My love/hate relationship with our bookmark wedding invites

Note title of the book is The Reluctant Bride. Ironic much?
After yesterday’s post where I came out of theme closet by revealing we are having a book themed wedding. Today I’m going to talk about this theme in action in the design of our bookmark wedding invites.
Wedding invites are one of those things that I never really cared about before I got engaged. When past-me received an invite to a wedding, the process went something like this: open envelope. Note that I have been invited to so and so’s wedding, YAY. Write date in diary. Put invite down on the sideboard (yes, we have a sideboard. We are posh. Well HWSNBN is posh, I am posh by proxy) and WALK AWAY.
Now I really want to go back in time and hit past me over the head with a comedy inflatable hammer.  Did I notice the design, the paper, the envelope, the colours, the carefully chosen font? Did I buggery! But I’m come to realise that’s OK. Nobody but the bride and groom and a few aesthetically minded individual cares about the wedding invites and that is how it should be.
I have had to physically stop myself from eagerly hovering over people and launching into a long winded explanation of why we chose that shade of paper. So instead I shall mass-bore on the subject of our invites to whole internets. You’re welcome!

The inspiration

I started with the best intentions. Married friends had given me shell-shocked looks when the word invites was mentioned. But I knew that it was just stationery, right? Who gets stressed about stationery (spoiler: me. I get stressed about stationery). We were incredibly lucky as my parents-in-law-to-be as well as being thoroughly amazing people who have raised a wondrous son are also talented graphic designers. I babbled at them and they turned my babble into something beautiful.
We knew we wanted something book themed, that also matched the look and feel of the venue and conveyed the tone of the type of wedding we were having. So to the internet to steal to be inspired by other people’s  ideas. A search for book themed invites showed me these amazing library save the dates. (Am the only one driven into inappropriate giggles when wedding professionals shorten save the dates to STDs: ‘I’ve just got a STD’ hur hur hur.) I liked these but they were more library than book themed so back to the drawing board.

Inspired by these examples we came across the idea of a bookmarks. As well as being pretty bookmarks were also useful and could be kept as a memento post wedding.

Under consideration

Offbeat bride

Fan bookmark
Mirage design
My parents in law started work designing the bookmarks, taking photos and sourcing tassels. But by then I had discovered the internet crack that is pinterest and I wanted more. I wanted some kind of monogram of our entwined initials surrounded by a border, similar to this.

Graphics fairy
My parents in law created this monogram, which we adored.
A clue to HWSNBN's first name 🙂
Then my obsession moved from monograms to envelopes after I saw this amazing tutorial on A Typical Type A for lining envelopes with book pages. I have to do it. But HWSNBN pointed out that a) I am not crafty and b) when was I going to fit in individually lining 150 envelopes over Christmas between writing essays/working/studying and sleeping. He was right, but still book-lined envelopes!

The process

I love our wedding invites so much that I want to lick them. But the process of generating them I found extremely stressful.
I agonised over every word. I worried about the design, was it reflexive of us? Did the colours go? What was the invite saying about our wedding? Apart from the obvious: ‘please come, we have booze’. I proof read the invites until my eyes were swimming. And as soon as they were printed I noticed a missing comma that infuriated me in a way that only fellow editors will understand. I almost had a meltdown in Elphicks haberdashery department, over ribbon. Yes, that’s right RIBBON people! The guest list wrangling laid bare the differences between who I wanted to invite (people we love) and who HWSNBN wanted to invite (everybody).
Finally after months of toing and froing, our invites were ready. One Saturday before Christmas we formed a production line to assemble the invites. My father-in-law-to-be got a blister from punching the hearts in bookmarks. My mother-in-law prepared hundreds of invite packs and HWSNBN stuffed envelopes. I almost killed HSWNBN for talking as I was trying to write names in my best handwriting. He was not allowed to write invites because his handwriting looks like a gin addled spider fell in ink and was making a very slow crawl across the paper. But finally our invites were ready.

The finished bookmark invites

So do you want to see the final invites? (I really need a ta da sound or the sound of a trumpet.)

Our bookmark wedding invites in all their glory
More bookmark action
What do you think? I love them so much. The muted colours, the tassels, the monogram. I can’t help but look at them and remember all the work that went into the process and all the help we received along the way. By the end of the process I loved them so much I almost was tempted to keep the invites to build some shrine to stationery… And then I sobered up 🙂 After all those months of agonising it was such a relief to finally be sending the invites out into the world. However, there was something about seeing the details in print that made our wedding suddenly felt very real indeed!
Starring HWSNBN's hand
Bye, bye invites off you go into the world. Any wedding guests reading if you send me photos of the bookmarks in use, I will love you forever…


  1. Rosalind Crowe
    March 7, 2012 / 3:03 pm

    Rowan – that is a wonderful wonderful blog. Love the Invites too. xx

    • March 7, 2012 / 4:11 pm

      Awh, thank you very much. I love blogging it’s so therapeutic 🙂

  2. Van Jones
    September 10, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Please help me…. I need some wedding invites that are bookmarks as well for my very intimate wedding of 25…..

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