Want to go a little wild with your invites? Here are some fun ways to stand out from the crowd.
When planning your dream wedding, it’s tempting to want to go big in every possible way. Can you have your invitations dropped from the sky attached to a mini hot air balloon? One supposes so, but in all practicality, most invitations, even those that wander far from tradition, still are made of paper and script. Here, we asked five local pros how they approach the concept of nontraditional.
Meagan Broadaway of Whimsy Design Studio says nontraditional encompasses anything that strays from classic and expected black and white. “We are really lucky in this era of modern wedding planning that every piece of a couple’s big day gets to be a true reflection of them and the event they are creating to showcase their love,” she says. A trend Broadaway has noticed among her brides is custom watercolor artwork. “My personal favorite is painting monogram crests,” she adds. “Not only do they look beautiful on paper goods, but the couple can reuse that monogram on other décor elements for the big day and keep using it well into their married life.”
As a Southern girl transplanted to Eagle, Lauren Benson of Four 13 Designs is very aware of the familiar, formal, pickedfrom- a-stationery-book invites. However, she says, “Especially in today’s Pinterest culture, it’s your wedding, so do what you want.” She has produced invitations using unusual materials, such as laser-engraved wood, yet she says most personal expression of nontraditional ideas comes through playful design, unusual paper size and/or quirky typography.
Tasha Fontanes of Tasha Rae Designs prefers to call it “new traditional.” She says, “Every tradition started somewhere, so why not start your new life together by expressing your personalities, style and the elements of your lives that you’d like to share with family and friends.” Fontanes combines colors, textures, fonts and graphics into a piece of art that represents the mood and feel of the event. “Wedding trends come and go,” she says, “but individual style is something to be treasured and celebrated.”
“Invitations are very personal. What is traditional to one person may be nontraditional to someone else,” Write Occasions’ Lani Kessler says. She has seen couples choose a variety of different materials, such as acrylic or metal, vibrant colors, shimmery inks and papers, or ribbons; encase their invitation ensemble in a box; try different printing methods, such as letterpress, thermography, flat printing or a combination; and even use die-cuts in unique shapes. “My goal is for the invitation to fully represent the bride, the groom, the venue and truly set the tone for their special day,” she says, “to truly reflect who they are as a couple … and the future they envision with each other”—something, she adds, couples can’t get when ordering invitations from a website.
Nontraditional design has become a focus for Jen Dinges of Anthologie Press. “Although I have a deep love of paper,” she says, “I have always been drawn to more unique materials.” She says there was a time when even the staid letterpress would create the “wow” factor with texture and depth, but these days, she likes to use other materials: metal, wood, fabric, foil, leather, stained glass. “Sometimes you are limited by sending an envelope through the mail,” she adds, “but more clients are willing to explore alternate methods of presentation and delivery so you can include elements with more depth and dimension. Recently, I’ve worked with moss and buffalo plaid fabric in a camp wedding invitation and a customized slate cheeseboard and chalk for a foodie-inspired suite. I love the challenge of figuring out how to print on materials besides paper and infuse as much texture and tactility as I am able into the experience.”
Regardless of your choice of material, color, font or even conversational tone, your invitations should be something you love. Dinges sums it up nicely: “I think anything goes if it’s right for you.”