27 August 2009

Lavender, Poppies, Treasure Maps, and Viking Ninjas

Our invites were sent out almost a full month ago, but I only got to see them in real life for the first time a little over a week ago!  While I was in California for my MOH's wedding, I had my mom mail me my own copy of our wedding invite.  Ladies, it's a wonderful thing to hold your wedding invitation in your hands.

I had dreamed up the idea for our invitations almost 6 months ago!  I knew I wanted the prevailing theme to be fields of lavender and poppies (you could say I have a thing for France), I wanted real pressed lavender, I wanted seed paper, and I wanted it to all be bound up nice & sweet in a little book.

Because I was a bit... particular in what I wanted, I knew the process was going to take a little bit of time, especially long-distance from Chile.  Truthfully, making the invitations myself had been one of the things I desperately wanted to do.  I wanted to press the flowers myself, I wanted to learn how to screen-print, and I wanted to try my hand at design.  At some point I came to the realization that wouldn't be possible from South America - I couldn't get the supplies in time, I didn't have the equipment (or the resources) to learn new skills, and both US and Chilean customs are a little iffy on importing biological products.

With all this on my mind, I turned to a designer in Eugene, OR who's still fairly new in the invitation making & letterpress business.  Since I would no longer be supporting local artists in Chile with my invite project, I wanted to support artists local to the Portland/Eugene area.  Kristin Walker of Twin Ravens Press was very accommodating to both my budget, design wishes, and eco-conscious wishes.  I wasn't very familiar with contracting the design and printing of invitations for a wedding (who is, before they get engaged??), and there are a lot of things I wish someone had told me about the process beforehand.  I'll give you guys a list of the tips & tricks I learned along the way in a future post, including the steps in the design of the invite!

We had Kristin letterpress a single lavender sprig with our return address on the flap of our Waste-Not cream envelopes.
When you open the envelope you see that someone's sent you a whole BOOK of an invitation! :)
The book is bound in hand-made Nepalese Lotka paper - 100% tree-free and it feels almost like leather!  Kristin found a local supplier of lavender for the pressed flower on the front of the book.
The first page of our book features a poem we wrote together specifically for our wedding...
 Our ideal of love is sitting together in a meadow,
the last rays of daylight fading beyond the horizon
as we look into each others eyes
 -- and feel in one moment --
the soft breeze of the summer wind
 -- and the next --
the first prick of the coming autumn,
causing us to nestle together for a little extra warmth.
 We wanted this poem to help our guests to feel the emotion in the changing of the seasons with our nuptials - since our wedding will be 2 days before the equinox, the astronomical equality and changing of the seasons are going to play a significant role in our ceremony.
The poem is immediately followed by the formal invitation:

I had Kristin blind-emboss some lavender sprigs to give the design a more three-dimensional feel - as if you're looking close up at some lavender and poppies, but there's more lavender in the distance. 
The next three pages of our invitation are three individual maps - one of Camp Westwind, one of northwest Oregon, and one of Portland.  Luckily, Mr. Bear Cub loved the idea of having a map made for our wedding!  Crystal Kluge designed all three maps, and made the calligraphy for the poem and our names on the main invite.  Crystal's maps and calligraphy are among the most unique I've seen in my 15 (!!) months of being an engaged woman.  Originally we weren't interested in calligraphy at all (it seemed a bit too froofy for us), but we (I) adored her quirky cute penmanship.
Plus her maps are exquisite.  When she sent us the mock-up for this map, we originally had our wedding date as "09.20.2009".  Then I noticed that if we arranged it the European (and South American... basically non-US) way, it would appear as "20.09.2009"!  I thought that was just so cool. :)  What an easy way to remember our anniversary!  Our maps truly deserve a post of their own; we're having Crystal watercolor a set of the maps that we'll frame for our home.



The final page of our book-invite is a sweet request to RSVP via our webpage.  We live in Chile, my parents live in Oklahoma, and even though Mr. Bear Cub's dad lives in Portland, we didn't want to deal with the stress of lost RSVPs long distance.  AND we get to cut down on extraneous paper and envelopes and stamps and such! 

Mr. Bear Cub's favorite part of our entire invitation can best be described as the "hallmark crown on the back".  You know how all Hallmark cards have that little crown on the back of them?  Mr. BC wanted to include his favorite fictional character, a viking-ninja, on the back of our invitation.  I'm sure most of our guests didn't see this, but that's ok - little dude is pretty stealthy.
What's a viking-ninja, you ask?  Well... I can't really tell you!  Mr. BC has plans for our little viking-ninja friend in the future, so I can't spill the beans too much.  All I can tell you is that it's a little viking boy who found himself in Japan, and was befriended by ninjas...
Even though the process of making the invites took a lot longer than I thought it would, I'm really very pleased with them.  The day Kristin sent me pictures of the finished product, I burst into tears.  I had had a pretty rough day at work, I was really stressed about the wedding coming together, and there I had in front of me our finished invitations - something had finally come to fruition, and it was just what I had been envisioning.  

Mr. Bear Cub was also admittedly skeptical about having our invitations made - originally he wanted to just send emails to everyone.  While this would definitely be the most economical and ecological option, I really wanted to have a solid invitation to our wedding, I wanted something I could hold in my hands.  My mom framed my parent's wedding invitation; I remember looking at it as a kid, and thinking that she must have been so happy to send her invites to her family and friends for her wedding day.  

I now understand that feeling, and I can't wait to show my children our framed invitation one day.

6 comments:

  1. I usually wait till stuff pops over on Weddingbee to comment.. but I can't wait. This are incredible, and among the most beautiful invites I have ever seen. Wow! The details and letterpressing take my breathe away.

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  2. wow those turned out realllly nice! love the pressed lavendar

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  3. YAY, you got your maps! I remember when you showed me those and you really wanted them. They are so cute, I can't wait to see the full post on them!

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  4. I love these lavender invites. I am having a lavender themed wedding and am in search for someone to make my lavender invites for me. Can you help?
    -Somer
    somc44@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
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