City Love


Vintage city wedding invitations // JVH

I remember my first meeting with Catherine and Aaron very clearly. We met in the art studio of the university we all  attended, and sat by a bright window on a cold day. I didn’t know Aaron and Catherine all that well, but I knew they were creative and kind, so I said “yes” immediately to designing their wedding invitations. As we began the discussion of their vision for their wedding, one thing became very apparent Catherine and Aaron love a lot of things. They love art, they love theatre, they love music, they love their city, and all these loves would play a role in their big day. As we talked through these loves, the adjectives tumbled out from each of them in unison. It was inspiring! Not soon after we said our goodbyes, I looked over my notes from the meeting, and they looked something like this:

“They want to to be classic! Vaudevillian! Threadbare and ornate! Lace and canvas! Blue and gold! Sigur Ros! AMPERSANDS!”

Whoa. That’s a lot of wants.

And therein lies the challenge when designing for such creative people – It’s the designers job to channel all that creativity, and refine it. As I stared at the words before me, I came up with three very distinct proofs. They all played on some aspect of Aaron and Cath’s vision, but neither was quite right. The real catalyst for the final design came when Catherine showed me her (AMAZING) Save the Dates. Catherine collected nearly 20 vintage postcards, and hand-stitched each one with their Save the Date information. Suddenly, the palette and tone of the wedding became crystal clear. I went back to work.


Hand-stitched Save the Dates // JVH

Vintage city wedding invitations // JVH

I approached the invitations armed with the rich burgundy, blue, and tan hues from the Save the Dates, and tried to mimic some of the “well-worn” beauty using a variety of textures. I also selected a beautiful calligraphic font called “Burgues” for the names and monograms, and a stable, classic serif to pair with it.

The final piece in the puzzle came when Catherine and Aaron wondered if we could add some illusion to the Hamilton skyline. Cath and Aaron are cheerleaders for their city, and I appreciated their desire to express that. So, I took to the Googlematron, and looked for “Hamilton Vintage Postcard”. In one of the more fortuitous moments in my design career, I came upon a  vintage postcard that featured the VERY CHURCH Catherine and Aaron were to be married in! I tried to contain my capslock, and emailed Catherine RIGHT AWAY. She immediately bought the card of Amazon, and the invitation all but designed itself from there!


Vintage Hamilton postcard // JVH

1960s Vintage Postcard | James Street, Looking South, Hamilton Ontario, Canada


Vintage city wedding invitations // JVH

As I looked through the album from their nuptials, I’ll admit I may have said “Nailed it!” to myself. Wedding stationary should always be an extension of everything else from the day, and these invitations and programs fit the bill. I can’t end this entry without posting a few shots from the wedding. These images were taken by Asher Images, and they’re freeeeakin’ gorgeous! They also show just how well the invites fit into Aaron and Cath’s grander wedding narrative:


handmade wedding // JVH // photos by Asher Images

Thank you again to Catherine and Aaron for allowing me to contribute in this small way to your perfect day!


Vintage city wedding invitations // JVH
0 comments

Recent Posts

See All