Wedding: Invitations

When you're a graphic designer, and you've been analyzing wedding announcements your whole life, it makes paper planning for your own wedding rather difficult. A few years ago, I decided I would definitely have lace on my wedding invitations. I started making sketches and comps so that when the day came, I would be ready with the perfect design. After Greg and I got engaged, I opened up those old files and knew it wasn't quite right. It seemed outdated and not really "us."

So I started designing. Well I tried to start designing, and every time I tried, I got too nervous. I always over-analyze wedding invitations and so I would imagine people analyzing our wedding invitations and I would panic. But one night when I had some downtime, I sat down with just my sketchbook and my favorite pen. I drew all of my favorite things. The first was a loop-de-loop.

When I had been going through my lace phase, I was also going through a loop-de-loop phase, but the loop-de-loop stuck with me. I would always sketch an ongoing infinity symbol back and forth on my sketch books. Always. I experimented with all sorts of weights and styles and lengths, I thought they were so pretty. And then the more I analyzed it, the more I thought it was the perfect motif for a wedding invitation. It was never ending. There were ups and downs, but it was always connected. The line might be thinner in some spots and thicker in others. In my sentimental, symbolic view, I decided it was perfect. I explained it to Greg about our relationship and future union would be eternal and always bound and connected. That there would be ups and downs, but we would always be together.

So we knew the loop-de-loops had to stay.

But I also really love circles. And I wanted the circle to be involved too. I went back to my sketches and showed them to my sister, Melissa. She loved the wreath I had made with our initials. She stopped at the wreath and said,"Yes, yes. That is so you." So I had to analyze it. What it meant. And boy, did I. I loved the leaves on the wreath and that it was continuous, a circle. I liked that it had a little touch of nature. I liked that it just had the first letters of our name to represent us. And even the "+" symbol that we are adding to one another, or the addition of us together becomes one in the circle. I know, I know. I really like to read into imagery. But it's my job to do so! After I thought about it and then explained it to Greg, I wanted the little wreath image on everything! So we put it on a quilt, some notebooks, our invitation, etc. It became the branding of our union.

I had made an embroidery of this circle wreath years before, and I had always loved it. While I was working on it, my friend Sarah Jane's mom saw it. She loved it too. I was planning to write the word "simplify" in it and put it on my wall. But when she loved it so much, I decided to put her initials and her husband's and give it to them as an anniversary gift. I did the same format, but did "M + K" to represent them. I had always loved that motif and I was a little sad to give it away, but I knew she would love it and it now hangs in their bedroom. It all came full circle, because Sarah Jane's dad was the one to perform our marriage sealing in the temple.

The invitation has both the loop-de-loops and the wreath. And then the temple invitation had to include the loop-de-loops, and I felt like it needed to go all the way to the edge, to emphasize that there is no end. The luncheon was held at a nursery, so I thought the leaves worked well on that. I've always loved linen paper, so that was an obvious choice for both the paper and the envelopes. I wrote out all the addresses with some of my favorite fancy pens and used a stamp that my parents already had on the return label.

For the printing, I called up the same printer I have used on all of the wedding announcements I've made. He did great work and gave us a great price. He even used his special machine to round all of the corners. A small detail, that I thought made it extra special.

Oh, and of course the font. It's called Archer and was designed for Martha Stewart by HFJ. It's been very overused in the past several years when it was released for public sale. My sister and I bought it together years ago and it's still my favorite. I love the slab serif and the little circles at the end of some of the letters. I knew it wouldn't be the most avant-garde, but I love it. So we used it!

In the end, it was really nice to make our own wedding invitations. It was a special experience and I'm so glad that I was able to make something super affordable and with lots of meaning.


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