Custom Wedding Invitations - Madeleine & James

Custom Wedding Invitations - Madeleine & James

January 05, 2023

In September of 2022, I got married! We decided to go all out with our invitations, because you only get married once (hopefully)! 

The first step was to design the invitations. My partner, James, drew this lovely Dahlia. He then carved it into a cherry woodblock and we used that design throughout our invitations as the theme. 

Papillon Press letterpress wedding invitations dahlia 
Dahlia drawing by James T. Owens, III. 2022

Once everything was designed, it was time to mix up all the inks! We decided on a two-color invitation and details card, and then a single color RSVP card. 

Papillon Press letterpress invitations mixing inkInks being mixed. 2022.

Next, we set up the press (this can take up to an hour for each new design), and then print! It's easier to print dark on top of light colored inks, so I started with this light blush color. We scanned and digitized the dahlia design so that we could use it in multiple sizes and locations, so here it is in a larger format!

Papillon Press letterpress wedding invitations st louis grand rapids
First color of Madeleine and James' invitations. 2022.

The second color is a darker wine color, so here's a screen-grab of me printing using that color on the press. This particular press was made in Ohio, and turned 100 years old in 2022!

Madeleine Wiering Papillon Press letterpress wedding invitations st louis
Madeleine printing invitations. 2022, St. Louis.

Our suite had four total pieces (pictured below). The first was the art print of the Dahlia that James carved. We then took the Dahlia design, digitized and made plates from it for the lighter color on the invitation and details card. Our RSVP card was double-sided, so I photographed two, one of each side, so that both sides are visible. We didn't want to clutter the front of the RSVP with our wedding website, so we opted to put that on the back. 

Papillon Press custom letterpress wedding invitations
The full invitation suite with Dahlia art print. 2022. 

After everything was printed and had a day to dry, it was time to assemble. Each invitation set had an outer and inner envelope, the art print, invitation, details card, RSVP, and RSVP envelope. Our mailing envelopes (RSVP & Outer) were made of the same paper as we printed the invitations on.

Papillon Press custom letterpress wedding invitations
The fully assembled invitation suite with Dahlia art print. 2022. 

We wanted to carry through the Dahlia design to the exterior of our envelopes, so we had a custom stamp made with a miniature version. We used this on the return address flap of our exterior envelopes, as well as on the front of our RSVP envelopes.

Custom address stamp with Dahlia design. 2022.

One thing we knew we wanted from the beginning was a wax seal. We sealed the inner envelopes and put those inside of the outer envelopes to avoid complications in the mailing process. 

Wax seal letterpress invitations papillon press
Gold wax seals on interior envelopes. 2022.

We also created matching programs and place cards. These were printed on our Standard Cotton Paper, as we hoped to recycle most of them at the end of the evening. 

Papillon Press letterpress program
Program for Madeleine & James. Photo by Hailey Jansson. 2022.

The place cards weren't letterpress printed, but still fit the theme with a subtle blush dahlia in the background. Part of the reason we chose dahlias was that my mother grew most of the flowers for our wedding, and many of them were dahlias like the ones pictured below. 

Papillon Press custom letterpress place cards weddingPlace Cards for Madeleine and James. Photo by Hailey Jansson. 2022. 

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