By the time you reach a certain age—say, your mid-20s—your refrigerator looks something like a collage of save-the-dates and wedding invitations. But now that it's your turn to take that walk down the aisle, you're feeling the urge to choose stationery that stands out from all the rest. Between envelopes, finishes, textures, letterings, and stamps, there's a lot to consider when you're picking your wedding invite suite. Want to know what's on the verge of becoming the biggest new stationery trend? We asked experts to share the invite ideas that are just starting to take off. Go ahead, become the trendsetter in your group of soon-to-be-married pals.
The most traditional approach to save-the-dates and wedding invites usually includes traditional calligraphy on the envelope and return card. But according to Julie Song, the owner and creative director of Julie Song Ink, more and more couples are choosing something more relaxed. "I'm seeing a movement toward looser everything—looser hand lettering with looser, lush floral," she says. "Maybe it's a bit of societal entropy, as we become increasingly flexible about traditions. Now, we have our own ways of expressing the sense of unbridled joy that comes with getting married."
Though you could go with simple matte paper, why would you when you have a plethora of other textures to choose from? Song says couples are being persuaded to play with a variety of textures to make a more interesting combination. "Couples are loving the use of textures, such as blind-letterpressed textures that reference a location paired with minimalistic calligraphy or typography. They're also into printing on handmade paper or combining letterpress or metallics with watercolor for a layered effect," she explains.
Personalization to the Extreme
Instead of an item you toss after the wedding date passes, Song says more couples are now seeing their invitation as a keepsake and are spending more time—and money—to make sure it's very personal. "This can be seen in intricate crests, wreaths, or monograms that include not only initials and botanicals, but unorthodox symbols and objects with meaning. Couples also love to invest in illustrated itineraries, which is a beautiful memorial of the weekend," she explains.
Return to Simplicity
While some couples are pushing the envelope, Jessica Downs, the creative lead at Bella Figura, says other twosomes are leaning toward more timeless and traditional invites with typography-based design. "I think people have a renewed appreciation for simplicity making these more appealing. These designs are simple and let classic type and beautiful printing methods shine like letterpress or foil stamping," she says. "With a design like this, you can look back at your wedding invitations in 20 years and still appreciate their beauty and timeless charm."
Downs says more couples are opting for custom crests on their invitations. "These are usually hand-painted in watercolors with florals and design elements that make them unique to the couple or location of the wedding. Some fun elements we've seen have been flamingos, hummingbirds, crabs and even the couple's dogs," she shared. "They're a great way to add color and can really liven up a traditional design. We often see them paired with a classic type and calligraphy or an elegant script for the couple's names to balance out the look."
Unique Inserts and Cards
Wedding invitation inserts are typically only used to mark your RSVP and meal preference, but Kristin Berry, the CEO and founder of Miss Design Berry, says couples are having fun with these extras. "Since so much information can be shared on the wedding website, the 'traditional' pieces, like a details card, can be subbed out for something more fun! Some of these include hashtag cards, maps of the area/venue, itineraries, and fun little things like a portrait of the couple or of the venue," she explains.
More Online RSVPs
Your great aunt might roll her eyes at the thought of having to sign on to the internet to RSVP to your wedding, but Berry says more pairs are asking guests to respond online. In fact, she did it herself! "It saves on postage since you don't have to include a stamped return envelope, but you can still include a separate card to alert guests of where to go to RSVP. Best of both worlds!" she shares.