My Wedding Pt 1: Invitations + Designs7/06/2015
Our one year wedding anniversary is quickly coming upon us, so I figured it was finally time to share the details of our wedding in a multi-post series. It's always helpful for me to see the experiences of others online, so perhaps I can shed light on some things for those who are planning their own nuptials. Before the invitations, came the engagement of course. Donald and I were together for 10 years before we became engaged in August 2013, and since we're not particularly traditional, it took a few years for us to decide whether or not we were even interested in the whole process. I went from being against it (when I was 20 no less, which is a bad time to decide anything concrete obviously) to feeling that it was something important and meaningful for us to experience. When the timing was right (and when we finally finished school and got jobs to pay for it all) we were engaged in Santa Barbara. It was sweet, and with so many years of being together, we knew just what we wanted.
As a designer, it was both exciting and overwhelming to tackle the visual look and feel of our wedding. For some, it's probably the last thing that they think about (like Donald/most men) but for me aesthetics have always been my second language. There were definitely times that I wanted to cave in and just buy the pre-made things out there, but it would have been sacrilegious for me (hah). So...I designed everything from scratch. It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do for the invitations, but in the end I decided on having a flat ceremony card, a tri-fold reception & city guide, and a postcard for the RSVP. Sounds simple enough, right?
Here's the part that almost made me lose my mind a few times: we had a bi-lingual wedding in English and Spanish! That meant that I had to design two versions of everything in different languages, because many of our guests were coming in from Mexico. It was a big undertaking and another reason why I could never just get a "one-size" fits all design. I can't really write in Spanish either, so Google translate and my Spanish-speaking mother were a big help! It was well worth the effort in the end since I wanted to honor my family's culture and language.
Overall, I wanted the invitations to convey our love for Santa Barbara and give our guests little glimpses of the wedding locations. I included photos that I took of the historic courthouse (where the ceremony was held) and of the Rose Garden at the Santa Barbara Mission. I also painted a little map that could be used as a city-guide with accompanying tips on where to go and what to see. Our wedding was also our 11th anniversary which explains the "Eleven Years of Love" statement used throughout!
There were many more things that I designed for the wedding (which I will share in upcoming posts) but my favorite piece was probably our ceremony program. I dreamed up a design (literally, this stuff was penetrating my dreams on a nightly basis hah!) and then worked around the clock to finish the printing and mechanics in less than two weeks! It was a labor of love to say the least. I hand-cut every piece of paper to get the "flag" look that I wanted, and scoured shops for the perfect golden tassel to hold it all together. It also had to work as a flip book; where one side was in English and the other side was in Spanish. Lastly, I made little tissue pockets for the ceremony chairs and those inevitable tears! The program explained the story of how we met online when we were 14 and 15, how Donald moved from Wisconsin to live with me when he was 18, and how we were so appreciative to have everyone there with us on such a sweet day!
The whole design process was so fun and rewarding that I'm hoping to help couples out with their own printed wedding-needs in the future. Stay tuned for more on that and for my next post, where I'll be sharing details about the wedding dress & accessories!