Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Looooove Map

Our invitations raised a few eyebrows.  At one point, I thought they just might be the black sheep of the wedding planning process.  All because I put my little foot down and refused to order response cards for our invitation suites.  I was working on the principle of not creating more paper and postal transportation waste, and the decrease in necessary postage for each suite was a bonus as well.  The future Mr. Palindrome and I stood our ground despite some "suggestions" from others.  We did need to accommodate a few elderly guests who did not have computers and I figured that I would make the handful of needed response cards for these exceptions. 

Then, something extraordinary happened.  I won a prize!  I'm the girl who never wins anything, but miracle of all miracles, I won a uprinting.com giveaway on Roddy Bride's blog!  I had a little over a month to figure out what to do with 200 free postcards.  I asked a friend to work up a design, but he was swamped with work and couldn't find time.  So with about 1 week until the deadline, I found myself with no artwork to upload.  I figured that I'd try to make something on my own and that a map would be a perfect choice to include in our suites.  Witness my very pathetic map FAIL:

You couldn't read anything and none of the roads made sense. Baaaaaaaaad.  I needed H-E-L-P. And fast.  I immediately searched Weddingbee and Etsy to get leads on an artist.  I didn't need a functional map at all and started to think about the possibilities of a more fun map.  The first map artist I came across was Penny of Pantomime Papers. Penny designed Mrs. Bruschetta's adorable map, which is where I first spotted her work. 

I also found two Etsy shops that carried map similar to the style I desired.  Jennifer, of Feathered Nest Press, not only carries a variety of wedding paper goods, but she also designs custom maps.  I was drawn to the highly nautical feel of her maps as well as the black and white color scheme:

I knew I needed to contact Joel and Ashley of This Paper Ship after seeing their delightful postcards for a family's move across the country.  I loved the hand drawn element and the high level of customization that this type of map afforded.

After sending each artist a frantic email about the possibility of rushed orders and the associated costs of a custom map, I sat at my desk fretting.  Was all this effort a big waste? Was I going against my principles? Even if it was free, does that change the outcome???  I talked it over with myself a few times and then tossed an alternative idea around with my planner.  We ultimately decided that we would use only a handful of the postcard maps for those who legitimately needed response cards and the rest we would use as welcome cards for out of town guests or for thank you cards for local guests.  We made the decision none too soon.  Within 24 hours, I had received quotes from all three artists.  I was impressed by the professionalism and work of each artist.  If I needed three maps, I would have hired them each to make one.  In the end, I chose to work with Joel and Ashley due to their great value.

Within 48 hours, Joel and Ashley sent me a mock-up.  I was able to order the post cards with time to spare.  All of the details were just perfect.  Joel even drew our house in Durham based from a picture I sent him.

(I'll be bringing an invitation suite with a postcard for my photographer to capture - can't wait to see a professional shot of this beauty!)

The map starts with the heart in Pennsylvania, where the future Mr. Palindrome and I met at college, then it follows us over the next five years as we traversed the east coast until we meet up again after getting married in Durham at our house.  Joel and Ashley were really attentive to my ideas and they executed them to a T.  They were complete dolls to work with and I would recommend them without hesitation.  Check out some of the cool new wedding items in their shop now:

Are you including response cards or a map in your invitation suite?  Are you considering working with an artist to create a love map?


Katerina @ GirlWithARing said...

I am very torn about including a map - I think it's such a cute idea but not functionally necessary. And stationery is supposed to be one of the areas we're saving on. The more cute maps I see, though, the more I am leaning towards doing them. I think it's really creative to make one that tells the story of you guys as a couple - I might steal that idea, hough we would need a world map to cover our whole story!

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

I did not want to include response cards and instead wanted to direct people to our web site to RSVP. Not because I was worried about saving paper or whatever (sorry) but because I am a computer freak who would prefer to receive them that way. Anyway, it didn't work out in the end and we ended up doing a little unique TWO card response card insert in our invites (see our post in November). I am definitely not including maps though as the web site provides more detailed directions than I would care to write out on an insert. I think your idea is fabulous!

melinda said...

@Katerina - maybe you could get some love map postcards printed (vista print always has those on the cheap) as thank you cards? I don't want to encourage anyone to go over budget, but you might be able to work them into something you already need (table numbers might be another idea!).

melinda said...

@Born to be: Those are cute! We too are utilizing our website for a lot of stuff (including RSVPs) - so easy to keep track of!