We know picking your theme and look for your wedding stationery can be a tricky endeavor. The “save the date” and your wedding invitations are the first thing your guests receive about your wedding, and generally, you want to convey the vibe and feel of your day to them. If you’re having trouble finding something pre-designed that really speaks to you, why not try working with an illustrator to create your perfect nature-inspired wedding stationery? Elizabeth from ELK Prints sheds some light on how her beautiful designs are achieved!
As an artist, I have been most strongly drawn towards nature when designing. The array of beautiful colours and textures and shapes to be found are a wonderful source of inspiration. The natural world is also full of such a rich diversity of plant species – just as we as humans are a rich and diverse bunch with our own unique personalities, backgrounds, and stories.
Natural inspiration comes in many different forms. The natural environment is more than just the plants and animals that fill its spaces – the geography of a place is also deeply significant to us. The places where we call home, the places where we have visited, the places where we have experienced the emotional highs and lows of our life. All of these places have a certain feel about them that comes from the rise and fall of the landscape, the kind of rocks that form the terrain, the vistas, and viewpoints that are opened up when you stand in that place.
The geography of a place often has the power to conjure up memories and stir the heart. Certain landscapes will form the backdrop to the significant moments of our lives holds a special resonance with us.
The place that we choose to get married will always become one such place in our hearts. The memories you create on your wedding day will forever be intrinsically linked with that location. Every time I cross the ferry at Berowra Waters I look up the river, I cannot see it from the ferry but I know it is there, tucked behind the bend in the landscape; the inn where I was married over ten years ago. I feel the rush of emotions from that day wash over me and I know that a piece of me will be forever linked to this place.
For Laura and Adam, the illustrations of different spots around their country-wedding venue were filled with floral details and string lighting across the trees and marquees to set the scene for a little magic to come. A wedding is seldom just about the exchange of vows, it usually encompasses the reception afterward and for some couples, it may also be the scene of their first night away followed by breakfast as a married couple. A farm-style wedding that maximises the use of different locations within one place suits well an invitation done in the quad-fold or tri-fold style. Each scene or moment of the event unfurls across the pages as you let guests know your plans and invite them to join in the excitement.
Illustration: Laura and Adam
I have worked with two couples recently who both were married at Seacliff House in Gerringong. When meeting to discuss their invitation designs both couples reflected on the beauty of the landscape. They were drawn to choose that place for its rolling green hills and the outlook to a corner of the blue ocean. Sarah and Jason in particular were keen to capture that exact feeling and viewpoint when inviting their guests so for the initial Save the Date card sent out I painted the rolling green hills that they had been so attracted by.
Illustration: Save the Date for Jason and Sarah’s Seacliff Wedding at Gerringong
Illustration: Lauren and Stuart
The language of flowers has long been associated with romance. Flowers too are a natural choice when designing an invitation as they convey that romantic atmosphere. With such a large variety of blooms to be inspired by they can also be another opportunity to showcase your individual style and interests. Flowers are also a good way to hint to guests what the colour palette of the day might be, whether to expect something dramatic or something classic or something more relaxed in style.
Jess and Atticus’s wedding invitation featured a magnificent floral envelope liner. Dramatic colours of red and rusty orange popped out against the deep emerald and sapphire blue tones of the greenery and writing. For a relationship sparked by some old-fashioned romantic letter-writing correspondence, the romance of roses was a perfect fit.
Illustration: Jess and Atticus Floral Envelopes
The natural cycle of flowers can also be a source of inspiration for an invitation suite. For Natalie and Rob’s wedding invitation suite the stages of a protea flowering unfold through the stages of communication with the guests. The bud of the flower was used for the Save the Date Card, the flower opening out for the Wedding before the final fully bloomed flower is presented on the Thank You cards.
Illustration: Natalie and Rob
Whilst most people do tend to choose a certain set of flowers or plants to represent their story, fauna, is equally valid as a form of inspiration for your wedding day. For my own wedding invitation, a pair of ducks swimming beneath the willow branches was the illustration I chose to represent my own love story. Ducks had long been a significant omen of good luck in my family, as spotting ducks swimming on a happy family holiday became a thing. The willow tree meanwhile was one we had wallowed together beneath on our first weekend away as a couple.
For Zahra and Arash the bulbul, or nightingale, was a classic Persian motif of love and marriage. A pair of these love-birds became the central feature for their invitation design, surrounded by roses and other native Persian flora. As it was a custom illustration I was also able to shape these birds also into reflections of the Termeh symbol that also held a deep personal connection for the couple to their Persian heritage. As an illustrator I also loved the opportunity to delve deeper into understanding their culture through the exploration of its fauna and flora – I never realised until I had to draw it how pretty the flowers of the pistachio tree are for instance.
Illustration: Zahra and Arash
Our experience of nature is also very individual. Our favourite flowers will differ from someone else’s favourite flowers, just as the places that are important to us are never the same. The custom illustration process is a perfect way to reflect your own individual experience of nature, to celebrate your story through the lens of nature in your own way. As an illustrator, I am able to capture that moment or experience of nature onto the page for you to share with your guests.
About ELK Prints & Design: ELK Prints is a bespoke design and watercolour illustration studio that will help you tell your unique story from invitation suites through to event decor for the wedding day itself.