The couple came from very different cultural backgrounds, but shared a love of biking, good music, and strong design.
When we started working together, the couple shared with me their desire to have bikes play a role in the design (just as they had in the marriage proposal!). As they were finishing up their terminal degrees, we were working within a tight budget! And with both living a few states away, with wedding events in two other states, most of our meetings were via phone, video chat, and instant messenger.
I began by asking the couple a series of questions. He grew up in a Hindu family in Illinois, while she was raised Catholic in Minnesota. Both were seeking to balance their own modern vision for their wedding with the expectations and hopes of their parents and extended family and friends. Because of their intercultural and multi-state relationship, they knew right away that they would be needing more than just a wedding invitation with reply card.
After discussing colors, inspiration, and mood with the couple, I began developing a damask-inspired pattern that brought together both the bike motif and Lord Ganesh, the Hindu god associated with marriage. This addition of a religious icon necessitated more questions and research to assure cultural sensitivity and accuracy.
The couple ended up with an array of pieces to communicate and celebrate their wedding. Because the couple knew there would be a narrative arc to this communication, I was able to design the pieces to increase in formality to the day of the wedding, and then become less formal again. Due to time and budget constraints, I sourced the printed pieces through multiple printers.
The first piece was the Save The Date postcard, a full color piece printed on both sides, announcing the couple’s engagement and wedding date, with a link to their website. This piece used a sans serif and serif font and was printed in their wedding colors of a dusty blue-grey and a golden yellow on a glossy cardstock.
The next mailing, the formal invite, included a number of pieces. For this mailing, the formality had increased; the sans serif font wasn’t being used, and an ornate script provided the counterpoint to the formal serif. The pieces were printed on a thicker linen-style paper.
The primary piece was the invite itself. This one-sided, full color, 5″x7″ piece included the repeating damask of Lord Ganesh and bikes, but with the addition of pops of red, orange, and pink flowers as a nod to the colors the bride and groom would wear for the Hindu wedding ceremony.
The secondary piece, for the wedding rehearsal dinner, was a full-color, single-sided, 4″x6″ piece. This followed a similar visual format to the invite, but with a separate supporting pattern made up of the only the bike motif pulled from the damask. Only the two primary wedding colors were used.
The tertiary piece was the RSVP card. This piece was two-sided, full-color, 3.5″x5″ and again using only the two wedding colors.
These pieces were mailed in dark grey envelopes, separately sourced, with a wrap-around mailing label. The mailing labels were printed at a separate printer. They were full-color, with the recipients’ names and addresses individually typeset. All pieces were then shipped to the couple for assembly and mailing.
Many of the couple’s wedding guests came from out of state to a nearby hotel for the wedding, so the couple provided them with a small “goody bag” of snacks and information at the check-in at the hotel. A small sticker was designed for this bag.
At the wedding itself, the couple provided a program for guests. Because many were not familiar with a Hindu wedding ceremony, this program needed to succinctly convey the order and symbolism of the ceremony, as well as other details about the participants and their relationship to the couple. The printing/folding for this piece was coordinated locally by the couple and necessitated no bleeds.
After the ceremony concluded, additional designed pieces alerted guests to their seats. The script font was used for individually typeset names of adults (both individuals and couples), but the sans serif was brought back in for children’s names (to help new readers recognize their own names).
At each table, a designed piece indicated the its number, and a separate piece described the menu, served family style.
Additional signs alerted guests to the dessert options (and flavor choices), as well as an exit table. A small additional logo was designed for the take-home bags of a favorite coffee that the couple was sending home with guests. As these pieces were for the latter part of the party, the sans serif font was brought back in a nod to letting loose with the dancing.
A few months later, the couple had a second blessing ceremony in the bride’s hometown. The invitation for this was simpler. While it was full-color, it was designed without bleeds, for ease of printing for the bride’s family who coordinated the printing and sending of the piece.
The couple, looking ahead, had their “thank you” cards gang-printed with the formal invite.
Additional digital files were provided to the couple to use on their website.
(In situ photos courtesy of wedding photographer Kyle Flubacker.)