How Many Invitations Should I Order?

One of the most common questions I get is : How many wedding invitations should I order?


There are a number of factors to consider when identifying the number of invitations you need.  I have tried to make your life a bit easier by jotting down a few tips and guidelines below -

Tip #1 : Count Households NOT Guests

A common mistake is that people automatically associate the number of guests they are inviting with the number of invitations they need.  Typically, one invitation gets sent to per couple or per family, which almost reduces the invitation count by almost 50%.  I always double-check with my brides who list large quantities to make sure that they are counting Invitations and not people.

For the number of invitations, count one for each of the following:

  • A Couple (married or living together)
  • A Family (includes any children under 18)
  • A Single Guest
  • The Officiant (if applicable)
  • The Photographer & Videographer (for them to shoot)
  • Keepsakes & Last Minute Guests

You should still send invitations to guests that may have already told you they will be unable to make it.

Tip #2 : Add Extras!

Everyone knows that they should order extras, but how many?  Personally, I don’t think there is a magic number for this as it often depends on a number of other factors.  Are you using a calligrapher?  Do you have a ‘B-List’ of attendees?  Did your Aunt Sally request 6 extra copies of the invitation to make you a special wedding gift?

Typically calligraphers will request a certain number of envelopes in addition to the quantity you need to account for any addressing mistakes.  I have seen this number range anywhere from 7-10 extras, or 10%-15%.  If you are thinking of using a calligrapher I recommend asking them early on, how many extras they might need.  Most stationers will let you order additional envelopes without the invitation and accompanying pieces, don’t forget if you are using an inner and an outer envelope that you will need extras of both. 

If you have a ‘B-List’, don’t forget that they will need an invitation too.  Typically people will have a ‘B-List’ when they have already reached the capacity of their venue (or budget!) but still have more people that they would like to include.  Once someone from your primary guest list declines you can send off the other invitation. 

After you have considered all of the above, I recommend ordering an additional 10% overage.  Inevitably there will be someone (a cousin, or maybe your father’s business partner) who slips your mind when completing your guest list.  It is much easier, and more cost effective to have a few extras on hand, rather than to have to submit a separate order when you realize that you are short, especially if your invitations are being printed via letterpress.