Invitations to celebrate
Nowadays, weddings are as much about celebration and tradition as they are about a couple's personal tastes and style. So, for the first point of official contact to guests, many brides- and grooms-to-be are picking out wedding invitations that inform and wow.
'A unique and stylish wedding invitation sets the tone for your big day,' says custom-made invitation designer Kalo Chu, of Kalo Art (http://kalomakeart.com).
'It can make your guests even more excited about attending your wedding. More importantly, an invitation that truly means something to you and your partner will be a valuable keepsake.'
In 2007, Chu established her wedding stationery and card company after she noticed a lack of custom-made stationers. 'In the past, custom-made design services were not so widely popular and available,' says Chu, who received an award at the First Greater China Illustration Competition in 2010. 'Most couples would walk into a wedding-card company, where they were presented with various design templates. And the only way to personalise their invitation was to 'pick and mix' various elements from these templates.'
In the past three years, Chu has noticed couples are more open to fun and creative designs. Previously, colours such as white and blue on invitations were taboo, as they are associated with Chinese funerals, but today couples are 'more Westernised and accepting of creative' elements.
One of Chu's recent designs was for Dutch couple Carlijn Linscheer and Christiaan Kaptein, who chose the letterpress printing method. By combining the couple's home city of Amsterdam and their present residence in Hong Kong, she juxtaposed the two cities' skylines into a simple and telling blue-and-white wedding invitation. She says: 'They wanted a mixture of something Dutch, clean, classic and traditional, while incorporating Chinese colours and symbols. So, I added the red cherry blossom which represents the springtime of their love.'
Malia Snyder Hoffman, creative director at Studio M (www.studiomhk.com) says her company offers a variety of printing options, including letterpress, die-cutting, embossing and debossing, foil-stamping and offset digital printing.
Hoffman explains letterpress printing involves inserting each piece of paper by hand on to a negative relief plate. 'Letterpress is almost an art form. We use cotton rag paper, so the design gets pressed into it,' she says.
Couples should to allow two weeks for the invitations' design and another fortnight for printing, she says. At some wedding-card firms, a creative director can help couples choose their paper colour, style and highlight a list of events. 'It's important to communicate everything in a wedding invitation, both aesthetically and informatively, like the dinner, accommodation and maps,' Hoffman says. 'You don't want to be sending e-mails out to guests later; you want to put it all out there [on the invitation] and plan accordingly.'