What's trending in invitation style

This story first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, published December 2019.

Your mother probably put it best: It isn’t what you say, but how you say it.

The same logic applies to the world of weddings. It isn’t so much what your invitations say, but the design, typeface and accents deployed to say it.

Just ask Jason Fletcher of Avant-Garde Impressions, which offers brides and grooms a dizzying array of invitation templates—from religious-themed to Disney-centric—from which to present the who, what, where and when of your wedding.

Current trends in invitations tend to be dictated by what engaged couples might encounter online.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

“Whatever is hot on Pinterest is what’s been hot on the requests here—the trends keep changing with it,” says Fletcher, who points to the current popularity of pieces with foil accents, as well as those displaying strong geometric elements.

“There’s a geometric-shape pattern in the background—kind of like an octagon turned to the side a little bit, maybe another one turned the other direction a little bit—so they overlap each other,” he says.

Also sought after this season are cards alternating traditional fonts with those that appear to be handwritten or rendered in calligraphy, with names lowercased. “They’re not as formal,” Fletcher says. “They pop the names or maybe the name of the church. It’s just a little here and there, and then they go back and forth between two different fonts.”

At Avant-Garde Impressions, the options go far beyond font choices. Almost any element on an existing card design can be swapped out, Fletcher says. For example, if a couple has chosen a floral design but does not care for hydrangeas, they can switch out the bloom images for peonies or roses. “The sky’s the limit with changing it however you want,” he says.

Many couples opt for aesthetic cohesion between their invitations, programs, place cards, bar menus and even the welcome sign guests see when they walk through the door. “People are really branding their look for their wedding,” Fletcher says.

Because couples often come armed with ideas picked up from Pinterest and other sites, the in-store selection process that once took three hours now usually lasts between 90 minutes and two hours. But if a couple hasn’t done their homework, that’s OK, too.

“I start with traditional invitations and … see if that’s too formal for them,” Fletcher says. “If they look at one or two traditional books [of samples], and they don’t really like anything, then we know that we’re going to get into more modern styles.”

Fletcher says that for formal, black-tie weddings, about 90 percent of couples still opt for uber-traditional invitations. “And then it’s all over the place with everyone else,” he says, adding that invitations can be customized to include everything from army camouflage to burlap designs.

The downfall in this wide range of available styles, he notes, is that it’s easy to go overboard.

According to the expert, even in a world of unlimited invitation-design possibilities, sometimes less really is more.

“Something little that can really stand out—maybe it’s just a monogram that we’ve made for you that goes to everything, or maybe it’s just that little bit of greenery with a letter inside,” he says.