Custom, Semi-Custom and Templated Based Designs

I wanted to talk a little bit about what it means to hire an artist or a stationer for your wedding invitations and stationery products. I feel that it is good to compare so you can make the best choice for your stationery.

Wedding Stationery can be very overwhelming and there are a lot of things to consider.

Also, when making your choice you want to make sure you are choosing to hire someone that you feel comfortable with and has the style of art that you are looking for to reflect you and your partner as well as your wedding day.

There are three different ways to order stationery and I am going to break them down and talk about each one. The three different ways to handle stationery are Custom, semi-custom, and template-based. Any of these options are wonderful and each offers a different experience.


Custom Stationery is usually the most expensive route but also the most unique.

Hiring someone to create a custom design for you means that it hasn’t been created yet which means no one has had your design. This route lets you have full control over what you would like to see in your stationery and work with your artist to perfect it. It also means that you can add details and patterns, create logos and monograms, cute signage and tags, and make a fluid design with multiple pieces that all come together in a matching suite.

Custom Designing has a lot of fun pieces to make your stationery reflect the individuality of you and your day. This route also lets you think outside the box to do fun shapes and unplanned designs. You can make custom maps or custom messages to each guest at the reception tables. Deciding to hire someone to design a custom suite will give you the ability to have someone brainstorm with you and make your visions come to life. You get a more personal experience with an artist who truly cares about you and your partner as well as your day.

They learn about you as a couple and see your vision for the overall wedding to give you stationery that is beautiful and thought out to compliment your wedding day. The smallest and more personal detail make a large impact on your day and your guest’s experience.

Custom Stationery provides the ability to create something that wasn’t there before with a creative and fun process for you to help build your wedding vision.


Semi-Custom is a very popular choice for many couples. It still gives a lot of the same flexibility of a custom design without as much work or time. I find this to be most popular for my couples because with busy schedules, a wedding count down, and an Invitation suite that needs to be mailed out on time, they want something unique but don’t have the time to make a custom suite this gives them a perfect alternative. A semi-custom suite means that we pick a design that is already offered by that stationer or artist and we can make changes in colors, fonts, and layouts giving a wide range of custom ability but with already the design foundation. This can also mean that a couple likes elements from different designs we offer and we can make the invitation design with those elements which then creates a custom look that wasn’t offered before. By taking elements of designs that are already made we can more quickly create custom looks off elements that already exist which does make the process much faster.

Once we have the Invitation locked down it is much faster for designers to make corresponding pieces such as the matching rsvp cards, envelope liners, and patterns off the elements in the Invitation design. We can also play fonts and fun-type layouts. This route is a time saver but also makes a truly genuine custom layout for our couples. Doing a semi-custom design will be the middle of the road in the price range. It is cheaper than a complete custom and more expensive than a templated-based design.


Templated-based designs are usually the most cost-effective. This means that an artist or designer has premade designs that are still custom because that designer made them and you can only get them through that artist or designer. When picking a templated design, it depends on the artist or company but there is a limited amount of customizable components. It means that the overall layout usually stays the same and you might be able to change some colors and fonts but it more about what you see is what you are ordering.

This route is the fastest route, so if you are in a time crunch this would be the better way to go.

Template-based designs are very common and you see them on online stationery stores that are easy to click and buy. For Love Notes, I have templated-based designs in my design packet and if you see something you like I can quote it for you. The reason I do not have a store to click and buy on my website is that even with our templated based I like to customize it to each couple as much as I can. Having this flexibility gives me the ability to make each stationery suite creative and unique to my couple. I do have a click and buy templated-based designs on my Etsy store to make it easy for couples to still get a unique design quickly.

These options are wonderful options. Love Notes can make all the matching pieces to these designs for your day of products such as your menus, programs, place cards, and any other stationery pieces you may need for your wedding day. I love being able to offer custom products and help my couple through the wedding planning process of stationery. You can review these descriptions and find out which option is best for you. Have a wonderful day!