Sam & Hannah’s pop-out map wedding invitation

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

Early last summer I was approached by a couple to design invitations for their upcoming wedding in France. It’s always lovely to design for a wedding that’s happening abroad. Different history, culture, colours and even smells to draw inspiration from. My brain immediately started whirring.

For me the wedding design process always looks something like this: I get a commission and even before we’ve had our first meeting, I’m concocting ideas. I meet with the couple to get to know them a bit better and get a feel for what they’re dreaming up for their big day, and from there I’ll head off to furiously scribble and sketch my ideas: usually, one elaborate, ambitious and slightly leftfield proposal and another straighter one.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

And then, I hold my breath. Of course, I’d be equally happy if either came to fruition – but I’m  always secretly hoping the wackier idea will be the one (even though I know it would be much more work). Due to budgets, time etc we normally end up doing either the slightly safer idea or a pared down version of the ambitious one… That’s until I met Hannah.

Open to any crazy idea, happy to spend time to find the suppliers to make it happen, and probably more of a dreamer than me – we were a team made in heaven!

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

Hannah and Sam’s wedding was to be held in the gorgeous Chateau de Camon, a monastery in the village of Camon in the southern department of Ariege. Dating from the 10th century, the monastery has been converted into a boutique hotel.

Different parts of the day would unfold in different parts of the monastery, with guests dining in the cloisters, relaxing in secret gardens and wandering through medieval corridors. Lots of subtle French details were to be weaved in throughout the day, from French lavender and elaborate croquembouche cake to the amazing Blanquette de Limoux bubbly – first produced by the monks of the St Hilaire region a full century and a half before the champagne region was to corner this particular market.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

I settled on the idea of creating an invitation that had to be discovered in some way – something that unfolds and reveals its hidden secrets, much like the ancient monastery would be doing throughout this special day.

We started working on the concept of having a pop-out map invitation that would present each of the guests with an infographic clock setting out the events of the day, and interwoven with tit-bits of information about the venue.

The first challenge was to create a fold that would allow us to show a self-contained design when closed but, as it was opened, for this to form part of a greater whole. Part of the difficulty here was in finding a printer who could not only create this vision, but was also able to print white ink on kraft – the format I was married to.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

It certainly helped that Hannah’s dad works in the print industry and he was able to put us in contact with Richard from Pressision Creative Print & Finishing. They proved amazing – open to all our crazy ideas, extremely helpful and patient. Without Richard’s help, this invitation would never have seen the light of day.

Next up, gathering the information. Working closely with Chateau de Camon’s owner, Katie, a source of so many interesting facts about the monastery’s history, I set about mapping out the events of the day and then filling in the colour.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

One of Europe’s oldest magnolia trees has pride of place in the courtyard where the pre-ceremony refreshments would be served, and this became the starting point of the design. All the other intricately planned details of the day – plus the were displayed, clockwise, from this point, with the eye led around the “map of the day” by a dotted path. Hannah and Sam wanted to include an illustration of the venue itself, with the glorious Pyrenees in the background. This worked as a striking centre point of the design with the rest of the information orbiting around it.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

The back of the invitation shows a map of the area, providing practical guidance for guests as well as a sense of the wider region. The roads flow to the four corners of the invitation, ending in abstract leaf-covered lines. Once the invitation is folded with the four quadrants together, these lines create a monogram of the bride and groom’s names.

When guests received their invitations this was the first thing they saw; only when they unfolded the card did they discover all the bits of information and history hidden inside.

We decided to use a similar principle with the order of service, but instead used a simple gate-fold to achieve the same effect.

All in all, this was probably one of my most ambitious, challenging and rewarding designs to date, and I was delighted with the end result. I hope you like it too.

Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation
Gal and Fellow Eleen Craig Kraft Wedding Stationery White Ink Pop Out Map Invitation

Wedding Photography: Andreas Holm  |  Venue: Chateau Camon  |  Bride’s Dress: Monique Lhullier at Browns Bride  |  Groom’s Suit: Paul Smith  |  Make Up: Sarah Rees  |  Florist: Gali M Atelier Fleuriste  |  Wedding Rings: Lila, East Dulwich