Semi-Custom vs. Full Custom Wedding Invitations

Shopping for wedding invitations (or anything with paper choices!) can be incredibly overwhelming. There are SO many options for printing, colors, papers… you name it. Even as stationers, we still get overwhelmed by the options. We are here to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and figure out what you want when it comes to invitation options. The first thing: design! Let’s talk about the differences between semi-custom vs. full custom wedding invitations.

What is a “fully custom” invitation suite?

A fully custom suite is a suite that is designed 100% for you! In our studio, this includes a custom calligraphy font, and the entire suite design customized to them.

Pricing for a fully custom suite starts with the design cost, and then printing, embellishment, assembly, and shipping costs are added on top of that. All of those costs will completely depend on what you’re looking for and are quoted based on your specific specs.

When comparing semi-custom to full custom, the only main price difference is the design cost because the printing methods can be the same for either design.

The initial design cost includes:

  • Main invitation card
  • Details card
  • Reply card + envelope
  • Up to 3 insert cards (rehearsal dinner insert, weekend itinerary card, etc.)
  • Inner and outer envelopes
  • Custom monogram
  • Custom wax seal
  • Venue sketch OR map
  • Embellishment designs (ribbon, belly bands, vellum wraps, tags, etc.)

In addition, full custom invitation clients have the option to choose a custom calligraphy font. This means that we use our custom calligraphy in the suite instead of a digitized font, and they can be a little extra picky about the calligraphy style (; All of our calligraphy + font options can be found here!

With these extra options comes extra design choices which is why full custom invitation clients also receive a design board prior to proofing. The design board gives a couple of calligraphy style options in your own names so you can visualize those. It also breaks down the verbiage and color palette to narrow in on any major details before getting into the proofing.

Here are some examples of fully custom suites:

What is a “semi-custom” invitation suite?

A semi-custom suite is a suite that starts as a pre-designed template and then is customized to your specific needs and requests. The main difference with these suites is they do not have a custom calligraphy font option. Instead, there is the option to choose from a variety of digitized script fonts in different styles.

Each studio has different terms, printing methods, designs, and customization options when it comes to their own semi-custom collection vs. full custom. For the most part, the general design and layout of each piece will remain the same, but wording and colors will be tailored to each individual client.

One other thing to note with semi-custom is that all elements are quoted a-la-carte. There is no added design cost upfront, so all of your costs will depend on how you decide to print your pieces, plus any embellishments, assembly, and shipping. If you do want to add custom art to a semi-custom suite without a calligraphy font, we can do that too!

To view our semi-custom designs, please click here!

Here are all of the ways to customize your semi-custom suite where additional costs would apply:

  • Custom monograms
  • Custom wax seal design
  • Venue sketches
  • Custom art
  • Maps
  • Envelope liners

In addition, if you have other requests or ideas, let us know and we’ll be happy to advise about what category your vision may fall in. Here are some examples of fully custom suites:

Want to know more?

Check out some of our resources below to gain some insight on your invitation options. There’s a lot to know, but we’re here to help!

Client Resources (all information below is on this page!)

  • The Design Process
  • How to Word Your Wedding Invitations
  • Invitation FAQs
  • Common Addressing Situations
  • Sizing + Material Guide
  • Quantity Guide
  • Monogram Examples
  • Wax Seal Options

We also have our blog posts below:

We are happy to walk through your options with you to see what works best for you, your style, and your event. Feel free to send an email to kaylyn@pirouettepaper, or contact us here!

February 4, 2021