Today on the blog we are talking all about figuring out if custom stationery is the right move for you. If you have been here before we have established that for a lot of couples stationery is super confusing. So labels like custom, semi-custom and pre-made can really throw you for a loop if you don’t know what they are.
So that’s why today I am going to lay out the facts about each style of stationery and let you know everything you need need to make the right decision for yourself. Within each category I will cover the three main things that tend to make or break couple’s decisions on stationery: investment, customization, and timing.
Wanna jump ahead?
- Jump right over to learn more about custom-designed stationery
- Head straight over to learn more about semi-custom stationery
Let’s start with the most common option first…
Pre-made designs are the bulk of the stationery market. Online market places like zazzle are filled with invitations that are designed and ready to purchase online. Click. Buy. Done.
Pre-made stationery designs are the speedy delivery service of the stationery world. Most suppliers will have your order printed and shipped within just a few days! Which means, if you need to ship your order in 2 weeks or less then pre-made designs are the way to go!
With pre-made invites, what you see is what you get! So, if you don’t like the colors or wording…don’t buy it! Unless you see color options within the stationery listing there is no way for you to change them. Pre-made designs are personalized (put your names, dates and locations) but can’t be customized. So if you really want to make sure that all the colors, fonts and wordings are just right you will want to skip ahead to semi-custom stationery.
Don’t forget to make sure you like everything and have forty million people proof read your digital proofs because any mistakes can be costly. (This goes for all stationery but especially when ordering from a larger company and an actual person isn’t working with you!)
Hands down, pre-made designs are the most cost effective stationery option. Stationery gets more pricey the more time you spend with your designer, but since these guys are pre-made there is no designer time. This makes them extremely affordable with options as little as $1 per card!
If you want invitations that won’t break the bank, won’t derail your timeline, and don’t sacrifice your personality then semi-custom designs are the way to go.
Although semi-custom designs take longer than their pre-made siblings, you can have your stationery in as little as 4-6 weeks! Which to be honest is like warp speed in stationery terms.
With semi-custom stationery, get the convenience of catalog shopping but with the option to make it your own. Changing colors and fonts (and depending on the designer even the wording) is not problem. Semi-custom designs also mean you get to work with a designer and have an avenue to ask questions! But if you are looking for a design that is unique and a custom fit for your big day then skip ahead to custom stationery.
we (designers) each do semi-custom a bit differently so, before ordering your stationery from one of our online stationery boutiques, read our policies on what kind of changes are included in our semi-custom designs. Some designers will tweak fonts, colors, paper and wording while other may only do colors or fonts.
So be safe and ask questions before saying your semi-custom stationery “I Do’s!”
Semi-custom stationery sits right in the middle of the affordability scale. But the fact that you get a stationery adviser with your stationery you may find that it is totally worth it. Specific pricing varies from vendor to vendor, but suites usually start around $8 per suite (FYI you typically send one suite per household).
Sneak a peak at my semi-custom stationery designs to get a better feel for pricing and offerings.
If you don’t want stationery that’s blah and generic, but want invitations that are as unique and special as you and your partner are for each other then custom stationery is a must! Not to mention custom stationery opens the doors to some AMAZING options (i’ll get into that a bit more in the customization section).
Custom stationery is a process but is totally worth it! Typically you start working with your designer 8+ months out from your wedding. This may seem long, but your designer does all the work for you.
Here is a list of some the things I take off my client’s hands to give them peace of mind:
- coordinate with vendors to make sure the colors and vibe are just right
- handle all the revisions, tweaking, printing and pressing
- address every envelope and assemble #allthethings
- curate postage and mail the suite
- hand off suite to photographer for a keepsake photo
When it comes to custom stationery, there is no such thing as booking too early.
The more fancy schmancy you make your invitations the longer the process takes. Luxury invitations like letterpress and foil printing are gorgeous but can add 4-6 additional weeks to your stationery timeline depending on the season and your designers availability. To make sure you have ample amount of time with you designer, I suggest reaching out at least 8 months in advance. A good rule of thumb is to book your designer when you book your venue and photographer.
With custom stationery the sky is the limit and you will definitely blow your guests away! From beloved pet, adding a custom map for your destination wedding, or having custom upholstered invitation boxes the perfectly match your wedding vision one thing is for sure – your design will be an awesome reflection of you, your partner and your love.
Just like snowflakes, no two designers are alike! I highly suggest to you go stalk some designers’ websites and instagrams and see which designers you think will align with your stationery vision.
Once you narrow down your dream designers to one (or three) reach out and schedule a quick chat to see if you are a perfect fit for one another. The custom stationery process requires a lot of trust and honesty (from both parties), so making sure your a good fit ahead of time will prevent heartache at the end. (When I say good fit I mean Cinderella trying on the glass slipper and marrying the prince kind of fit!)
There’s just no sugar coating it, Custom Stationery is the most expensive stationery option, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be affordable.
For instance, my custom design services start as low as $2467 for 100 suites! That means you get a fully customized, totally you design less than $25 per suite. And it includes all this:
- Invitations (double sided with room for extra pizazz)
- RSVP Cards (double sided with room for DJ requests, date night suggestions and more)
- Enclosure Cards to tell your guests #allthethings
- Invitation and RSVP Envelopes
- Matching Invitation and RSVP Envelope Liners (read: extra places to make it totally you)
Not to mention one-on-one time with me, where I walk you through every step of the process with video calls and a thorough revision process.
So what will you choose?
I hope this break down was helpful in making your decision! Be sure to comment below with which stationery option is best for you.
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