Call me reductionist, but I think it’s dumb for a custom stationer to have minimum order quantities for hand-crafted stationery.
Here’s why they do it
The lion’s share of the cost of an invitation happens before ink ever meets paper. It’s in the design and in ordering paper, envelopes, and other supplies. It’s in the labor of setting up the printing press. And those costs are usually the same whether you’re ordering one or 100.
This is true of most custom wedding invitations printed by letterpress, engraving, or other similar methods.
Since we incur these costs no matter how many invitations we’re printing, the first invitation off the press is the most expensive. And the price per-invitation gets lower the more you need. The same invitation that costs $2,000 for 100 (or $20 per invitation) might cost $1,200 if you ordered 20 ($60 per invitation).
I think a lot of stationers assume that the client who would pay $20 per invitation (for 100) won’t pay $60 each for 20. Instituting a minimum order keeps the per-invitation cost artificially low. This makes the client feel like they’re getting a good deal. In the end, they may be buying invitations they don’t need, though.
I think you’re smarter than that.
That’s why I’ll gladly make you one single, solitary invitation if that’s what you need. Actually, I’d suggest you get a couple extra for posterity.
Of course, it won’t be inexpensive, but it makes more sense than making you pay for invitations you don’t need.