you are invited...
Aside from picking a date and venue, the first thing you'll probably need to do in the planning process is work on invitations. The golden rule here is that, more than anything, your invitations should represent you and the tone of your wedding. So while a formal style makes sense for some, more innovative and colorful invitations work better for others. If you have some room for experimentation in this area, why not flex your creative muscles and put yourself into the process?
No matter what your talent, you can always add your unique touch. RISD grad Elise Lescoezec chose a clever way to incorporate her original paintings into her wedding stationery.
She scanned these two botantical paintings at high resolution and printed the first on A7 size squares of vellum, placing one over each invitation. The text was just barely revealed through her brushstrokes, a gorgeous effect. She then printed the other image onto pieces of thick art paper and used them as thank you notes. You can email her if you have questions about the process or would like to see some other work.
Though I'm admittedly partial to the craft of letterpress, there are a number of ways you can use it to showcase your own personal artwork. Choreographer Yanira Castro and fiance Brett Matthew asked his parents, Dennis and Christine Crocitto, to create drawings for their invitation pieces. Once finished they scanned the artwork at high resolution and had them processed into polymer plates for letterpress. The beautiful tree and wild geese themes were captured in chocolate brown and steel gray, fitting nicely with the wedding's autumn theme.
The same goes for this next lovely set of invitations. Graduate student Satya Twena fell in love with the antique lace pattern on her wedding dress, so when it was time to design her invitations she got out her pencil and tracing paper. This did require some time, patience and many drafts on her part, but in the end it was well worth the labor.
If you'd like to use your artwork in letterpress, remember that there are some specific digital file requirements. Click here for some tips and guidelines on collaborating with a letterpress printer. Grace has already compiled a great list of letterpress printers at the Design*Sponge Letterpress Guide, so this is great place to research the right printer in your area. And if you're the gutsy type and would like to learn letterpress in order to print your own invitiations, click here for some resources.
Another popular printing method is silk screening. Etsy whiz kid Matt Stinchcomb and his fiance were planning an overseas wedding in Munich so Save-the-Dates were key. Instead of going the traditional route, they created an announcement poster. After designing and then silk screening each one, they rolled them up and sent to their guests in mailing tubes. Not only was it a fun collaborative project, but they have a nice piece of artwork to show for it.
Here are a few more ways to get creative with your invitation packaging. Carolina Della Valle, the mastermind over at Modern Press sometimes uses 3-D elements in her designs. These two styles use laser cutting technology along side traditional letterpress. They are packages in shallow square boxes within colorful tissue paper. Click here to find some good resources for colorful papers and envelopes, or here to share some of your favorite vendors.
Allisyn Levy and Jason Culler modeled their invitations on the style of old library cards, and had them letterpressed on vintage looking papers. Some of their special guests got an extra treat. A+J when to a used bookstore and chose old books with titles matching each of their "a-list" guests of family and friends. They then placed the invitations in the back cover library card slots of each. Breck and Matt over at Sesame Letterpress were so touched when they received an old book on typefaces from A+J as a thank you for printing their cards.
If you'd like to share some ideas you had about handmade wedding invitations, send them here. Next Monday we'll revisit this topic and hopefully have lots of fresh ideas. And check back later today when I'll be discussing various ideas for bookbinding!