One of my most favourite bespoke wedding stationery commissions EVER (yes, it’s worth the capital letters) was from Samantha and Jon. In their initial questionnaire they popped a little note at the bottom, wondering if I could work with a Pop Art theme. I had a huge amount of fun putting together a Lichenstein inspired fold-out concertina invitation. Once all the invitations had gone out, we then worked on matching place-cards and Order of Ceremony. Each of their reception tables were named after different artists, so I designed the Table Name cards in the style of each artist. Aside from this strong theming, there are plenty of ways to incorporate a creative and artist slant into your wedding, and I’ve come up with a list especially for you.
1. Postcards This is the simplest and easiest way to include art in your wedding. Whether you choose a set of Pantone colour postcards, or a selection from the gallery where you went on your first date, or your favourite artist, with printed labels of text, they can be the RSVP postcards your guests return or put at each place setting as a place card.
I am an unashamed fan of brown kraft paper. I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to it. It may or may not hark back to hours spent drawing on the kraft paper tablecloth at one of my favourite restaurants, when I was younger. Having a strip of kraft paper acting as a table runner, dotted with pots of crayons or felt tips, is a really simple way of encouraging interaction and artistic activity at your wedding tables. You can add notes onto the kraft paper itself – even handwriting the names at each place. If you are concerned about having too much of a riot of colour, I think a really beautiful way of incorporating drawing and kraft paper would be to use solely white pens or crayons. The white on kraft is really beautiful.
Easels and canvases are not only art themed, but are an incredibly practical addition to your wedding. Use different size easels throughout your venue, you can use them to hold all your signage, from directions to timings, and your table plans. To really ‘art it up’, you can work with plain canvases and paint, and paint out all the signs yourself. Hand-painted text, whatever style, looks great in large scale, and if it’s consistent throughout all the signage. Also consider having smaller canvases for smaller signs, such as for your top table, or even very mini ones for your place cards. Have a look at these completely amazing Mini Masterpiece Favours.
There are a lot of different ways to get your guests drawing. It’s a perfect activity at the tables. You could have sets of paper fortune teller kits or guides to games of picture consequences. A few glasses of wine, and a round table of consequences would be brilliant wedding fun. It’s also great to have a lot of drawing involved in your wedding mementos. Thumbprints as balloons or leaves as details on guestbook prints and illustrations has become very popular, for good reason. They’re really charming. But how about a whole print full of different thumbprint characters, like these gorgeous characters from Edward Emberley? The thumbprint drawings are a great way of getting people to draw characters, tiny self-portraits and big personalities. You can always leave one of Edward Emberley’s books on the guest tables or guest book table to give your guests some ideas.
That’s live drawing, not life drawing, that includes at least one naked person! Live drawing or reportage drawing is not unusual at large creative events. with an artist or illustrator working on a large mural piece or a series of drawings of their surroundings. Use a search engine to find reportage artists, contact local art groups, ask people locally if they know of any artists or illustrators who would be interested in drawing at your wedding. You could even search the Association of Illustrators for portfolios of illustrators in your area.
Artists have a particular way of working, so you’ll need to find someone who is interested in reportage drawing. Ask to see examples of previous work. They won’t be able to design or draw anything speculatively before the day, at least without payment, so ask for a look at their portfolio, and be specific in what you would like – whether that’s some loose drawings drawn on the spot at the wedding, or a heavily finished painting. They’ll be able to quote you accurately, and you’ll get what you want – a beautiful series of sketches that capture the atmosphere of the day, or a finished portrait.
Rather than a general ‘art’ theme, choose an artist whose aesthetic you love. Do you love their work, and the ideas behind it? Whether it’s the natural dappled light and relaxed natural scenes of the impressionists or 1960s Pop Art party atmosphere of Warhol, you can draw much more from an artists’ influence than simply reacting the images of their work. I have a series of blog posts, each inspired by a different artist, coming along, so do keep an eye out for those.
Of course, another option is also to have illustrated stationery. I love it so much, I have another Pinterest board devoted to it! It is very special to have your own commissioned illustrated art as part of your day. If you’d like more information about it, do click here.