In the stationery category, invitations are only the beginning. Beyond invitations, there are reply cards, save-the-date notices, ceremony and reception programs, seating cards and thank-you notes.
While the invitations alone cost $659 on average, the remainder of the stationery suite adds nearly $200 to this total. If you plan to spring for traditional hand-engraving or thermography printing, expect to spend hundreds of dollars on top of that. Add a few hundred more if you want a professional calligrapher to address your invitations. Another popular (read: expensive) trend is a personalized wedding day logo or design on invitations and other wedding stationery, which requires a graphic designer and custom printing plates.
To keep stationery costs in check, some couples choose to print their own programs and seating cards from home, though professionally printed invitations and reply cards are still the norm. Most couples are willing to pay for expensive stationery because the invitation sets the mood for the whole event. Plus, they're planning on having it framed later!