With the glorious weather in the Bay Area right now, and the dwindling days of June, I thought it perfect timing to share this unbelievable June wedding in Brazil! This project is, by far, one of my favorite projects of all time. Mariana and Saul were an absolute dream to work with. Mariana, originally from Rio de Janeiro (where the wedding was to take place), had so much inspiration for me to draw from; photographs and wonderful stories. The process of working so closely with her was very special, I almost feel as if I’ve been to Rio!
The inspiration for the invitations was based on Parque Lage as this was where the wedding would take place! This magnificent mansion, built in 1849, was originally the home of Henrique Lage and his wife, Gabriela Bezanzoni (an Italian opera singer). This open interior courtyard, shown above, has two facing balconies that had been specifically designed for Gabriella’s performances. Nowadays, it is the home of the Visual Arts School and it’s surrounding gardens and subtropical forest lands are open to the public.
I think it is the most powerful and magical wedding venue I have ever seen!
The illustration I created for the invitation was inspired by the architecture of this mansion along with decorative bookplates/title-pages from the 1500-1700s.
I designed the response card with the same look and feel but my illustrations focused instead on the surrounding romantic gardens and fountains at Parque Lage. I love how the spray of water from the fountain becomes the line to fill in your name.
Another wonderful view of Parque Lage.
Mariana and Saul threw a Sunset Samba Party to welcome their guests to Rio. The party took place on the rooftop of a beautiful hotel overlooking the city. They served Brazilian barbeque and Caipirinha cocktails and had professional dancers both performing and teaching the basic Samba steps. Mariana wanted this invitation to be playful and fun with her personal favorite Caipirinha recipe on the back… for this reason I thought it would be great to print the invitation on a drink coaster! I also found an old dance book from the 60s that had ‘his’ and ‘her’ instructional Samba steps, perfect.
The next evening, they threw a rehearsal dinner at a famous club, Rio Scenarium, in the old city. Again, Mariana wanted this invitation to be fun and personal. We decided to make the invitation a handwritten-looking postcard. I found a few vintage Brazilian postcards and Mariana was especially drawn to this image (above) of Pedra da Gavea as it held great significance to her family.
I made the back side look like a hand-written note sent from Mariana and Saul. I added fun touches like the Scenarium logo, a gorgeous Brazilian postage stamp, and a hand-drawn postmark with the date of the event. Mariana also had some wonderful sayings that she asked me to integrate into the designs; the one above “reculer pour mieux sauter” is a French saying roughly translating to “take a step back before you make the big leap”… perfect sentiment for a “flashback dinner” on the eve of your wedding day.
In the end, there were approximately 600 guests who attended this magnificent event! Really quite unbelievable. There were no printed menus or seating cards but I was able to create a lovely wedding program. Again, I looked to the architecture of Parque Lage and vintage title pages as inspiration for the illustrations. I added personal touches like their initials, a “huppa” in the archway (Saul is Jewish and they were to be married under a traditional huppa), and another of Mariana’s sayings “Qui regna amore!” = Love reigns here!
Here is the inside spread of the wedding program. I created the graphic pattern in the corners to echo the actual pattern of the handmade lace for their huppa. I loved writing in both English and Portuguese.
Saul had the creative idea of adding a riddle to the back page of the program, a little something to amuse the guests while they waited for the bride to walk down the aisle. Both Saul and Mariana were pursuing their PhD’s at Columbia University so it seemed quite fitting for Saul to request adding a little mind game 😉 ….. I still don’t know the correct answer!
After completing such a special project, Mariana and Saul generously invited me to attend their wedding! Unfortunately I was unable able to go due to previous work commitments, so sad. However, on the night of their wedding my boyfriend and I made Mariana’s Caipirinhas, played Brazilian music, and made a toast to Mari and Saul. It wasn’t Rio but it was delicious.