The Best Wedding Invitation Trends to Impress Your Guests

By Becky Appleby-Sparrow

Will your wedding be a traditional black-tie affair, or will you be sharing your whimsical humor with your guests? After months of wedding planning, you're excited to show your family and friends some of the details you've been working on. When guests' first glimpse into your wedding style is with a beautiful, handcrafted invitation, they'll know your big day is going to be special.

Wedding invitation trends are embracing handcrafted, custom, and distinctive styles. You can set the perfect mood for your event right from the beginning. Brides and grooms love this trend because a handcrafted invitation reveals to guests what makes their wedding unique. This is your chance to show off your personalities and impress them.

Wedding Invitation Trends

The following are some popular trends that offer couples great ways to personalize their invitations:

  • Using dark, jewel tones
  • Adding envelope liners for a pop of color and design
  • Choosing fun, calligraphy-inspired fonts
  • Using watercolor and hand-drawn floral designs
  • Including non-standard shapes and materials, such as circles and fabrics
  • Adding embellishments such as ribbons, clips, and charms

Wedding invitations can be as simple or as ornate as you please. Choosing a professional designer to create your handcrafted invitations saves you both time and effort, since the designer will do the work for you. Plus, some options are only available through a designer, such as letterpress and engraving.

If you love DIY, you might want to make your own invitations. Keep in mind that adding embellishments and fun details can get pricey and time-consuming. While you certainly could save money making your own invitations, you can also order simple invitations that won't cost you much.

What You Need to Know: Printing and Design Terms

Many of the top invitation trends involve different printing or design methods. Here's a sample of what you may expect to see on trendy invitations that you can use in your own creations:

  • Engraving: The designer presses an etched plate into the back of the paper, creating raised lettering on which the ink is applied. This results in a slight indent on the back of the card.
  • Letterpress: Letterpress is raised wording or designs on a metal plate, which the creator inks and transfers by placing paper against the plate and manually applying pressure. This pressure imprints the letters and designs onto the paper.
  • Debossing: The artist presses a design into the paper, creating an indent. There is no ink involved, so it's best used to add a special design to the paper, not actual information.
  • Embossing: Similar to debossing, embossing occurs when the creator pushes a design up from the paper to create a raised, textured image. Like debossing, this method doesn't use any ink.
  • Thermography: Thermography involves a heat-based process that fuses resinous powder to wet ink to create slightly shiny, raised lettering, while the back of the invitation remains smooth. The engraving leaves an impression.
  • Offset Printing: Offset printing is a process such as photocopying or computer printing that prints the words and images with ink that's been mixed. It's also known as "flat" printing.
  • Foil Stamping: Using a copper plate, the designer pushes gold, silver, or other colored metallic foils into the paper, creating a shiny design.
  • Calligraphy: A calligrapher creates artistic, stylized handwriting.
  • Flourishes: A flourish is small, ornate detailing and scrollwork done on and around the calligraphy letters.
  • Typography: The artist arranges typefaces to create typography. These typefaces are the style and appearance of letters or characters—also referred to as the font.
  • Hands: A calligrapher can create various styles and fonts, which are known as hands.
  • Stock: This describes the thickness and heaviness of paper. Usually, a higher number means thicker paper.
  • Backer: If you place your invitation on top of a piece of paper acting as a mat or frame, that paper is called a backer. It creates a thicker invitation.
  • Liner: A decorative paper used to line the inside of envelopes, a liner adds a pop of color to your invitation suite.
  • Bellyband: A bellyband is a decorative band of paper, fabric, or ribbon that wraps around your invitation like a belt, holding it all together.

Whether your theme is formal or fun, embrace the latest handcrafted wedding invitation trends to show your guests what they can expect for your wedding day.

Photo courtesy of ©Appleby Photography