Most people will have never heard of semi-custom or semi-bespoke stationery until they are planning their wedding, so you would be forgiven for being slightly lost and confused by the concept. Fear not, I’m here to break it all down and make it easy for you to decide whether or not semi-custom paper goods are for you or not.
What is semi-custom
Whether labelled semi-custom, semi-bespoke or house/studio collection, this type of stationery has been pre-designed. Many stationers, beside offering a bespoke service, give the option to their couples to choose their wedding invites from a curated selection of their favourite designs. Think of it as off-the-shelf invitations that can be tailored specifically to you.
Choosing a bespoke design for your wedding stationery will usually set you back around £300 (depending on the stationer and on the intricacy of the concept) for the design cost only. Now, this is a completely justified price as a lot goes into creating something exclusive for a client. However, you might love someone’s work and style but not have the budget for bespoke invitations. And that’s where semi-custom stationery is the perfect answer: it is pre-designed but you can customise it to make it truly yours. In short, unique paper goods without the price tag.
If you have a short timeline, i.e. your wedding is in the next 6 months, you will most probably struggle to find a stationery designer that can whip out a bespoke suite for you in that amount of time (unless you’re happy to pay a hefty rush fee). The turnaround for semi-custom invitations is usually between 4 and 6 weeks from enquiry to delivery.
Bespoke customer experience
Going for semi-custom with a stationery designer isn’t the same as choosing a template from an online printing services company: no drag and drop here, you are NOT to spend hours on your laptop making your own invitations! The semi-custom experience is pretty much the same as the bespoke one in the sense that your stationer isn’t only here to provide you with a beautiful product but also with great customer service. So, just like with the bespoke process, you will get a one-on-one consultation, help in choosing the suite that makes your heart sing, regular updates and a proof of your final design to be signed off before sent to print (I actually offer 2 free rounds of revisions to all my couples).
unique paper goods
Yes, absolutely, you can opt for an off the shelf design and still have completely unique invitations! How does it work? Magic! Not really, although I reckon there’s a little bit of magic in creating something amazing. One of the many ways you can tailor your suite is by choosing a colour palette that fits within the aesthetic of your wedding day. I work with a range of 100+ paper colours and ink colours are almost infinite. You can also completely change the look of your suite depending on whether you are opting for digital printing, digital foil printing or hot foil printing or a combination of two of them (more on printing methods in this blog post). And finally, the finishing touches (wax seal, ribbon, belly band, etc.) will truly make your wedding stationery one of a kind.
There you go, semi-custom invitations demystified!
I really hope this has clarified things for you and that it will help you making a decision for your own wedding stationery needs. Smitten with Ink now offers semi-custom collections, curated for modern couples with timeless wedding aesthetic in mind. Get in touch if you want to know more and book a free consultation.