If you had to visually translate my heart, this would be it.
It is my humble opinion that a physical invitation is a gift that you offer to all of your loved ones that will make the time to attend your wedding, travel very far sometimes and most likely have to spend quite a bit of money. It is a first glimpse of what they can expect and a beautiful way to invite them to get excited about the celebrations to come. It’s a costly thing that is mostly ignored nowadays, but it is something that is deeply meaningful to me and there’s nothing I love more than receiving beautiful post amidst all the usual bills.
Something this special, I simply could not keep to myself. My wedding invitations are finally done and I don’t think I have ever loved anything I have created more fiercely. This was the one thing I felt in control of in the wedding planning process. Everything else felt completely overwhelming, but creating something beautiful, that I can do. And I wanted to impress myself beyond my wildest dreams.
The most nerve-wracking thing for me was the concept. I didn’t want to blindly follow some trend or follow examples on Pinterest / Instagram because being who I am and doing what I do everyday, I would grow tired of it very quickly. So the most important part for us was to make it sentimental, something truly us to the core. I wanted to make it truly intricate, packed with finer details and a tactile celebration, but keep it elegantly simplistic. Pretty much the exact same way that I approach my drawing and graphic design projects.
The wedding colours we chose come from both of our family crests and Sean’s Campbell tartan. Through this we ensured that we wouldn’t regret following whatever colour trends are considered beautiful for weddings at the moment. We both have big families that are very proud and love each other fiercely. Seeing as we are joining our lives together and by extension our families, I thought it would be a beautiful gesture to draw both of our family crests for the ceremony.
I adored the crest drawings so much, my heart swelling with pride and love for all of my van Wyk’s that I decided to use them on my wedding stationery. Since I will be taking Sean’s surname in our marriage, I decided to create a second invite with the Campbell crest. It’s my gift to my new family and a way to show respect and love. My hope is that each family member will swell with pride when they open the invitation and see their family crest. Both of our respective Afrikaans and Scottish families have their own name traditions so I thought it would be special to use our full traditional names for the invites.
The wording and font I kept formal, simple and elegant. It was important to me to have all of the information they might possibly need on a details card. I adore sticking invitations on my fridge; it brightens my day every time I look at it. And with all of our busy lives, it makes it super easy to quickly look at the invitation on the fridge to get the details you need to prepare for the wedding. I added the map because I have a bit of an obsession with maps and it’s just something beautiful that doubles as helpful if you get lost on your way to the wedding.
The carefully considered, finer details are what make invitations truly special to me. I had to keep changing the look and feel depending on what I could source. I believe the most important thing to remember during an invitation process is to stay flexible and work with what you can source. The paper is handmade and is 100% recycled (@papier.handmade). I printed each one myself. The details card is printed on my favourite textured paper that I use for my MM calling cards (Imvakalelo).
I looked everywhere for A5 handmade navy paper envelopes but they simply don’t exist so had to change course. I finally found a paper company where we selected paper and then had them custom made (Papersmith & Sons). The family crest brass stamp was custom made and I selected a beautiful white wax to finish off the look (Jax Wax).
My florist, Bouwer Flowers, gifted the dried foliage and I bought gold foliage spray to add something sparkly for a more formal and grand feel (Super Floral). I bought gold string but then didn’t like the effect so I scrapped that idea and just kept it simple. I designed an envelope sleeve but then selected tracing paper for my envelope so scrapped that as well.
I have learnt so much along the way in this beautiful process and I am beyond thrilled with the final invitations. They are special, unique, sentimental and gorgeous. It’s an exquisitely tactile experience to touch each different element. This is my heart. It’s the most precious gift I could ever create to express love to Sean as well as each and every person that will honour us with his or her presence. It took me months to finalise, but it was worth every single second.