I have been doing much reflecting lately on mine and Couper's wedding last October. It's funny- four months ago yesterday, we wed. Many things did not go as planned, notably the fact that our reception ended an hour and a half early because of the rain and the hazard of having power to our outside location. I remember crossing the Frederica River, headed to our honeymoon, and saying "The timing couldn't have been more perfect." I said this looking at the beautiful setting sun over the marshes, humbled and thinking about how our un-covered ceremony was clear, beautiful and sunny, how the rain held up for all of our photos after the ceremony and the clouds unlocked their storage of all the rain it could hold just in time to run under the tent for the reception. So as I reflect, I decide to unpack some remains of our wedding in storage. Along with bringing out these memories, I realized that wedding branding is one of my favorite concepts.
Designing for a wedding is essentially designing reflections of people.
Expressing an identity for a wedding through graphic design combines both the elegance of a wedding and the personality and preferences of the couple. It shows those traits through a variety of different but cohesive elements and mediums- endless in their nature. It can create the feeling of the wedding- a very personal theme- that can assist in telling that sweet story. When I look back at our wedding collateral, I see the traditional serifs and elements that we love so much that come from our southern roots. I see the simplicity, the natural hues with pops of color, the slightly mismatched, the hints grey, the beauty in the deckle, the functional parts that are exactly representative of aesthetics we love. The graphic design is only the beginning- you can see this executed further in the linens, the decorations hung, the spreads on the table, the flowers and so on.
This is so fun to me, so beautiful as a designer, because I have the opportunity of creating that personality and theme on paper in a range of pieces most fitting to the bride and groom. When you are handed any kind of artwork- you have an initial feeling about it, that precedes or accompanies a thought or opinion of it. The identity of a couple can be felt when you see that invitation. You observe the link between their playful personalities and the modern style of their save the date with their brightly colored envelopes and modern calligraphy. Or you can see how the traditional calligraphy of their invitation combines perfectly with the sit-down dinner and the fact that they are always the couple that believes that being over-dressed is much better than the risk of being slightly under-dressed.
One of the most glorious parts of this is that the combinations- of colors, paper, size, style, serifs, san-serifs, textures, typography, illustrations- are endless, just like people. You can never fully describe a person, but you can call out parts of who they are and certain styles they like. The elements of this theme are recalled in the table numbers, and place cards- and extended to the runners, and lighting, the music.
When I think about wedding branding, it is an aesthetic process that should be so much more than just a theme. Designing for those personal likes and styles naturally makes every wedding so unique and fun. I thoroughly enjoy working closely with brides and grooms in creating those pieces that are not only seen, but experienced, as beautiful. It is incredibly rewarding for me to create designs- combined with paper and texture concepts- that will soon be held, felt, and even framed. So, thank you lovely couples, for being yourselves and letting designers like me help you tell your wedding story.