Hello! A blizzard is coming! Let's cozy up with indoor activities and enjoy the hibernation. Here is a recap of some of my bridal commissions of the 2015 Christmas gifting season! Above is a bride and groom sketch, commissioned by their bridesmaids. They used this for their thank you stationery after their early December wedding.
Next we have Katie and Kent. Picture perfect, aren't they? I love how her dress and hair and makeup are all clean lines and restrained elegance and then her bouquet is wild and oversized. This again was a gift from their bridesmaids. Bridesmaids are the best.
This is a favorite of mine. Cody, the groom, commissioned this from me prior to their spring wedding. (ok so technically this isn't a christmas commission... it just took me six months to get this done. Sorry Cody...) Cody asked me to create an "i owe you" for Katie to open on their wedding weekend explaining to her that once the wedding was behind them and the pictures were ready, he had arranged for me to paint the above piece.
Awwww sigggghhhhhh... grooms can also be the best. Here's the cute note he had me create for her to read at the wedding:
So many husband points and he's just getting started!!!
Here's another, commissioned for the bride by one of her best friends. Little known fact: said friend was one of my bridal paintings from a few years ago, which was commissioned by her mother. I love this cycle of paying it forward that I see in my commission work. It creates a wonderful thread, woman to woman of giving and celebrating one another's milestones.
Here's a more relaxed, casual composition to remind us that weddings are about family, not just about the day in your life when you wear the most expensive clothes ever.
Another casual composition for you. This captures the pure joy of the proposal, painted from a picture snapped of the couple celebrating with champagne on a windy golf course where the groom asked the bride to marry him. I love the way just-engaged people smile. It's a smile you don't see to many other times in your life mirrored on two faces simultaneously.
Here's one for fans of New York City Christmas Love. (who isn't a fan of that?!) Washington Square arch, the tree, he's down on one knee... love!
Andrew asked me to paint this scene from his proposal last Christmas as a gift for his bride this Christmas. He's got this whole Christmas gift thing on lock, I'd say.
Here's a gift from the bride's sister to the bride. Notice that her dress is very subtly pink and the headpiece being awesome.
SISTERS! One of the most fun parts of a wedding is the sister bonding, this piece captures that joy.
Flower Crown! There's a flower crown! Are we excited?!
I loved the bohemian, carefree dress and bright flowers in this one. This was a gift from best friend to Bride.
Ahhh this one. This has to be my favorite. Mainly because I was at the wedding and standing right here for this moment so it was easy to recall how much love was in the air. Maybe I should start insisting that I am invited to every wedding I have to paint from... wedding crashers, artist style.
Well that about sums it up.
Let's end with the above family portrait. Look at that little guy! The little linen shirt and the baby-sized leather man-bracelet. Baby goals.
Let this serve as a not-so-subtle reminder that first comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes commissioning me to create you with your baby carriage!
Hello! Are you a bride? And are you wondering how it works if you want to work with me?
Well, here is the whole process spelled out for you through the story of this lovely couple...
Meet Kelly of Winifred Paper's and my imaginary friends Caroline and Andrew! They got engaged last year on a sustainable organic Christmas Tree farm on Christmas Eve, which happens to also be both their birthdays. So naturally, they wanted to have a Christmas Eve wedding. And because they devoted a year to volunteer in disaster relief areas in the third world they just now got around to setting their date for 2016 and asked Kelly and me to come to their aid for all things paper.
We began with the above commissioned illustration. Caroline wrote into my site to inquire about working together approximately 4 to 6 weeks before she needed to send the artwork into production. We talked about how Andrew proposed. She told me all the beautiful little sentimental details and together we arrived at this concept for the composition.
Because Andrew is super supportive and understanding, he agreed to pose with Caroline for a picture posed like the sketch above, recreating the moment for me to work from. Caroline then emailed me this shot with directions to "dress them" in something bridal instead of the outerwear they were actually wearing on the tree farm to add to the romance of the moment, as imagined through the magic of illustration.
Within our four week agreed upon window of time I worked on Caroline's piece and then sent it back over for approval. She loved it so I popped this original painting in the mail to her to frame for Andrew as a surprise on their engagement anniversary.
Next step - we looped in talented designer and paper magician Kelly to begin the design process. Kelly took the high resolution file of my art and worked her magic on a beautiful digital suite of Save The Date proof options for Caroline and Andrew to choose from.
They elected to go with a soft gray for their text and cranberry red painted edges on cotton stock - a theme they then carried throughout all the paper for their wedding.
And for the Save The Date, they added that little extra touch of brilliance with some gold foiled "snowflakes" floating down around the artwork and a custom envelope liner done in some of my seasonally appropriate botanical watercolors - the amaryllis.
Kelly got to work producing the Save The Date's while Caroline and Andrew compiled their list/argued with their parents about whether or not Mrs. Caldwell could invite her ENTIRE tennis team to the rehearsal dinner and wedding.
Nine months before the wedding date, Caroline and Andrew sent out these beautiful cards to give their guests plenty of time to plan to travel to the big event.
Next step, they met with Kelly for a second planning session to design the formal wedding suite. For those of you who do not know yet about the nuances and complexities of the Wedding Suite, let me just say this - it is a concept that is as complicated and open ended as any printed correspondence can possibly be.
If you're wondering why you've met with several different printers or wedding planners or designers and they've all sighed and given you vague explanations about the wedding suite, it is because there is no one right answer to how you should proceed.
The Wedding Suite is riddled with a minefield of opportunities for faux pas as you make decisions like double thick flat card with a beveled painted edge vs. a soft cotton with a fold and deckled edge or to emboss or to engrave, or to emboss AND engrave.
Like I said, it essentially IS rocket science. So, here's what I recommend. Take a cue from Caroline and Andrew and schedule a meeting with us and we'll set you on the path to Wedding Suite Winning.
For this particular suite, Kelly used a single card of heavy stock with the painted edge, which carried over from the Save The Date design, and brought in the same text and ink color. She did a gold foil press of the calligraphed names of the couple, created by the same calligrapher who will ultimately hand-address each guest's envelope.
The main envelope which will contain all the suite components has the sweetest little tiding of joy letter pressed on the exterior "From wedding bells to jingle bells" above their return address. This is the kind of creative genius that you need Kelly for. I mean, come on. How good is that?!
Inside this envelope the guests will find all the components of the suite*
*Some brides elect to have a second Inner Envelope that follows this exterior envelope and contains the remainder of the elements, this adds a level of formality and tradition. But Caroline and Andrew feel strongly about sustainable Tree use and did not want to compromise any more leafy friends in the act of creating their suite.
The interior elements include:
The formal invitation which we just discussed above, the reply card, and the invitation to the wedding reception.
Notice how adorable their reply card is, requesting a reply by Thanksgiving. This couple is all about holidays!
And how beautiful is the petite reception invitation in it's own botanical illustrated envelope.
True to form, this super organized couple popped these bad boys in the mail eight weeks before the big day, giving their guests plenty of time to receive and respond to these elegant invitations.
They walked down the aisle after saying their vows in St. John's Episcopal Church into the soft newly fallen snow as the December dusk settled over a quiet city and embraced one another, their hearts filled with great joy and lived happily ever after, always with a stack of perfectly designed correspondence paper nearby to write notes to their family and friends.
Want to embark upon your wedding journey with the same grace and ease that Caroline and Andrew enjoyed? Here is a list of things you can do to emulate their amazingness by employing Kelly and me:
Well, there you have it you fancy engaged little thing! Now you should be very well educated in the process of our impending collaboration on the most magnificent day of your life. We can't wait to work with you!
PS. Buy the new issue of BRIDES and you can see this project featured!
Last week I shared a glimpse of a wedding invitation on Instagram. Today I thought I'd share a little more detail. Cassie, a beautiful bride planning her upcoming September wedding, commissioned me to create the above botanicals for her invitation design. We focused on the flowers and plants that are being used throughout her wedding. I loved bringing the peachy pinks in and giving these botanicals a distinctly late summer Texan brightness and warmth compared to the cooler springtime tones in my own wedding botanicals.
Cassie worked with her wedding planner, Keely Thorne and her paper designer, Papellerie to create this exquisite suite of paper using my art paired with the work of talented calligrapher Elizabeth Porcher Jones.
The botanicals are printed directly on the reply and reception cards, but then they took it to the next level by printing the florals on the tissue overlay on the wedding invite itself. I love this idea. I wish I could say I thought of it for my own wedding. I wrestled with how to bring my art into my invitation design because I wanted the invite to feel formal and traditional featuring just the calligraphy. We ended up using my art in the envelope lining which was lovely (pictures to come!), but the tissue overlay is pure genius.
And possibly the best part was the stamp... look closely...
Yes! Those are Cassie's family's labs. Aren't they the sweetest things?
Her sweet Cavalier, Mollie had already made an appearance in her Save-The-Date, also illustrated by me. So we figured it was time for the labs to turn into sketches too!
Here's her save the date too by the way, I just realized I never shared it! It is an illustration of her family home where the wedding will take place. Notice Mollie in the front yard...
Please enjoy this sweet little scene of a perfect spring day in NYC while I excuse myself for a casual TWO WEEKS to get married and go to Corsica! Consider this my official Out-Of-Office notice, I am signing out and heading down the aisle!
Meet Erica and Laura, the wedding planners and TWINS behind Wit Weddings, a new event planning firm in the Washington DC area. How fun is that - twin wedding planners... beautiful twin wedding planners!
Erica and Laura met with me over coffee and croissants at my favorite place in DC, the Patisserie Poupon to discuss the concept for the illustrations for their site. How could I say no to a commission that began over a croissant? They had me at hello.
We planned for a muted palate of sketches for their site design to illustrate the beauty of some of the iconic moments that brides and grooms treasure at their weddings. It was so much fun for me to sketch each scene and try to capture the magic of these moments as I look forward to planning them for my own wedding. Here they are! The first kiss....
The champagne toast (which will be extra exciting at my wedding - think champagne saber) .... And of course, the getaway! DC brides - I strongly recommend these twin wedding planner babes if you're on the planner hunt this spring! Planners with this great of taste in illustration for sure have the talent to create an event you will love.
It's almost Valentine's Day, which means that - even better - it's almost Gal-entine's Day! Does anyone know what I'm talking about? You know... from Parks & Rec... Leslie Knope makes all her girlfriends celebrate on February 13th and calls it Gal-entine's Day.
Anyway, I love the idea of Galentine's. After all, who get's excited about flowers and sweets and wearing pink? Girls. Who hates all that stuff? Boys.
So why are we wringing our hands trying to make the men in our lives celebrate a holiday that we're pretty much better at celebrating on our own? Bring on the BFF love! Your BFF will totally appreciate the letterpressed $14 dollar valentine you send her. Your boyfriend would probably use it as a coaster.
You know what else your BFF would love? A custom sketch of the two of you like this one! I created this to help a bride ask her maid of honor to be a part of her wedding. How cute is that?!
I plan to celebrate Galentine's all week and weekend with much emoticon use, red manicures and most importantly, brunch.
Cheers to this gorgeous bride, Caroline, who has planned the most beautiful January wedding to take place this weekend! I created this illustration of her for her bridesmaid brunch invitation.
Congratulations and best wishes and all of that good stuff to you this weekend, Caroline!