There’s this new trend in Utah with photo invitations. You know the ones- you can design you invite on your computer and just take it to Costco to get it printed as a photograph. There are so many cute styles and designs out there to use- you really can get a cute invitation for just the price of a photo print!
I guess over all my opinion of a photo invitation is great. I think it’s a great idea and it can save you a lot of money- if you do it right. That’s the important part here! Most people just do things because they assume they’ll be the cheapest way when really they could get something much nicer for the same price. Let me do a little math for you so you can see what I’m talking about.
I’m going to use the photo printing prices from Costco. If you’re planning on getting your photo invitations printed elsewhere then you’ll of course need to change the total amounts according to the difference in price.
Let’s say you make your own invitation on your computer and save it as a jpeg. That means you’re not paying anyone anything for design work. If so, you have a lot of choices when it comes to sizes of invitations, but let’s just focus on the main ones- 4 x6 or 5×7 .
What’s the difference? Well, 5×7 is a standard wedding invitation size and ends up looking a bit more professional mostly because people are used to getting a slightly bigger envelope in the mail when they receive a wedding invitation. 4×6 is slightly smaller (obviously) and would be quite a bit more casual- but would still have plenty of room for your information. The other difference is of course price- currently at Costco a 4×6 print costs $.13 and a 5×7 print costs $.39.
So this gets to the part I don’t understand. Most photo invites that I get in the mail are the 5×7 size. So, the print costs $.39 and a standard 5×7 envelope is about $.10. That comes to a little over 50 cents per invitation(after tax)! There are so many invitation places who will print you an invite on nice quality paper for $.50 per invitation. Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m going to pay the same price for an invitation, I’d rather have one on nice quality paper than a Costco lustre or glossy print! So I know there are a lot of you thinking to yourself- I’ve looked and I can’t find anything close to the price! Well, there might be a reason for that- here’s how to tell if you’re really going to save money with the photo print.
First of all, if you’re ok with the 4×6 print, then I really don’t think you’ll find much under $.13 per invite (well, probably around $/20 once you add the envelope into it). So go for it!
For you 5×7 lovers here’s the deal. When you work with an invitation company, the final price of your invitations almost always depends on how many you’ll order. If you only need 100 invites, then the cost per invitation will be higher than if you were buying say 500 invites. Does that make sense? The same invitation might be $.90 per invite if you order 100 but just $.40 per invite if you order 500. That’s because a professional printing press is going to charge, say, $25 to set up your invite file on their printer- they don’t care if you want 100 invites or 500- the time they spend setting up the printer to print your file is the same and so the price they charge is the same. And, it just turns out that $25 divided by 100 is more than $25 divided by 500.
Photo printing, however- does not typically charge that kind of a set up fee. A 5×7 print is going to cost $39 cents whether you’re ordering 100 of them or 500 of them.
So, if you’ll looking to print 400 or more invitations, I’d suggest taking a look around at some invitations places before settling for flimsy photo paper prints. You’ll probably get a lot better product for a lower price.
If you’re looking to print 250 or less, a photo print might be the best option for you.
If you want to find some places that offer invitations for less than $.50 here are a few suggestions-
www.overnightprints.com– this one’s great if you have a lot of photos on your invite but want to print on a nice glossy cardstock