Is the wedding invitation doomed?


Will 2016 be the year when the opulent, printed and mailed wedding invitation gives way to the beautifully designed — but distinctly digital electronic — invite?

Not likely. But Lynne Sandler, owner of Lettering by Lynne in Alexandria, has watched her wedding invitation business cool as more and more brides-and grooms-to-be turn to the Internet.

“People want everything immediately,” she says. “They don’t like to wait, not even a day, for something.”

Call it the Amazon effect. What couples like is the ability to sit by their computer, click on their favorite choice and be done, Sandler says.

Even most of these couples still want their designs printed so they can arrive in their guests’ mailbox, says Heather Noss, owner of Digby & Rose in Washington.

To conserve their budget, some of Noss’ customers will mix invitations by Digby & Rose with DIY efforts on envelope liners and RSVP cards, she says.

Still the trend is clear: “I see less printing in the future,” she says.

But the future can be a long time coming. Evites are still “looked down upon,” she says.

And then there’s the most powerful force of all at a wedding, even stronger than love: The Mom Effect.

This tilt toward ordering online has “horrified the mothers,” Sandler says. But when today’s brides become tomorrow’s moms, the virtual invitation may become a nonissue.

For now, couples are trying to bridge the generational divide. Even those who eliminate the response card in favor of sending guests to a website to RSVP and do their other pre-wedding business still have a few response cards made up for relatives who don’t have computers, Sandler says.

What are other trends for 2016? Gold foil, Noss says. “Everyone wants gold foil. So foil, foil, foil.”

Couples are interested in “interesting calligraphy fonts. Something clean and simple,” according to Noss.

Many of the invitations The Dandelion Patch designs use watercolors, says Heidi Kallett, CEO of the company with locations in Georgetown and Tysons Corner.

Also popular is the umbra effect, with an invitation’s colors flowing from yellow to deep orange or from darker shades of blue or pink to much lighter shades, she says.

“For 2016, I’m predicting laser-cut products,” Kallett says. The invitation or envelope will feature “a bunch of cutouts.”

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