Engagement Invitation DIY

Joseph hand crafitng an engagement invite
Punching a hole, and hammering in the golden rivet

My good friends James & Ruby are getting engaged in Feb 2010, I took great pleasure in designing their engagement party invitation.  The invitation needs to be special with a personal touch, and we want it to be different to the generic cards you buy at the shop. Since only 50 cards are required, each card is hand crafted to the best of our ability; it has been a team effort, and we have had great fun in the making!

The Planning

The venue is set in Taiwan, so we decided to make the invitation ‘portrait’ orientation, to reflect the ‘Chinese Painting Style’. To begin with, I asked James if he has a photo that is suitable, and he picked a nice one, as you can see below. The stone sculpture in the middle, the old dude with long beard, is a respected heavenly figure in the Chinese culture, known as ‘the wise man under the moon’ (月下老人), that guards the book of marriage.

The cover of the invite is printed using Konica photo lab @ 6″ x 4″, at only $4 Taiwan dollars per print, this is a very economical and effective way of producing high quality prints. The height of the invitation is worked around the max height of the 6″ x 4″  (152mm), and the width of the invitation is set at 88mm; ‘eight’ is a lucky number in the Chinese culture, eight in Mandarin sounds like ‘Ba’, and has the same phonetic sound as ‘prosperous’

Choosing Materials

The main page is printed on a 6″ x 4″ glossy photo paper. The inside pages with text are printed on handmade textured paper. A piece of tracing paper is used as the invitation cover to enhance the presentation.

The Design

Engagement Invitation Front Cover

The design is made simple and elegant, the red line at the top symbolizes the red thread/ribbon that connects two people, it runs throughout the internal pages. The first 2 characters ‘敬邀’  means ‘to respectfully invite’, and the red box design below is made of 2 identical Chinese characters ‘喜’ , meaning ‘happiness’ that joins together to symbolize the joining of two people in happiness.

The script type ‘Our Happy Day‘ is set in ‘Vivaldi’ in gold.

The internal pages are laser printed on handmade paper, carefully trimmed and bound at the top right hand corner with a golden rivet; a hand tied Chinese knot is looped through the rivet to complete the design. Hammering in the rivet was fun.

Inside pages are formal texts in Chinese, which reads from top to down, and from right to left, and the back page simply contains a map of the venue.

It was a team effort to get the mission accomplished, it is not about making a perfect design and workmanship, but to make something that is unique, and most importantly a chance for everyone to be involved!

I wish James and Ruby all the happiness, and have a great engagement in Tai-Chong Taiwan!