I get a lot of inquiries from couples about creating custom wedding invitations, so I wanted to give you a little insight into the process (and if it’s right for your wedding) in the post below:
First of all, let’s just acknowledge that shopping for wedding invitations can be overwhelming! There are So. Many. Options. How do you find one that’s right for you? Many of my clients order directly from our collection – we have a lot of modern, stylish, unique invitation choices in the collection, all produced on high quality cotton stock for a beautiful finish, and customized for your event. When etiquette, timing, and planning logistics come into play, invitations can get complicated – It’s my goal to make your wedding stationery process both stress-free and enjoyable. (Want to hear it directly from our brides? Check out our reviews on The Knot and on our Testimonials page.)
Okay, so now that you know about our collection, let’s look at the Custom side of things!
Is Custom Design Right for You?
A custom gold foil design for Valerie & Jason
Are you passionate about paper, design, typography, all things artistic? Have you been saving stationery designs on your Pinterest page for months? Stalking our Insta feed for ideas? Or perhaps you’re working with a wedding planner to execute a detailed creative vision for your day? If any of these sound familiar, custom design was made for you.
Our custom invitation process is meant for couples who have a specific vision (or need help creating a vision) for their wedding stationery, and is a longer and more in-depth process than ordering directly from our collection. Ideally, with our custom design clients, we’re creating every stationery piece for your wedding, from Save the Dates, to Day-of items, to signage and even napkins or coasters, so that everything has a unique, cohesive look that’s personal to your event.
Two things to keep in mind when considering custom design: It’s a bigger expense and a longer leadtime. Our custom design fee generally ranges from $450 – 900, depending on the number of pieces being designed, and does not include printing or production costs, which are separate. Ideally, we want to start custom designs about 4-6 months in advance, or longer – 9 to 12 months out – if we’re doing your Save the Dates as well.
How Custom Design Works
Custom design is a 3-step process – so let’s go through each step to give you a better understanding:
1. INITIAL CONSULTATION & INSPIRATION COLLECTION
The custom design process starts with a conversation – on the phone, in person, or via email. This is where I gather information – what are you looking for? How did you meet? What’s your dream wedding vision? Invitations & Save the Dates are often the very first things you guests will see – let’s create something amazing to get your guests excited about the big day!
Once I have this information, we’ll start translating that into visual inspiration – you may have already collected some visual inspiration via a Pinterest board (see my previous post about Creating a Wedding Inspiration board for tips), or possibly your planner has created a style board for you. This can be a great starting point! I’ll also create a visual research board, specifically centered about your wedding stationery. We’ll discuss this board together and use it as a sort of “road map” for the design concepts to follow.
Below, you’ll see some of the inspiration we collected for Molly & Elizabeth’s invitations, alongside the final printed pieces.
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The final invitations
2. DESIGN CONCEPTS
Three unique stationery suite concepts are created specifically for your event, presented in digital PDF format. Each concept shows a start-to-finish overview of your stationery pieces, from Save the Dates to Day of items. This way, you can get an idea of how your wedding paper will look from Day One to Day Of. Design concepts take into consideration different paper stocks and printing methods. This could include specialty printing, like letterpress, foil stamping, or white ink printing. Once you’ve had a chance to review the concepts, you’ll select a design concept (or a combination of ideas) to move forward with.
Above: A sample design concept, created for a client
3. DESIGN REFINEMENT
Now that the design concept has been determined, we’ll make any necessary edits to the design. We’ll also recommend the best production techniques for your pieces, and work with different vendors to create the beautiful finished pieces. You’ll receive pricing details and timelines for different paper stocks and production methods.
Production typically happens in three phases: Save the Dates, Invitation Suite (and Thank you notes), and Day of Items. For our recommended timing for these items, check out our invitation timeline.
Custom invitation pricing depends on the complexity of the design & production methods – For some basic pricing guidelines, see our post How to Budget for Wedding Invitations.
The Finished Product
At the end of the custom design process, all of your paper pieces will be beautifully and timely produced, and will be completely unique to your wedding day. Got more questions on the custom process or want to get your estimate started? Fill out our custom design form to get the conversation started!
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