Custom and Personalized Wedding Invitations, What is the Difference?

There are plenty of options for brides when it comes to wedding invitations. The endless search can be very overwhelming, especially when you can’t find exactly what you want. You really have 3 options: order a personalized wedding invitation online, take on a DIY wedding invitation project, or have something custom made specifically for you.

Personalized Wedding Invitations

Personalized wedding invitations can be found through online retailers and box stores, like your local stationery store. They offer less modification on the designs, and designs are pre-made. The only changes you make to it will be the words and sometimes, color.

You choose a design flipping through a book or sourcing them through an online store. Once you make a selection, you can “personalize” your design by plugging in all your personal information: your names, date, times, location, etc. This option is perfect for a bride who is on a budget for wedding invitations or for a bride who doesn’t consider paper a priority in their budget.

Shopping for your wedding invitations online, you will have a TON of options for designs which can be very overwhelming. You can easily click through a list of options that will show only the colors and styles you are looking for, but there are usually only 3-4 colors per design that you can choose from, which may not include your colors.

Be aware that colors can often appear different on your computer screen than they do in person. The paper used to print online invitations is usually of lighter weight, thus lowering cost.

If you decide to order your wedding invitations online, I highly suggest you always order an actual copy of your proof or a sample of the paper you will be ordering, sent to you for approval to check the colors and paper quality you selected for your invitations.

Online invitation retailers can offer a full suite of pieces of a wedding invitation that you need. They all coordinate, using the same fonts and paper, etc, which is great. But, you will most likely be limited to a few pieces of the invitation suite. You may have to DIY or order separate pieces you want that aren’t included in the suite.

The last thing to consider when ordering your wedding invitations online is that every other bride across the country has access to that popular design that you love too. You run into the high chance of having the same invitation as a friend.

If you are using a very personal style for your wedding, like a specific monogram or motif, you won’t be able to use that everywhere because you will be limited to a design specific motifs, fonts and/or style. Online invitations are great for the budget bride who isn’t picky about color or paper and doesn’t need many coordinating suite pieces.


Pros to ordering personalized wedding invitations online:

  • Simplicity. The paper provided is the paper you order. There are not a lot of choices.
  • Green is the green provided, no variations throughout the different pieces of your wedding invitation suite.
  • Online retailers make it easy to feel like you are designing your own invitation – personalizing it. It’s pretty fool proof and you can get a beautifully coordinated wedding invitation suite.
  • The design elements are chosen for you and you can pick it out yourself, quickly, online. Make a few simple choices, add personalization, and you’re done.


Cons to ordering personalized wedding invitations online:

  • Not many paper choices if you want a heavier paper or different paper color choices.
  • There is only one green to choose from, and it may not be the “your” green, or your color may not be a color choice at all.
  • You are limited to certain fonts and to that design. If you don’t like the way the “E” in your last name looks in a script, you won’t be able to change it. If you don’t prefer the way a swirl at the top distracts from the invitation wording, you’re stuck with it.
  • If you spell “Novmeber” (<;—- see it?) wrong, you’re the one to blame because you approved the proof and typed it in yourself.
  • Need a program? Need an extra enclosure or custom map? If they don’t offer it in that suite, you may have to DIY it or order it someplace else, but it won’t match.
  • You risk losing some individuality. You could have the same invitation as someone else you know.


Personalized wedding invitations may be right for you if:

  • You are looking for a very simple invitation
  • If you are not picky about colors or papers
  • You do not consider paper elements important or a priority in your total wedding budget
  • You will only need an invitation and reply card
  • You want white or cream envelopes
  • You want an ecru card stock with black invitation text, centered down the page
  • You find yourself saying, “everyone will just throw them away anyway”
  • You consider yourself a budget bride
  • You are looking to stay in a very low budget (under 3% of your total wedding budget)


What is a Custom Wedding Invitation?

Custom wedding invitation designers offer unique, one-of-a-kind wedding invitations that no one else will have. Everything is customized for you – you choose your font, your specific colors (you can match specific colors), the size, your type of paper, your everything.

Custom invitations allow you to “brand” your wedding. From start to finish, everything is created for a polished look in every detail throughout the day.

Many times, custom designers will work with your event designer, planner and/or florist to get an overall idea of what the wedding style will be so the paper will connect all the other elements of you wedding together.

Is it expensive to order custom invitations?

Custom wedding invitations can be more of an investment of your time, but give you a custom look that is personalized just for your wedding and your wedding alone. With custom you get design, quality, color variations, and personal attention.

Pros to ordering custom designed wedding invitations:

  • No one else will have your design, and it is exactly how you want it.
  • You are working with a real person and getting one-on-one attention.
  • You can touch and feel the paper from the beginning.
  • You know that quality is of utmost importance. They will last a lifetime.
  • Your shade of brown will be your shade of brown throughout the paper goods.


Cons to ordering custom designed wedding invitations:

  • They can be more expensive.
  • You will need to invest more time and attention to this project. Start 6-8 months in advance of your wedding date.
  • It could drive you crazy – this process can too detailed for some people. Brown is brown for some!


Custom invitations may be right for you if:

  • If paper is important and is a high priority to you.
  • You want something unique and different from what any of your friends had in their wedding invitations.
  • You want a signature motif, font, monogram or logo.
  • If you feel like you need help with how to word your invitations.
  • If you need help finding the parts of the wedding invitation you need.
  • If you need assistance in creating something that fits in your wedding invitation budget.


DIY Wedding Invitations – A Caution

“Do-it-yourself” is certainly a thought that crosses every brides mind and it can be fun and turn out fine. But be aware, it often can end up costing MORE in time, materials, energy and sanity. So choose wisely.


Paper available to the masses is less superior to professional stationary paper: It tends to be thinner, slippery, and not happy with many inks. Unless you have a super expensive, professional printer, your personal printer will not load and print on thicker papers appropriately.

You will spend a ton on ink and your ink (and those at big box stores) is not fade proof or bleed proof. If you want a fancy font, just because you buy and download one, doesn’t mean you get all the characters of the font, whereas, a professional will have hundreds of fonts at their fingertips.

You’ll need to make sure that you size all your designs appropriately to where the printers will be able to cut evenly. You’ll need to provide “print ready” files to a local printer and you can’t always trust that they will know what you need and how you should word your invitations.

If you plan on printing and assembling them yourself, think about the material you will need to purchase like paper cutters and tape guns. It adds up quickly!

Calculate all that time + the cost of materials = is it worth it? These are just some of the considerations to think about when you consider to DIY your wedding invitations.

Ultimately, you need to be happy with your choices. There is something out there for everyone.

If you are interested in booking an appointment with Jennifer to have your wedding invitations custom designed, contact us to book an appointment