4 the Love, Part 3: Standout Invitations from the Last Year

It isn’t everyday that a bride describes her upcoming nuptials as a "Halloween-steampunk with top secret birthday surprise." It isn’t even once a year, or once in five years, or ten. In fact, this next invitation suite represents On Paper’s one-and-only Halloween-steampunk wedding invitations with top secret birthday surprise, and we think it’s boo-tiful. (Get ready, there’s going to be a lot of punning around.) We had so much fun working with this couple who really pushed the envelope when it came to their invitation design and we hope couples reading our post will be inspired to do the same.

We weren’t especially familiar with the steampunk genre prior to this design, but in doing some research we found it called for shapely Victorian typography with a splash of spooky. Given that the color palette for the wedding was based on the bride’s bespoke crimson and black gown, we set to work integrating color, font, and classically ominous motifs like the raven, skull, spider, and a dead rose for good measure.

This design is meant to impress, so the presentation of the invitation had to be frightfully good. We went with a black-on-black filigree pocket folder to accommodate the four accessory cards, and sealed the pocket with a custom wax seal featuring the couple’s initials and a raven in flight. We lined the envelopes with eerie silhouetted trees in metallic silver ink on black paper.

This invitation is all dressed up with somewhere special to go

Pocket folds are an example of form and function

Four Gothic accessory cards designed to be appreciated individually

Not your grandmother's envelope liner

What about that birthday surprise? Unbeknownst to the groom, the bride had arranged for a birthday cake to be presented at their wedding. In order to get the guests in on the surprise and ready to celebrate, we designed the super secretive “Mummy’s the Word” card. We love a good surprise and were honored to be a part of making it happen.

Ve vant to vish you a happy birthday

While some weddings call for black tie, this couple wanted ghouls and guys to embrace the Halloween theme with costumes. Having been lucky enough to attend this wedding, we can confirm that the message was received, loud and clear. Among the guests were King Tut, flappers, a pair of pilots, and our favorite, a hotdog.

A couple after our own punny hearts

The guests were in on the birthday surprise, but the only the bride, groom, and event planner Katherine Harrison of Harrison Farm knew what the rest of the magical evening entailed. It was an Event with a capital E. The coffin-shaped program we designed gave only the bare bones itinerary, so that as the night went on guests were treated to surprise after surprise including an incredible reading of Poe’s “The Raven” and a portion of the ballet “Dracula” by members of BalletMet.

Program design is "en pointe"

This is a wedding none of the guest will forget, and an invitation we'll always remember!


Entirely custom designs are a joy to create, and we love working with clients who have a vision. For those of you thinking of going this route, start the creative process early! New designs can take a bit of time to finesse and we want your invitations to be wicked good!



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