Our Wedding Invitations or How I Learned Adobe Illustrator the hard way

anniemade Custom Wedding Invitation Suite - Our Story

Our wedding invitations were the ultimate labor of love, design, and a journey in learning some intense graphic design quickly. I'm excited to share with you today our complete invitation suite and the passion and craziness that went into it.

The inspiration  

anniemade Custom Wedding Invitation Inspiration

Invitations were one of the most important aspects of our wedding. My mother once had an invitations business that complimented her beautiful calligraphic handwriting and ever since I watched her be a part of couples' special days through paper, I feel in love with how special an invitation can really be. When it came to our wedding, I indexed every invitation I could find online but though beautiful, none really came close to capturing "our story" as a couple and provided the experience I wanted. We wanted our guests to have fun reading our invitations and to get a clear sense of the joy we were hoping to capture the weekend of our wedding.

It was decided then. I was going to have to learn Adobe Illustrator... from scratch. With my Pinterest inspiration board, I set to creating literally - our story - a booklet that told a mini story of who we are and why we were inviting our guests to celebrate with us.

I think there were probably 40 drafts of this invitation by the time we reached the final draft. I also had the great pleasure of my invitation printer going AWOL on me at the critical point when I needed to have the suite printed. Thanks to Yelp and the good graces of the guy upstairs, we found an amazing, super fast vendor (Arnold's Copy and Print here in Los Angeles) who at the 11th hour, 59th minute, made my crazy idea of an invitation suite come into printed reality.

And so here it is, with a few fun details along the way in case my work inspires your own epic wedding invitation adventure.

The invitation cover

anniemade custom wedding invitations - Our Story Thus Far

The front page of our wedding booklet was one of the most complicated elements of the suite. There are about 36 custom-created silhouettes of different characters, icons, people, etc. that Gus and I each identify with. Some of them are very Gus, such as the Indiana Jones fedora and Batman, and others are very me, Duke University Chapel and Audrey Hepburn. A few are things are interests we share (like the Netflix envelope!) - all to visually communicate our story - thus far.

Can you name them all? We revealed an icon map at our wedding by printing this design as an 18x24 poster with all the silhouettes labeled for anyone that was still curious. The silhouettes also served as our table name/icons at our reception. For as long as the silhouettes took to create, we certainly got some wonderfully fun use from them.

The inside pages

anniemade custom wedding invitations - Our Story Thus Far
anniemade custom wedding invitations - Our Story Thus Far
anniemade custom wedding invitations - Our Story Thus Far

A core element I'd always wanted to include in the suite was my favorite childhood image of Gus. I wanted to tell our story in an entertaining, irreverent way so reading our invitation would be a fun experience that made our guests feel closer (for better or worse) to our silly selves.

The final page & invitation page

anniemade custom wedding invitations - Our Story Thus Far

With both of us being storytellers, the phrase "they need your help to write the next chapter" really sold me on the concept of doing a booklet. We were inviting our guests to our wedding because their presence - not only in that moment but in all the chapters yet to come - was so important to us.

A special touch

anniemade custom wedding invitation

We finished the booklet with a little nod to our hometowns and current city (LA).

The RSVP cards

anniemade Custom Wedding RSVP Card

My favorite part of the RSVP cards was our invitation to ask our guests for creative replies on the inside left of the card. We received some awesome drawings, words of advice, and wonderful messages that we incorporated into another wedding project I'll share on the blog in a future post.

The other anniemade touches

anniemade Custom Wedding Info Card - Invitation Suite

We also included a glossy postcard with relevant information like our wedding website.

anniemade Custom Silhouette RSVP Envelope

I also used our silhouettes again to add a little character to our reply address envelope.

anniemade Wedding Invitation from inspiration to final

So there you have it - from humble graph paper to an envelope in the mailbox! Months and months of intense work, captured all in one post. I really enjoyed the challenge of creating something unique and special for our wedding and currently welcome custom projects including calligraphy, wedding invitations, save the dates, and more. Please see the shop or contact me for more information.

[top photo: courtesy brett & jessica photography]