One year ago yesterday we pronounced ourselves husband and wife for the second time. What better moment to start a journey back to the preparation of that magical day? Rather than just showing you some random pictures from the wedding day, I’d like to share how it came to life.
Let’s start by the begining. After we came back to France in 2010 we started talking on and off about this wedding. The theme we would use to decorate the reception room was chosen without much difficutly early on: autumn! We both love that season, and the beautiful autumn trees (and nice weather) that we had in Japan made our love stronger. The first wedding was in March, we decided it would be nice to have the second one in September. That way it would be in autumn, and we would have two anniversaries 6 months appart. With time the themed got more precise, evolving into a kind of slightly enchanted autumn forest. In theory, M. Robots really wanted that wedding to happen, but in real like he was quite scared of organizing such a big event. Months went by… Then in June 2011 one of my best friend got married. It was a wonderful ceremony, full of emotion, and it got me going. I realized I really wanted that wedding, and I wanted it as we imagined it now, not as we would do it in 5 or 10 years. M. Robots got no other choice than forget his worries, and we started looking for a venue. In the end fate had us get married in March again, because of one of our witnesses (kind of a maid/man of honnor?) lives in the US and we had to do with her schedule, plus deal with the availability and price of the venues. People were therefore quite surprised by our theme (“Autumn in Sring?!”), but we didn’t see why we should change our plans just because it wasn’t the present season. ^^
We decided to do as much as we could by ourselves, so as to cut down on costs (the official reason) and because it was more fun (my own personnal reason ^_^). That included the paper stuff. I’m no designer but since I was a little girl I liked drawing, so I was happy to have an excuse to get back to it. Save the Date are not very common in France yet, you usually tell people about your wedding over the phone or by email first, and then a few months in advance when everything is settled you only send an invitation with all the details (which, funnily, is called a “Faire-part”, which would be closer in meaning to “save the date” than to “invitation” ^^; ). Since I started reading things on the Internet to prepare the wedding I discovered the concept of the save the date, and I loved it and decided we would have one. It’s way nicer to tell people about your wedding that way! Once we got the venue booked I got to work, but had a hard time deciding what it should look like: include some sort of mini us or not, what to show of our lifes, tastes, of who we are, what we do… Plus it had to be inside the limits of what I could actually draw. At the begining of September I got a design inspiration that I shared with my husband, who liked it and thought it should be our basis.
There were too many living creatures on this first version. They were things we like, but they made the design look too much like a mix of pop-culture references and less personal. We decided to remove them and keep only the nature/decor elements, that would create the feeling we wanted to convey and be more neutral so as to let the Save the Date be about us.
After the final version was mostly done on paper I scanned it to add colors on my computer. Since we both studied computer science it made sense for us to send all the paper things by email (except for the grand-parents who don’t use the Internet much). It was a hard work for me since I’m far from being a master in computer illustration, but I managed to get something we quite liked, even if it’s not perfect. Our forest being a little bit of a magical place, it also contains shells (as M. Robots grew up by the sea). And you can see that in the end I kept a small white Totoro because it injected a quiet little bit of life that blended well with the rest of the design. Some people recognized it for what it was, others didn’t know about it but still guessed it was a forest spirit/creature, and others still thought it was a kind of a rabbit. It was funny.
Then we had to work on the text itself. At first when we started organising the wedding I was thinking about it as an event that only concerned us as a couple. It was our marriage, our big day. I didn’t think much about what it could mean to our parents. And then I came to realise that it was a big deal to them also. After all, it’s not everyday that you children get married! Even if it’s not their day, some of them wanted to help, to take part in the making of this thing that was so important to us. That made me revise my thinking and try to find ways they would feel included and could help if they wanted. That also included the invitations texts, even if I didn’t want the traditional thing (“Mr and Ms XXX are happy to announce the wedding of their children” sounded too far from who we are and what this wedding was). I think that the event being a second wedding in a not so common situation, and us being older than the first time, gave us more freedom and imagination and the will to express who we really are. I had thought of adding nice books to the table decor because they’re pretty and we both love books, and it added a whimsical/fairytale feel that would be perfect for our strange little forest. Since my husband’s mother and my grand mother are/were working in public libraries, I got the idea one evening of writing the Save the Date as a kind of book release announcement. M. Robot really liked it, and most of those whose advice we asked in advance were enthousiastic too. In the end it gave us the following:
It reads like this (I removed the real names and locations):
“Hear ye! Hear ye!
My-family-name and his-family-name publishing are introducing…
Lholy & Mr Robots
The wedding ~ part 2
On Saturday March 31, 2012
To be followed in the invitations…”
So here is how our personalized Save the date was born. People responded really warmly to it, which was nice. It eventualy inspired all the other paperware, which you’ll discover later. In the next installment I’ll start talking about my outfit.