CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — The price of postage stamps increased from 60 cents to 63 cents on Sunday, and it is having a downstream effect on wedding planning.

While a three-cent increase may not seem like much, it adds up when it comes to wedding planning.

“They are likely having three touchpoints in the mail. They’re likely doing the save the date, the wedding invitation, and then the thank-you card,” said Sara O’Shea, owner of So Chic Boutique and Events in Morton and Peoria Heights.

Wedding planners are getting creative to help reduce the cost.

“For the RSVPs, an option that we’ve been exploring is having QR codes instead of a stamp that goes back on it,” said Taylor Hanneman, wedding planner and owner of Tailormade Events.

“I think what we’re really going to see with this postage increase is more and more people going digital. We’ve seen a shift in people doing still printed invitations but a digital reply. Go on the website and reply to save that postage on the RSVP,” said O’Shea.

O’Shea said going digital comes at the expense of the formality and creativity of traditional wedding invitations.

“Instead of doing beautiful pocket invitations with foil detailing, they’re going to send a postcard…Some of the details, or the wax seal and some of those things that make it special, make it a keepsake. They’re just going to continue to take some of that expense away because they need to put that expense into the postage,” said O’Shea.

An admitted stationery lover, O’Shea said she’s always looked at the invitation as the introduction to the event.

“To me, that’s your first glimpse of what the experience will be. So to then change that first glimpse to being something digital. Something that’s not tangible, holding and feeling the paper. I think it’s going to change that first impression,” she said.

Hanneman said couples will have to prioritize what’s most important when budgeting for their wedding.

“What I tell my brides is, is it aesthetic or is it atmosphere? Are you more invested in if everyone has a really good time or do you want it to look really good?” she said.

Regardless of postage stamp increases, O’Shea said invitations just haven’t been as big of a priority as they used to be.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen the trend of paper continuing to become more casual, and unfortunately I think with the postage it’s going to continue to make paper less of a financial priority for people,” she said.

Hanneman said the average wedding in Central Illinois costs between $30,000 to $70,000.

“I have been seeing a trend where people are saving money because that isn’t the most important thing. A lot of vendors are booking up, and their prices have increased, so if they’re able to save some money on postage on their stationary being sent out to their guests, and they’re able to put that towards florals, DJ, or the food, I think they’re willing to do that,” said Hanneman.

Sunday’s postage increase is the third price hike in three years.