This might be the best way to do wedding invitations

Your wedding invitation – its that vital piece of your wedding celebration that announces the details of your wedding day to the world! While they are hugely important, they don’t have to be a hard and complicated decision. Even though it feels like it, with so many choices out there! You don’t need to be a creative expert either – but it does need a little time and loving thought.

After all – your wedding day is no everyday event and store-bought wedding invitations or run-of-the-mill online invitation designs just do not compare with a custom or semi-custom wedding invitation set that has been tailored for your wedding. Every wedding is unique and you deserve to celebrate your love like no one else!

Made to order invitations are like fill in the blanks and great for a social event like a birthday, but not for one of the greatest days of your life. That moment of saying ‘I do’ to your best friend for the rest of your life is worth so much more! Its the cumulation of your friendship and love. Your travels around the sun together, and the many moons where you wouldn’t be anywhere else but by each others’ side. Its the celebration of that precious feeling that no matter what side by side you can face the world together through the stormy seas, and the magical rainbows after the rain that gets you through.

Here at DesigningLove I know how important it is to have a magical wedding day with just the right amount of detail and beauty mixed in with elegance and functionality… and invitations come with their own maze of questions and etiquette to navigate.

I know that when things are close to your heart its so hard to figure things out and make decisions about the best way to go for your wedding invitation details (which is why you are here!). So lets cut to it and figure out together if custom or semi-custom is the best route for you. Remember I am also just a message away on the other side of the screen if you need to chat – so don’t hesitate to drop me a line.


Custom and semi-custom wedding invitations have the ability to capture your story, your passion and your memories. There are some pretty clear differences between the two so lets cover those first.

First, a custom invitation suite (or design) is one that’s completely exclusive to you. Its unique, its one-of-a-kind and personal. It does take a little more time but so worth it in the end! Second, a semi-custom invitation suite is simply a ready-to-go design template where you have a range of options as to what can be customized – aside from the text of course! Often this may mean color schemes, or sometimes font choice. These details are guided by your invitation supplier, as each supplier has varying capabilities – so pays to check first. Semi-custom invites are great if you are short on time and don’t mind someone else having the same design. With DesigningLove I work with you 1:1 to make your semi-custom invites a little more special to you so that its not quite the same as everyone else. This way you can get a design that still a bit more personal without the time needed.


Which is best? Custom or Semi-Custom ….to be honest, the answer
lies in your heart & what is most important to you
.

So how do you actually figure out which one is right for you – when your heart isn’t talking? To make it easy, it comes down to 3 key questions that I would ask you.

  1. What is your wedding budget?

While not the ‘prettiest’ topic to start with. This is an important and practical one because this will determine how much you have to spend on either custom or semi-custom wedding invitations. Typically wedding planners recommend reserving around 3% of your wedding budget for your wedding invitations. If you want to include it all from invites to signage and on the day items etc. I recommend around 5-10%. Semi-custom wedding invitations are usually cheaper because there is less design time needed from a design perspective. Custom invitation design is generally more expensive due to the design time needed. Another key factor in wedding stationery is the print finish used.

One thing to note is, the print method selected (eg: letterpress, emboss, foil, digital print, or an evite version). Plus any embellishments used, also impacts significantly on your overall investment cost. When working with an invitation expert they will be able to guide you through this in more detail and assist you with your print/finish options. On the other hand if budget is not an issue, you still have the choice of both! (so read on)


2. How much time do you have before your wedding?

While this is also a practical question – this too will also determine what your options are. Custom wedding invitation design requires a longer lead time from start to finish. Semi-custom invitations are essentially template invitations you can personalize within a range of options. You will also need to add print time. This is most likely a question you cannot answer on your own without a chosen designer. As design and print times needed vary from company to company.

But, as a very general rule of thumb when aiming to send your invites out 3-4months before your wedding. Plus allowing around 2months (or more) for design and print. You would need around 6months or more before your wedding date to complete a full custom invitation design. This is not absolute timeline and will vary based on chosen vendor teams, but this gives you a place to start. Now if you have plenty of time and both custom and semi-custom are still an option. Then I have one more question for you!


3. What details are most important to you when thinking about your dream wedding?

What is your absolute dream that you don’t want to compromise on. Do you want something unique, exclusive and personal that’s totally for you. Do you want a stress-free experience where you can get excited about the details and your wedding coming together no matter what. Or are you ok with a design that anyone can have and you are not bothered about it being ultra special. A part custom design is ok – because hey! You can dress it up with a personal monogram and semi-custom means you still get something a little bit different.


I hope this has helped you decide! Tell me in the comments – did you get three yes’s or two no’s…. where did you end up? Semi-custom or Custom invitation design? Now its time to shop and…

...you are in luck we have both options!

DesigningLove offers both custom and semi-custom design packages. When working together you just cannot go wrong no matter what you choose. You will get the same level of care, support and guidance either way. The key priority is that your dreams are made perfect for your wedding day. Lets chat about your invitations.

nz bride and groom at castaways resort

…and because you should know
a bit more about me

before we work together, lets play three questions..

  • What is your approach and how does each new wedding project come to life? Your wedding means as much to me as it does to you. I seriously do a little dance for joy each step of the way with you! My focus is on making sure that your wedding experience is one that you love and enjoy – and your stationery is perfect. I value getting to know your story and weaving this into your design. Lets celebrate and tell your story in a way no one else has.

  • What are the current trends in the wedding invitation world? With the pandemic impacting the size of weddings, resulting in more micro-weddings, intimacy is becoming more important. Couples are looking for details that are meaningful and more intimate. I cannot wait to be able to help make these dreams happen.

  • One piece of advice you think every couple should know? Honestly? You cannot please everyone – so don’t break yourself trying. Your wedding is about you two and making it a day that you remember with happiness and joy.

And for fun…. 3 truths and a lie. Which is the lie? (1) My favorite drink is a blue lagoon (2) Planning my wedding was so much fun! I want you to have the same experience (3) I’ve never been paddle-boarding in Vanuatu. (4) I might have a not-so-secret font addiction!

…last words

Leave the stress to the experts – because honestly you don’t need more! Lean on your dress maker, your make up artist, your wedding planner and your designer to do the heavy lifting for you. Working with a wedding pro means you don’t have to scramble when things change. Look to your designer for invitation tips and advice on timings, etiquette and anything in between. They will have a host of tricks up their sleeve that will save you your sanity …. and be so worth the investment compared to saving a few dollars in the end. Because I can assure you – they’ve done it more than a few times before, and already know the best way through.

Planning your wedding is meant to be fun! A time to explore and create something magical together, that celebrates you and your best friend forever. It was for me and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

make your wedding day the most magical memory it can be. So you can look back too and say ‘I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat’ because it was perfect.

xx Penelope

newlyweds holding hands

Want to know more about
how we can work together?

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