Whether you’re an absolute paper geek, or just want good looking wedding invites, the pros are here to help. Kelsey Chapman of Our Happie Creations, Nancy Brooking of Platinum Designs, and Sean Mattingly of SRM Graphics and Printing give the inside scoop on what’s trending, what’s classic, and what you didn’t even know was possible.
What are the current trends in wedding stationery?
Couples are crazy for rustic chic. Kelsey has over 35 style options on her site and says 5 out 6 orders are for their antler design. If it’s not the antlers, it’s most likely one of their wreath designs. Couples are loving the playful, bohemian vibe. Both Kelsey and Nancy see a lot of love for brown kraft paper used for the invites and the envelopes.
In addition to kraft paper on the boho front, Nancy sees requests for lots of lace, burlap, and natural touches. Color-wise, Nancy says the Pantone color of the year always plays a role in wedding invites. Although it was hot for 2015, she notes yellow and grey. Aside from trends, she shares the couple’s color choices are strongly influenced by the season. Another major trend for 2016 will be simple elegance. This means beautiful, thick paper, mixed of fonts, classic or metallic paper colors, and for accents nothing more than a subtle ribbon.
Sean is also seeing a rise in requests for mixed fonts that to him signals modern design. He’s seeing big typography, interesting use of geometric shapes, as well as frequent requests for Art Deco styles.
What are some no-fail classics?
All three designers agree that ivory or white paper with black ink is always winning. To achieve a note of elegance, Kelsey recommends thicker paper. She shares you can have a gorgeous design when you stick to black ink—saving you money while still looking extremely high quality.
For timeless style, Sean recommends script type in raised print. He’s been in the business since his mentor Bill Tchadkirides took him under his wing in 1986, and, for him, this is an iconic look that stands the test of time.
Monograms will never go out of fashion. Nancy creates monograms for couples to be used as a watermark behind the text. Simple, stylish, stunning.
What are average prices for wedding invitations?
If they’re hand-made, reprinted from an existing design, and the add-ons used, invitations—on average—range from $1.50 each to $7.50. Nancy shares it really is hard to pin a specific price until she knows everything the couple wants. Keep in mind, the more elaborate your vision, the more per invitation suite it will cost. Be realistic and don’t plan for full hand-written calligraphy if your budget is more basic.
What is one of the most unusual requests you’ve gotten?
At SRM Graphics and Printing, Sean recalls one couple who wanted a wedding brochure printed up. It contained information on the bride and groom, a write up of the bridal party, and an outline of all the activities that would take place. A good idea for arrival bags when you have a destination wedding!
Shotgun shaped wedding invites for a shotgun wedding in Vegas were a fun project for Nancy at Platinum Designs. Another super creative wedding invite she did recently was for a couple who love an apocalyptic online video game. She researched the game and suggested they create a wedding invitation suite to mimic a key manual from the game. The invite was six pages, included a perforated RSVP card to be torn out and mailed back by guests, and was filled with sayings from the game converted to wedding and invitation talk.
What are designer favorites?
Nancy’s current faves are pop-up city skyline invites she makes. For example, she just sent some invites that, when opened, pop up the St. Louis arch and the church in that city where the couple will be married. How dang cute is that? She really appreciates the creative angle, and makes all her invitations by hand in a studio in her home. Her passion for this began after an accident in 2004 left her permanently disabled and unable to drive or work out of the home. What was a hobby to keep her from going stir crazy has become a thriving business—not to mention a letterpress, rooms full of paper, reels of ribbons, and endless supplies.
Sean always appreciates working with parchment paper for the ethereal and mystical quality it has.
How far in advance should wedding clients order their invites?
Depending on if they’re graphic design and print-based, or hand-made it could be anywhere from five days to four to six weeks for arrival after you order. Decide the style you want, and if it’s hand-burned wood, plan ahead.
What’s possible that you wish more customers knew about?
In the day of Pinterest, anything is customizable and changeable. Don’t be shy about bringing your ideas to the table, says Kelsey. If the first proof is not perfect, it can all be changed. It’s all about the process, so keep working with the designer to get something you adore.
Keep in mind that save the dates often are mailed six months prior and official invites two to three months in advance. Follow this easy guide for wedding milestones to ensure you don’t miss a beat.