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.
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?
During this crazy time some wedding invitation formalities and traditions will have to bend a bit to simplify the process. I hope these invitation tips will help ease your mind and the minds of your guests.
You've postponed your wedding, but the save the dates/invitations have already been mailed...
Here are some verbiage ideas:
You’ve decided to elope...
You’re having this wedding no matter what...
Please reach out if you have questions or need any assistance with your wedding stationery. You do not have to be my client—I'm happy to help!
First things first… what is your wedding invitation budget? I’ll give you a hint: couples should reserve 3-5% of their total wedding budget for invitations. Go 3% if wedding invitations are not a priority; go 5% if you want to wow your guests.
It should come as no surprise that wedding invitations are expensive. Let’s put it into perspective. How much did you spend at the store for your mom’s birthday card this year? I bet it was at least $2.00 for ONE card and envelope—not including postage by the way. Postage alone for 150 wedding invitations comes to $105.00 and that is NOT including postage for the rsvp return envelope. Whoa! Hello? Wake up call! Ok, take a deep breath. I’m breakin’ it all down for you below—by dollar amount—to help set your expectations.
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $250-$500
Unless you are having a very small intimate wedding of 25 people, this budget is a challenge. You realistically have one choice, and that is to DIY. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to make this budget work:
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $500-$750
With this budget you can trade the all-consuming DIY for the all-consuming online stationery shops. Search through thousands of designs to find the one that closely fits your awesome wedding theme and have them take care of the printing for you.
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $750-$1000
Now you can upgrade to a higher price point within those online stationery shops and select from more formal invitation layouts.
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $1000-$2000
Go local and search out a custom invitation designer! A lot of couples don’t even know we exist, so I’m telling you now… we do exist and we rock! Ask your photographer or event planner for a referral—both of these vendors work closely with wedding stationery designers.
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $2000-$3000
This is a sweet spot for more formal invitations. Absolutely you can hire a custom invitation designer and create…
WEDDING INVITATION BUDGET IS $3000+
For those who want every bell and whistle for a very large and formal wedding.
Your mom is telling you “do this”. Your cousin twice-removed is telling you “don’t do that”. A lot of wedding stationery rules have gone out the window, so we ask friends and family. This isn’t always the best idea. What is a great idea is to go with your gut. The wedding rules are truly YOURS. Because guess what? It’s YOUR wedding! Obviously, hiring a wedding stationery designer can alleviate the stress and guide you through the dos and don’ts. And since I am a custom wedding invitation designer in Denver, I’ve put together a list below specifically on the subject of invitation suites.
DO mail physical wedding invitations
DON'T create an e-vite
DO mail invitations 2-3 months out
DON'T mail invitations more than 4 months out (unless you are having a destination wedding and did not send out save the dates)
DO formally address your envelopes ("Mr and Mrs Smith") and mail them
DON'T hand-deliver wedding invitations with a name scribbled on the envelope
DO put the bride's name first
DON'T include too many family names (try to keep parent names on one line)
DO use bold and interesting fonts
DON'T use fonts that will make your invitation illegible
DO include a separate RSVP card with clear information for your guests
DON'T throw a wedding website at the bottom of your invitation card
DO have multiple friends and family proofread all cards in the wedding invitation suite
DON'T trust your invitation designer to catch everything
DO order at least 10 extra of everything
DON'T underestimate your guest list — last minute additions can pop-up
DO take an assembled invitation suite to the post office and weigh for postage cost
DON'T guess and apply postage to envelopes beforehand
Tip: If you have questions about wedding invitation etiquette contact a local stationery designer and ask! I know I am always available to help anyone out, client or no client.
For Do’s and Don’ts on Save the Dates, see my 2.27.19 blog.