My Wedding Pt 1: Invitations + Designs

7/06/2015

Our one year wedding anniversary is quickly coming upon us, so I figured it was finally time to share the details of our wedding in a multi-post series. It's always helpful for me to see the experiences of others online, so perhaps I can shed light on some things for those who are planning their own nuptials. Before the invitations, came the engagement of course. Donald and I were together for 10 years before we became engaged in August 2013, and since we're not particularly traditional, it took a few years for us to decide whether or not we were even interested in the whole process. I went from being against it (when I was 20 no less, which is a bad time to decide anything concrete obviously) to feeling that it was something important and meaningful for us to experience. When the timing was right (and when we finally finished school and got jobs to pay for it all) we were engaged in Santa Barbara. It was sweet, and with so many years of being together, we knew just what we wanted.

Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez

As a designer, it was both exciting and overwhelming to tackle the visual look and feel of our wedding. For some, it's probably the last thing that they think about (like Donald/most men) but for me aesthetics have always been my second language. There were definitely times that I wanted to cave in and just buy the pre-made things out there, but it would have been sacrilegious for me (hah). So...I designed everything from scratch. It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do for the invitations, but in the end I decided on having a flat ceremony card, a tri-fold reception & city guide, and a postcard for the RSVP. Sounds simple enough, right?

Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez

Here's the part that almost made me lose my mind a few times: we had a bi-lingual wedding in English and Spanish! That meant that I had to design two versions of everything in different languages, because many of our guests were coming in from Mexico. It was a big undertaking and another reason why I could never just get a "one-size" fits all design. I can't really write in Spanish either, so Google translate and my Spanish-speaking mother were a big help! It was well worth the effort in the end since I wanted to honor my family's culture and language.

Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez

Overall, I wanted the invitations to convey our love for Santa Barbara and give our guests little glimpses of the wedding locations. I included photos that I took of the historic courthouse (where the ceremony was held) and of the Rose Garden at the Santa Barbara Mission. I also painted a little map that could be used as a city-guide with accompanying tips on where to go and what to see. Our wedding was also our 11th anniversary which explains the "Eleven Years of Love" statement used throughout!

Wedding Invitation Suite by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Ceremony Program by Valerie Enríquez

There were many more things that I designed for the wedding (which I will share in upcoming posts) but my favorite piece was probably our ceremony program. I dreamed up a design (literally, this stuff was penetrating my dreams on a nightly basis hah!) and then worked around the clock to finish the printing and mechanics in less than two weeks! It was a labor of love to say the least. I hand-cut every piece of paper to get the "flag" look that I wanted, and scoured shops for the perfect golden tassel to hold it all together. It also had to work as a flip book; where one side was in English and the other side was in Spanish. Lastly, I made little tissue pockets for the ceremony chairs and those inevitable tears! The program explained the story of how we met online when we were 14 and 15, how Donald moved from Wisconsin to live with me when he was 18, and how we were so appreciative to have everyone there with us on such a sweet day!

Wedding Ceremony Program by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Ceremony Program by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Ceremony Program by Valerie Enríquez
Wedding Ceremony Program by Valerie Enríquez

Photos of the program at the actual ceremony. Previous two photos by Nicole Wasko.

The whole design process was so fun and rewarding that I'm hoping to help couples out with their own printed wedding-needs in the future. Stay tuned for more on that and for my next post, where I'll be sharing details about the wedding dress & accessories!

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10 comments

  1. Wow Valerie, everything you created is just beautiful. All of that time and effort really paid off as the designs are perfect. :) I'd be thrilled to hire you for my own wedding (if I ever have one)! xo

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    1. I'd love to help you when and if the time comes! :) Thank you so much Sarah!

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  2. Valerie your invitations are absolutely gorgeous! I can only imagine the pressure you'd feel being a designer and designing your own invitations from scratch but you did such an incredible job! I love that you included a cute little map and things for people to do if they'd travelled to come to the wedding. And that's such a nice idea to get married on your anniversary too. I always wonder if people stop celebrating their original anniversary when they get married but you guys won't have to worry about that! And I love that you two met on the internet - where would any of us be without it? Haha. Hope you're doing well lovely! xx

    jessica - littlehenrylee.com

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    1. Aww such sweet words, thank you Jessica! I totally wonder about other couples and their anniversary too. We celebrated ours for so long that I didn't want to change it...I guess I'm just weird like that. I'd be a shutin without the internet probably lol x

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  3. These look stunning, Valerie! They reflect your style and taste in so many wonderful ways.

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    1. Thanks Polly! That was certainly the hope hehe!

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  4. Oh goodness. I am almost in tears of how pretty the design is. Everything is better than perfect! And I love how you guys met on the internet when you were 14 and 15. I feel like a total stalker, but I'd love to see more about your wedding! It looks like HEAPS of work, and you actually pulled it off. Wow.

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    1. Thanks so much Louise! So many amazing compliments to hear in one comment :) I will definitely be posting more from the wedding. I'm just enjoying summer a little too much...I have to get to it! xx

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  5. These wedding invitations are very unique and stunning. They definitely have sparked my interest to want something similar for my wedding. I certainly have never seen anyone among my family and friends to use such beautiful invitations before. Also beautiful love story of meeting on the internet, my parents met that way.

    Faye Fowler @ Master Copy Print

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  6. Wedding invitation cards should be gorgeous but it doesn’t mean that cards need to be expensive. For my wedding, we have booked one of wedding venues NYC and my planner proposed many affordable ways for beautiful invitation cards.

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