In Which We Burst Into Poetry

When we started planning the wedding, we knew we wanted it to be a creative expression of who were are as a couple now, and who we will be as husband and wife. For us, that meant being hands on with all the wedding projects. With the food trucks and overgrown loading dock venue, I wanted to capture the feeling of an outdoor music festival. Thomas and I have an amazing collection of posters from all the shows we’ve been to in Auburn, Opelika, and Waverly and we wanted to make something inspired by those. When our guests open up our wedding invitation, we want to give them the same feeling of excitement and appreciation we get unwrapping a print for the first time.

But, even more than the aesthetic value, we wanted these invitations to communicate something about what marriage means to us. The phrase “At Last” comes from Genesis 2:23, where the Bible begins with a wedding. In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes: “There’s no relationship between human beings that is greater or more important than marriage. In the Bible’s account, God himself officiates the first wedding. And when the man sees the woman, he breaks into poetry and exclaims, ‘At last!’ Everything in the text proclaims that marriage, next to our relationship to God, is the most profound relationship there is.” With each other, we feel like we have found the thing that we were designed to long for, the thing that makes us want to break out in verses of poetry and song and shouts of joy. That’s something worth celebrating.

I really wanted to find a way to make every invitation feel personal and handmade while maintaining the ability to crank out dozens at a time. Although I love handlettering, I knew there was no way I could produce as many as we needed in a realistic time frame.

Luckily, that January, I just started taking a screen printing class through Auburn’s art department. I realized that screen printing offered the perfect solution: each layer of ink is hand-pulled, giving each invitation a handmade feel, but the stenciled screen means you can print as many as you want very quickly. I was able to create two detailed stencil with the lettering and branches. Those two stencils were then exposed on a screen — true to its name, screen printing is done with a very fine silk screen — using a light box and a photosensitive coating. Victoria, a bridesmaid and devoted friend, helped me tear down the paper for eight hours straight (we were allowed two meal breaks). The talented Alex Lazarri helped mix the ink and printed the invites one layer at a time: foliage first, followed by the gold text. In just a few hours, I was holding a bundle of freshly-printed invites in my arms like a newborn baby.

Three months of designing, planning, creating, re-creating, tearing, printing, and multiple trips to the post office resulted in a set of invitations that we were proud to share with our guests. The experience of creating something I love to send to the people that we love really was an incredible one! We hope you like them as much as we do (although we’ll understand if you don’t keep a framed copy of yours by the bedside table like we’re going to).