How Many Extra Wedding Invitations to Order? (1 Golden Rule)

Many couples cannot imagine having their special day without the company of their loved ones. After all, a wedding is a meaningful and memorable occasion, and having one’s friends and families there can make the event more unforgettable. Thus, a lot of care goes into creating the guest list.

The golden rule for determining the number of extra invitations to order is 10% of your final count. However, it is not simply calculating 10% of your entire guest list.

If you plan on inviting 250 guests, do not immediately assume that you must order 275 invitations. Below is a more detailed guide for computing how many wedding invitations you should order in total, along with reasons to do so and some relevant tips. 

Ordering Extra Invitations: Everything You Need to Know

christmas themed invitation

Calculating How Many Extra Wedding Invitations to Order

When assembling your guest list, pay attention to anyone who lives together. For example, you might be inviting an entire family to your ceremony. You do not need six separate invitations for each of them; one invite will suffice for the household. 

The situation might be a little different for roommates or unrelated people sharing an apartment. For instance, two of your close friends may be living together. They should each receive an invitation.

You may also want to send your photographer an extra invitation, besides the one they already have. They can include it in photoshoots or capture breathtaking images with the invitation in the background. 

Likewise, do not forget to purchase additional invitations for personal use. These copies can be wonderful keepsakes you can store somewhere special or display at home. Consider ordering two to three extra invitations for this purpose.

Lastly, make sure to include extra envelopes in your order. Once you have determined the final number of invitations to send, purchase around 20% more envelopes. 

Sample Calculation of Extra Wedding Invitations to Order

woman writing

Let us take the hypothetical situation above as an example. You plan on having a gorgeous ceremony and want 250 of your closest friends and relatives to attend.

While you create your guest list, sort individuals according to their household. For example, while there are seven people in the Mayfield family, you only need one invitation for them. You can simply indicate in the wording who is invited

After this procedure, you might conclude that you only need 125 invitations to cover every guest or household.

You will get 128 invitations in total after adding an extra copy for your photographer, along with two copies as personal keepsakes.

At this point, you can now apply the 10% golden rule of how many extra wedding invitations to order. Ultimately, that figure comes up to 12.8 or 13. Thus, you need to purchase 141 invitations.

Do not forget to purchase additional envelopes. For 141 invitations, order 169 envelopes in total — 141 for each suite and 28 for insurance.

Reasons to Order Extra Wedding Invitations


You might feel that purchasing extra wedding invitations is an unnecessary expense. You might fear that you do not have the budget for it. However, here are some reasons why ordering even just a few additional invitations is crucial:

  • You might forget to invite someone until the last minute. Having extra invitations at hand means you do not need to visit the stationer again.
  • You may have recently uninvited someone, leaving spots open in your guest list. Again, these additional invitations are an insurance policy for this contingency.
  • You meet someone or reconnect with a friend or relative and want to invite them last minute.
  • If you mess up the handwriting or details on one invitation, you can simply use a different invitation. The same goes for the envelopes.
  • In some cases, purchasing additional wedding invitations is actually cheaper in the long run. You do not have to make extra trips and orders to the stationer, and individual printing can often be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Ordering extra invitations early will give you more time to assemble suites and send them out to your guests. Thus, your stress levels will not get too high.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

blank paper and envelop with pink lace

  • If you want to offset some of the costs from additional invitations, consider switching to an online RSVP alternative.
  • Generally, wedding stationery will consume 4% to 6% of your budget. Use this range as a benchmark to tell whether or not you are spending too much.
  • Proofread what you write on your invitations.
  • Consider hiring a calligrapher to write on the invitations for you if you are not confident about your handwriting.
  • You should practice on another sheet of paper with similar qualities as the paper your invitation uses.
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