Let’s go back to where it all started-my own wedding. Yes, I was that bride-the one that saw gorgeous, luxurious wedding suites on Pinterest and Instagram and desperately needed it for myself. The only problem was that I couldn’t afford it, so I decided to make them myself. I had a background in art-how hard could it be?
The first hurdle was letterpress, which I learned is almost exclusively done with very old cast iron presses. Where would I find one of those? I did a Google search of “letterpress” in my region and stumbled upon a post by John Horn on a letterpress forum. John worked in print his entire life, and it saved his life when he was drafted in the Vietnam War. John was selling table top platen presses, so I emailed him. John helped me realize how incredibly naive I was about letterpress. He encouraged me not to buy a heavy, cast iron machine that I didn’t know how to use and urged me to ease into it. He put me in contact with one of his apprentices, Kate, who also had a letterpress print shop.
Kate is fantastic. She offered me a tour of her print shop (both Kate and John’s print shops are like a walk in the past). She politely informed me that you could not use a Chandler & Price, or any letterpress, on handmade paper because it could break the press. Handmade paper was something I had to have. Letterpress was something I had to have. Was she telling me that I couldn’t have what I had to have? She was. After completing a course on letterpress with John, I now understand why. There is so much more to letterpress than meets the eye. It takes a lot of thought and planning and that is why it costs what it does.
But I was determined, and when I put my mind to something, I’ll stop at nothing to get it (is this a good or a bad thing?). I Googled DIY letterpress invitations and found a few blog posts about how to do it with a hand-cranked hobby machine. There were many challenges along the way. I won’t go into those details, but there was a lot of wasted paper until I figured out just the right amount of ink and just the right amount of pressure. I am very happy with the way they turned out! I was proud of myself for sticking with my decision to make my own invitations and for finding a way to use handmade paper even if it was a little unconventional.
What I gathered most from the experience, however, was how much I loved the entire experience. I loved every moment of it, including all the troubleshooting and the headaches. I love designing the entire suite, choosing the papers, and illustrating venues and monograms. It brought me so much joy and solace every day that I didn’t want it to end after my wedding. So, Bid Adieu was born. She is truly something that I adore to my very core, and now I can’t live without her.
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