James + Amanda’s Vintage-Inspired Italian Wedding Invitations

Erika from Erika Ebert Press just sent me this gorgeous invitation suite, inspired by the wedding’s location in Venice, Italy!  Erika sent over a bunch of information about the design, so without further ado, here’s Erika!

These invitations were printed for a wonderful young couple getting married in the bride’s parents’ hometown of Concordia Sagittaria in Italy, located approximately 30 minutes outside of Venice.  Their reception will take place in the Grand Ballroom of the historic Hotel Monaco in Venice (a building that dates from the 17th century!):

Picture 1

I was so excited to work on a project like this – I have been to Italy several times and Venice is one of my most favorite places in the world!  When I take on a new project, I do a ton of research to come up with sufficient imagery to use as inspiration.  This is perhaps my favorite part of the design process – it’s how I continue my education.  When I send mock-ups to my clients, I write to them about the obvious details, like ink colors and sizes, and then I tell them why I
chose these elements, what they mean, and how they pertain to the event.


For this Venetian-inspired invitation suite, I used symbols such as The St. Mark’s winged lion and the 8 pointed star all within a classic frame decorated with a traditional Renaissance swag.



The invitation has a folded layout, like a book, with Italian on one side and English on the other.  The invitation is enveloped by a piece of printed cream vellum with the words Si Sposano – which means “The Wedding” in Italian.  The ink colors are Venetian red and silver grey, printed on ecru paper.


The most important element for the bride and groom was that their invites include an image of The St. Mark’s Lion.  The lion is a symbol of Venice (is pictured on the flag of Venice) and is one of the most well known sculptures in Italy.  He can be found nestled on the front of St. Mark’s Cathedral, and also right in the piazza at the top of the column.


The second most important thing to the bride and groom was that the invitation have both Italian and English text side by side.  Not on a vellum overlay, not one underneath the other – but side by side – giving equal importance to both.


Erika also provided some valuable insights into the challenges of the printing process:
Because of the desire for simultaneous English and Italian text, producing the invitations turned out to be a bit of a challenge.  My Chandler & Price floor model platen press dating from the 1930’s can only print an area of roughly 6 x 9 inches.  After going through a couple of rounds of designs, we settled on a folded design with measurements of 8.25″ H x 11″ W.  This means that the invitation went through my printing press four times!


Each side twice and it all had to line up in the middle, where I then scored the paper so that it could fold.  Any fellow letterpress printers will understand the “possibilities of madness” that can come with work like this!   But I must say that it went wonderfully, and I am so happy with the end result – and so are the bride and groom!

Aren’t these invitations just gorgeous?  Oh, and getting married in Venice?  So. Jealous.  I’ve got a few more pieces from Erika‘s custom letterpress portfolio to share with you a bit later on, so check back soon!

{all photos via Erika Ebert Press}

Weekly Link Round-Up

Hi Everyone!  Sorry to be a bit late in posting — my husband and I took a quick excursion up to Baltimore on Saturday afternoon before the Decemberists show at Rams Head Live (so good, as always).  But before I get to this week’s round up, I just want to say a huge “thank you!” to Holly from decor8 for linking to my blog this week.  Decor8 is one of my hands-down favorite blogs and I’m honored just even to have been mentioned.  And to any of you visiting my site from decor8, welcome!

So, now onto the weekly round-up:

That’s it for this week! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend so far, and I’ll be back on Monday with more lovely paper goods — as well as an exclusive discount that I can’t wait to share with all of you!