Custom and Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery: How To Decide Which Is The Best Fit For You

June 22, 2022

In the world of wedding stationery, there are soooo many different types to choose from—custom, semi-custom, templates, digital—you name it, it exists! With all of these choices to choose from, are you having a hard time making a decision?

I mean, my gosh, you have so many different options for your wedding already! The last thing you need is for your wedding stationery to be confusing, too.

I’m here to tell you that your wedding stationery doesn’t have to be a major headache. It should actually be really, really fun to create, easy to understand and completely stress-free. ✨

How does that sound? Like a dream, right?

In order to help you make a decision, I’m going to explain the benefits of my two favorite types of wedding stationery—Custom and Semi-Custom. That way, you can easily choose the type of wedding stationery you’d like to create for your big day.

Wedding invitation with all of the pieces displayed on a wooden table top and florals

Custom and Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery: What’s the Difference?

Custom and Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery are both wonderful options for creating your wedding stationery. To decide which option is the best fit for you, it really comes down to: personality, stationery budget, timeline, and design preferences.

Custom Wedding Stationery is exactly that—it’s custom. Basically, you are hiring a stationery designer to create your wedding stationery completely from scratch. This is a great option if you’re looking for something truly one-of-a-kind. Keep in mind, anything custom is going to be more of an investment and also takes a bit longer to create. But the outcome? Totally worth it!

Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery is very similar to the Custom experience, only you’ll be starting from a pre-made design. This is such a great options for anyone who isn’t really sure what they’re looking for. Also, anyone searching for budget-friendly stationery—this is for you!

I’m going to explain the differences between these two experiences in more detail. Before we get into it, start by asking yourself these few questions:

✍🏻 Are you more of a DIY-er or an outsourcer?

💸 Would you rather spend more for a professional to do it all or do you thrive with a “this” or “that” approach?

💍 Did you just get engaged, like yesterday, or are you making plans for your elopement that’s happening this weekend?

💌 Do you already have your stationery design sketched out or did you miss out on the creative gene and need some help getting started?

Keep all of your answers to these questions in the back of your mind as we chat more in-depth about each of these differences between Custom and Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery.

Use Your Personality As A Guide To Choosing Your Stationery Experience

Open envelope with a wedding invitation inside showing an envelope liner with a floral design on a wooden table

Okay, friend, let’s chat about your personality.

While you work on planning your big day, do you enjoy doing a lot of tasks yourself? Tell me the truth, do you have a craft closet full of supplies? A glue gun at the ready, perhaps? So do I, so no shame!

If you are a go-getter, DIY spirit — Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery is for you. Actually, it was made for you!

Now, on the flip side…

Are you more of an outsourcer type of person? Meaning, would you rather hire a professional to do it for you? Maybe you’ve been down this road before, tried the do-it-yourself method and it was a bit of a disaster. Now, you’d rather find the expert and pay the big bucks to have it done right the first time.

If this sounds like you — Custom Wedding Stationery is the perfect fit.

Whatever your personality may be, use it to your advantage when choosing your wedding stationery. Choosing a wedding stationery that is the right fit for you and your own unique personality is key to having an enjoyable, stress-free and fun experience.

A closeup of a wedding invitation showing the details card and a part of the invitation card all on a wooden table

Know Your Wedding Stationery Budget Before Getting Started

Before you start your wedding stationery, it’s always best to have a budget in mind.

For Custom Wedding Stationery, you can plan to invest anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000+ for all of your stationery needs. Keep in mind, this includes stationery such as: save the dates, invitations and day-of stationery.

If that goes above and beyond the budget you currently have set, no worries!

Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery is a more budget-friendly option where you can plan to invest anywhere from $500 to $2,000+ on your wedding stationery.

These estimates are based off of my personal services and offerings. Your stationery investment will definitely vary depending on your needs and which designer you work with.

👉🏻 If you have a favorite designer or shop you’d like to work with, reach out to them to see if you can get a custom quote before you begin designing!

An angled image of a wedding invitation displayed on a wooden table showing all of the different pieces, including the invitation card, details card, envelopes, addresses, etc.

Have A Stationery Design In Mind?

As a wedding stationer, I’ve had sooooo many couples come to me with a specific design in mind and others who had no idea where to even begin. Both of these approaches are wonderful in their own unique way.

Do you already have a stationery design envisioned in your mind? Maybe you’ve even taken the time to sketch it out, pick a color palette and select your favorite fonts. If this sounds like you, Custom Wedding Stationery would be a great option!

With the Custom Wedding Stationery Experience, you get to work one-on-one with a professional designer to create your very own design from scratch. Together, you can design a layout, select colors, and try different fonts and design elements to create wedding stationery that is truly all your own.

If you’re not entirely sure what you’re looking for or where to even begin, I highly recommend starting with the Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery Experience.

With Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery, you get to start with a pre-made design and customize it to reflect you and your big day. Customizing your design is super simple. Basically, choose the pieces you want to include, change all the colors you want, and replace all the wording and details with your own.

The best part? You’ll get to work with a professional designer one-on-one to make it all happen and to guide you through the entire process.

A closeup of the mailing envelope for a wedding invitation showing the addresses and a little bit of the RSVP card, invitation card and RSVP envelope, as well.

Start Your Wedding Stationery As Early As Possible

Now that your budget is set and you have a design in mind, it’s time to get started on your wedding stationery!

Keep in mind that your wedding stationery will take some time to create, no matter which experience you choose. Which is why it’s incredibly important to start creating your wedding stationery as early as you possibly can.

If you have your heart set on Custom Wedding Stationery, you can expect the entire process to take anywhere from 1-3 months to create your save the dates or invitations. The design process alone can take about 4-8 weeks. Then, you have to account for printing, assembly and mailing, as well. Your experience could take more or less time, but this is gives you a good idea of what to expect for your custom wedding stationery.

Now, Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery is much faster! The entire process from start to finish can be as fast as 4-6 weeks, if not faster. Since we’ll be customizing a pre-made design, the process is incredibly streamlined making the potential turnaround time much faster than the Custom Wedding Stationery Experience. This is a great perk to Semi-Custom Stationery, especially if you’re on a bit of a time crunch.

✨ If you’re not sure how much time you have available for your wedding stationery, chat with your wedding planner (if you have one) or reach out to a wedding stationer you admire and trust. They can help create a stationery timeline for your wedding day, so you can have clear expectations of what is possible for your wedding stationery.

An image saying "Let's create your dream wedding stationery, together. No matter which stationery experience fits you, together we can create wedding stationery that reflects you perfectly."
Custom Wedding Stationery Experience
Semi-Custom Wedding Stationery Experience

Choose Your Wedding Stationery Experience

Now that you have a clear comparison between Custom Wedding Stationery and Semi-Custom Stationery, which experience is the best fit for you?

Remember, there is ❎ no bad option ❎ when it comes to creating your wedding stationery.

Just like your big day, your wedding stationery is a personal reflect of you. Whether you choose Custom or Semi-Custom doesn’t matter, as long as you love the experience and the end result!


You Might Also Like…

What Pieces To Include In Your Wedding Invitations

The 3 Main Wedding Stationery Experiences

How Many Wedding Invitations To Order In Four Easy Steps

Photography: Molly Hoffman Photography
Stationery: East + West Designs

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