Going to the Chapel...

And my brother-in-law's getting maaarrriieeed..

My nice brother-in-law and his sweet fiance surprised us all on January 1st by announcing their engagement! Yes!

That means I got to design their wedding invitations (yes!)... well, basically I forced myself upon them and they took me up on it. Smart choice? Oh, and for those new to this blog, I am a Graphic Designer. So my forcefulness was at least backed up with some experience in the area ;)

Since the future bride and groom live about a five hour plane ride away, we had a discussion over Skype to talk about their vision for the wedding! I pinned some designs on Pinterest for them to start the discussion - seeing what appealed to them and to show them different formats and ways we could go.

From that discussion, a few key elements arose:
1) They loved the slogan 'Eat, Drink and Be Married"
2) They were drawn to an ivory and green colour palette
3) No RSVP card was required as they wanted to do a wedding website which could gather replies
4) The venue is quite formal so they hoped for an image of a chandelier if possible
5) They loved the look of hand drawn and sketched fonts. They also liked a bit of a vintage vibe.
6) They wanted the invitation to feel sophisticated YET still wanted to portray the feeling of FUN. It is a celebration after all! and
7) They wanted to play up the fact that even though they met miles away, years later from where they started, they were actually born in the same hospital half-way across the country!

Coincidence? I think not. Obviously fate.

Taking all that in to account, I set off to work.

Oh, and I should mention they are both actors. Fellow creative types so I took that into account too...

The finished design... FRONT

AS YOU OPEN (It's a 3 panel roll-fold). It reads "From Lions Gate (the name of the hospital they were both born in and also the name of the bridge in the photo) to Queen's Landing (the name of the venue).



As you may have noticed, some names and dates have been blurred out to protect the innocent.

A few details should you decide to attempt something like this on your own, I designed this piece to be 5" x 7" once folded. This way, it would fit perfectly in an A7 sized envelope which is 5.25" x 7.25". For a 'perfect' fit you want to leave 1/8" (.125") around each edge. This gives you some wiggle room to allow your invitation to slide in and out easily. Since we have four edges, we deduct .25" from each dimension of the envelope to give us our finished invitation size.

Never design an invitation and then go looking for an envelope to fit it (nightmare). Always look at your desired envelope size first and work back from there.

Another thing to note, is that since this invitation is a 'three panel roll-fold" style (which means the panels roll in to themselves) you will need to deduct 1/8" off your inside panel. That makes the flat size of the invitation 14 7/8" (14.875") x 7" versus the 15" x 7" that you may expect if doing simple math. Two of the panels (front and back) are 5" but the panel that rolls into the centre is 4 7/8" so that it is slightly smaller than the 5" panel it will be sitting against once closed. If all panels were 5" then your invitation would buckle in the centre where the edge of your panel met the fold.

And lastly, one note about folds. This invitation is scored in two places so that it folds nicely. Scoring your paper insures a crisp, clean fold. I score using an exacto blade which I pull loosely across the top of my paper. Make sure you don't apply too much pressure of you will cut right through! Score against a straight edge (a metal ruler is ideal). Always score on the side of the paper you are folding away from (the outside or back of your piece). I know that sounds weird but when you score, you break the tiny fibres in the paper which is what allows you to get that nice clean edge. You want to fold your paper along that 'broken' line.

Now, back to the pretty pictures...

As far as fonts go. the font used for the word "EAT" is Sketch Block. The font used for the word "drink" is Lavanderia. The font used for "And" is Bergamont Ornaments. The font used for "be" is Handy George and the font used for "Married" is Simon Script. They are all free for download.

I printed these on a colour laser printer and chose a paper stock with a linen finish. I love how you can see the texture of the paper coming through. And, fun fact, but I had to add in the horse and buggy (Photoshop) as the bridge image on the left had a vintage vibe to it so our bride and groom wanted the same for the venue photo.

I had fun playing with different typography treatments which were used to reflect the casual yet formal, while still being fun vibe.

I used the chandelier because it had a formal feeling to it (our bride-to-be requested it) and introduced the bunting (flag banner) as a way to give the invitation a feeling of celebration and fun. Also, since the invitation has a vintage feel, using a trendy or current element (bunting) is a way to make your design feel modern and fresh as well.

I also used a swirly dotted line throughout to add some whimsy and draw your eye through the invitation.

I had a great time designing this invitation for my brother-in-law and future sis-in-law! Thanks guys!

What about you? Any weddings this year? Are you involved in the planning or designing? Or just showing up for the buffet and open bar? ...Not a bad gig either!

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