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Trend Alert: Avant-Garde Stationery & Signage

Wedding stationery is a couple’s first chance to set the tone for their celebration, with the opportunity to create save-the-dates and invitations as a ‘teaser’ for the guest experience. In the past, there have been some rather formulaic trends in stationery and signage—think the sleek geometric shapes, complete with hand lettering and botanical elements. However, we’re seeing couples become more adventurous and experimental with their design elements and that is playing out beautifully in the stationery space.

Katie Covington, editorial director of Paperless Post, elaborates: “The stationery trends we are predicting are less about specific colors or themes and more a reflection of broader shifts in how couples are approaching their wedding. We see a move towards more personalization and thoughtful details over specific of-the-moment trends.”

As couples start sending new save-the-dates or invitations with new rescheduled wedding dates, we’re looking at a few things to expect from this avant-garde shift in design.

Bold is better

Stationery and signage are no longer background aspects; they’re taking centerstage and, with that, they are becoming bolder and brighter than ever. 

“Texturally, it’ll go two ways: rougher, more obviously handmade textures, or super-clean and modern lines,” shares Grania O’Brien, creative director of Ink & Paper. “Couples will continue to embrace a bolder and more style-led looks in their stationery. I think we are also seeing a stronger than ever push towards uniqueness and individuality, which will be reflected both in the style of invitations chosen, and also in the language used within the invites.”

A focus on fine art

We’ve seen live artists at events in the past and this is here to stay — with an added avenue for art in stationery. 

“Couples will continue to engage fine artists in their weddings through invitations, live-painted ceremonies, and performance art in their receptions,” explains Matthew Wenger, owner of A Fine Press. “I think the ultimate expression of this will be commissions as fine art-as-invitation.”

Photo courtesy Gyan Gurung

Special experiential touches

A lot can be said about ‘surprise and delight’ elements at a wedding and we’re seeing this concept carried over to stationery and signage. “We continue to see an exploration of ‘experiential’ wedding design, with more installations, interactivity, and a focus on the guest ‘journey,’” says Vaishali Shah, founder and creative director of Ananya Cards

“For stationery, this means elevating suites with more hand-finished touches, tactile mediums, and unexpected elements—for example, through statement place cards that wow guests as they reach their seat,” Shah said.

Unique color palettes

It seems like there are always new color trends on the horizon and we’re excited to see that the new shades in the spotlight are a refreshing take on some old favorites. 

Photo courtesy Lefteris Kalampoka

“We predict a move away from overtly feminine color palettes, and we think we’ll see pops of bright and saturated colors and subtle nature-inspired palettes in 2020,” says Covington. “We predict sophisticated color combinations, like those in our collaboration with Lisa Hedge of Venamour, who uses pairings like carnation pink and brick, lilac and terracotta, and tonal sage and forest green.”

As we get closer to the recovery stage, couples will be back into planning mode and will likely have different needs and expectations in a post-pandemic landscape. Smaller weddings will flourish and, with it, will come a desire for unique design elements that enhance the guest experience and create a truly personalized celebration.  


Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute
Kylie Carlson is the owner of ...