Monday, 1 September 2014

DIY Fantastic: What's your perfect wedding stationery?

As other brides dream of their wedding dresses or fixate over their shoes, it was the stationery that I drooled over. And so, this one is BIG! It's the full complement of our wedding and I am super proud of it. The design and production and posting of our wedding stationary felt at times like a full time DIY job. Not the dry, chained to my desk bored out of your wits sort, but more one of the most rewarding, creative fun full time jobs ever! :) But still full time! I was determined to use the wedding as an opportunity to try some new things and lettepress was high up the list. Our first tasters at the LCBA here and here was awesome fun and a great success so were determined to build on it. We'll go into the detail of the design and production with you next, so without further ado I present the Needham wedding stationery, I hope you like it:

I was pretty clear from the outset what vibe we were aiming for: fun, quirky, colourful - specifically I wanted each item in a different bright, bold colour on crisp white paper for each item. I wanted them to look hand-drawn but still polished. Buzzing with life, but professional. So nothing like a delicate balance. 

The save the dates were block printed. Our forays into foil embossing were a massive Fail, yes with a capital F. I may share here when the pain has subsided! ;) and so we swiftly resorted to block printing with the metal plate! The results were not all bad. Each print looked unique, textured and imperfect. Yep that last bit bugged me, but it undeniably contributed to the handmade vibe! Plus the envelopes had a little glitter twist that made them a teensy bit more festive as they went out before Christmas (and probably covered everyone's doormats with green glitter!). 

We picked out a few things that Ben and I love - mostly things with two wheels - bicycles and scooters, since we're pretty obsessed with both! We added our wedding logo, naturally and lots of different hand written fonts to keep it casual. I'll share a bit more about the design and printing process sometime soon, this post is going to be long enough already! We kept the language pretty informal but characterful to try and imbue a sense of how we hoped the whole day would pan out. 

The invitation and RSVP themselves we printed at the fab London Centre for Book Arts in Hackney. Simon and the team there helped us through the whole process which was fabulous. In one long, but super rewarding day Isabel and I churned out over 100 prints! The presses are works of art themselves and it is such a privilege to be able to use them for creative purposes today. We hope to be able to head back there soon to undertake some more projects.

The RSVPs were possibly my favourite thing out of all the pieces. They were like homing pigeons, we sent them out into the big wide world on an adventure and slowly but surely they one by one found their way home to mama! It was a teensy bit weird finding envelopes with my own handwriting on the front each morning, but still, magical! :)

I obsessed about stamps. Postage stamps. As much as I love Her Majesty, I was determined not to use regular stamps with her mug on the front! But after much investigation and many failed visits to the post office I managed to establish that the special stamps are only issued once a month and you have to get in there quickly to get them! Armed with my new calendar of stamps I turned up at the local post office on the first day of issuance one month and cleaned them out of stamps! 

Turns out is was a celebration of British film, so we had stills from the likes of 'Bend it like Beckham', 'Lawrence of Arabia', 'Chariots of Fire etc. Not exactly the world's most romantic movies, but they were good fun and hopefully added a bit of interest when they landed on doormats around the country. It was fun playing match the stamp to the invitees and trying to guess which film would resonate best with the recipients! :)

The envelopes were an absolute mission to track down. I trawled the internet high and low for bright coral A5 envelopes as this was the 'colour' we'd chosen for the wedding. What a foolhardy decision! :s  After drawing a blank we instead opted for the brightest orange ones we could find! I had to buy them in bulk and as a result I now have a box of 150 orange envelopes and another with 150 lime green envelopes sitting discreetly under my desk just waiting for a rainy day. I'm hoping to have a flash of inspiration someday soon and put them to good use, but till then they'll act as a great little footrest under the desk. The dark green envelopes for the save the dates were much easier to track down, in fact we picked them up in the local Rymans. Phew! ;) 

The envelopes I hand lettered in a loose calligraphy with white ink. This was so much fun! As I progressed I have to admit I loosened up massively and by the end was adding all sorts of fun embellishments wherever there was space. I also discovered a preference for city addresses over country ones - turns out they are much shorter! And the one that went to Japan, that was a whole different story but suffice to say I'm impressed it even made it! :)

In part two of the wedding stationary I'll share the details of the orders of service, menus and place names. A little secret, it includes neon ribbons, watercolour and more, Ah, paper heaven! :)

I didn't get to send back my own rsvp :( but if I had, I'd have put sunshine and pavlova as my special requests, for sure! What would your one special wedding request be?

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