You're Invited!

There are two elements of our wedding that have my fiance all hyped up: the band and the invitations.  The band, I totally get.  He's a music geek, and it's crucial to him that we get a fabulous ensemble that can do Springsteen and Beyonce as well as the "Hava Nagila."  But the invitation interest caught me by surprise.  Sure, I'm a paper-phile, but I was more than willing to scrimp on invitations, since I am convinced that most people will toss their invitation into the trash soon after the wedding.  Mr. HC, however, keeps all of his wedding invitations . . . in an air-tight box.  It's rather cute, no?

Well, given that Mr. HC is as persuasive as he is sentimental, the invitation has been our big project over the last month or so.  I'm keeping the outside of the design a mystery for now (a girl's gotta have some secrets), but I thought I'd give the hive a special sneak peek of the inside. 

Because we wanted to give our guests a flavor of the wedding, which will represent the fusion of Jewish, Chinese, and American cultures, we decided on a trifold invitation, with Hebrew on the left, English in the middle, and Chinese on the right.  Here's a close up of the individual panels, with some whited-out areas for privacy:

The Chinese panel text was created by our Hong Kong-based printers, WedImage (unfortunately, they don't have a website), in Adobe Illustrator.  It's a fairly conventional Chinese text, and I like the fact that it gives the date of the wedding according to both the Chinese and the western calendar. To Mr. HC's chagrin, my mom wouldn't allow him to use the Chinese name that my grandmother gave him when he visited her in Hong Kong because it wasn't, in her words, "his real name."  So he unfortunately had to make do with his English name.  I,  however, got to use my Chinese name, which means "great beauty" . . . but sounds like "large rear end."  Seriously.
I put together the English panel in Illustrator, using a combination of Zapfino and Perpetua Titling fonts.  I asked the Chinese typesetter to use Perpetua Titling for the English in the Chinese panel as well, so hopefully the panels won't look completely unrelated to one another.
Our favorite panel is the Hebrew.  Since I didn't own any Hebrew fonts that I liked, I asked Cohen Printing, a printer in New Jersey, to typeset the Hebrew panel for us.  We chose a traditional banner motif to amp up the invitation. The banner text, "kol sasson ve-kol simha, kol hatan ve-kol kalah" ("the voice of mirth and gladness, the voice of groom and bride"), is from the Sheva Berachot (the seven blessings said at a Jewish wedding) and echoes my Hebrew name, Ahava Kolia.  

Ruth Cohen, my contact at Cohen Printing, couldn't have been more responsive or easier to work with. She transliterated or translated all of the English text into Hebrew, and worked with us to find the phrasing, format, and font that we liked. And once we were settled on the text and look of the invitation, Ruth had it typeset for us almost immediately; I think we sent Ruth the text on Friday and the first draft was done by Monday.

Creating a trilingual invitation was definitely a challenge, but we're pleased with the end result, and hopefully our guests will appreciate the symbolism of the three languages united onto one document.

Are you putting together a bilingual or trilingual invitation?  Are you a post-wedding invitation keeper or shredder?

Bridechka  – (December 1, 2008 at 10:54 AM)  

Those look awesome, I love how many elements you combined together! Not sure about our invites yet... maybe we will add a little bit of Russian and a little bit of Hebrew to them too...

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