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Choosing Wedding Invitations: When should you choose semi-custom instead of custom design?

meet ALLISON  →

A wedding stationery designer with a love of coordinating envelopes, watercolor envelope liners, wax seals and classic letterpress!

Designing timeless stationery in Findlay, Ohio for romantic couples.


Welcome to the Kindly Delivered Blog! In case you are new around here, Kindly Delivered is a full service invitation and stationery design studio. Whether you love to be involved in all the details, or prefer to have someone take the lead and design incredible invitations that match your wedding vision, I’m your girl! When it comes to choosing wedding invitations, I offer both custom and semi-custom invitations. I love both.

Today, I am going to talk about how to know whether to choose custom or semi-custom invitations for your joy-filled celebration.

Semi-custom and custom wedding invitation and stationery designer at Kindly Delivered.

Timeline for semi-custom and custom invitations

Invitations are typically considered a “closer to the date” wedding task. Custom Design can take longer than you expect though! If you want to send out your wedding invitations eight weeks before your wedding, you are going to want to start the design process well in advance. From initial design consultation to printing and delivery, the process can take 6-10 weeks.

If you have less time to work with, semi-custom invitations can be a great alternative. These take closer to two or three weeks from the date of purchase. Shopping for semi-custom wedding invitations? You can browse our 6 semi-custom invitations suites here. You can also shop collections and individual pieces at our Etsy shop.

Customizing your Wedding Invitations

Are you worried choosing a semi-custom invitation will have your invitations looking “like everyone else’s”? Or are you worried that they won’t *quite* match the tone of your event?

Often times, our couples are surprised at how different each semi-custom invitation can be customized! Below you can see the Charlotte Suite as originally designed, and three mock ups with different event colors and details. You can see that even though they are considered “semi-custom”, you can certainly make them unique and custom to your event or wedding day.

High Quality Wedding Invitations

I know you want high-quality wedding invitations. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a custom design to avoid sacrificing quality. Semi-custom wedding invitations from an invitation designer are not the same as your run-of-the-mill mass-produced, low-quality wedding invites where you swap out your name and date and call it a day. Invitations are the first glimpse into your wedding that your guests receive. It’s also the last thing they keep to remember your wedding.

A few high quality touches that your guests would never know are on semi-custom invitations?

  • Thermography Printing, as found with the Jericka Suite
  • Silver Letterpress Ink, as found with the Charlotte Suite
  • Dark Invitations with Rose Gold foil, as found with the Roxy Suite
  • Adding touches like wax seals, envelope liners, envelope addressing, and so much more!

Setting your invitation budget: The difference in price between custom and semi-custom wedding invitations

For custom invitations, Kindly Delivered clients spend an average of $1200-$1500 for a digitally printed wedding invitation suite (100 Invitations, Response Cards and matching envelopes). Or, for clients who choose letterpress or foil stamping, the average price increases to $1800-$2400 depending on their wedding invitation suite. 

If you want to save money without sacrificing quality, semi-custom invitations are a great option. For a full four-piece or five-piece invitation suite, you can expect to spend between $500-$1200 for 100 invitations (including luxury touches like letterpress).

When to choose semi-custom design invitations over custom design

As you can see, quality is not a concern. You can enjoy high quality invitations, no matter what. Semi-custom invitations can be customized to match your event by changing the color and embellishments, but if you want to make other changes (like adding a monogram or changing the design elements), the custom design would be a better choice.

In 2020, we have seen an unprecedented amount of postponements and changes (as you can imagine). Because of this, many couples are choosing to hold off on ordering invitations until much closer to the date. Custom design can take between 6-10 weeks from concept to delivery, so if you are cutting it close, semi-custom is a much faster option.

Last but certainly not least, budget. Invitations are one of the only tangible things you still have after your wedding day. Often, they can serve as a treasured momento, which is why at Kindly Delivered we create all of our invitations to be heirloom quality. With that in mind, semi-custom invitation design cuts the design cost quite significantly which is a great way to save some money.

Ready to shop for your wedding invitations?

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of whether you want to shop for custom invitations (and work with an invitation designer, like me) or you want to browse some high quality semi-custom invitation designs. Either way, you will appreciate investing in higher quality. You will want your invitations to last. And don’t forget to bring them on the wedding day for those dreamy detail shots!

Not sure which of our 6 semi-custom invitation suites would be best for you?