Divine Invitation Design

Photograph and custom hand-painted watercolor landscape by Michelle Mospens, Mospens Studio.

It's hard to believe (in the best way possible!) that Luke and I will be married at the end of July. In June, the summer is not yet ripe, the days are still at their longest, and the "end of July" usually sounds so distant, so far off. This year, however, with there being such a momentous occasion on the 21st, it feels more like a mere blink away. (And now that we're officially inside the one-month window, it's going to fly...)

We wanted our invitations to be something personal and beautiful, unique yet timeless. But at first we weren't sure what that meant. I stumbled upon watercolor illustrator Michelle Mospens on Instagram and it didn't take long before I decided she was the one. My heart melts for watercolor, and once I caught a glimpse of the hand-painted invitations on her website I was completely sold.

I must admit Luke was a little hesitant at first. He couldn't see what I saw, the then-imaginary painting of our celebration site and my childhood home that I had illustrated in my head in Michelle's style. He had never seen anything like it and was leaning toward the ordinary. I promised him it would be gorgeous, elegantly simple, classic, and timeless. And we went for it. 

After searching high and low for the photo I recalled from years ago, I was unable to find it and headed into a near panic at the thought of not having the ability to provide Michelle my vision. My mind raced leading me to some drone footage from last summer; I sent her a few screen grabs and let her choose the best shot. I was lucky in this instance, as the photo engrained in my memory is not nearly as breathtaking as those I sent her. The colorful shot of my mom's beautiful garden was missing, but I believe there was some divinity in its absence and the drone shots' presence. (Weird coincidence: the images I sent were taken on the same date as our wedding!) 

Michelle and I exchanged several emails before I purchased a suite, and in each one she was so politely determined to please and get every element right, receptive to my requests to alter the photo slightly (i.e., remove the drone operator: yours truly), and professional, creative, talented, and detail-oriented, my feel-good fuzzies were only amplified. I asked lots of questions and she never tired of them. She gave us a quote, provided specific instructions for how to place a custom order, and went straight to work.

{Press play!} Michelle Mospens of Mospens Studio paints detail on the landscape watercolor for our custom hand-painted wedding invitation suite.

A wedding invitation is the first impression your guests have of your wedding, so we were absolutely thrilled to know something so personal and truly one-of-a-kind was being created just for us. Our wedding is relatively small and family-focused, and the celebration simple, so we opted for a less is more approach when putting together our suite. 

It consisted of the beautiful invitation, a reception information card, and a reply card. We chose crisp white envelopes (reply, inner, and outer), each of which we left unlined for no reason other than to keep it simple, slim, and let the invitation be the star. (And though I initially forgot about the inner envelope, it was no problem at all to add them after the initial order but pre-proof.) If you choose to have a lined envelope, you will not be disappointed...I've seen the linings Mospens Studio creates, and they are nothing short of to die for.

Several weeks later, the proof arrived. My heart began to race with excitement as I clicked open the file, and the tears instantly followed. Seeing your name on your wedding invitation for the first time is surreally joyous, but more thrilling was seeing the artwork come to life beyond my imagination. (If you read my previous post, you'll understand exactly why...) 

Michelle executed my vision perfectly. And I mean perfectly. I actually approved the proof with making any changes at all. The invitation is an original work of art for which I'm already choosing a mat and frame. (Luckily she waited until I received the proof to post a photo of the artwork she painted — the first image in this post. Otherwise I might have flown out to Ohio and tried to print the suite myself!)

I sent her husband, James, the names and addresses for the envelopes, and was pleasantly surprised when I received the package to find the outer and inner envelopes had been placed with one another, relieving me of sorting duty.

We included the address of our first home in the guest list we sent James. For the soon-to-be us and the future us. For the spring in our step now and a sentimental smile later.

If you're in the market for invitations, save the dates, or even simple stationery and have a soft spot for watercolor (or letterpress - or better yet, a combination of the two), you need look no further than Mospens Studio. Michelle and James are totally receptive to complete customization, a detail lover's dream. It would be impossible to be disappointed. The immensely talented duo can create and customize every element you need — think maps, menus, signature drink signs, table numbers, place cards, etc. Their site doesn't lack in artistic details either, from ink color and motif selection to font and wording suggestions.

It's all in the details. Blue hydrangea stem painted by Michelle Mospens (Mospens Studio) for our reply card motif.

The only components we provided to Mospens Studio were wording for the invitations and accompanying cards, font color preference (though Michelle made suggestions), and a photo of the scene I wanted her to paint for the invitation. One of my most cherished elements, however, was an unexpected surprise which made me gasp when I saw it. She's just amazing like that.

For the inspiration story behind our invitation design, click here. I might be biased, but it's pretty sweet... xo

Custom hand-painted wedding invitation suite by Mospens Studio.

Mospens Studio is fine art stationery design and letterpress studio based in Ohio. This lovely design duo (truly, a team of artists) can can be reached by email or phone appointment via the contact information on their website. You'll be nothing short of in awe when you witness their talent.