by Linda Hiniker, Carlson Craft, North Mankato, Minn.

Fast forward 25 years or so, turn, and take a look back at the weddings that took place in 2013.  You might find it difficult to distinguish exactly, or even approximately, what year you’re reviewing, because today’s couples are on a quest to put a stamp of personalization and fun on their weddings based on who they are, not on what they see others doing.

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings, at least for now.  Most of today’s engaged couples want to generate a personal feel rather than create a “look” for their wedding. One of the first ways they do this is by introducing their wedding to guests through save-the-date announcements or invitations.

Colors and Patterns Make Messages Pop
Color is probably the longest-standing trend indicator from fashion to home décor. Likewise with invitations, since the colors used in weddings most often mimic the colors seen elsewhere. If you keep your eye on the fashion runways, red carpets, television, and magazines, you’ll know what to expect when it comes to color trends for weddings and wedding invitations.  This year, you will undoubtedly see some regal colors such as dark purples and rich shades of green, such as emerald, the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year (see cover article, p 8).  The fresh, personalized twist on these colors is the addition of bright, contrasting pops of colors accompanying trending neutral colors, gray and navy.  For example, you might see a splash of bright pink with the neutral navy or a hit of bright yellow with neutral gray.

Also, you’ll see graphic patterns used to make the colors stand out.  Accessories will be used to give invitations a unique, personalized touch.  These include layers, pockets, wraps, embellishments, and textures.  Much like the popularity of monograms, using typography and fonts as design elements will play a part in many weddings this year.


Themes Personalize and Inspire
Themes will remain evident in today’s weddings, but with couples wanting to make their wedding days unique and special, it will be attention given to details and personalization that sets one apart from another. Here’s a look at some of the top theme inspirations for wedding invitations this year:

Vintage: The vintage trend will continue to inspire.  Brides and grooms will tap into the glamorous side of the 1920s and the Great Gatsby style.  Invitations will include romantic roses, Victorian lace, and art nouveau metallics.

Rustic: This year’s rustic weddings will have a natural, outdoorsy feel with just the right amount of upscale touches that eliminate any chance of gaudiness.  Invitations might include wood grain, burlap wraps, and outdoor elements such as fireflies, campfires, and mason jars.

Seasons and Destinations: While seasonal and destination-themed weddings have been around for quite some time, today’s couples are expressing their individuality in more non-traditional choices.  Instead of a wedding in Hawaii, a couple may choose to hold their wedding at the out-of-state college where they met or a scenic locale off-the-beaten path.  Their invitations may tell the story of their relationship and may include photos and colors that played a significant role in their courtship.

Whimsical: Watch for hipster-chic weddings this year.  Iconic imagery that features dapper fashion, such as suspenders, bow ties, and mustaches, may be matched with bold, vertical stripes and primary colors.  Elements of carnivals and county fairs are being incorporated into invitations to bring a sense of drama.

Extend the Invitation to Involvement
Another ambition ranking high on a couple’s list of wedding goals is to engage guests.  In other words, the objective is to include guests so they aren’t left feeling like a distant crowd of bystanders just waiting for the ideal time to slip out and head home.  Couples are creating a buzz about their wedding in advance, causing invited guests to look forward, with great anticipation, to a fun and memorable time.  How? Couples are embracing social media by creating websites and including QR codes on their RSVP cards where guests can respond.  These sites usually include the story of the couple’s relationship as well as photos and information on the wedding party.  There may be links to the couple’s online wedding registries, local hotels for making reservations, directions and maps, as well as an online guestbook.  The integration of social media sites, like Facebook and Pinterest, keep guests feeling like they are part of the wedding before it occurs.

As you assist couples who are planning a wedding this year, remember to uplift and support their desire to express exactly who they are. In doing so, they’ll have the wedding of their dreams and their guests will see a wedding they’ll be talking about for at least another 25 years!

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