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    Mom L

    I am very impressed!!!!
    What a fun idea

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    what genuine and loving craft ethan! this would win the award for the best invitation ever. and good teamwork carol and ethan!

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    Adam Gomez

    This is truly amazing work. You have skills.


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(never, ever shared with anyone)


Here are the wedding invites I designed for my sister Kennedy and her fiance Benjamin. I’ll try to describe the process as I post the pictures.

Kennedy and Ben are both writers, so the original idea was to make it look like a book. Actually, that was really the only original direction we needed. After that point, the invites took on a life of their own. The first thing I did was to scan the cover of an antique book Kennedy and Ben had found in an old book store. I modified the front and back covers to work on a page that, when folded, would fit inside an A7 wedding envelope.




The cover is a heavy laid and I used just two Pantone colors for the design. The highlight, though, is the viking ship from the original book, which we letterpressed into the cover of the invite.


The inside page was printed in black on a lighter weight, natural cotton paper. I used a second viking ship woodcut taken from the title page of the same antique book. The wording was left deliberately simple. The page itself was sewn in by hand (actually, by sewing machine, but you know what I mean).




So this is where it gets really fun. Continuing with the book theme, we decided that the RSVP and invite should resemble classic library cards. This was my favorite part to design. The RSVP remains true to the library card look and sits in front of the invite/reminder inside a card pocket. Where the book cover and title page mirrored the antique look of the book, the library cards jumped forward in time a few decades.

We used a subtly decorative paper for the pocket, which we cut, folded, and glued onto the inside cover.





I also designed a custom map for the invite card.


And the RSVP card included a place for “Unable to Attend” which fit with the overall design.


To add to the realism, we ordered a small date stamper and dated each card by hand.


We also ordered a custom stamp with Kennedy and Ben’s address, for both the return address and the return envelopes.




Finally, the address on every envelope was hand lettered by Carol (who also did the sewing).


Brown Printing took care of the printing and letterpress (which they do in-house). They were amazing to work with. And here is a link to the Flickr set with these images, if you want a closer look.

To say I was pleased with the final design would be a gross understatement. Frankly, I think this is the best work I’ve ever done. I’m so glad I got to do it for my little sister’s wedding.


All design work was done by Ethan Allen Smith. If you have any questions, you can contact me at brit {at} feb28 {dot} com.