For my first wedding (don't even ask how many years ago!) I had only a handful of things to consider when picking my invitations. This was at a time when we didn't have the Internet and had to use a local print shop. Paper stock, black ink or blue, embossed or not, and what font style were pretty much the only things to think about. Fancy meant putting a small stock image on your invitations. Back then, you would put in your order along with handwritten notes and sketches showing what you wanted, wait a month, and then hope like crazy that you got what you'd envisioned.
Today, this is far from the process. Thanks to all kinds of technology, choices on the Internet are abundant. In looking, I’ve found that the top trends in wedding invitations for Spring 2011 bring together multiple colors, bold graphics, and a theme for the wedding.
Add Some Color
Color seems to play the biggest part in the new look of wedding invitations. Whether bright colors or more subtle tones are being used, it’s the combination of colors that seems to be the most important. Invitations should act as a preview of the wedding, so choosing invitations that encompass at least two of the colors that have been selected for the wedding’s color palette is common. According to Lisa Barr, NY Fashion Bridal Examiner for Examiner.com, natural palettes and hot colors were the top trends for 2011 at this year’s National Stationery Show. Michelle Mospens, who annually follows wedding color trends has put together a great display showing the range of bright colors coming next Spring at “A Wedding Sketchbook.”
Pop In a Graphic
Graphic design is being strongly incorporated, be it through monograms, silhouettes, photographs, patterns or other meaningful images–right on the front of the invitation.
Themes Are the Way to Go
And for themes, vintage or retro designs are HUGE! One of the top ideas trending in wedding plans is a “Mad Men” inspired wedding. This trickles down to the invitations and an unbelievable array of designs. Reflective of the TV show, darker and more earthy colors (see Part 2 of Michelle Mospens display) are used along with bold and sleek designs and large but minimalistic copy. Think of slick magazine advertising from the ‘60s and you’ve got a perfect invitation that will evoke the feel of this theme.
Show Who You Are
Since society has become much more accepting of invitations that are brighter, more fun, and really represent the engaged couple, they are more readily available and the costs are less prohibitive.
Whatever combination, today’s invitation should be fun and offer a glimpse into the spirit of the soon-to-be newlyweds.
When considering menswear for the groomsmen, most thoughts go immediately to tuxedos. But what if you don’t want the men in your wedding party feeling like they are stuffed into something so formal that they can’t be comfortable? Let them wear suits!
Suits have become more acceptable for weddings because they are affordable and can be customized with accessories to reflect the tone of the wedding. Dressed up or down, their versatility makes them a suitable option for most weddings.
For couples who opt to have their groomsmen wear suits, some trends that are hot for 2011 weddings are tone-on-tone shirt and tie combinations, solid ties, and pocket squares.
First Things First
The suit color should be something that complements the color palette of the wedding. You don’t want the bridesmaids clashing with the groomsmen when they walk together down the aisle. Black suits are the easiest to work with yet, according to Michael Andrews of Bespoke, charcoal grey or midnight blue suits are fast becoming more popular, and khaki suits are a staple for more informal occasions. Once you have the suit color settled, it’s time to accessorize.
Many couples are staying away from white shirts and instead selecting regular dress shirts that are in tones similar to the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses. This helps to bring together the color palette in a stronger way to all members of the wedding party. It also gives the men a more uniform look, especially if each is wearing a suit that is the same color but the style varies (differences in cut, button placement, lapel differences, etc.).
There’s a strong trend towards selecting solid ties in a tone that is very close to the shirt color. This is the tone-on-tone look. Again, this helps to hide the fact that the suits themselves may not be identical. It also gives the male wedding party a sleek, consistent look - particularly helpful if you have a range in the actual body size and structure of the men.
Once out of fashion and long overlooked, pocket squares are making a comeback. They tend to lend an air of sophistication or fun to any suit and can be folded and placed in the pocket in different ways to suggest these moods. TM Lewin Shirtmakers has a wonderful video series showing the ins and outs of folding and placing pocket squares.
I'm April Bailey, a freelance writer and editor for hire who has been writing about various topics for many years. Most of my early print work was destroyed in a major house fire. Luckily, I was able to pull some copies from an old PC and have posted them here. Other items on this blog reflect my current articles and blog posts written for online publications and copied here so I never lose my work again!