Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day of the Wed 2006, part 2

Elsewhere I've posted about some of the crafty projects we undertook for our wedding. We alerted guests to the fact that our wedding was a bit out of the ordinary from the very beginning with our invitations. The front of each invitation was adorned with art made especially for us by our amazingly talented graphic designer/comic book artist friend Kagan McLeod. That's the picture you see up above. I designed the invitations so they could be printed double-sided onto an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper, and then folded in half. I got all the paper for free from a company who was discontinuing extra card stock-- that meant that our invitations printed onto 4 or 5 different types of paper, but I figured that just made them more unique. I mean, each person just gets one invitation anyway, right? Does it really matter if your Uncle Joe's invitation looks exactly the same as the invitation sent to your high school friend?

I designed the layout myself in Publisher, and then took them to an office supply store when they were having a special on color copies. I did have to purchase the envelopes, but in the end each invitation cost me 50 cents to create. (40 cents for the copying, 10 cents for the envelope.) And they were light enough that we didn't have to worry about paying extra postage. Rather than a reply card, I asked people to call or e-mail their RSVP. FYI (because I looked it up just to make sure), this is proper wedding etiquette.

I figured that the skeletons on the invitation might really freak out some of our elderly and more conservative relatives, and perhaps just confuse others. So I included an explanation of the "theme" of the wedding:

El Dia de los Muertos
(or Why are there skeletons on the invitation?)

Our wedding is loosely themed around the holidays surrounding it: Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos. While most of you are familiar with the costumes and other traditions surrounding Halloween, we imagine that El Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, is new to some of you. It is a Mexican holiday celebrated the first week of November throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States. During The Day of the Dead, families remember those they have lost and celebrate the continuity of life. Great feasts are prepared and altars built and decorated to honor dead friends and relatives. The altars are decorated with marigolds, a special type of bread, and sugar skulls.

Images of a skeletal bride and groom are common during The Day of the Dead celebrations; this happy couple continues to rejoice in their bond even after they have left the physical world behind. As we proclaim our commitment to love and honor each other on our wedding day, we hope that you can enjoy our slightly macabre decorations in the spirit in which they are intended, as festive and fun for everyone, and standing against the idea that death and loss can undo the bonds that keep us together.
People seemed to really enjoy the invitations-- one person misplaced hers and actually asked me for another copy because she liked it so much! And the coolest thing was that Kagan gave us the original drawing as a wedding present.

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