Elopement Cards with style

[3/14/14 UPDATE: SimplyElope.com wrote the most beautiful write-up about my elopement designs. Thank you!]

In sort of a search engine fluke, I discovered there aren’t many card design options for couples who would like to announce their elopement with photographs. Surprisingly, the big names like tinyprints and snapfish don’t have any. I don’t know if that’s because no one is buying them, or if it’s because no one is prioritizing the need. But I saw an opening, so I went for it.

There are some stunningly styled elopements featured on wedding blogs like stylemepretty.com and oncewed.com. The photographer Katie Jane is a really talented photographer in NYC who only shoots elopements. I looked at a lot of her work and other photographers’ photos as inspiration. I kept thinking, if I were that couple, what would I want?

It came down to: Simple. Beautiful. Well written. Not cheesy.

And so I got to work!

My new designs can now all be found for sale on my Etsy shop where I’ve already started customizing them for newlyweds.

Also, I am very grateful to my friends who allowed me to use their elopement photographs in these designs. I have two close friends who eloped. Since I was the photographer for both of them I witnessed how intimate and special a day it can be.

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This first design (top) is all about letting the couple tell the story of their vows. I created a layout that allows them to use as many photos as possible (9!) in a simple quilted format. I also wrote the text in the middle: “We didn’t need much to become husband and wife. Except a whole lot of love and a promise for life.

I thought that encapsulated what every elopement comes down to in it’s simplest form.

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This design is a lot of fun. It allows the couple to choose one grand photo for their card, and one mini photo. This design marks the beginning of when I started incorporating collage elements into my designs. It opened up a whole new host of possibilities for me. The wording, “Love is all you need” is hand-drawn by me with charcoal pencil and I use it in a lot of my designs. People always ask me what font that is.

Below is another example of the lettering in place, along with collage elements of pearls and glitter paper. Not gonna lie, I like the glitter paper. Makes me happy.

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The design above and the one below are for couples who want to keep things as simple as possible.

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This design above is my favorite. I love the slogan I came up with, “Happily Ever Eloped”. I love the colors and textures and layout and lace accents. I then used the same treatment to design an engagement announcement card which I call, “This is happening”.

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In this design I’ve included chevron washi tape, lace, and tiny pearls. The slogan I wrote is just for couples who choose to elope in NYC: “We skipped the chapel and wed in the big apple.” (I fully admit I was really excited when that idea came to me). I imagine a couple drowning in seating charts and centerpiece options and just going, Screw it! Then packing up their bags and saying I do at City Hall.

But even though it’s NYC-centric, I thought it would be really cheesy to have a skyline of NY or a big apple. That smells like tourist to me. So I kept the design just as simple and elegant as the others in the collection.

(Behind-the-scenes: You see that faint pale white leaf pattern in the background? That little leaf icon was inspired by really old wallpaper in my grandmother’s upstairs guest room. I think it was lime green originally and surrounded by other multi-color tropical plants. My mom grew up in that room with that wall paper. And the lace down the middle is taken from my grandmother’s collection of ribbons. So when I say this was designed with love, now you know how true that is.)

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This phrase, “We said I do in a wedding for two” felt really intimate to me, so I decided it should be hand painted.

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I connected some of the letters together as a metaphor for two people joining together.

So far there’s been a really positive response on Etsy to this collection. I now have a regular spot on the first page of results when you do a search for Elope for Etsy!

 

 

Continued: Bat Mitzvah Invitations, painted

In September I wrote about a Bat-Mitzvah invitation design suite I had been commissioned to design for Julia’s book-theme special day. After I finished all the brainstorming and sketching and the layout was finalized, it was time to start painting. Here are some photos of that process:

 

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Picking out my brushes

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Lately I’ve been experimenting with gouache, which feels like a nice compromise between watercolor and acrylics. Some of my tubes have been passed down to me from my Dad’s art school days.

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I love my watercolor tray. Choosing colors is my favorite kind of decision to make. When people say, “I can’t tell the difference between these two pinks,”… I can!

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I thought I knew how I was going to write Julia’s name from my sketches. But once I started working with paint, I felt like I had to explore a little more.

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But ultimately I realized my first instinct was right. I painted directly over the initial pencil sketch I drew of her name.

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I liked how you could still see the pencil lines through the paint, and so I chose not to erase anything.

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I followed the same process with the pile of books I had drawn: I painted right over the pencil sketch. Even though I used a lot of different colors (pinks, blues, oranges, greens), their treatment was subtle and feminine so it was cohesive.

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I then worked on some painted lettering for other cards we’d include in the invitation set.

And finally it was time to scan everything into Photoshop, clean up the design, pick a font and present it all to Julia. That’s a pretty quick summary for a whole lot of work, but it was so fun to see it all come together. And Julia loved the final piece. I think what she might have said was, “Cool”.

Which is a pretty high compliment from a 13-year old if you ask me.

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To see the initial sketches again, see the photos here.

To see more Bat Mitzvah designs, click here.

 

Modern Hanukkah Birth Announcement

Really excited about the new birth announcement I designed for Hanukkah. Specifically for babies born within those 8 days! Talk about a niche.

With hand-painted lettering

If you find this post by way of Google, and this is EXACTLY what you’re looking for (trust me, I’ve seen the competition, I know), then on over to Etsy to get it personalized just for your little dreidel!

 
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