The hottest new trends, and the ones that are still going strong. Your wedding invitation is like a first impression. It’s the first glimpse your guests will get at what style and tone to expect from your wedding day. Yes, the primary reason for your wedding suite is to communicate information, but it should also mirror your personality and the style you hope for on the day of. With so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down what you do and don’t like, as well as stay up to date with what’s new. Because of this, our Invites + Paper team has given us some insight on seven big wedding invitation trends that you’ll see this year. Read on for those that have carried over into the new decade—and ones that are new to the scene.
One of the fastest rising wedding invitation trends of 2021 is the use of sustainable materials. This, of course, extends itself into invitations. At Zola, we’re big fans of eco-friendly and sustainable wedding ideas, so we already provide a recycled paper type for all of your wedding paper needs. Moreover, it’s carbon-neutral and completely made with wind power. Lightweight, with a soft, subtle texture, it’s ideal for an array of invitation styles—from rustic to classic, although we think this invitation trend goes particularly well with botanical and floral designs.
All that glitters may be gold, but all that shimmers is also silver, rose gold, and just about any other color you can imagine. Metallic foil pressing and accents are on the rise, with innovative designs and use of materials leading the way. These aren’t your standard confetti-patterned invitations of the past (although we hold a soft spot for those). Modern use of foils and metallics include foiled calligraphy, shimmering brush strokes, intricate laser-cut designs, and much more. Gold foil and metallic accents are some of the most popular wedding invitation themes you can choose from. These glittering accents can be used to play up the tone of your wedding—from a vintage-era gold to a fresh and modern silver. You aren’t limited to neutrals, though, so also keep fun color ideas, such as blues and greens, in mind. There’s practically no invitation card design that can’t be elevated by some shimmer. If you’re looking for a bold invitation suite that’s eye-catching, yet classy, consider going for a metallic foil style.
While this invitation trend isn’t a new one, it’s worth mentioning that it isn’t going anywhere. In fact, calligraphy continues to receive style updates and be used in new ways (eg. foiled calligraphy). Whether you’re interested in it’s newer, more on trend uses, or classic formal save the date and wedding designs, regal or flowing calligraphy always adds a touch of sophistication. If you adore the look of hand-lettering, seek out a calligrapher, or take a look at our options right here on our site. Pick a style that coordinates well with your paper suite’s typography and pairs well with your paper type or envelope.
Illustrations are finding their way onto event invitations and cards of all sorts—and wedding invitations are no exception. Customized, elegant, or humorous, illustrations add personality and artistry to any and all wedding invitations (and, not to mention, enclosures). Currently, you can find fancy flowers, illustrated portraits of the couple soon-to-be wed, and even drawings of the wedding day location in many couples’ paper suites. Aiding in making your invitations truly unique and stare-worthy (talk about a keepsake), we see this trend ramping up throughout the rest of the year.
As seen in many other areas of wedding style, such as gowns and decor, minimalism continues to be a popular and sought-after trend. When it comes to invitations specifically, the most obvious is in use of color—or lack thereof. A lack or limit of color (typically neutrals or black and white) tends to look less busy, as compared to a full, on-color palette. Because of this, simplistic and monochromatic color schemes can easily lend themselves to a classic, fresh, or modern feel.
The same can be achieved through typography (or font). Where this trend is concerned, the less detail in a font, the better. Don’t think that this equates to boring, though. Stylish serifs and sans-serifs can be paired together to create a refined modern wedding invitation look without being dull. Cursive and calligraphy can be beautiful, but you can achieve plenty of interesting styles without—or with very limited use of—them.
On the other hand, we have full-color wedding stationery. Color plays a large role in creating the look and feel of your wedding (your color scheme was one of the first things you decided on, right?). Including them heavily in your wedding stationery is simply the first step in communicating whatever that aesthetic is in a bold way. Dark, moody gem tones, or bright, pastel color palettes—each will take your invitations in a drastically different direction. If you like the idea of playing with color, but don’t want to take the full plunge, put your invitations and enclosures into a matching colored envelope. Otherwise, if you like the idea of a vivid and eye-catching suite, go all the way with a full set of colored stationery.
To close (literally), let’s talk about wax seals. As its name implies, a wax seal is made of a wax material that, after being melted and pressed, quickly hardens into an individual seal. Think of the handheld seals and signet rings you’ve seen aristocrats use to enclose or sign letters in period films. The modern version, which you’ve likely already started to see all over wedding inspiration hubs like Instagram and Pinterest, hold the same level of classic elegance. The finishing touch can be customized in color and design, easily elevating your invitation card suite.
Keep in mind that if you decide to seal your invitations in wax, they won’t be able to go through mail sorting machines (nor will you want them to). In this case you’ll want to hand-cancel each of them. This is the process of stamping—or asking a postal worker to stamp—the envelopes by hand in an attempt to ensure that the outer envelopes aren’t damaged. If you go to the post office during non-busy hours, chances are you won’t be charged extra for this. There’s a chance you could be, but, more often than not, it’s a free service that just takes a little extra time.
Once you have an idea in mind of what you like, head over to our Invites + Paper page for a full display of your options (plus our most popular designs).