Nothing gives me a happier buzz of anticipation than the arrival of a wedding invitation. Chosen well, the style gives me a tantalising glimpse into what the day itself will be like, reflecting the personality of the happy couple and the mood they’re trying to create for the event.
This summer I was privileged to share in the wedding day of an AD colleague and her partner who coincidentally also works in the print sector. With this professional head-start, guests might justifiably have expected the printed invitations to be beautifully designed and printed – which they were. But Ellie and Chris took advantage of print at an entirely different level to personalise every aspect of their day and involve their family and friends from the start.
Long before the Big Day itself, the best men and groomsmen received individual gift boxes sourced from Etsy, announcing their special roles in the form of a personalised card in the shape of a dress shirt with a wing collar, dressed with the bow tie for them to wear on the day. (The only possible glitch would be for the groom to order them with the incorrect date for the wedding printed on them. Of course that didn’t happen…or did it?)
When the day arrived, as we took our seats for the ceremony in a Hampshire country garden surrounded by trees and cottage flowers, we were handed the order of service. No traditional A5 folded card, but a broadsheet newspaper containing a collection of stories and pictures of the bride and groom, including the timeline of their relationship and an overview of the day to come. The guests happily read their newspapers and chatted about the contents, taking the focus off the slightly tense groom as we counted down the minutes until the bride arrived and all eyes turned to the back of the aisle.
The ceremony over, the wooden archway at the entrance to the garden was quickly converted into an outdoor photo booth for guests with the addition of a giant printed photo frame carrying the couple’s wedding hashtag! Arriving at our seats for the wedding breakfast we each found a personalised place card featuring a recent picture of us with the bride or groom. Simply created and printed using the retro Polaroid-style option from a popular online photo printing service, this clever detail was an instant ice-breaker as guests passed around their pictures and told the stories behind the images.
Print made another surprise appearance for dessert, when a few VIP friends and family members were roped in as ‘pudding chefs’, dressed in personalised printed aprons to serve giant pavlovas at each table. Their efforts were hilarious, the elegance of service heavily influenced of course by the amount of fizz already consumed by the ‘chef’ in question.
These considerate but light-hearted touches sprinkled many memorable moments throughout a wonderful day and reminded me of how – even in the Instagram age – there’s no match for print when you want to make people feel special, tell an important story, bring strangers together and capture memories to last.