State of the Wedding Industry: How COVID is Changing Wedding Stationery

There’s no denying wedding stationery has been impacted by COVID — just like the rest of the industry. But it’s important to know what’s real and what is just conjecture. Has it all been a bad change or have there been good changes?

We asked a few experts in the field to share how COVID is changing wedding stationery.

EXPERTS SHARE HOW COVID HAS IMPACTED THE WEDDING INDUSTRY

In order to get a better picture of the state of the wedding industry, we asked experts two questions —

  1. What has been the biggest impact that COVID has had on the invitation suite, design or order process?
  2. What trends do you see coming down the pike in 2021?

Jo’s Paper Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Jo’s Paper Kitchen

The Impact

” For my business, the impact was immediately felt with current clients that needed to quickly reschedule events that already had invitations go out.  So those clients received a change of date either digitally to email to their guests or about 50% sent a physical change of date.

For several clients, we had approved designs in place and were able to hold off printing and sending with the changing restrictions. 

Overall, a big adjustment that I have noticed has been ongoing is making decisions based on your situation and area instead of ‘etiquette’. 

In normal years, etiquette would suggest that you send your invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding.  Six weeks always feels too late normally and I recommend the 8-10 weeks.  However, during 2020 with changing situations many clients used that 6 weeks or even sometimes 4 weeks as a way to have the most up-to-date information printed and mailed.  Since guests didn’t have as many things filling their schedules, couples felt more confident in being able to do this.  I am not sure if this trend will continue, so we will see.”

“It’s always fun when a new trend starts to emerge and really become something that clients ask for and not just what I see from designers. 

Interesting shapes and die cuts are becoming increasingly popular.  Arches, circles, curves.  I love it. Textures, velvet, suede, embossed papers, natural fibers.  Warm earthy colors. 

I am excited for Fall 2021 couples to really embrace this trend.”

Source: Joanna Kenney, Owner of Jo’s Paper Kitchen

Design to Flourish

Photo Courtesy of Design to Flourish

The Impact

“Of course there were quite a few “change of date” inquiries coming through this year, and now I’ve been seeing requests from couples to add a line to their invitation directing their guests to their wedding website for updates just in case plans change. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to remain flexible! 

Couples are also choosing to have their guests RSVP online instead of mailing back a response card. If guests are on the fence about attending, having them RSVP online allows them to quickly respond once they do decide.”

“Because more and more couples are hosting smaller weddings and sending out fewer invitations, they have been interested in all the bells and whistles when it comes to their invitation suites.

They are no longer sending out hundreds of invitations, so they are can really go all out on those special details and make their stationery something truly special.

I’m also seeing more couples asking about a keepsake suite for themselves.

They might not choose to do the silk ribbon belly bands, handwritten calligraphy, and vintage stamps for all of their invitations, but they know they want to have a special suite that really stands out in the detail shots from their wedding day.”

Source: Kelli Coyle, Owner of Design to Flourish

Brown Fox Creative

Photo Courtesy of Brown Fox Creative

The Impact

I’m seeing more micro weddings. Almost all of which are jobs I cannot take as my minimum quantity order is for 25 and if going fully custom I have yet to find someone who wants to spend $500+ on ‘just one’. I have had some micro weddings buy the 25 semi-custom invites even if they only really needed 10-20.

I’m also seeing clients wait so late to begin the process that I am unable to help, or they are ultimately unable to mail out in a timely manner. I believe this is because they are waiting until the last minute to make the call. I’ve also had requests for digital invites. I did offer this to clients in the thick of the pandemic who could not afford to reprint, but at this stage, we all know how things are going and this is not something I offer (nor do I offer printable files).

I am seeing some clients go more “all-out” with their invites with the smaller quantity but the same budget, which is refreshing vs to 300 invites bare bones due to huge quantity. All in all, however, I am still seeing a mostly normal quantity of wedding invites and day-of pieces. The workload is reduced, however, because of my semi-custom line I usually do about 250 weddings and this year I’m maybe around the 200 mark. 

As far as the process, the biggest change is going virtual. I had done maybe 3-4 video consults pre-COVID and now that’s what almost every consult is. I still offer in-person, but so few are electing for it I’ve adjusted my gas budget this year I love this. Driving eats up so much time. Often with these virtual consults, they will order or I will send samples before/after the meeting depending on how clear they are on what they want at the time they set the meeting.

Everything else is the same. I’ve always done proofing digitally. I haven’t had the need to change my contract either as once something prints it’s done – can’t pull the ink off the page and reuse for another job. And this has not been an issue the whole way through.”

I imagine the micro weddings will continue. I hate this and hope it fades out fast.

I’m seeing a lot of earth tones, terra-cotta, sepia, etc. Blush and gold are holding strong and I presume it will into eternity. There’s an uptick in couples that want a monogram/brand – watercolor, sketched, modern – all of it – they just want to brand their wedding and have it everywhere.

I’m also getting more clients with a broader color palette than just one color or one color tone. For me Deckled/torn edges are still going strong, lots of ribbons, wax seals, vellum, and watercolor or sketched wedding venues. I wonder if brides for 2021 will be more creative since they’ve had more time…we’ll see!

Source: Kristin Hazelwood, Owner of Brown Fox Creative

Chirps & Cheers

Photo Courtesy of Chirps and Cheers

The Impact

The biggest impact we’ve seen has definitely been in the quantity department.  As small celebrations became the norm the number of invitations needed also remained small.

Couples are able to splurge in areas that you wouldn’t normally splurge in. This includes — menus, signage, place cards, etc. 

For example, we had one couple whose large wedding had to be pared down to 25 guests, so we were able to make foil-stamped leather place cards for each guest — but that wouldn’t have been in their budget at their original guest count. “

“With all the curveballs in 2020 it’s so hard to predict any trends for 2021. 

I’d honestly love to see the smaller, more intimate wedding trend continue.  I’m definitely seeing a push for more sustainability in paper goods, so I’d love to see that continue as well.

Source: Jade Urash, Owner of Chirps and Cheers

THE FUTURE OF WEDDING STATIONERY

While there has been an impact on wedding stationery due to COVID, the overall outlook is positive.

Where couples are cutting back the size of their wedding, they are increasing their luxe details. This provides an upsell opportunity for wedding stationers who are helping couples navigate this process.

This is the time to review your order processes with COVID changes in mind. It’s helpful to offer products/services that all more all-inclusive and stress-reducing.


Now that we’ve covered the state of wedding stationery, there are two things we encourage you to do —

First, if you have further questions about the topic, feel free to reach out to the wedding stationery experts who shared their expertise in this post.

Second, stay up-to-date on more trends. Find out how wedding trends are changing when it comes to wedding entertainment in our blog post here.

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Written by Corrie McGee
Photo Courtesy of Brown Fox Creative

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