The Invitations

Take note of these top trends for your stationery suite and reception signage.

Double duty. Jennifer Dailard of J grace luxurious event stationery, says couples are asking for menus that anchor a table setting. a custom laser-cut acrylic or mirrored charger plate with the menu printed in the center, for example, is a conversation piece that’s also functional.

Paper form follows fashion. “Wedding invitation styles often mimic what’s happening in fashion and home decor,” says Jill Ryder of Shindig Bespoke, a custom design studio based in new York City and Philadelphia. For 2017 that means mixing two patterns, like stripes and florals, on the backs of cards or on envelope liners, as well as textured paper.

wedding invitation

Photo courtesy of Shindig Bespoke

Handcrafted. “Hand calligraphy is such a strong trend that it’s not uncommon for brides and grooms to learn how to do it themselves,” says Chancey. Fortunately for those with a less steady hand, sites like minted and Wedding Paper Divas feature a wide range of invitation suites that look hand-calligraphed.

The Taste

Wedding food is getting a fresh update for 2017. Bon appétit!

Custom menus. One of the best ways couples can share their story with guests is through food. Whether you want to serve dishes that represent your culture(s), that are reminiscent of the place where you fell in love, or that fit into your venue choice, caterers are working with couples to develop a custom menu. Guests are still getting their beef, fish and vegetarian options, “but with a twist,” say Jose Vazquez and Sarah Kuhlberg of Colette’s Catering and Events in Southern California.

Local specialties. With more couples infusing pride of location in their hometown celebrations, local flavors are taking the spotlight. For example, in Utah buffalo is often featured as both a main course and as an appetizer, says Cousins. In Vermont, maple flavoring can make several appearances in the menu. Gulf shrimp is on display in various parts of the South, and so on. (The trend carries over to drinks.) “It’s an extension of the farm-to-table trend that popped up a few years ago,” says Chancey, “but even more fun for the guests.”

Paired up. Wine-and-cheese pairings have become a familiar site at cocktail receptions, but the idea of matching different foods with different drinks is being carried over to other types of beverages and appetizers, says Hall. “It elevates the guest experience by keeping folks active and engaged,” she says. Some duets to consider: wine and pasta, cake and craft beer, margaritas and guacamole, or for a wedding brunch, try mimosas and pastries.

wedding tacos

Photo Credit: Evin Photography


Photo Credit: Lex and the Lotus Photography

Flavors to go. When it comes to favors, meaningful edibles are the way to go. One couple Bosse recently worked with handed out sugar cookies in the shape of states they’d visited. Other ideas include boxed European chocolates or a bag of candied nuts scooped up hot and fresh from a late-night food truck as the dancing comes to an end.

Still going strong! Family-style dining (where dishes are offered in portions for each table), small bites (think sliders or soup shooters), and food trucks.

wedding food

Photo Credit: Max and Friends

The Drink Report

What’s old is new again. Signature cocktails and his-and-her drinks have become reception staples. But in 2017 bartenders and mixologists are moving away from the very sweet and/or colorful pours in favor of old-time classics, including the moscow mule, a Pimm’s Cup, and the sidecar.

moscow mules

Photo Credit: Jessie Alexis Photography


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