When it comes to your wedding, you want to stamp your own personal style on every aspect of the day. In the business world, they call this “branding.” In the wedding world, the branding begins and ends with your stationery. You can use your stationery to pull together the entire look of your wedding. Just select a color, monogram, and font, then run with them. Here we offer 21 hot ideas to help you create a suite of wedding stationery that’s as unique as the two of you.
1. Gold Is the New Black
Gold has made a comeback in fashion and accessories. This luxe metal is now popping up in wedding stationery too. Lisa Hoffman, owner of Ceci New York, a custom stationery boutique, has created invites using gold papers, gold engraving, and gold-lined envelopes.
Branding 101 Wear gold heels, use gold utensils, and dip cocktail glasses in gold-dusted sugar.
2. Vintage Flair
When it comes to design, couples want a vintage look. Karen Bartolomei, owner of Grapevine in Boston, designs vintage-style invitations inspired by Parisian soap label art, Givenchy couture, and swirl or damask patterns.
Branding 101 Give your cake baker a copy of your invitation and then ask them to decorate the cake using a similar design.
3. Eco-Friendly Elements
Earth-conscious couples don’t need to sacrifice style to have eco-friendly stationery. If you like the look of letterpress, 100-percent cotton paper — the choice of most stationers, including Saima Khan, creator of Saima Says Design in Washington, DC — works beautifully. Other green options: recycled or seed-embedded paper, wood veneers, and soy-based ink.
Branding 101 An excellent option is to choose a caterer who uses locally grown or organic ingredients to create their menus.
4. Postcard Save-the-Dates
To create the mood for a vintage-inspired wedding, Khan creates save-the-dates fashioned after classic posters in the form of postcards. Not only does this make for easy mailing, but it can also be a wonderful way to set the tone for a destination wedding. Maren Ogden, owner of the letterpress stationer Elizabeth and Homer in Utah, likes the laid-back vibe of the postcard look for something fun and different. She then adds letterpress to the back for a more formal touch.
Branding 101 Name all your reception tables after places you’ve been together using a postcard from each of the destinations.
5. Modern Monograms
Monograms are getting a makeover. Khan sees them becoming more thematic, with stylistic elements like elaborate ampersands. Rather than a simple font, consider using intertwined initials for an updated look.
Branding 101 Instead of stamping your monogram on every flat surface, do so tastefully and limit yourself to two or three places.
6. Escort Card Cocktails
For a small wedding, Hoffman loves the idea of escort cards hanging off of a cocktail’s swizzle stick. Ask your caterer to have the waiters stationed with trays at the entrance; that way, guests will be able to pick up their drink and discover their seat at the same time.
Branding 101 Keep the vibe intimate. Instead of the standard chicken or beef, allow guests to take their pick off an a la carte menu.
7. Gray Is the New Brown
One color trend that we love: steel gray. This ultra-cool color can be used in a modern way teamed with robin’s egg blue or raspberry pink. The look is softer than chocolate brown, but it’s still stylish enough to carry through a contemporary wedding style.
Branding 101 Dress your maids in steel gray with a robin’s egg blue sash. Add gray to the flowers with dusty miller or silver brunia.
8. Classic Patterns, Unexpected Colors
Modern couples are putting a new spin on the traditional invite by using bright, bold colors. For a formal wedding, an invitation that features a damask- or brocade-inspired print could appear in fuchsia, light blue, or black.
Branding 101 Consider dressing your bridesmaids in different yet coordinating colors and patterns for a look that is mixed-and-matched.
9. Easy RSVPs
To save paper and make it easier on guests, wedding stationers attach stamped response cards to the invite with perforated edges so you tear the card off and mail it — a small detail with big style.
Branding 101 Perforated reply cards are just the beginning. Don’t forget to create a wedding website where guests can get updated on all the wedding details — another cool wow factor.
10. Custom-Made Stamps
Hoffman designs postage stamps to match your invitation design using a pattern, monogram, or motif. These custom stamps add a unique touch and eliminate excess stamps since you can customize the amount.
Branding 101 Take a cue from your stamps; pull your monogram or motif into designs for cocktail napkins, favor tags, and place cards.
11. Downsized Programs
For a wedding keepsake, Kahn encourages her clients to do a smaller program and explore different yet stylish ways to fold them so that departing guests won’t simply leave them behind. A 4″ x 6″ accordion fold can easily fit inside a purse or pocket.
Branding 101 Bring the look of folds into other parts of your reception by way of napkins, table numbers, and textured cake designs.
12. Couture Envelopes
The look of your invitation doesn’t stop with the reply card; pay close attention to the envelopes as well. It makes sense because the envelope is a guest’s first glimpse at your invitation’s style. Beautiful liners in coordinating colors and patterns make this otherwise ordinary packaging necessity a cool keepsake.
Branding 101 Envelopes are just the beginning. It really is all about the details.
13. Material World
For additional richness, designers use high-end fabrics like silk, velvet, and various ribbons. Hoffman designed a luxe invite with a purple velvet wrap, while Kahn favors double-faced satin or organza ribbons.
Branding 101 If you like ribbons, incorporate them in your escort card display using complementary colors and patterns, and have your florist use them as a wrap for boutonnieres.
14. Signature Silhouettes
Whether it’s birds perched on flowering branches or a woodsy scene of towering birch trees, silhouettes are becoming an invite classic. These shadowy designs give a refined yet whimsical touch to wedding stationery.
Branding 101 Use a signature silhouette in unexpected places, like a Tord Boontje curtain to separate the cocktail hour and reception.
15. Boxed-up Invites
For a grand presentation, consider packaging your invitations in custom-made boxes. Approximately $1.80 to mail, Khan’s boxes can be silk-covered or made with elegant yet thick paper, while Hoffman prefers to have hers wrapped in high-quality ribbon.
Branding 101 Why stop with the invite? Use coordinating boxes for packaging favors, slices of wedding cake, and attendant gifts.
16. Double-Sided Invites
The back of a piece of paper can make a bigger impression than the front. From invitations to menu cards, two-sided stationery pieces wow guests. Ogden favors a simple design on the front, then laminates the back with a coordinating pattern or solid-colored paper.
Branding 101 Consider choosing some linens that match your paper’s pattern, such as toile if you’re having a country-chic affair.
17. Getting Personal
For small guest lists, some of Hoffman’s clients will actually sign each of their invitations and hand-deliver them to each guest. While this can be quite time-consuming, it can also be a memorable, personal touch.
Branding 101 Ask your cake baker to decorate your cake with scripted words taken from a line of your favorite poem or your wedding vows.
18. Relaxed Wording
As more and more couples host their own wedding, invitation wording is changing to keep up with the trend. No longer is formal wording, beginning with the parents’ names, a necessity. Instead, the invite can reflect the nature of the event. For a destination wedding hosted by the couple, the invite might say, “Join us in paradise as we say our vows” or “We invite you to join us in a celebration of love.”
Branding 101 Create a relaxed vibe at the reception with a family-style dinner. Have a photo booth on hand so guests can take silly pictures.
19. Beyond Paper
These days, it’s possible for a wedding invitation to be printed on just about anything. Hoffman does a lot of work with plexiglass and can custom-mold stones for a three-dimensional save-the-date. Other non-paper options: wood veneer, glass, even chocolate.
Branding 101 If you choose something other than paper, like wood, you can also use it as a foundation for your centerpieces.
20. Many a Motif
Rather than just one motif (think flip-flops for a beach wedding), Hoffman sometimes uses two or three icons to unify all the pieces. For example, call out each of your events (like the welcome party and the reception) on the RSVP card with its own motif. Ogden also likes using a small starfish on the save-the-date followed by a conch shell on the invite to create a striking a mix-and-match look.
Branding 101 You can use three-dimensional versions of your motif in your decor, such as adding shell accents to your bouquet.
21. Destination Wedding
With destination weddings on the rise, so is the need for all-inclusive stationery. Rather than multiple invites for each event, Hoffman can design three-panel RSVP instead. She is also the creator of the popular airline ticket-inspired invitation, which is perfect for ensuring that all of your guests will be properly excited about their upcoming travel plans.
Branding 101 Have your invitation design hand-sewn or printed onto the welcome bags and favors (like wine or water bottles) for your guests.