It’s been a busy year for wedding projects, which means it’s been a terrible year for posting about them! One of the most popular projects in 2018 was save the date coasters featuring a custom venue sketch. It’s so fun to look back over a few of my favorites to see how my skills have improved and aesthetic has changed over the last 12 months. For each of these projects, I hand-drew the venue and supporting illustrations, designed the coaster and hand-printed the coasters on my antique letterpress.
Jessie got in touch in late 2017 about their destination wedding the following summer (smart bride!). She wanted their Belgian venue to feature prominently on both their save the date coasters and invitations, along with hops vines to give guests a head’s up about all the beer they would be drinking!
Rosie and Dan are getting married in just a few months at an amazing European castle. There were so many tiny details in their magnificent venue, the challenge here was simplifying the sketch to into outlines while keeping the spirit of the castle.
Mary and Joey are getting married at Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Brewery—so of course a coaster was the perfect way to tell guests to save the date! I love that they chose such a dynamic angle for their venue sketch—not only is it fun for me to do something a little different, it shows off the unique architecture of the structure. They had seen the hops design on Jack & Jessie’s coasters and wanted to incorporate that as well. I’m also completely obsessed with the pointed pen calligraphy font I used to typeset their names!
And finally, I just finished printing Will & Jubilee’s festive coasters for their Pennsylvania wedding next year. They are getting hitched at the historic Phoenixville Foundry, a truly statuesque venue. Will asked if I could eliminate some of the extraneous details to focus on the building itself, to which I happily obliged!
Usually when I’m designing for a client, I create a few options that are exactly what they’ve asked for, and one or two that are what I would do if given carte blanche to finish the project however I wanted. Every once in a while the client chooses my preferred design—this is one of those cases!
I love the ethereal watercolor background, the reverse over-sized script paired with simple all-caps typography, and that we incorporated the venue sketch from their save the dates to tie the stationery suite together. They are my perfect invite!
Lucia and Curtis had purchased their wedding invitations from a popular website, but wanted to add a custom map to encourage their guests to explore some of their favorite places during their wedding weekend. I worked with the groom’s mom to create this special piece, featuring hand-painted watercolor illustrations of the wedding venue, his hometown and some of the spectacular natural features of the area. It is above and beyond any of the maps I’ve designed previously, but I think it was well worth the effort!
Can I declare these my favorite invites of 2018 even though we’re barely three weeks in? The bride, Sam, described her big day as a modern but cozy event, full of white flowers, candles and grey and gold accents. They had wisely chosen a single venue for the entire schedule (it is January in Wisconsin after all!) which was a historic mansion overlooking a snow-covered lake, and Sam was going with a nontraditional wedding dress.
I translated these ideas into both design and materials: Pointed pen calligraphy pairs with modern typography and an abstract swash element while luxurious gold foil and white ink accent textured charcoal paper and gold envelopes.
Rebecca and I started working together in December when she reached out for a logo update. After a bit of discussion, it was clear a do-over was in order. We talked about how she wanted something colorful and floral, modern and just a little bit irreverent, since non-traditional weddings are her forte. We got into the specifics of typefaces that appealed to her, various styles of illustration and other elements and then I got to work.
I was really excited about the direction we were going in, so I got a little carried away and presented her with a whopping NINE logo options! It took just one round of changes to capture everything Rachel wanted to represent with her mark—and I think it’s one of my favorites ever!
Brittani and Peter got married today in rural Montana and I could not be more excited to share their invitations! Inspired by a previous custom project of mine, Brittani and I incorporated details specific to the couple to create a suite that truly represented them and their big day.
My favorite details are the unique watercolor touches, especially on the reverse of the main invitation card (it’s the first thing guests will see when they take them out of the envelope) and the RSVP. How great is that cow?!
It’s finally the big day—the one I’ve been waiting for all year. Today is the day I get to share my first wedding of 2017!
Allison and John got married today in a romantic ceremony in a beautiful church in downtown Madison, followed by an elegant and fun reception at a very cool converted warehouse space just outside the city.
I’ve been working with Allison on details for her big day for almost a year now—you may remember her gorgeous floral save the dates from last fall. Being the dream client that she is, she wanted all her paper goods to coordinate perfectly, so I carried the romantic watercolor florals and classic-yet-casual calligraphy throughout the suite and added a truly special touch with a custom liner.
A few months before the big day, one of Allison’s bridesmaids got in touch to ask if I would design coordinating tote bags for the bachelorette party—which I happily did! Such a thoughtful way for all the girls to remember a great day!
I just love the map of local food sources on the back of their mouthwatering menu!
As a parting gift, the couple offered seed packets to their guests featuring a stamped illustration I designed.
As you can see, Allison went above and beyond to make her day special from start to finish—and most importantly, at the end of the day, she got to go home with her best friend, who is now her husband. Here’s wishing you two all the luck in the world and a love that continues to grow. Thanks for making me a small part of your big day!
Bride-to-be Krista came to me last fall with some pretty fabulous ideas for her save the date coasters. Inspired by the couple’s love of nature and subtly beer-themed big day, she wanted to focus on stylized leafy laurels. She also knew she wanted to avoid a super-swashy wedding script, opting instead for modern hand-drawn typography.
I spent some time working on each element in my sketchbook before creating vector elements from my sketches on my computer. When I started printing her coasters with sage-grey ink on my antique letterpress, I knew all that work had been worth it.
When we started talking invitations at the beginning of the year, we both wanted to keep the main design elements the same. I imbued a bit more formality into the invitations by switching out the script typeface from her save the dates for a calligraphy inspired font and lightening up the handwritten typography. I’m absolutely in love with it—especially in white ink on her envelopes!
Just before the big day, Krista got in touch for a few more projects, including a super creative guest book idea:
“Often times at weddings we find that people write the same thing over and over again in the guest book. We wanted our guest book to be fun and interactive, and the mad libs idea was the perfect fit for this! Almost all of our guests filled it out, some people even filled out two. The best part was that no two were the same. We were able to make the guest book entertaining for people to fill out, and our guests left us some hilarious advice at the end of the mad libs as well. We plan to make a book out of all the response and leave it on our coffee table to reminisce over for years to come!”
Love and laughter for years to come—I’ll cheers to that!
All professional photos by Sara Smile Photography