Every bride remembers the moment of her proposal. For Justina Ding it happened in New York’s Central Park in January 2014 – the first time she and her sweetheart, Wes, had together visited a city that had become their favorite during individual sojourns there.
“He got down on one knee at a special place in Central Park called ‘Cherry Hill,’” she wrote on PolkaDotBride.com. “It was the perfect spot, with the beautiful frozen lake and Manhattan skyline in the background.”
It was a moment she longed to share with the family and friends who would ultimately attend their wedding. And they did so through a stunning pop-up invitation that captured every detail of that magical winter day.
“It made perfect sense to illustrate that scene,” says Jenna Hipgrave, co-founder of Melbourne, Australia’s The Hungry Workshop which, as luck would have it, knew how to work a little magic of its own.
Capturing the Essence of a Fairytale
“The challenge with an invitation is always telling a story about the couple while also communicating the detail of the event itself,” Hipgrave explains. The couple reached out to The Hungry Workshop in September 2014, six months prior to their March 2015 wedding. The designer recalls they were very clear about what they wanted: a pop-up invitation that featured hand-drawn illustrations that captured their romantic tale.
To reproduce a winter New York palette, they used three shades of GF Smith’s Colorplan paper and combined that with dark grey letterpress ink and silver foil. The background also featured a few key locations and elements that were special to Justina and Wes.
The invitation had four different layers in all, with each one featuring illustrations that had a significance to the couple. One was of the pair in Central Park just after Wes proposed, while another featured the Manhattan skyline, including the Metropolitan Life North Building, which houses the Eleven Madison Park Restaurant where they dined that memorable night. “The layered invitation let us paint a really beautiful scene,” Hipgrave says.
The pop-up style of the invitation also provided them with more surface area to convey the practical details of the wedding itself. After all, guests needed to know the date, time and location of the big event. Therefore the back of each layer featured this important information, as well as registry details. Says Hipgrave, “The pop-up let us balance both story and detail really beautifully.”
Perfect Paper, Perfect Project
Coming up with the final product took a bit of trial and error. “There was a lot of paper engineering involved: crude mockups, paper cutting, gluing and refining to find the perfect layout,” the designer recalls. “We were elbow deep in paper mockups for a while there!”
The effort certainly paid off. The invitation was such a success that the couple asked The Hungry Workshop to design more stationery for the wedding, including the ceremony booklet, a seating chart and menus for the reception. As with the invitation itself, it was important that all design elements have a unified feel and convey the romance and excitement of the couple’s story.
“We carried the illustrative style and typography throughout the stationery to give the event a holistic look,” Hipgrave says. “We even did a one-off, large-format letterpress print on our proof press of the couple as a keepsake.”
The end result was an invitation that was as enchanting and memorable as the event it was designed to promote. “The best part of this project,” the designer says, “was getting such great feedback from the client and helping them get their celebration underway from the moment their guests received their invitation.”
Paper: GF Smith Colorplan 270gsm Dark Grey / Real Grey / Pale Grey / Natural
- Design: Bonnie Eichelberger & Jenna Hipgrave of The Hungry Workshop
- Illustrator: Mekel
- Print Production: The Hungry Workshop