Fill-in-the-blank party invitations will always have their place. However, the hottest trends in party invitations involve high-concept customizing that reflects the party's theme as well as the personality of the party-giver or guest of honor.

Trends in invitations often follow fashion, says Karin Spraggs of Super Deluxe, in New York (superdeluxenyc.com). Spraggs and her partner, Adrienne Wong, design custom invitations and stationery. "Bright colors are very popular now, as are metallic inks," she notes.

Trends In Party Invitations

Kate Wells, marketing coordinator for stationery designer Anna Griffin, in Atlanta, (annagriffin.com) agrees. "People really want bright colors and a contemporary look right now. We also get a lot of requests for invitations with embellishments--buttons, ribbon corners, and anything die-cut."

Signature Style

"Everybody wants something that's individual, that makes them feel special," says Spraggs.

Some clients arrive with objects or images for inspiration, she explains. "One of our customers is a fashion designer. She wanted her son's stationery to replicate a painting they both loved."

Other clients simply want invitations that are spectacular. "For an anniversary party," Spraggs recalls, "we did a four-panel, three-color pop-up invitation. In addition to the invitation, there were five other pieces in each envelope: an event schedule, two RSVP cards and two envelopes." The customer needed 300 invitations. The total cost: about $6,000.

Invitations with gifts

Another trend that Spraggs sees is including a small gift with each invitation. "One of our clients wanted Italian paper for the lining of the envelope, with paperweights included as a keepsake," says Spraggs. The invitations, including the hand-lined envelopes, cost the customer about $9 apiece. Each paperweight added $65 to the tab. Another idea for a small gifts are pretty bookmarks marked the date or name of your special event like the invitations shown at the right from HotRef.com

When paper invitations don't convey quite enough information, DVDs may be the solution. "Some people want to include a photo montage to give as a keepsake for family and friends," explains Lindsay Arambula of Show & Tell Invitations, in Orlando, Florida (showandtellinvitations.com). "Others give DVDs to guests who may not know much about them," she says. Useful for both personal and business events, a DVD can "show guests who the hosts or guests of honor are, and tell their stories," says Arambula.

Show & Tell often uses personal photos, existing video footage, and customers' favorite songs to create two- to three-minute DVDs. The company has produced DVDs for such family events as children's birthdays and weddings.

Some customers send DVD invitations alone, in insulated mailers. More often, though, they choose to send the DVDs along with printed invitations, so guests needn't rely on technology to access details about the event.

More time, more cost

If customized DVDs seem like a good idea for personal or business invitations, plan to add an extra month to the amount of time you'd normally allow for ordering invitations. Moreover, if DVDs will accompany printed invitations, select the design of the printed invitations before DVD production begins. That way, Arambula notes, the DVDs can have a coordinated look.

How much do DVD invitations cost? Figure about $375 for production, plus $2 to $4 per disc, depending on the size and length of the DVD and the number of discs you'll need.

The Save the Date DVD featured here was created by Prim & Pixie, a design studio in Valencia, California.

You might also enjoy:

New invitation styles: Bolder and brighter
Sticky situations: How to handle invitation wording
Everyday flowers, easy party style
Elegant, relaxing floral design trend