I made these for my wedding this past August in Brooklyn, NY. These include over 160 hand-made cloth books which were mailed in boxes as invitations, a retro save-the-date postcard featuring self-timed photographs, surprise tissue programs, a hand painted ketubah, and more. I designed each piece myself and assembled everything with the help of my now, husband Eddie as well as other family members.

Each invitation consists of a hardbound book, with a white book cloth exterior, magenta flocked interior and milkweed speckled cover stock. Each of the 160 books was completely made by hand, including the design, printing, and binding. My husband and I trimmed all of the papers and book boards and adhered them with PVA glue. After we finished making the shells (an effort that took around 4.5 months), we adhered the interior pages.

The RSVP page had a fuchsia envelope, custom card with a thought bubble for writing the bride and groom a note, and a handcrafted label. It was enclosed with 4 black photo corners. When removed from the book, there was a surprise message to be found on the page. For directions, I adhered a black half moon enclosure with a folded parchment map inside. A simple “Pull Me” instructed guests to pull out the paper to see the hand illustrated map.

The imagery inside the book was inspired by old Victorian botanic encyclopedias. As the wedding was at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I wanted the design to reflect the illustrations. The final page has a silhouette of the bride, groom and their dog Chum Chum. The books were tied with a black silk ribbon and of course handmade stickers of an old Dahlia that was designed to match the books’ colors: black, fuchsia and the cream of the paper. The book was placed in a cream box with fuchsia tissue paper, then wrapped in brown paper and another custom label. Even the stamp was custom made–a photo of us at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in front of the Cherry Blossom Trees in full bloom, holding a sign that said “Look Inside.”

For our Save the Date we shot 3 photos to give our vertical jumbo postcard an ‘old time’ feel. In each photo we held real signs with Victorian style type. The first photo was taken at Coney Island in Brooklyn. The second on the Brooklyn Bridge (Chum Chum is in the basket!) and the third is on a row boat at the Central Park boathouse. The website was designed to match the Save-the-Date and printed invitation. In addition, when it came time to send out thank you notes, we mailed out cards with the same sign, this time saying “Grazie” as we honeymooned in Florence, Italy.

Other pieces included flower pot favors that also acted as seating cards, table number cards (all having different antique flower illustrations), a hand painted ketubah, hand-trimmed and designed circular menus, and ceremony programs–each program had a different cover and in the inside there was a small pink envelope that enclosed an “H” monogrammed tissue for “happy tears.” In addition all of the materials for gift bags were designed and handmade. My mother decorated all of the yarmulkes by hand.

I created a PDF book to show how I made the invitations (click each image to enlarge)

Ms Polka Dot says: We were blown away when Shana sent this to us! The thought and planning, the care and the effort that went into creating just the right feel for these invitations, thank you cards and everything in between, is just astounding in its creativity. Click on the images, pour over them and enjoy them as we did! Thank you so much Shana for sending them to us and congratulations on your wedding to Eddie!