An invitation to a woodland wedding

Woodland Wedding detail

Late last year, my friends Andrew and Katie asked me to illustrate their wedding invitation. The imagery was to be in soft woodland tones, as above, but they had ambitious plans: a three-layer popup card with a woodland scene.

Here are Andrew’s notes from a meeting at the Pancake Manor.

Woodland Wedding - client notes

I then did placement pencil sketches, so that Andrew could print them out and make sure they all fit together as he envisaged (since I, having only admiration for Andrew and Katie but a strong sense of self-preservation, was only doing the art, not the construction!).

Woodland Wedding sketches

The illustration, as you can see, was in three separate layers, each paler than the last to add a hint of atmospheric perspective. The layers would only be 1cm apart, and I didn’t want the layers to fight with each other. I then inked and scanned in the final drawings and coloured them in Photoshop.

Woodland Wedding - constructed file

I provided the finished art to Andrew and Katie, together with a selection of spare deer, leaves, twigs etc for additional ornaments.

The designs were printed double-sided and cut out by laser.

Woodland wedding - construction

And glued together by hand (all construction photos are courtesy of Andrew and Katie).

Woodland wedding - construction

Andrew put the frame together with the spare leaf matter I had drawn.

And here is the final, three-layer pop-up invitation (these photos are from the wedding photographers, Trent & Jessie Rouillon).

They also printed a giant simplified version of the frame to act as a set for the wedding, and squirrels and deer lurk in the background of wedding photos.

Woodland wedding - construction

Woodland Wedding props


Photo by Trent & Jessie Rouillon

It was a beautiful wedding, and they were a joy to work with – it was tremendous fun to illustrate a project with such clear ideas of construction and dimensions but also with the freedom Katie and Andrew felt to adapt images to many uses – there are even life-size deer and squirrels lurking in the background of wedding photos!

And here they are striking the same pose as on the invitation, although I’m guessing Katie’s wearing heels here, because I remember we had to rework the invitation a couple times to get the relative heights correct!


Photo by Trent & Jessie Rouillon

Andrew and Katie have very kindly agreed to let me put some of those individual elements up as designs on Redbubble.

The images above will take you to the current “fairytale” collection. The individual pages are: SquirrelsWoodland, Flowers, Deer, Hedgehogs (that one is stickers only).

Rebecca and Aaron’s wedding

Earlier this year, I had the delightful task of designing the invitation for the wedding of two friends and ex-colleagues of mine: Rebecca and Aaron.

Photograph by Byron Loves Fawn

Photograph by Byron Loves Fawn

Here are some of the initial sketches.

Rebecca & Aaron - sketches

The final pieces were inked, then coloured digitally. The church in the background is Saint Mary’s at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane. You can see some of the inks behind the final invitations in this photo:
Rebecca & Aaron - invitation

As well as the front of the invitation, I drew the reception venue (the Brisbane Customs House), the border for the RSVP card, and several detachable sprigs of flowers for general decoration.

Rebecca & Aaron - additional

Unfortunately, I was not able to go to the wedding, but judging from Byron Loves Faun‘s beautiful photographs, it was an enchanted evening:

Photograph by Byron Loves Fawn

Photograph by Byron Loves Fawn

Byron Loves Fawn‘s photographs are used with their very kind permission.


Weddings and pictures

Hodgkinson/Richardson wedding

Just before Easter, my cousin Jess married Dave in the trees on their property by the river in Nagambie (photos top and left are by my cousin Joanna Hiron). I posted about the invitation illustrations here: Victorian wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, full of music and family, flowers and lights, with small children and dogs underfoot and (I hear) some hay-bale tossing by late in the evening… and they printed the wedding invitation linework on the stubby holders, which was a first for my illustrations. A lovely weekend, followed by a vacation in Melbourne and road trip to Canberra with my mother (including sketching musicians in a hotel in Beechworth).

And on the topic of weddings, here is a little design I did as a gift for two friends, Thom and Lily (both photographers: ) who were married earlier of this year:

Thom & Lily

A Victorian Wedding Invitation

Last year my cousin Jess asked me to draw her save-the-date and wedding invitation, featuring some of their livestock. I was delighted to, and obliged with several pages of pencil sketches and chickens:

Invitation roughs

The save-the-date was drawn in pen-and-ink and had a very simple colour-scheme!

Save the Date

I don’t do typography, but I hand lettered these (I do enjoy hand lettering!).

For the invitation, Jess and Dave knew they wanted the dancing couple from the early sketches, but with a pink and purple colour scheme. I sent two variations, with my favourite at the top (some details removed).

Colours for invitation

There was a slight difference of opinion between the interested parties (more precision was indeed required, as the groom valued colouring between the lines and blue jeans), so when my cousins visited in January, we sat down and finalised the invitation below (some details removed):

Wedding invitation

It may also make appearances on other wedding accessories, but those are yet to appear…

Edit 6 April 2013: The linework from the invitation was printed on the stubby coolers for the wedding.

A Wedding Invitation

Wedding invitation

(View it larger here)

This is my illustration for the invitation to the wedding of the lovely Nicky Strickland and the slightly more elusive Damon Cavalchini. The commission was quite simple: lighthouse, mermaid, two Daleks and a Firefly reference. I drew it in pen and ink and coloured it on the (old!) computer – the colours are quite flat since it was to be printed on textured paper.

Here are the original thumbnail sketches (with bonus thumbnail!) if such things amuse you:

Illustration Friday: Bicycle

Illustration Friday: Bicycle

Since the royal wedding is all-pervading.

In other news: Why yes, I am going to watch the wedding, with (I am promised) trifle and our own running commentary since certain satirical coverages have been cancelled. My computer has been troublesome and the man at the store (for whom it worked perfectly) was astonished at its age (I am given to understand it now has retro chic). I stalked an old French man at the Borders closing sale until he admitted he was not buying the book I wanted – “It is just – the ’20s, I love them… but – too late!” he said, and I answered, “Cheer up, we’re almost there again.” I did let him finish looking through the book. I am not completely heartless. The rain and the flood commission continue. My sister brought some spot-on-CWA-perfect coconut cake home from work. I also have a picture of an echidna on an exercise bicycle but must reserve it for the opportune moment.

Kashelle’s Wedding

Kashelle's hands

Kashelle and Andrew were married early in July, and it was a lovely wedding. Everyone involved was from church or family or friends. The MC was our current pastor, the officiant was the pastor when the couple met as well as the groom’s godfather, the music was provided by very musical friends and members of the Queensland Orchestra. The bride’s sisters did henna tattoos on her hands, friends did the flower arrangements, the mothers of home schooling families decorated the hall and everyone brought food which was more than adequate for 300+ guests. It was one of the loveliest, most relaxed, least insanely-expensive weddings I’ve been to, as well as being something of a reunion of people from the most unlikely places.

I’ve made the Flickr set with the original sketches for the invitations public. You can see now why I put this background on the invitation:


A digitally altered marker sketch for the order of service:


And something lighthearted for the thank yous:


The invitation isn’t in this shot because it is still somewhere in one of the boxes in my bedroom:


The bride and groom:

Kashelle & Andrew

And on the back of the thank you cards is a sketch I made in church: