This is the blog post I have been eager to write ever since I began Our Southern Wedding blog series - today I am sharing all about the custom wedding invitation suite I designed for our wedding!! So so much love and attention went into every inch of this suite. Some of the details are obvious, while others are a bit more subtle. But, everything combined truly tells our love story and shows our personality as a couple! I can't wait to share all of these details with y'all below!
Our fabulous wedding photographer Perry Vaile captured the most gorgeous photos of our suite for us! And, make sure to read our feature and interview on the Southern Weddings blog for even more details!
One of the greatest joys as both a calligrapher and a bride is the thought of guests receiving invitations in the mail. There is something so special about receiving a personalized envelope that was hand crafted especially for you, and I always take that to heart! I always encourage my brides to consider ways to add personality into their invitation designs, and that all begins with your invitation envelopes!
I found a few fun ways to infuse our love story into our envelopes. We incorporated beautiful vintage stamps from Verde Studio, one with vintage lace as a hint to my wedding gown design, one with a love letter and rose to hint at the single stem red rose Zack brought me on our first date and the letters we wrote to one another while we were dating long distance, and one of Tennessee to represent our home and the beginning of our relationship!
Our love letters we wrote to one another truly served as the main inspiration for our invitation suite and day-of design details. One of my favorite lines from a letter Zack wrote to me was, "I'm going to do everything in my power to make you happy for the rest of our days." It was so sweet, and so fitting for our wedding as it is a promise of a beautiful marriage. I loved it so much that I had it printed on the back flap of our invitation envelopes, to set the tone for the heart behind what was to come on our wedding day!
We then sealed our invitation envelopes with a custom gold wax seal featuring our custom wedding crest design, which remind me of old school letter writing and epic romance. Zack said the wax seals reminded him of Game of Thrones, so they were a win-win with both of us! He actually added all of the wax seals to our envelopes, and I loved including him in that way!
Remember that sweet line from the love letter Zack wrote me that I had printed on the back flap of our envelopes? I calligraphed the remainder of that paragraph from the letter in fuchsia to be used as our envelope liners!
Once I finished our envelope design, it was time to think about our remaining invitation suite pieces. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to think of unique design layouts all while keeping the integrity of our story in every detail. One of the first design elements I created was our custom wedding crest in our save the dates. Keeping that element in mind, I created a fun layout for our main invitation piece that used the outline of our crest as the background - with a gold foil border filled with a soft blush interior. Since I was inspired by our love letters as a design vision, I thought back to how old letters and books were written with the first letter in a chapter being in a larger calligraphy style, with the remaining details in a smaller font. I love that using that technique made our invitation seem as though it could pop right out of a romantic novel!
I LOVE watercolor florals. Love love love them. However, I wanted to use a slightly different pattern for the front side of our invitations! I am all about using patterns that relate to your wedding day details, so I pulled inspiration from the lace pattern of my wedding gown! I created a line art design which I turned into a repeating pattern that was then printed in soft French blue as the background of our design. It was such a fun secret to know that my guests were getting a glimpse into my gown design without it being fully obvious!
While you cannot see it in these photos, I also had our main invitation piece edge painted in a gorgeous soft fuchsia color! Our suite was printed on luxurious double thick paper, so the fuchsia was a perfect pop of color to add a sense of fun to our invitation design! Edge painting is one of my favorite ways to surprise and delight guests!! You can take a peek into what the edge painting looked like here!
Like I said, I love watercolor florals! So, I had to incorporate them somehow into our invitation suite! One of my signature design details as a wedding stationer is always adding a beautiful design to the back of the main invitation piece. I do so for a few reasons - adding an artistic element to the back of the invitation will encourage guests to keep and frame the design as an heirloom, the 5"x7" size of invitations is already perfect to frame, and providing your guests with an "art print" as the back of your invitation is as if you are giving them a sweet surprise gift along with your invitation suite! It is a subtle way to show love and hospitality, if you ask me!
In keeping with our love letters as inspiration, I pulled another quote from a letter Zack wrote to me - "I can't wait 'till tomorrow, because I know I'll love you a little more then, than I do right now." He's just full of amazingly loving lines isn't he?! I then surrounded the navy calligraphy with the florals I would be carrying in my bouquet as I walked down the aisle. Blush peonies, peach garden roses, fuchsia ranunculus, white anemones with navy centers, and lots of silver dollar eucalyptus!
Another one of my favorite design details from our invitation suite was the custom watercolor map I designed of Knoxville, Tennessee! While many of Zack's guests live either in Knoxville or in Nashville, almost all of my guests were going to be traveling in from out of state. So, we knew we wanted to provide them with a wedding map and "experience our city" card, so that they could plan ahead for fun things to do during our wedding weekend. With that in mind, I illustrated both locations that were pertinent to our wedding weekend like Gettysvue (our venue), Worlds Fair Park (our rehearsal location) and Downtown Grill (our rehearsal dinner location), as well as some of our favorite places to eat, drink and experience such as The Wine Bar, Market Square, and of course Neyland Stadium! If you look closely, you'll also notice I got to incorporate my maiden name into our map design since there is a Clinch Avenue here in Knoxville! My side of the family really got a kick out of that!
While some of the larger details like our invitation and map card could be the attention stealers, I wanted to infuse as much love and intention into our response card designs as well! I kept the front side of our response card design fairly simple and in line with the design of the front of our invitations. I created a repeating pattern with the outline of our crest in pretty gold foil, used that same crest outline as the check boxes for the responses, and also incorporated the same design layout with the "k" of "kindly reply by" in calligraphy to mimic the old school romance novel format. I then included a line that read, "we have reserved __ seats in your honor" which I then filled in by hand to provide our guests with the comfort of knowing how many guests are invited. A stationer's design tip - this is important not only for your single guests, but also guests with large families! In order to be as clear as possible who is included in that number, you should calligraph only the names of those invited on the invitation envelope!
The back side of our response cards was where we really had fun!! On the second night Zack and I ever knew each other, we went to one of my friend's houses and played Cards Against Humanity for hours. It was such a fun and memorable night, and that card game quickly became one of our absolute favorites - we have the entire expansion pack now! The small nature of response cards reminded me of playing cards, which sparked the idea to have the back side of our response cards be interactive for our guests! So, I created our own version of Cards Against the Peddis as a spin off of Cards Against Humanity! If you have ever played the game, you know there are cards with prompts that you respond to with a card that either has a pre-written answer or a blank card where you write in your own response. So, I chose to include a prompt at the top of this card that could be answered either sweetly or with a witty remark, and asked our guests to fill in the blank! The CAH card design also has three little card icons fanned out in the bottom left corner, and I mimicked that with our crest shape to further personalize this design!
Making our response cards interactive in this way was both really fun for our guests and for us, because it made us even more excited to check the mail every day to see if our guests would be able to attend our wedding and what they thought to put as their Cards Against the Peddis response! We kept all of our response cards, and had them displayed in a gorgeous gold and glass shadow box at our wedding reception. The box is now sitting on our coffee table in our living room, and it is fun to flip through the cards every now and then as a reminder of this fun time in our life and the friends and family who made it so special!
Once all of our invitation suite details were designed, printed, gold foil stamped, edge painted, and calligraphed, I wrapped everything together with the sweetest softest French blue hand torn silk ribbon from Adorn Company. I love this ribbon so much (I wish y'all could feel how soft it is through the screen!) - it was the perfect way to literally tie everything together and present our invitation suite as a fun little gift to our guests!
I hope y'all had fun reading through all of the details that made up our invitation suite! I also hope now that you see all of the various ways in which you truly can infuse your personalities and love story into your wedding invitations to make them heirloom pieces you will cherish for years to come! In keeping the front side of all of our design elements more simplistic and the back sides full of pops of color and personality, we were able to create the perfect blend of timeless and personal if you ask me!
As always, a big thanks to all of our sweet vendors who made our wedding day possible!
Photographer: Perry Vaile | Videographer: Casey and Kristin | Planner and Florist: Rebecca Rose Events | Venue and Caterer: Gettysvue Polo, Golf, and Country Club | Cake Baker: Art of Cakes Bakery | Rentals: HoneyBee Events | Tent Rental and Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals | Lighting, DJ, and Getaway Car: Music in Motion | Paper Products, Signage, Watercolor Painting, and Pocket Squares: Simply Jessica Marie | Bride’s Gown:“Heavenly Lace” by Reem Acra | Bride’s Veil: “Athena Cathedral Veil” by BHLDN | Bride’s Necklace: “Crystal Arches Necklace” by Kate Spade | Bride’s Bracelet: J.Crew | Bride’s Earrings: Banana Republic and Kay Jewelers | Hair and Makeup: Bangs and Blush | Bride’s Shoes: “Isabella Scalloped Heel” by BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN, Amsale, and Lulus | Menswear: Kenneth Cole and Ralph Lauren | Ties: The Tie Bar | Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio | Silk Ribbon and Ceremony Backdrop Fabric: Adorn Company | Guitarist: Logan Murrell | Macarons: Sweet Darling Patisserie | Bridal Party Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Bride’s Reception Dress: “Shined Cocktail Dress” by BHLDN