DIY Wedding: Graphics & Design

Not many men get pumped over wedding planning, so you can imagine how relieved I was that my husband couldn't wait to dive in. Ryan Leggett is another creative soul. He is a filmmaker by trade, with a passion for photography and a real knack for aesthetics and design. While I worked away on the physical crafts, He created a cohesive set of personalized design elements that gave our ceremony character. In his own words:

"Going into this project, I knew that I wanted to keep it simple. Initially, I thought that this would save me some time in the design process – which it probably didn't – but it did help to maintain consistency across the suite of projects. I never thought that I would end up designing so many components, but after putting so much thought into the first one, which was the video, it became easier to make more. I made sure to approach each component separately and think about how people would experience it both individually and in relation to the larger suite, so that it didn't just feel like we slapped our logo across everything and called it a day."

The video which he references was for our engagement announcement and save-the-date. It shares the story of our relationship from meeting to engagement.

Save the Date from Ryan Leggett on Vimeo.

The next component which Ryan designed was the packaging for our Welcome Bags. Nearly every element featured a custom graphic. (For more info on how we assembled our welcome bags check out my previous post here.)

Next, he carried over imagery from the save the date video and welcome bags into programs and escort cards for the wedding. He used a sampling of icons that represented our personalities, interests, and heritage which clustered together to form a heart. This design was used on the backside of our wedding programs as well as our escort cards.

photos by Chaz Curry

Ryan happily answered a few more questions as he reflected on his creative process.

How do you feel about the finished product?

I love the way that everything turned out. When I set out on the project I didn't envision such a cohesive experience, but the more things I designed the more refined and clear the design aesthetic became, which only made it easier to keep making things with the same voice. On one hand, it was less intimidating to dive in to the project when I approached one thing at a time, rather than worrying about how the design would translate across so many deliverables. On the other hand, I think if I had to do it again I would step back and consider the whole suite right up front.

What did you find was most important to achieve the look?

It was definitely important to decide on a few fonts and colors right up front. It's also important to determine your visual style for the pieces. We chose a very simple line art aesthetic, but you could go with a fancier flourished script, more full color graphics, or even photographs. Whatever you choose just make sure that you keep the look consistent throughout.

Can you recommend any vendors or services you used?

Definitely. We couldn't have done it without a few really wonderful vendors. The printing of our escort cards was done with Moo. In addition to fast printing, they offer the option to print a unique image on each business card. This worked perfect for our guest's names. We chose a simple business card layout and flipped it vertical. Our wedding icon sits in the bottom corner, while the polaroid (a nod to my love of film cameras as well as the photo-booth fun ahead) holds the guest name. For the final touch Corey added the table numbers in gold paint marker just before the event. This allowed us to make last minute seating adjustments if they were needed. For more standard printing work, like the programs, we used Photoworks here in San Francisco. I also use them for all my film developing and scanning, and it was great to be able to swing by the shop in person to check out a proof.

What advice would you give to couples hoping to design their own wedding items?

Keep it within your skills as a designer. I'm comfortable in illustrator for this kind of line art work, so I was able to spend more time designing and less time futzing with software. Had I chosen a more ambitious aesthetic, I think I would've wasted a lot of time. Also, know where your resources are and seek out inspiration early on. I leveraged a lot of design components from The Noun Project, which helped to speed up my workflow dramatically. At the end of the day, it's incredibly heartwarming to see so much of your own fingerprints all over such a special day. To anyone considering designing their own wedding items, I'd say go for it. I'm grateful that we were challenged to find a common design aesthetic and happy to know that our designs will live on in these memories for a lifetime.

You can find out more about Ryan Leggett by visiting his website, following him on instagram or twitter.