Beth & Paul wedding invitation

From the moment he proposed I knew that I wanted to make our wedding cosy, handmade, special. And one of the most exciting parts of that for me – a paper lover and stationery addict – was the design of the wedding invitations.

We have opted for a very tiny wedding – only around 35 people – which is hard in one way (as we’d love to have all our friends there) but perfect in another – because it can be intimate and friendly, and because we can enjoy spending time with everyone there. And having just a few guests leaves room for more unusual invitations, and more time to spend on each. Although I wasn’t quite expecting it to take me two months…!

Adventure is a massive part of the life my man and I share, and it was one of our years for 2012 when we got engaged (in the middle of a big adventure in Japan), so it seemed appropriate to use that as inspiration for the invitations. In the end we decided to make each one a message in a bottle, with the invitation wrapped up inside the glass.

The invitations can be pulled out of the bottles using string with a key attached – a key which looks medieval, like the building where we will get married later this year. I made the invitations using paper I made myself at the Awagami paper factory in rural Japan.

The front of the invite itself is an illustration that I commissioned from talented designer Libby McMullin, using one of my favourite quotes: “In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities”. I hope we continue to believe that every day of our married lives.

Wrapped around each bottle was a mini paper book, hand stitched, containing details of the day’s logistics. The cover of this book was a piece of exquisite paper from my favourite paper shop in Paris.

I loved every moment of making them, and never stopped to think that the RSVPs might also be made with care.

Here is the one my parents sent back to us – a gorgeous tiny envelope reply tied with ribbon inside a delicate bird cage. What a precious gift.

Ahhh weddings are so special…


Are you married? What were your invitations like? What did they mean to you?