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