When it comes to wedding invitations and related stationery, most stationers offer plenty of custom options that you may not even realize. Most stationery companies like Raspberry Creative have a website or shop full of designs but what you may not realize is that you can take any design and make it totally your own. This can be done through revising the design, changing the paper and envelopes all the way to how the invitation is put together. Today I’m going to show you how you can customize just about any wedding invitation.
I made the big mistake in the early years of Raspberry Creative of telling my potential customers that I specialize in custom design, period. What I began to realize was that leaving the entire process so open-ended was actually hurting me, not making me special or unique. In more recent years, I have changed how I present my packages and at the start of 2018 actually spelled it all out in the Wedding Boutique to help walk potential clients through the customizing process. I did this to show just how much or how little they can make an invitation their own simply by making.
To most people the word “Custom” sounds expensive and it can be. While it is true that the price of wedding invitations varies depending on a wide range of factors, it is pretty much a given in most cases that custom packages are going to be at the higher end of the price scale. I once did a custom custom package that priced out to be over $20/invitation set!
Before you run away, keep in mind that custom encompasses a lot of things and sometimes it actually SAVES MONEY! I have a lot of this broken down in the Customize portion of the Wedding Boutique but I thought today it would be helpful to explain this for you in more detail.
Define Custom…for you.
When it comes to wedding stationery custom can mean different things. So before you reach out to a stationer, figure out if you want to customize a design that you’ve found or if you can’t find anything close to what you see in your mind and you’d like to have something designed from scratch just for you.
Speaking from many, many years of experience, I would estimate that once Raspberry Creative became established only about 5-10% of my projects each year have been fully custom, from scratch projects. These projects by far take the most time and cost the most money. Great if you have the budget for it and really want something one-of-a-kind and totally personalized to you.
Most of my projects fall into what I call a Semi-Custom category. Semi-custom kind of catches all the custom options that’s left so it may look different from one project to the next. It’s basically the idea of starting with an existing package and tailoring it to fit your unique needs. That’s the most fun anyway, right?
Above you see an invitation design done three different ways. The original was the one on the left. It was created from scratch as a custom design. We came up with the unique banded belly band and the design had never been used before.
After showcasing the design in our shop and website, Angela contacted the shop. She loved the design and the price worked for her budget but aqua didn’t fit her wedding colors. She was doing shades of purple so we customized her package with purple envelopes, dark purple printing on the cards and made it more personalized to her wedding. Angela also needed to add enclosure cards that were not part of the original design.
Not long after, Katie loved the same invitation. Her biggest concern was the invitation as shown was above her budget so she asked us what we could do to bring down the price while still keeping the same general look. Since glitter is a higher priced paper, we eliminated the glitter liner and belly band and used all shimmer papers instead. She also wanted to change the colors because her wedding was black, grey and ivory. We combined those colors in a way that kept the original look while fitting Katie’s colors and budget.
Find Something Close
When I meet with couples in person here in the shop, I show them samples of invitations that fit their wedding style or that fit some criteria the couple has given me. I have the couple pull all samples out they like for any reason. Once they are done, I have them go back through to eliminate any and then we talk about what they love about the options that are left. Once I have an idea of the ELEMENTS they like, we pick one invitation to use as our base and build a package from there.
Whether you like the invitation design, the papers it’s printed on or whatever else, find something to use as your base and build from there. I obviously cannot easily sit down with a couple in California if I’m in Pennsylvania, but the process is essentially the same. If the invitation above feels a little more rustic than you prefer and the lace isn’t really your thing, change the paper, do a different belly band and make it look a little more formal with the invitation backer like below. It’s the same exact invitation, with different paper.
Once you have a base invitation package to build from, then start figuring out how you want to customize it.
What Pieces do You Need?
Do you need the invitation only, just an invitation and RSVP card, do you need a reception card or details card for your wedding website, hotel accommodations or other information. Get an idea of what you need even if you don’t know if you need one or three extra cards. Since more cards, often means more money, work with your stationer to find the combination that works best for you.
What Style Do you Like?
When it comes to invitation style, it actually means the package style or how it’s all bundled together. Do you love the invitations that are folded up with a pocket or do you prefer something simple with just a belly band? Do you like invitations that are cut into a unique shape or that have fancy corners? Put these ideas together and take note.
What Kind of Printing?
Most couples I work with don’t know a lot about printing and that’s ok. Flat printing is the most common and most affordable. Letterpress is where the design is pressed into the paper leaving an impression. We offer both flat and letterpress printing in-house. Foil is also super popular right now. Foil is the fun shiny, metallic printing you may have seen usually in gold or silver but also often available in a variety of colors. We can offer this as well through one of our trusted partners. Letterpress and foil are more pricey options but well worth the investment. Your invitations become a special work of art.
Fonts, Papers and Design
This is where it gets fun! From here you can begin customizing your design by picking your own fonts if you don’t like what’s on the design you chose. You can personalize the package by picking different colored paper or envelopes and make any changes to the overall design. This is usually where my clients have the most fun because it’s where you see the biggest impact!
Finalize with Embellishments
Embellishments are the fun add-on pieces like lace belly bands, hang tags, envelope liners, twine, etc. It’s all the fun, extra details that make a wedding package feel more custom.
I hope this helps you begin to see how many ways any wedding package can be personalized to better suite your needs. It can get overwhelming and that’s why stationers like me are here to help you throughout the process. If course many of these special changes require additional time, i am also working to add some customizing options to the RC Shop so that you can make some of these changes right at check out.
If you want more information or wish to read more about all the ways our invitations can be customized I invite you to check out the Customize Tab inside the Wedding Boutique.