Wedding stationery by The Stovall Collection featuring watercolor artwork by Morgan McCall. Photography by PureWhite Photography.
Statistics show that forty percent of engagements occur during the holiday season—which means that for many couples, the beginning of the year is spent in wedding planning mode. And while every bride and groom will inevitably put their personal stamp on the celebration, knowing what’s trending in the wedding world—and when to consider taking a more traditional approach—can help the newly betrothed pare down the multitude of options and develop a clear vision for the big day. Here to help, experts in the fields of stationery, florals, and wedding gowns weigh in on the biggest wedding trends of 2020, and share their tried-and-true advice for designing a meaningful and memorable occasion.
Consider a non-standard size. Currently couples seem to be eschewing the standard, 5 x 7 invitation in favor of petite versions with a beveled edge—a trend that Jody Geary, owner of The Stovall Collection in Memphis, Tennessee, is fully embracing. “The unexpected size really grabs people’s attention,” she notes. But don’t go out-of-the-box on too many elements, she warns. For example, Geary recommends choosing one font and sticking with it to keep your look clean and modern.
Choose an interesting ink color. One stylish way to add interest to your invite is to go with a bold ink color, Geary says. She notes that for the past two years we’ve seen lots of golds and greys, but she predicts that greens and blues will be the hottest colors for 2020. If you decide to go this route, she advises that you keep in mind the formality of your wedding. “Hot pink doesn’t really scream black-tie wedding,” she says, noting that it would be an appropriate choice for afternoon nuptials.
Keep your wording standard. Again, there are times to think out-of-the-box, and times to look to tradition, and wording is an instance in which one might be wise to stick to the latter. “Rules and guidelines are there for a reason,” Geary says of traditional wedding invitation language. “Ultimately, this needs to get people where they need to be with all of the pertinent information they need.” Rather than getting cute with your save-the-date and formal invitation, she suggests reserving more flashy wording for a wedding guide that might be sent to guests after their acceptance card has been received.
Get creative with your save-the-date. According to Geary, the save-the-date is a great area in which to bring in some personalization and set the tone for your wedding. “Using a small piece of artwork for the save-the-date can carry over nicely on the wedding invitation,” she says. “Even if it’s just a little motif on the reply card.”
Don’t forget the details. Your envelope—and what’s on it—makes the very first impression for your wedding, but it’s often the last thing a couple thinks of when planning their invitation suite, Geary says. To make the most of this important piece, she suggests selecting a postage stamp that fits with the look and feel of your wedding and hiring a calligrapher to address your envelopes.
Floral design by Tanarah Luxe Floral. Photography by B. Matthews Photo.
Lean toward something larger scale. Instead of going with petite arrangements on tabletops, many couples are currently opting for much larger installations that have to be built on site, Tanarah Haynie, owner Tanarah Luxe Floral in Little Rock, Arkansas, shares. From elaborate floor-bound floral backdrops to a hanging feature over a dance floor, these eye-popping arrangements make a major statement.
Stay neutral. “Even though the color of the year is navy, we’re still seeing a majority of natural shades, such as ivory and blushes,” Haynie shares. In addition to being an elegant and timeless choice, sticking with a neutral color palette and staying within the same color spectrum allows the bride to shine.
Go with something sentimental. Today, brides aren’t as beholden to trends, and are instead choosing special flowers that hold personal significance for them. “Whether it be choosing a gardenia because it was once in their grandmother’s garden, or hydrangeas because they were an aunt’s favorite, flowers are a wonderful way to add meaning to your wedding,” Haynie says.
Take hold of more tailored bouquets. “The past few years saw a resurgence of large bridal bouquets. Though gorgeous in magazine photo spreads, they were cumbersome to hold and overtook the dress,” Haynie says. She forecasts that this year bouquets will be designed as a beautiful accessory but smaller in scale, so they won’t overshadow the gown or steal the focus from the bride.
Photographs courtesy of The One Bridal Salon
Go bold with color. White will always be a mainstay, but brides aren’t shying away from colors that pop, with even dramatic black bridal gowns coming onto the scene, says Peggie Donowitz, owner of The One Bridal Salon in Charlottesville, Virginia. Soft pastels that have been increasingly popular in past years have given way to bolder colors, leading to exciting and unexpected looks coming down the aisle.
Bring back the ball gown. For brides seeking to make a royal entrance, Donowitz shares that the romantic, princess look of the full-skirted ball gown has taken a strong hold on couture runways. This surprisingly versatile style that’s a welcome alternative to sleek silhouettes is often figure-flattering and translates for most wedding styles.
Rethink the no-frills approach. “Ruffles and movement are big trends we’re seeing in 2020,” Donowitz says. Feminine, frilly details and light and airy touches work with a variety of styles, from mermaid to full-skirted dresses, adding a welcome touch of whimsy and romance to the bride who wears it.
Go off-the-shoulder. According to Donowitz, one-shouldered styles are making a comeback. The unique and flattering style works with both formal structured gowns and more bohemian styles, and lets each bride embrace her inner goddess.