The finest papers and labor-intensive printing techniques make wedding invitations expensive.

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As anyone who's ever gotten hitched can tell you, weddings are expensive. Paying for the dress, catering, flowers and renting out the ceremony and reception sites can cost tens of thousands of dollars -- all for just one special day.

Going into the planning process, most of us know our wedding is going to be expensive, but many first-time brides are still unprepared for the cost of certain expenses, especially the wedding invitations. We'll demystify why your invites cost so much money (and hopefully save you the embarrassment of tugging at your collar and rolling your eyes in the stationery store).