General wedding musings · Wedding invitations

Inviting Invitations – 3 weeks to go

Eep, we’re only three weeks away from the wedding. How the heck did that happen?

Now the big day is almost here, I’m looking back on the planning process and realising how lucky we were (and still are). We have very talented and generous friends and family, who have very kindly offered us their time and expertise, and I have a feeling the process would have been much more stressful without them (the dealings I have had with some suppliers are, perhaps, a story for another day).

My gorgeous cousin, Kirsty, is one of those very talented people. She designed our wedding invitations for us, and despite me offering the most random of ideas (A sample thereof: “We want blue, vintage-y but also Doctor Who-y, and can it also be tied up. Ooo bunting!”) she did the most amazing job, as you can see here (spot the professional photos, and my, more ‘rustic’ efforts):

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I wanted to get more of an idea about how Kirsty got into design, so I pestered her once more, and she very kindly answered some questions about graphic design, wedding invitations and a host of other things. Enjoy!

How did you get into graphic design?

I think I always had a passion for designing things; I just never really knew it had a name (or that I could make a career out of it). When I was younger, I would happily spend my days designing cars or houses for my teddy bears (ah, cringe), or making everyone Christmas/birthday cards. I was always totally obsessed with how things looked. I would often go home after a long day at school, rip out the pages in my book that I had written that day, and rewrite them all a little neater and using gel pens to highlight key words. It almost became an unhealthy obsession. I then remember caring more about how my drama portfolio looked than who the actors/actresses were in it, or what the content of it was. It became more of an artwork piece than anything else. When I got to GCSE and we had to pick our subjects, my brother actually recommended Graphic Design to me (I think it was called ‘Graphic Products’, to be specific). He had just done it and really enjoyed it. So I decided to give it a shot. Now, I finally had a name for everything I had been obsessing over. That, coupled with amazing teachers (ed: for those of you reading who went to our school – Mr. Goddard and Mr. Heathcote) meant I really found my calling. And I found it easy too; I was getting A+s for something that came naturally, rather than having to stay up all night trying to figure something out, still to get a measly C+ (ahem, science). 



What’s your favourite part of your job? 
The diversity. No two projects are the same, which means no two days are the same! I absolutely love what I do and it holds true to the saying “if you love what you do you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. Now that I am freelancing and get to work from the comfort of my home (and surrounded by my family) this absolutely rings true. I don’t feel like I work – I do what I love and get paid for it. 


Have you ever received a strange design request, and how did you go about creating it? 
Nothing springs to mind, but that may also be because anything starts to become “normal” after a while. I’ve designed anything from vehicle wraps, to 80ft construction banners, to fabric design patterns. I’ve always worked in small companies, so you tend to be responsible for a lot more than what you would in a large firm. Therefore, nothing comes as a surprise anymore. And i’m always willing to try something new – that’s half the fun!

What are your biggest design influences? 
I’ve never really had an “idol” that i’ve followed in the design world. I have a lot of people that I follow that do great work, things that I wish I could do, but can’t (at least not yet). Modern calligraphy – I follow a few of these on Instagram and have purchased my own calligraphy set and have taken an online class, but it’s finding the time to sit down and really find my style with that. Also, like almost everyone these days, Pinterest! Where would we be without it!? It’s a great source of inspiration when I can’t quite get an idea started. I use it for everything in life – in fact, I think half of my wedding came from Pinterest. And there was so much more I wanted to do but didn’t.

Do you have any advice for someone who’s looking to get their wedding invitations designed? 
Find a designer and have them designed specifically for you. There are plenty of stock invitations out there that look pretty, but do they really say anything about who you are and what your day is about? Creating your own personalised invitations is the best way to capture who you are as a couple and what this day means to you. Wedding invitations usually set the mood for what’s coming too; so make sure they truly reflect how you want your day to be. This is the teaser that everyone gets before the big day – what can they expect?
Kirsty also very nicely designed our table plan, with even vaguer suggestions from me (example: “Kind of like the invitations, or maybe the RSVPs. With a gap, in the middle.”) Thankfully, she’s much better at this sort of thing than me, and created this little gem, all ready for me to accessorise once we’ve finalised who’s sitting where. At this stage, I could probably apply to the UN, so good is my navigating of family politics.
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If you like what you’ve seen of Kirsty’s work (and why wouldn’t you, it’s fabulous), you can visit her website, www.itskirsty.com.
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