I first met with Emily & Chris in November 2021. Just as the UK emerged from the pandemic, they were on the hunt for some very special Welsh wedding invitations and stationery for their big day, planned for August 2023 at St. Tewdrics House in Chepstow.
Their very first email to me said this about their theme and design ideas.
We are planning a Welsh themed wedding (St. David’s red and green tartan, with the forest green as the main colour). We are hoping to include some quotes from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and would be interested in discussing an Under Milk Wood themed table plan with you too!Emily & Chris, 2021
How could I resist! I jumped at the chance to meet with them and together, we set about designing their Welsh wedding invitations and stationery, with a distinct Dylan Thomas flavour.
Our first design meeting
In our first meeting, I talked in detail with Emily & Chris about the themes that would run throughout their day, and what other elements they wanted to include in their stationery. With the Dylan Thomas theme, and Chris being a writer himself, books and literature featured heavily! It was also important for much of the stationery to be bilingual. Finally, they had a friend who would be creating some bespoke artwork for them that they wanted to incorporate. With all of these elements in mind, we came up with a broad plan of the designs for the whole suite of stationery, and would finalise the details for each piece along the way.
Library card save the dates
The very first part of the stationery suite would be their save the date cards. After playing with some different ideas, we came up with a design based around a vintage library card, of course issued from Llareggub Library. It suited the book theme perfectly, and could easily be made in a double sided bilingual. It was on these cards that we introduced the first little piece of bespoke artwork. An illustration of Emily & Chris in traditional Welsh attire in their wedding colours.
Book themed wedding invitations
When it came to invitations, Emily & Chris needed to include a limited amount of information, and most of the detail would go onto their wedding website. While the invitations did not need to be fully bilingual, they did want to include some Welsh elements, and of course a couple of those Dylan Thomas quotes. We designed the invitations as a folded card, with a single paper insert. The cover emulated a classic book design, with the reply details on the back cover. Again, we carried that little illustration of Emily & Chris through into this design.
Telegram style evening wedding invitations
For the evening, we went with a vintage telegram style design. Issued from Milk Wood post office, an Official Communication of Willy Nilly Postman. This simple, flat card style could be printed on both sides to become fully bilingual in English and Welsh.
On the day stationery to match the Welsh wedding invitaitons
In to 2023 and in the run up to the wedding it was time to finalise the designs and formats for all of the stationery they would need on the day itself.
A Welsh wedding welcome sign
To greet their guests, we designed an A2 size wedding welcome sign. It included that illustration that we had used on the save the dates and invitations, alongside a careful mix of text in both English and Welsh.
A bespoke order of the day timeline
For the A1 size order of the day timeline, I was lucky enough to be able to use some more of that stunning artwork created by Emily’s chief bridesmaid Nadia. A beautiful illustration of the village Llareggub from Under Milk Wood. This, along with some clever wording and more meticulously sourced (by Chris!) quotes from the Dylan Thomas book, made for a truly unique order of the day.
Individual, personalised wedding menus
Emily and Chris had asked their guests (via their wedding website) to pre-order their meal choice for the wedding breakfast. As a little reminder of what they had ordered, I printed individual menus for each guest including their name. Chris supplied yet another fabulously appropriate Dylan Thomas quote, and we use that wonderful little illustration of them at the top.
A Welsh wedding table plan
Each of the tables at Emily & Chris’s wedding reception was named after a house or business within the village of Llareggub. And so, on the table plan I used the appropriate illustration created by Nadia. Using the Welsh title Cymerwch eich Seddi gave the table plan a bilingual twist.
Unique guest book table names
The fantastic idea for their table names was all down to Emily & Chris. They supplied me with nine blank note books, and asked me to design jackets for each of them to correspond with the table name. So, using the artwork from Nadia and more quotes from the book sourced by Chris, I did just that. Each book would be displayed on the table at the reception to act as the table number, but also as a fun way for guests to leave their own personal messages for the bride & groom. A note on the back of each book jacket invited them to do this, and we also included the names of those at the table on the inside. I love this idea and was so pleased with how it turned out.
Emily and Chris now have the complete set of guest books displayed on their book shelf at home. A beautiful and oh-so-personal memento of their big day.
Welsh and English wedding signs
To complete the suite of Welsh wedding invitations and stationery, I made a couple of small tent style signs for around the venue. For flip flops and for wedding cake flavours. Again, that wonderful illustration of Llareggub and some quotes chosen by Chris kept them all perfectly on theme.
Wonderful Welsh wedding invitations and stationery
It’s safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed creating this complete suite of Welsh wedding invitations and stationery for Emily and Chris. I am very grateful to them for trusting me with their vision, and allowing me to bring their stationery to life. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without all that stunning artwork by Nadia, or all of those uncannily appropriate quotes sourced by Chris. But, I was really pleased with how it all came together and, by all accounts, the happy couple were too. Here are some words they sent to me in an email not long after their big day.
When planning our wedding, one of the most important things for us was to be able to work with independent, local providers and we were lucky to have found Jo online to be able to make that happen! From the outset, working with Jo was a dream; she made everything so easy. We went to her beautiful garden studio and, as soon as we told her about our Dylan Thomas literary theme, she had some absolutely amazing ideas that helped bring our wishes to life. After our initial meeting, Jo suggested and drafted some library-card-style Save the Dates, which completely surpassed our expectations. Every time she emailed us or called us to show us ideas, from the invites to the signage for the day, our reaction was always ‘Wow!’. Jo took every single comment and suggestion on board to create bilingual pieces that were utter perfection, and that helped tie our theming together perfectly.Mr & Mrs Harris, 2023
I hope you have enjoyed reading all about Emily & Chris’s Welsh wedding invitations and stationery. You can also check out some of the bespoke designs I have created for other couples, both here in Wales and all over the UK.
If you have a vision, or even just a little of an idea for your stationery, and need some help to bring it to life, get in touch. I would love to chat with you!
Ready to find out more, book a studio visit, or arrange a call with me?
About the artwork
Emily’s chief bridesmaid Nadia Grudinina created all the bespoke artwork: Chris & Emily in their Welsh costumes, and the village and houses from Under Milk Wood. Nadia has an Etsy shop, you can see more of her work here:
About the venue
Emily & Chris were married St Tewdrics House. A stunning, exclusive wedding venue in Chepstow, South Wales.
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