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Family Portraits by Hannah Longmuir

As a stationery designer, the opportunity to create my own wedding stationery was almost as exciting as getting to marry my wonderful Ross.

We only had a six-month time frame from getting engaged (in Wales, on holiday, in September) to the wedding date in April.  Getting Save the Dates out was reasonably urgent so we used the April image from my 2017 calendar as a postcard.  We then had plenty more time to plan a lovely, individual invitation.

There were a few different factors, but we knew early on that a full white wedding with lots of people there was not for us.  After some deliberation we decided to go away for the ceremony – to the Isle of Iona on the west coast of Scotland – with just a tiny group of close family.  There were 11 of us in total.  We collected vintage postcards of the Abbey on the island to use as invitations for the small group going away.  Then, on the one-week anniversary of the wedding day, we planned a huge knees-up in our local town – ceilidh, covers band, cake, buffet – a classic wedding dance.  It was for this part that I got to design a full invitation.  With the invitation just being for an evening reception I could definitely got away with low-key.  An email or message would never be my style – I love getting post too much! – but a simple card would have more than sufficed.  But this was my chance!  So I made a fold-out 4-section invitation with a removable RSVP, stamped and ready to return.

The main feature of the invitation was a family portrait of Ross & I, and our dog Buddy.  While we were dating we went on lots of lovely walks with the dog, and still do, and would always stop at a bench with a view for a sit down.  It seemed to capture the peaceful, outdoorsy sort of folks we are. The invitation also featured spring flowers and swallows, two more of my favourite things.  These elements appeared in the decor, the Order of Service, and the thank you card, tying all the stationery together.

We now have the family portrait hanging on our kitchen wall, a lovely momento of a very very happy time planning our wedding together.

The invitations were sent in grey envelopes with watercolour green envelope liners (my first time making envelope liners and now I am hooked!).  Poor Ross was in charge of cutting and folding all the invitations, and I was chief envelope-addresser.  The invitations plopping into the postbox was when the whole thing felt real, and I was so excited when the first RSVP cards came in.  I vowed never to be a late RSVP-er again, as I had realised that the couple are anxiously awaiting replies.  (UPDATE: I recently RSVPed late.  Terrible human being.)

The watercolour green appeared on place setting names and signage throughout the wedding day and the party night.

Basically, I had a marvellous time making our wedding stationery.  I hope I made something that made our guests smile and got them excited for our wedding.  You can see more examples of stationery I have created, including venue drawings, here.

Here are some of my top-tips for designing your own wedding stationery:

  1. Leave plenty of time.  The whole process is slow – the design, the deliberations, the proofing (and I still managed to get my own mobile number wrong) and writing the envelopes.
  2. Start collecting addresses as soon as you have a guest list.  People are terrible at providing them.
  3. Don’t send Save the Dates until the guest list is 100% locked down.  You can’t uninvite!
  4. Find one or two images that can re-appear throughout your stationery.  I used daffodils, swallows and green watercolour.  These will tie everything together.
  5. You don’t need to be perfect at calligraphy to make nice stationery.  Pinterest will tell you otherwise, but be strong and just get on with writing those envelopes.
  6. Make sure to make extra samples to keep for yourselves.  I have a lovely bundle of stationery-bits now that will be lovely to look through in years to come.

Family Portraits by Hannah Longmuir

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