Semi-Custom Versus Custom Stationery

January 9, 2018



Wedding Stationery is one element of the planning process that can be as simple and fun as you like. After you have searched the blogs, social media, and bridal magazines for inspiration and determined your overall wedding aesthetic, you should consider whether you want to purchase custom or semi-custom stationery.


Custom stationery is also known as “bespoke stationery” because it is typically made-to-order. You work with the designer/stationer to define the specifications, which is then used to create stationery that aligns with the look and feel of your wedding. Often times small details are incorporated into the custom pieces that can’t always be done with semi-custom stationery.


Semi-custom stationery is pre-designed stationery that can be slightly modified. This option typically allows you to change wording, ink color, and paper/envelope type. However, you do not have the ability to change the overall design and normally have limited choices.


Now that you know the difference between the two, you should further explore the factors that may contribute to your decision. The most notably factors that play a part in the decision making process is style, budget, and timeline. In addition, think about how important your stationery is to you. Do you believe stationery sets the tone of the wedding?



More than ever couples are merging different themes together to create their wedding aesthetic. In turn, it becomes harder to find the perfect stationery for your wedding—and the out-of-the-box look does not work for everyone.


If you are particular about creating something unique to you and your fiance, that also complements your overall ambiance, you need to consider ordering custom stationery. However, if you have a pretty well-established theme, with plenty of easy-to-find inspiration, consider semi-custom stationery.




When cost is a major factor, determine a realistic budget to work within. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on ALL of your stationery, including pre-wedding stationery (save the dates, invitation, etc), day of stationery, and in some cases, post wedding stationery (thank you cards, brunch invite, etc). Then determine where to spend it. What things can you splurge on? What things can you save on?


Just like anything else, custom costs more because personalization takes time, has varied material costs, and more. You get to choose pretty much anything...and THE SKY'S THE LIMIT! Of course you will be lead by an awesome stationer, like myself, but it is ultimately your vision that comes to life.


Semi-custom is perfect if you need a beautiful design and the least expensive option. It is also the best choice if you do not have the time or energy to work with someone to establish your concept.



Custom stationery typically takes a bit longer because the aesthetic/style has to be developed. Stationers usually take more time to learn and understand the couples’ needs in order to provide a thorough proposal and accurate timeline. For example, you should allow approximately 6-10 weeks, sometimes longer, for custom designs.


Semi-custom designs are more plug and play, which requires far less labor. You may still have to go through a few rounds of changes, but the price and/or timeline is pretty well determined in the beginning. For this reason, semi-custom wedding invitations may take a little as 2 to 4 weeks from order to delivery.


Although both options are great, determine which one makes the most sense for you. Keep in mind the factors outlined and your definition of the ideal client experience.


If you are looking for a custom design and stellar customer service, contact Dreamcatcher Stationery today!


Skipped to the end? Download the semi-custom versus custom stationery quick sheet below!








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