Wedding invitations and salsa shoes

This is a blog post about my new favorite kind of projects: Wedding Graphics! To be honest, as a graphic design student I never dreamed of finishing my degree and then going on to design wedding invitations! In fact wedding graphics in general were not in my realm of possibilities. Not that I ever thought I couldn’t do them but because I didn’t want to consider them. This was probably due to my own disinterest towards weddings earlier in life.

As the years went by I started appreciating weddings and their significance more. When a cousin announced that she was getting married a couple of years ago I was jumping up and down with excitement and I offered to do a custom design for her invitations. I wasn’t thinking whether or not this is “real” graphic design. All I wanted was to give her something special, something unique. And I loved every minute of it. The whole creative process, the working together with her, the surprise on people’s faces when they received the invitation–every little bit was absolutely amazing. What I created was a shape that came from mixing together their initials: M and K. You would have to know it to appreciate this little detail but that didn’t matter. The design was one she liked, my process for creating this design was just a little thing that made the card and the design extra special for her.

A few months back a friend asked if I could do an illustration/symbol for her wedding invitation. She didn’t know about the work I did for my cousin but she had seen samples of my other work. She and her now husband are my friends and my Cuban salsa instructors. Both are full of positive energy and excitement and I love them to bits! She wanted an illustration of a couple dancing, and since she is a musician as well, she wanted the lady to be in the shape of the solfège key. So I prepared a few options in her favorite color (orange) and they selected the one in which they could see the representation of a salsa dance move. As soon as people who know them see the dancing figures, they smile and comment on how perfect they are for the couple.

These logos or graphics, if you like, are only short-lived, one might say. I think it’s part of the reason why I never considered wedding graphics as something a serious designer would do. I mean, come on, it’s not like you are doing the logo for a big, successful company right? I hear people talking about wedding invitations and they always seem to come to the conclusion that brides spend waaaaaaay too much time worrying about a piece of paper you are going to stick on the fridge door until the wedding date and then throw away. And I used to agree.

But I now completely disagree with that point for view. The wedding day is and should be a special and important day in a couple’s journey. The fact that as a designer, I’ve had the privilege to help in my own way make that day as special as possible for two couples is an honor. As for my graphics being short-lived, I disagree with that, too. Each couple will cherish their respective graphics for ever and physically my graphics still exist on things the couples holds dear, such as a photo memory book with a customized cover. My graphics were absolutely adored by my clients and loved by their audience. Isn’t that what every designer wants for their work? To me that sounds like the description of the perfect outcome to any project. And let me tell you, it feels like the perfect outcome too! To give an example, after the second couple’s wedding, I create an image (seen above) on which I placed the dancing figures and next to them the wedding info with the tagline: “I was there!!! and now my feet hurt :)” I uploaded it to my facebook page in an album with photos from the wedding and I never expected it to get more than a few likes from my friends that attended the wedding. I created it as a little inside joke for my fellow salseros who were seated at the same table as me and had to endure my complaining about my shoes being too high and not appropriate for salsa dancing! (By the end of the night I had removed them and trod on things I don’t even want to think about!). In a few hours, my image was shared by the couple and my friends and all of their friends that were at the wedding! And since this was a Cypriot wedding we are talking about a lot of people. I saw Facebook campaigns designed to go viral move slower than this little image! The love fest was just amazing! Obviously everyone attached their own meaning to the image but maybe its success lies in the fact that it came from a true place. Whatever it was, it just made me extremely happy to see the joy my image brought to other people.

I’ve started studying graphic design 15 years ago and joined the professional workforce 7 years ago. I have to say that by far these two projects have been the most emotionally rewarding projects I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with and would like to say a big thank you to the two ladies that believed in me and gave me this opportunity!

And if you have a special occasion coming up you would to commemorate with a unique and meaningful design, give me a shout out! I would love to talk to you about the possibilities.

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