If there was another love in my life that I would marry, it would be paper. It sounds ridiculous I know, but paper really makes me weak in the knees. My first love was Reeves BFK with it’s subtle texture and deckled edges. Beautifully patterned Mulberry rice paper soon made the list. Where am I going with all of this? The wedding invitations I designed for our wedding last October. It was a paper project I could not wait to tackle! The first order of business was to ask my girls if they would stand by me and be my bridesmaids. A phone call would not do and a card was too plain jane. Receiving and unwrapping a pretty package is tops on my list and so I set out to create that experience for my maids. Each of my girls received a small and precious accordion book tied up with gold and bronze ribbon. The book unfolded to reveal the question and a little reassurance that I would not make them wear an ugly dress!
Long before I had a clear vision for our wedding day paper, I knew I wanted to incorporate vintage postage. Just days after our engagement I began purchasing stamps on ebay. My fiancé could not wrap his head around what I was doing. “You’re buying old stamps – now? Aren’t there other things you should be considering?” But that was just it, there was TOO much to consider! Where? When? I didn’t know these things! But stamps, I was all over it. Within minutes I was bidding on half a dozen different auctions. I also knew that if this wasn’t a project I took on straightaway it could easily become derailed with other projects taking on greater importance and. I needed time to collect all the stamps we were going to need. I separated every stamp by color and then carefully arranged each composition, making sure every arrangement was perfectly balanced and not a cent over the $1.22 needed to mail each one. OCD? Hells yeah, ’cause that’s how I roll when it comes to designing! And let me tell you, having that vintage postage on our envelopes was killer! Each envelope had a unique collage — a little work of art in and of itself. Without further ado, I present to you our stamps:
The invitation design was the next element of our wedding day paper that needed to be considered. This was a project I had been looking forward to for a long time. Right at the onset I knew the invitations would be letterpressed and only the thickest, most buttery paper would do. I wanted these invitations to pack a punch and for them to be a visual and textural treat for our guests. The wedding we were in the midst of designing was centered around great food, a relaxed, weathered, retro-vintage vibe and a dash of duckpin bowling. Yup, that’s right, we bowled at the reception! For our invitations, I wrote cheeky quips in a large playful script font across the top of each card and balanced that out with loads of white space and a modern san serif for the information areas. When letterpressed, I asked that each card receive a heavy impression with a lighter ink density on the grey ink so the printing could have a more textural and salty appearance on the cotton paper.
The various cards in the invitation suite were stacked according to size and wrapped with a frayed gauze-like ribbon (a bit of rustic texture) and metallic gold thread (a smidge of sparkle). The RSVP envelopes featured oversized stamps of famous paintings by acclaimed Abstract Expressionist artists. I created a fine, rectangular frame and placed the stamp in the center, making it look like a miniature painting on the envelope. These invitations were a tactile and visual treat! I subtly incorporated the notion of bowling by designing a unique liner with repeating bowling pins. Envelope liners are a great place to add an unexpected element to your invitations!
The design of the invitation was woven through the various day-of-wedding paper elements. I’m a firm believer in branding being consistent and your wedding brand is no exception! A custom die cut heart served as our wedding program, with the large playful script running diagonally across the corner. We served signature cocktails (I’m a gin girl while the hubs is a bourbon boy) and created fun names for them. Striped vintage straws, homemade cupcakes and fleece blankets all got some love with custom flags and tags.
I also designed a “crash our party invitation” that was hand delivered to neighborhood friends the week before the wedding. They were invited to crash our party and join us for a drink later in the evening. The design of invitation was in keeping with the design of the other pieces in the suite.
Seeing these invitations come to fruition was incredibly exciting and really set the stage for our retro-vintage wedding celebration!