There is a simple formula to figure out how many invitations you should order:
Number of households + 10-20% extras = # of invitations to order
Up until the stationery point in your wedding planning process, you’ve been referring to the size of your wedding by the number of guests. And why wouldn’t you? Everything comes down to the number of guests, except for invitations.
Luckily, you just don’t need one invitation for every single guest as you can get away with only one per household. There are a few exceptions to this rule that we will get to later in this post.
First, I would recommend starting by putting all of your guests in a spreadsheet, lined up by household. See below example:
It’s helpful to have a column dedicated to number of guests in that household so you can keep tally for your other vendors but for invitations, we’re concerned about the number of lines as that adds up to the number of invitations.
Hint: you can also add columns for their responses to help with tracking!
Typically, you can get away with 1 invitation per household, except for the following scenarios:
The guest is over age 18. For example, if you’re inviting a family and one or more children are living with their parents and are over 18, they should receive their own invitation.
Housemates. If multiple couples or friends are sharing a house, each person or couple should receive their own invitation.
These scenarios are from traditional etiquette guides so do what’s best for you!
Back to our formula...
Using the above spreadsheet example, there are 16 lines/invitations, adding up to 32 guests.
From there, I recommend ordering at least 10% extra of blank envelopes. It’s common for invitations to get lost in the mail (especially around the holidays!) or you have last minute additions.
If you feel your guest list is “still in the works” when you’re ordering your invitations, then I would recommend ordering closer to 20%.
Even if you’re positive your list if perfect, I would recommend ordering no less than 5 extras. I’m not saying this to convince you to up your order but I see so many clients come back in a panic for 5 extras and it ends up costing a handful.
So, piecing together our formula:
16 invitations from our guest list
+4 for extras
= 20 invitations to order
If you have any questions or would like advice specific to your invitations or guest list, feel free to contact me! I’m happy to help!