2023 Wedding Invitation Trends
Wedding trends should be helpful tips to inspire more unique ideas. They shouldn't be guidelines or boundaries that hold you back from creating what you want. The style, color palette, and theme you choose for your wedding are a reflection of you and your partner’s personalities, and the invitations are an extension of that. I always encourage my clients to lean on those design foundations when making decisions on whether to apply certain trends. If you are having a classically formal wedding with white and ivory flowers everywhere, you don’t want an invitation suite with tons of vibrant colored card stocks and envelopes. And even though online RSVPs have become more popular, if you love getting snail mail as much as I do, go ahead and create those traditional mail back RSVPs!
Your wedding paper goods do not have to look like everything you see on social media, and any trends that are supposedly “out” can always be modernized for 2023. So, take them or leave them, either way I really hope the five trends listed below will get you excited to design wedding invitations that make you and your partner happy!
1. Colored Card Stocks
I put this trend at the top of the list because it is my favorite. Pops of color show up at weddings in flowers, bridesmaid gowns, and weddings cakes, so let’s include them in your wedding invitation suite too! Ombre wedding invitation suites are especially fun to explore if you are so bold. Otherwise, go with a white or ivory stock for the main invite card and try a more subtle color for those secondary rsvp and details cards. Dark blues or black card stocks can also be wonderfully moody and elegant when combined with a white ink printed on them.
2. Online RSVPs
Yes, more and more couples are opting to collect their RSVPs online. It can be a no-brainer to bypass the lost mail worries, weddings are stressful enough. This should certainly be the way to go if you are mailing your invitations late—giving your guests little time to respond. Plus, maybe your venue requires a final headcount early. Most wedding website hosts will offer RSVP collection, and it is very easy to set up. This is also very convenient when meal selections need to be tallied for your caterer. The site will provide a spreadsheet with guest names and their meal selections for you to pass on to vendors. I love the organization it provides when clients hire me to design day-of items like escort cards, seating charts, and/or place cards!
3. Invitation Suite Wraps
There are a lot of lovely embellishments to add to your wedding invitation suite like envelope liners and wax seals, but the item my clients have been asking for the most recently is an embellishment that will ensure all of the separate cards are held together. Wraps are basically an evolution of the belly band. I like them because they are a larger element within the wedding invitation suite for us to design. Use the wrap to incorporate that pop of color, pattern, custom graphic, etc. that you may not want on your invitation card itself.
4. Custom Wedding Logos
While you are customizing your whole suite design, ask your invitation designer about creating a logo for your wedding. A lot of times this will be a graphic that uses your monogram or duogram. One of my clients mentioned they already had a logo graphic designed by a friend. We decided to add their names to it, matching the font from the wedding invitation. They had the final logo printed on the back flaps of their envelopes and their reception napkins. This is a fabulous way to brand your event and it can be used anywhere!
5. Typography Only Invitation Cards
Clean, simple and modern are adjectives I hear a lot when I ask clients about their invitation card design layout. Bold fonts can create a mood of their own, but make sure they are readable for your guests. If you are still wanting to incorporate graphic elements like venue sketches or watercolor paintings, those can always be incorporated on the secondary cards. Embrace the white space in your design! Please don’t feel the need to fill every card corner to corner with stuff. A simple invitation card with a unique font combination is always in style.
CLASSIC WEDDING BEAUTY IN BOULDER
Laura and Andrew met and dated during the 2020 Covid quarantine. This remarkable love story deserved a big celebration, so Laura and Andrew planned a magical wedding for July 2022 surrounded by all their friends and family. They selected the classically stunning Boulder Country Club in Boulder, Colorado as the venue for their big day. With a lush green summer landscape and Rocky Mountain views, the Boulder Country Club provided a picture perfect backdrop for Laura and Andrew’s wedding ceremony.
Working closely with Laura, her parents, and their wedding planner, Ivory Events, we designed wedding invitations and wedding day stationery to compliment this spectacular event.
The Wedding Invitation Suite
Laura requested classic beauty, but with a modern twist. She gravitated towards flat digital printing as opposed to older printing techniques like letterpress. Laura and Andrew’s “LA” duogram was the focal point of the wedding invitation card, and became a great design element to feature on future signage items for the wedding day.
We selected ornate fonts, warm colors, and soft components like a cotton ivory card stock. Laura absolutely loved the idea of a vellum wrap to enclose all of the cards in the suite, and specifically asked to feature the burgundy roses she chose for her bridal bouquet and centerpieces. The finishing touches were the shimmer gold envelopes and wax seal stickers custom made with their duogram artwork.
The Wedding Day Stationery Design
Laura and Andrew planned to incorporate natural wood pieces into their wedding day decor, so in our day-of wedding stationery kick-off call, Laura expressed interested in designing some wood signage. I immediately envisioned gold calligraphy on a dark walnut and called every calligrapher I knew in the Denver area. Once Srujana with Menakshee Designs joined the team, we landed on a large wood welcome sign, plus a few smaller miscellaneous wood signs to decorate the reception. Srujana was a dream collaborator! Not only did she source the wood for us, but she matched the fonts used on the wedding invitations—what a talent!
The escort card display was very important to Laura’s mom. She felt this should be beautiful, simple, and easy for their guests to follow. In addition to having names and table number assignments on each escort card, we also needed them to designate meal choices. I suggested we use different color card stocks (green cards for lamb, gold cards for beef, red cards for vegetarian, etc.). This made for a more colorful display and the caterer was able to identify selections and deliver entrées efficiently.
We designed the remainder of the wedding day stationery items (ceremony programs, table numbers, and bar menu signs) as paper goods and combined them all wonderfully with the event aesthetic.
My favorite had to be Laura and Andrew’s exit. The fire safe cold sparklers were amazing! These were such a super fun and environmentally safe choice for a summer event in the foothills. Srujana was hired again to paint a “just married” message on the rear window of their getaway Tesla—so Colorado! What a finale!
Sheldon and Will knew exactly what they wanted when we first spoke about their wedding invitations and signage design. They used the phrase "watercolor winter mountains". This couple's celebration took place in March of 2022 at the mountain top venue, The Gorrono Ranch in Telluride, Colorado. Sheldon and Will are the ultimate adventure-seeking couple, and they wanted their wedding stationery to include as many mountain details as possible!
The Wedding Invitation Suite
The bride and groom requested that the San Juan mountains, surrounding the town of Telluride, be front and center. We created a watercolor painting of Uncompahgre Peak and printed it on a felt card stock which has a texture similar to watercolor paper. We used different tones of blue to provide a wintery feel and tied dried flowers around each invitation suite.
Sheldon and Will’s guests were flying into Colorado from all over the country, so they created a weekend full of events for friends and family to enjoy more time to socialize beyond the single wedding day. Since most of their guests had never been to Telluride, we designed a card with a custom map of downtown. Matching the same watercolor aesthetic, we highlighted their wedding weekend event locations, and included a few of Telluride’s best attractions.
The Wedding Day Stationery Design
Gorrono Ranch is a venue with a rustic woodsy vibe. The venue provides a magnificent outdoor deck with 360° views of the San Juan mountains. The interior of Gorrono feels historic, natural, and warm. Sheldon and Will leaned into this charming mountain lodge ambiance by presenting the wedding day escort cards on wood logs. Escort card displays are a small-scale alternative to a spacious seating chart. The cards are individually printed with each guest’s name and table assignment.
Instead of traditional numbered tables at their reception, Sheldon and Will got creative and named each table after their favorite mountain ranges and peaks in the U.S. We designed these with different watercolor mountain paintings. The paintings were used on both the table numbers and the escort cards for guests to visually match and find their seat.
Sheldon and Will’s wedding day stationery was designed to coordinate with the original wedding invitation suite concept by using tones of blue. But in contrast, the couple adorned their wedding reception tables with colorfully vibrant wild flowers and napkins! All of these separate wedding day elements, combined with the spectacular venue and location, made this memorable mountain wedding feel complete.
Sheldon & Will’s Photographer:
Abie Livesay Photography
Custom signage is a huge wedding trend right now and one we should pay attention to. A lot of event venues out there are massive and empty—leaving a lot of space for you and your wedding planner to fill up. I say take this opportunity to transform the room into a welcoming experience for your guests by including fun and innovative custom signs. Most wedding invitation designers also offer custom day-of wedding signage. We will work with your one-of-a-kind wedding theme and venue to create eye-catching and informative signs.
CUSTOM WELCOME SIGNS
This is a chance to say hello to your guests when you physically cannot. At most weddings the happy couple doesn’t even start the meet and greet with their guests until an hour into the wedding—maybe more! Find your voice here, and make an impact welcoming your favorite people when they walk in the door.
CUSTOM SEATING CHARTS
Construct unconventional decor that will most definitely go viral. Some wedding signage gets overlooked or ignored, seating charts do not. Every single guest will experience what you’ve created here because they need to find their seat! Skip the boring seating chart sign on the easel and do something that fits your wedding style and theme.
CUSTOM BAR MENUS
Unless you are having a dry wedding (shriek at the thought!) you need a bar menu. Are you doing a signature cocktail? Is it beer and wine only? Whether you like it or not, the food and drinks served are the most important part of the day for your guests. They will be visiting the bar multiple times throughout your event so make this signage bold and readable.
CUSTOM DINNER MENUS
By far, this is the best customized item to order from your stationery designer. Most wedding invitations do not go into detail about the food selections so exhibiting a full menu at your reception is a very considerate touch. Having a buffet style backyard bbq wedding? Get just a few menus printed, then display them around the buffet and reception tables. Having a formal 3-course dinner? Request the detailed meal descriptions from your caterer and position individual menus on each place setting.
For more information on signs for your event, visit my blog
WEDDING SIGNAGE TIPS
Last month I visited Telluride, Colorado for the first time and I absolutely fell in love. There was inspiration everywhere I looked… the gondolas zig zagging through the quaint Mountain Village, the town of Telluride tucked between the towering San Juan Mountains, and the endless roads and hiking trails with breath-taking views. I thought, Telluride is an amazing place to get married! So if you are hosting a wedding there, take a look below at the custom Telluride-inspired wedding save the dates and invitations I designed recently. I hope these ideas will encourage you to create paper goods that incorporate your unique wedding location into your designs.
One of my favorite experiences in Telluride was taking the gondola from the Mountain village to the town of Telluride.
The views of the town when coming down from San Sophia station are stunning! This is a perfect scene to include on your save the date card or wedding invitation because it will no doubt get your friends and family excited about going to your wedding.
My husband and I hiked like crazy while staying in Telluride.
We were there for peak fall foliage and our walks were surrounded by rows of golden aspens. Save the date cards are an opportunity to be less formal, so use your favorite “together activity” as inspiration. I’m finding many couples are now moving away from the typical engagement photo save the date and including a custom drawing or painting of themselves instead. Generate a little mystery for your guests by using latitude and longitude coordinates in lieu of the town and state. This will have them looking up your location and doing research online right away!
Our final hike in Telluride was Bridal Veil Falls.
It is the tallest free-falling waterfall in Colorado. What a fantastic location for a small wedding ceremony or elopement! Create a keepsake invitation suite or elopement announcement by including a wedding day story to coincide with the eye-catching imagery of your unique ceremony location.
As mentioned, the Telluride gondola is a major attraction—and it’s free to ride!
I get requests constantly for ticket themed invitations and save the dates. A gondola ticket save the date is a super fun idea that works no matter what Colorado ski town you are getting married in. Having a winter wedding and inviting friends and family who love to ski and snowboard? Design a ski lift ticket save the date. Customize the card even further by punching a hole in the top and tying some ribbon or twine around it to act as the lanyard.
There are memorable sites at every wedding venue or destination.
Maybe you want to show off the town your venue is located in, or maybe your ceremony is on the balcony of an historic mansion overlooking the mountains. Pick your favorite and ask your invitation designer to paint that picture for your guests. I encourage you to also try some out-of-the-box verbiage for your invitation suite, like using roman numerals for the year instead of writing it out. There are endless ways to customize your wedding stationery to make it stand out from the rest. I know you have some awesome ideas—go get started!
Interested in creating custom save the dates or invitations for your wedding?