It’s the post we’ve all been waiting for.

(Okay, we were pretty excited about the The Dress) but when it comes to our real bride, wedding stationery whizz-kid, and self-confessed paper porn addict, Gemma, (check out her handiwork, she’s pretty terrific) the wedding invitations were always going to be the copper crowning glory on her glittery affair.

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The first look at Gemma and Tom’s copper calligraphy

Ever since we had an inkling of the tree-felling, hand-pressing delights that would ensue, back when Gemma shared her moodbood with us, we’ve been utterly excited to see the finished pretty paper product.

And so as her guests waited with bated breath by their actual mailboxes, we waited by our virtual one, and as the pictures pinged in, boy did these little beauties deliver.

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 I designed a map of the area, which was printed on paper made from beer particles and letterpressed in navy ink

Copper, cotton, hand-pressed, veneer hearts, blind debossing and um, beer particles… perhaps not ALL words we associate with cards and envelopes, but for one wily stationery designer and her just-as-paper-mad beau, Tom, it was just another (very special, very exciting) day at the office…

April 30th 2014: 1 month and 22 days until the big day…

Number of trees felled in the name of pretty wedding invitations: oh, one or two… 

Currently obsessing about: copper foil and 100% cotton paper 

Now it won’t come as a surprise to you that one of THE most exciting parts of planning our wedding was designing our wedding stationery. 

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Our blind-embossed, copper foiled beauties, just finished!

Finally…it was me who was cooing over gorgeous papers, folding techniques and copper foils FOR MY OWN WEDDING! Oh the utter joy of it.

After the lovely feedback we got from our Save the Dates, I think people were expecting something spectacular from the invitations themselves.

The pressure!

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The Wonderous Foiling Machine

So with that in mind, we set about fashioning our own paper using actual silk worms, and hot­foiled each and every invitation by hand…

Well that’s not technically true…apart from the hand­foiling bit, which my wonderous printer Lisa will testify too (and which I’m sure has done both of our backs in!)

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 Our origami-fold maps, which gave Lisa our printer a slight headache!

The process of designing our wedding invitations started with a moodboard (see Diary Entry #2 ­The Inspiration), a rainy Sunday afternoon in January and lots of coffee. 

Armed with said moodboard, my Foil Co books and a mountain of GF Smith paper samples, we began to scribble down ideas and slowly our wedding invitations started taking shape.

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Our wedding logo

It was all a pretty natural process as luckily, we both seem to have a similar taste in graphic design and obsession with interesting print finishes.

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 Blind-debossed custom designed floral pattern…by me! It features the flowers we’re having at our wedding.

We also wanted every detail to be carefully considered and to reflect us as a couple,­ from paper that was made with beer particles (Tom co-­runs a small craft brewing company so it was a nice touch) to the copper ink used to letterpress my calligraphy and which matched the foil on our Save the Dates.

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  Our Save the Date and Invitation

As I spend most of my days drooling over paper samples anyway, this part of the process was just the most fun!

And so it was that we decided on a blind-debossed, copper foiled invitation, on 638gsm 100% cotton stock *swoon*.

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Our guest information booklets with copper letterpress hand lettering

Our guest information booklets were little concertina ­fold affairs, with copper letterpress and a tear­off RSVP card. 

We also included a map which was letterpressed in navy ink onto paper containing beer particles (yup!), with our wedding logo foiled in copper onto the reverse.

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The wonderful Lisa of Letterpress Design, setting up the Heidelberg ready for letter pressing.

To finish things off, my lovely Dad spend one sunny Sunday afternoon letterpressing around 70 return envelopes by hand (which he will probably never let me forget!) which meant that for the month that followed, we were greeted every morning by a bundle of pretty blush coloured envelopes cascading through our letterbox with the copper ink glinting in the sun (or something like that…).

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Our calligraphy RSVP

Pure and utter bliss for someone as stationery­ obsessed as me (and yes, I will admit that I did include beautiful RSVP envelopes for precisely this reason!). It’s the simple things… 

The icing on the cake were our navy blue GF Smith Colorplan envelopes which I hand addressed in copper calligraphy and sealed with a wood veneer heart­-shaped sticker (thank you Tom for die cutting them all!).

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Our guest information booklets, hot off the press.

I am still reeling from the hand­cramp that ensued but it was worth it! 

I have to say that to me, our wedding stationery was pure, unadulterated paper porn. 

Well, if a wedding stationery designer can’t go 100% over the top with her own wedding stationery, then who can?gemma-milly-wedding-stationery6

Our full wedding stationery suite – copper foiling, de-bossing, letterpress heaven!

Um. Wow. We’re actually a little bit speechless.

Wow.

They are just so beautiful. We knew Gemma was one talented dame, but she and Tom have excelled themselves with these stunners, they’re just gorgeous.

I love how much thought and skill went into every single little element, from the beer particles and the wedding flowers, to the foiling, debossing and pressing. And that map – wouldn’t you just have to frame it if it came through your letterbox?

Well Gemma and Toms’s big day is getting close now (eeek!) and Gemma’s next post will be all about… the edibles! As usual, we can expect to be enthralled, amused, and possibly a little bit hungry afterwards.

And if you simply cannot wait until then to catch up with Gemma Milly, follow her daily musings on Twitter,FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

And why not share your musings on her gorgeous invitations below in the comments, she (and we!) would love to hear from you!

And for more pretty paper, see more of Gemma’s copper delights + invitation inspiration on Pinterest

All photos and invitations: Gemma Milly