How many wedding invitations do you really need?

“Sorry, can we print three more invitations?”

“The mail has lost ten invitations! I need more prints! ”

One of the things that is most often overlooked when planning your wedding is the number of invitations to order.

A little above, I mentioned some of my brides, who hadn’t calculated well how many invitations to print, and unfortunately realized, late in the day, a few weeks after the fateful yes, they needed extra invitations. But you want to avoid all of this, right? (And I guess you would also like to avoid paying extra for overnight and express printing).

We all make mistakes, that’s perfectly understandable! But the number of invitations you need is perfectly calculable, which can save you extra costs and a lot of stress.

You may not want to order too many invitations, but you also want to make sure you have a handful in reserve, enough as you will need.

Whether you are already ahead with organizing your wedding, or just a few weeks before the big day, this post is just for you!

So how many invitations do you really need? Keep reading! I have a very simple formula to help you figure out how many wedding invitations you will need.

Counts by number of families

To get a quick estimate of how many wedding invitations to order, count the number of families, not the number of guests.

You don’t need an invitation for every guest. Many brides sort invitations based on the number of guests and end up with too many extra “memories”. Simply put, if you invite a total of 200 guests to your wedding, you don’t really need 200 invitations. You may only need half.

Order 10-20 more invitations

Once you have counted the number of families, add at least 10-20 extra invitations to the total.

Even if ordering the exact amount of the wedding invitations could save you money, I would like to tell you right now, that reprints, especially if only a few invitations are made, are very very expensive. It costs you a lot less to add a few more invitations to the press.

It is more expensive (per piece) to print small quantities. Most printers have minimum order, so it is not even possible to print 10 more invitations.

Keepsakes is forever

Wedding invitations are one of the few tangible memories you can keep for many years to come, just like your wedding dress, your vows, your garter. They are part of a love story that you will want to celebrate forever. I recommend that you keep at least 2-3 copies as a souvenir. Your mom might want her memory too!

1-2 invitations for photographers and other staff members

Give at least one invitation to your photographer or other staff members (based on what your wedding requires). This deserves a post on its own, but your wedding invitations really complete your love story, so be sure to add it to your list of snaps. Invitations are the first impression everyone will have on your big day and really make your wedding official. It doesn’t matter if you only spent € 1 or € 1000 – it’s a celebration of a point in your life, and part of what makes you both unique.

Extra for emergencies

Do you have to send your invitations? Some may be lost. Your mom could add more people to the guest list. These are both common situations that I have seen many times over the past four years. Trust me, you’ll thank me later if you’re prepared for unforeseen emergencies!

Order extra envelopes if …

If you are hiring a calligrapher to write the addresses or you will: order at least 20% extra envelopes in case of errors. For example, if you are ordering 100 invitations and you expect a calligrapher to write your envelopes, order at least 20 extra envelopes.

If you are going to have the envelopes printed, you may not need to order additional envelopes.


Every month I add new resources. Currently you will find several guides dedicated to invitations: where I explain how an invitation is composed, and some tricks for not having extra guests, how to calculate how many invitations you need, how to make your guest list.

I’ve written a guide with some tips on how to deal with invitations during the pandemic: this will save you from wasting your prints, or perhaps having to reprint your invitations.

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