One of the questions I often receive is “How is your semi-custom line different from Minted?” And I get it — it’s also a collection of online wedding invitations, with some of the options that are pre-determined and lots of elements personalized to you. But my line (and any other indie stationer’s line) costs more than Minted, and the big box option has quite frankly done a nice job with papers and print methods, in terms of quality. So your question is totally valid. Why spend more if you don’t have to? That’s just being a savvy shopper, and when you’re planning a wedding, you need to factor in every cost to get the most bang for your buck.
In this blog, I’ll go through the reasons why my semi-custom collection is different from shopping with Minted, so you can make an informed decision about what’s right for you as part of your big day!
Benefit from a one-on-one, personal experience
Founded in 2007, Minted brings in more than one billion dollars in annual revenue. Yeah, that’s billion, with a “B.” They wouldn’t be worth so much if they weren’t crushing it and putting out a great product!
Your specific purchase helps their overall bottom line, but your major life milestone is a drop in the bucket with such a successful enterprise. Plus, with a company that big, they’ve got hundreds of employees. If you have a question at the beginning of the ordering process and then again at the end of your order cycle, there’s a really good chance you’re not speaking to the same person.
Purchasing online wedding invitations here is different from Minted because I’m a one-woman show. From start to finish, my clients work with me — and only me — to have any question answered. Along with my collection guide to walk you through the process, I also offer a complimentary consultation call before purchasing. You can make sure you’re ordering the right thing, in the right color palette, with all the fixins’, for your big day.
As a win-win, the same “customer service rep” you’re chatting with also happens to be the artist who created the design in the first place! I’m your consultant, here to guide you through this process one-on-one, so we can make your dream wedding invitations a reality.
No worry left untouched, no stone left unturned. I’m an expert who’s on your team, from the outset. There’s a comfort in the continuity here!
Key Difference: one-on-one service from start to finish with the same person, directly with the artist who created the designs
Find everything you need for your stationery in one place
Photos of escort cards and koozies: Brittany Emerson Photography; floral by Parsonage Events
If you purchase your online wedding invitations through Minted, but want a little extra touch for your suite, you’re still left to find added vendors: a calligrapher for your envelope addressing, and perhaps even a wax seal provider. Of course these aren’t required items for mailing invitations, but they certainly elevate your stationery!
As part of my semi-custom collection, all the bells and whistles are available to you, right at checkout! No need to search for multiple vendors. This way, your invitation will coordinate perfectly from one element to the next, without having to piece it together. I also offer all day-of-wedding printed materials (menus, escort cards, signage, cocktail napkins, you name it!) to any invitation clients, so everything is seamless and easy for you. Let’s cross this item off your list all at once, with one vendor, headache-free.
Key Difference: you can purchase everything you need in one place, so you have peace of mind it will all coordinate — and you’ve accomplished it in a stress-free way
Choose how you want to support independent artists
Minted’s business model is set up with crowdsourcing. They host regular, categorized design challenges and independent artists are able to submit designs. The public votes on favorites, and the top winning designs are then sold on the Minted website. Winners receive a cash prize and then a small ongoing commission percentage of sales. Because of this, Minted touts its support of independent artists, both at their corporate level, and for the rest of us as consumers: by purchasing from them, you’re supporting an independent artist, which is awesome.
And yeah, that’s true to a certain extent. Buuuut, that kind of support isn’t at the same level as if you purchased your online wedding invitations from that independent artist directly. FIrst off, upwards of a thousand (or more) submissions roll in for each challenge Minted hosts, so for most designers, the total payout is zero.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s use the winners. If you spend $1,000.00 on your wedding invitations, the artist who won a challenge on Minted earns 6% commission on your purchase. That’s $60.00. While sixty bucks is good extra gas money or to pay the babysitter whenever her product sells, it’s not exactly paying the mortgage. By contrast, if you spent the same $1,000.00 on your wedding invitations with an independent artist directly, even assuming half went into her costs to produce your items, that’s $500.00 in her pocket. That’s almost 10x more support, by shopping direct.
As an independent artist, I’m not a charity case — but if shopping small to support local businesses is a value of yours, I’d ask you to keep this in mind as you purchase online wedding invitations. Bonus! My letterpress printer is a husband-and-wife team also local to Michigan. By purchasing a letterpress invitation suite from my semi-custom collection, you have the chance to support two independent artists: one with me as your designer, and the other with this duo as your artisanal printer!
Key Difference: shopping with an independent artist benefits that person much more than a commission percentage from a big box purchase
Save yourself the etiquette Google search frenzy
Minted’s platform is quite robust and streamlined, so you have the ability to type in your wording as personalization right in the checkout window. It’s very cool! The problem here is that you’re likely not an etiquette expert. Your second tab, side by side, is a frantic Google search of how to properly word your wedding invitations.
There’s a simpler way. After you purchase your online wedding invitations, I’ll send over a wording questionnaire for you to fill out, with the nuts and bolts. This helps me identify the key information: who’s hosting, what the vibe is, where you’re getting married (house of worship or not), and lots of other factors that affect your wording. Here’s a little sample of one section:
You don’t have to lift a finger and you’ll have peace of mind it’s being done correctly. I’ll compile your information and make a wording recommendation for you, as an expert, so you can skip that frantic search or an embarrassing call to your super proper great aunt!
Likewise, Minted allows you to upload your recipient list into your portal for envelope printing. It’s streamlined and straightforward, and really user-friendly, which is amazing! But what happens if you have a question?!
What about your…
- female cousin who’s a Rabbi, who’s married to a woman?
- dad’s eternal-bachelor-status work partner who is for sure bringing a date, but lord knows who that may be?
- college bestie who’s now a doctor, and her hubby who’s not?
There are lots of these questions — and I field them every.single.day. In fact, I’ve seen all of the above examples, just this year. I’m happy to help answer any questions about etiquette for addressing your loved ones, so everyone feels honored and cared for. I’m an email away for any of the folks on your list that you’re just not sure about. Trust me, I’ve seen an example like yours. We’ll get everything worked out for your list together, and then you can submit it as a Google spreadsheet… not so hard, wink.
Key Difference: have an expert handle all the wording and etiquette hassles for you, included in your price — no Googling required!
Love your timeless invitation for years to come
In the eyes of its investors, Minted’s “secret sauce” is that they have leveraged technology and predictive algorithms to determine trendy bestsellers. Their tech can predict trends and then sell looooots of whatever those on-trend items will be. Don’t get me wrong — this predictive tech is incredible!
In what’s perhaps the biggest difference from Minted, my online wedding invitations are purposefully not trendy. The designs I offer start with calligraphy done by hand first. You’ll have a truly one-of-a-kind invitation – if there’s something written in script, it was done for you, and just for you. Once it’s scanned in and ready for production, I only use high-quality paper and printing – you deserve the royal treatment. Plus, judgy Aunt Barbara needs to get wowed at her mailbox.
You’ll still love your invitations when you show them to your grandkids. We’re now looking back at our moms’ bridal choices from the ‘80s and wondering what they were thinking. Let’s not do that with your invitations, shall we? Classic, timeless designs are that for a reason!
Key Difference: a calligraphy-based, classic invitation is sure to stand the test of time, regardless of wedding trends
So there you have it: a handful of reasons why the online wedding invitations experience is different with my semi-custom line versus shopping with a big box option, like Minted. Both will give you a great quality end result, with nice paper selections, attention to detail, and customer service. One is a little pricier than the other — I can’t offer the same volume-based pricing as the big guys!
But, shopping indie will always provide you with a more personalized level of customer support with all questions answered, and it gives a major financial benefit to a small business owner. Every time I get to work with another couple, I’m over here doing my happy dance, right here in my studio. Likewise, you can be sure that your invitation design is unique, tailored to your wedding, and stands the test of time!
Too long, didn’t read? Here’s the roundup of key differences that my semi-custom online wedding invitations offer, versus Minted:
- one-on-one service from start to finish with the same person, directly with the artist who created the designs
- you can purchase everything you need in one place, so you have peace of mind it will all coordinate — and you’ve accomplished it in a stress-free way
- shopping with independent artist benefits that person much more than a commission percentage from a big box purchase
- have an expert handle all the wording and etiquette hassles for you, included in your price — no Googling required!
- a calligraphy-based, classic invitation is sure to stand the test of time, regardless of wedding trends
I’m honored to help couples create their dream stationery. Shopping online for your wedding paper goods should make them more affordable, without having to sacrifice anything. Let’s make some magic for the two of you!
Shop Semi-Custom Wedding Invitations
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