2008 is already poised to be a historical year…studies show that we as Americans are focused on getting healthy, saving money, and saving the earth, and we’ll be picking our next president soon! Needless to say, all this energy and optimism will surely make 2008 a fun and empowering year for all you lucky brides. Now, more than ever before, brides are realizing they can and should make their weddings whatever they want them to be. Brides today don’t feel tied to traditional concepts or themes, and wedding invitations are becoming as much about personal expression as they are about planning and etiquette.
Modern brides are finding inspiration everywhere; scenery, flowers, wedding dresses, favorite songs and even wedding cakes. And even the most traditional brides are realizing that invitations are an important way to expresses their personal style. The result has been an explosion of creativity and non-conformity from which you might find some individual inspiration of your own.
Here’s what’s HOT for 2008:
10. Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Each year, Pantone (the authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries) selects the “Color of the year.” They have hailed 2008 the year of “Iris,” describing it as “A Multifaceted Hue Reflecting the Complexity of the World that Surrounds Us.” The Iris flower itself is a bold, classic, strong bloom, which are also all characteristics of the rich hue that shares its name. An interesting blend of blue and purple, iris is an appealing combination of the timeless and the tropical.
If exotic iris isn’t for you, consider a more traditional hue! Timeless blues like baby, plasma, and even navy are especially pretty when paired with white type and envelopes. Choose blue for a crisp and appealing pairing that feels new… again and again!
9. All-Out Feminine
There’s no doubt that the wedding is the bride’s special day…and if your idea of “special” gravitates toward all things delicate, graceful and girly, go for it! Pretty dresses in soft, ethereal fabrics like chiffon and lace, with antique embellishments and feminine accents, are appealing to many modern brides, who can choose to carry that theme throughout the entire ceremony.
In this fast-paced age of technology, it seems that almost everyone is focused on streamlining and simplifying. Lots of brides this year will rebel against the starkness of modern design and instead look for ladylike invitations with soft, pretty pinks, girly-swirly typestyles, and even go all-out glam with embellishments like romantic ribbons or crystals.
Countless brides have aspired to set a mood of warmth and comfort for their special day…and there’s nothing that universally feels more like “home” than allusions to mother earth. Whether you’ll be saying your vows under a Weeping Willow or before a stained-glass window, a charming invitation in natural tones of browns and greens create a peaceful and lasting impression. Rich browns and saturated greens are a popular and powerful color combination this year…conjuring feelings of love as lasting and as grand as the trees themselves.
Other nature-inspired concepts include whimsical representations of birds and wildflowers, and simple silhouettes of trees as a background. Sky-blue, sea green, grass, and cloud-white will always be classic color choices and serve as timeless tributes to the earth, sea and sky.
7. Gray: The New Black
Last year, chocolate brown was the new black. This year, gray takes center stage as the color of the moment. Gunmetal and slate gray are unexpected and striking…and surprisingly complimentary. Steel and dove gray are softer, more versatile hues. All shades of gray are especially interesting (and anything but drab) when paired with bright aqua, coral, or soft yellow. Grey goes dramatic when teamed with stark black and white. This year, even brides who think of grey as gloomy will see it in a new light when grey ink color replaces black in both traditional and contemporary typestyles.
6. Get in Shape
You know the old saying about fitting a square peg into a round hole? Well brides today have way too many options to select a style that doesn’t “fit!” Circle and oval shapes, blooms, and envelopment invitation styles have been popular options for parties, save the dates, and showers for years. Increasingly, brides are looking for ways to set their events apart from the best. In addition to color and typestyle, the actual shape of the invitation is the perfect opportunity to put something truly unique in the hands of your guests.
Brides preferring traditionally shaped envelopes don’t have to ignore this trend. Geometrical patterns and square- or circle-shaped “windows” are additional, appealing options. Two layer panel cards in traditional square or rectangle shapes adds depth and interest while keeping the attention focused on the content of your invitation.
5. Flower Power
We know what you’re thinking. Flower patterns are far from “fresh.” But a recent trend in wedding invitations has been a minimalist take on the floral concept. Bright, bold background colors like hot pink with a single white hibiscus. Black type over white invites with a red cherry blossom silhouette. Think about your favorite flower and consider incorporating it into your wedding invitation. With the newest design options and colors, floral is fresh…not fussy.
4. The Write Style
They say you can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting, and the same has become true of the typestyle a bride selects. In the past, typestyle has ranked low on the list of priorities for brides…far below color choice and design. That is changing. With a growing number of font types and colors, brides are finding a new means of expression, and typestyle has become an integral part of the wedding invitation design…no longer a last-minute afterthought. Some “experts” have traditionally asserted that the typestyle you select must match the theme and level of formality of your event. Some companies have even limited typestyle selection for certain invitations…essentially making the decision that certain fonts don’t “go” with certain invitations. This too is changing. Modern brides are demanding the ultimate options for creativity and expression, which don’t stop at color choice.
In fashion this year will be happy, whimsical type, even on traditional invites. Black is by no means the must-have type color. One up and coming trend is bold, white block type on a darker background color with a white border for contrast. For especially trendy brides, try a classic, loopy script like you would expect to see on a traditional white invitation but paired with contemporary cardstock and colors.
3. Not So Mellow Yellow
From canary to banana to lemon and marigold, yellow shades are cheery and youthful….evoking thoughts of dandelions, sunshine and honeybees. This year, brides will be taking a decidedly sophisticated twist on this traditionally perky pick. Pairing soft yellow with pale gray makes for an unexpectedly peaceful, elegant combination. Bright yellow paired with black and white is both contemporary and classic at the same time. Brides not ready to jump headfirst into such a non-traditional color may consider adding subtle elements (like a thin yellow border to an otherwise simple invitation), and carry that theme through to their flowers or bridesmaid dress sashes to add a splash of sunshine to their special day.
2. Traditional Meets Hi-Tech
This year, brides will reject the idea that they have to choose which “type” of bride they will be. Traditional? Contemporary? Elegant? Casual? Why choose just one? With wedding invitations becoming more a form of self-expression than a means to an end, brides are becoming more aware of staying true to who they are as individuals. This becomes especially true when it comes to the technology/etiquette debate. A paper wedding invitation will (hopefully!) never be replaced by an email or a web site, but there’s no reason for the modern bride not to incorporate the benefits of modern technology into her wedding plans…invitations included.
Some couples will choose to build a wedding web site and display the URL prominently on their traditional paper invitation. Recently, couples have even posted their proposal videos on You Tube to share with guests. Not looking forward to collecting response cards? Brides will increasingly be looking for avenues like email to simplify the planning process.
1. Bold School
Until recently, brides had two choices when it came to invitation color: white or ecru. Now, the possibilities truly are endless. Pastels and metallics are lovely options…and white and ecru will always appeal be classic choices…but this year the big word is BOLD. Bright, saturated hues like emerald green, cardinal red, sunshine yellow and amethyst are fearless, fresh, and sure to make an impression on your guests. Pairing a bold color with white creates a crisp, modern look, while pairing two vivid colors together makes a spirited statement.
Traditional “rules” say that invitations should match the location, season, and theme of your event. This year, brides will throw caution to the wind and abandon the rules in favor of audacious, delicious color choices. The modern bride knows that when she expresses her own personal style, she transcends the need to follow the norm.