Whether a wedding, B'nai Mitzvah or other special event requiring RSVPs, many hosts forget to consider the additional costs inherent in traditional paper RSVPs when calculating the total cost of invitations. In addition to the cost of your invitations, invitation mailing envelopes and postage, it's important to factor in the the cost of paper RSVP cards, their return envelopes and postage -- as well as the less tangible costs including your time and hassle.
To help pinpoint what these costs will come out to be and help you determine the best, most cost effective approach to receiving your RSVPs, we've put together this handy RSVP costs calculator:
Number of parties invited
Consider this the number of total invitations you will be sending, and not the number of individual guests who you will be inviting. After all, you won't be sending an invitation to each guest, but an invitation to each party.
In addition to the postage costs required to send your traditional 'snail mail' invitation, you'll need to include return postage so that guests can easily slip your RSVP card back in the mail and return it to you. Postage costs these days can add up quickly. Depending on the number of parties you're inviting, can be a relatively significant cost when compared to receiving RSVPs by digital means like RSVPify.
Cost per RSVP card
Of course, the cost to purchase and print RSVP cards can vary dramatically based on anything from count of total cards ordered, paper quality and how fancy you'd like to get with your RSVP cards. The average cost per RSVP card -- if ordering 100 invitations -- is about $1.38 per RSVP card. If you're ordering less than 100 invitations, this cost is likely to go up by 20% or more. The fancier the RSVP card, the more expensive, of course. Premium RSVP cards can cost upwards of $5+ a piece.
Cost per RSVP return envelope
While perhaps the lowest tangible cost of sending out paper RSVP cards with your invitations, it's still important to factor in the cost of return envelopes. Again, the cost of envelopes typically varies by the total volume of invitations that you're ordering. The average cost per RSVP return envelope is about $.37, but can reach up to about a dollar each depending on quality and volume.
Your time and hassle
Sure, there's plenty of ways to streamline the RSVP process and stay organized. But, you know what they say about the best laid plans. It's easy to let RSVP returns pile up, to forget which replies you've already added to your spreadsheet (or napkin, as the case may be!), to lose replies, and to mis-enter guest preferences such as meal choices or food allergies. You might also find that some guests have snuck in an uninvited +1, selected a meal preference that's, well, not on the menu -- or worse, invited 3 of their best friends. What's this extra time and hassle worth to you when you're already plenty busy planning your event and concentrating on what matters?
Have you considered an online RSVP?
Alright, we admit to being a bit biased. Long story short, though, an online RSVP can help you save time and money -- and the planet, while you're at it. The physical costs of invitations, and their less tangible costs can add up quickly. Consider all of your alternatives and make an informed decision about the approach to RSVP collection that will work best for you and your special event.