We were ecstatic to be asked to design romantic wedding invitations for the union of Emma Forrest and Ben Mendelsohn. Ben is an actor hailing from Australia (with an insanely long filmography to his name), and Emma is a writer I've always adored. If you haven't read her riotously personal and beautiful memoir, Your Voice in My Head, it's a perfect Summer read. They were married at the fabled Chateau Marmont, a location dear to Emma's heart, as it is essentially a neighborhood clubhouse/home-away-from-home for the couple, and was also featured in her first novel, Namedropper (released in 2000), which is what first made me fall for her word wizardry. So when Emma asked us to create something unconventional yet still full of classic old Hollywood romance, we were over the moon!
Taking inspirational cues from the Chateau's storybook architecture, Film Noir, and a book the couple so sweetly sent us about the nuptials of classic Hollywood stars, we first designed a save-the-date featuring a 1940s photo of Bogie and Bacall that Emma & Ben adore. We playfully mixed the iconic Martinique banana leaf wallpaper pattern from the Beverly Hills Hotel, with a custom crest imbued by the Chateau's heraldic-style neon sign, to create a feeling rooted in Los Angeles folklore.
Being that both Emma & Ben are soundtrack obsessed, they also wanted us to instill a rock 'n roll vibe into the piece, so we designed the invitation as a broadside, inspired by '70s Rolling Stones tour posters, so each invitation would feel like a frame-able work of art when pulled out of the industrial mailers that guests received. By an act of kismet, my sister, Lizzie Brandt, emailed us a beautiful photo she had recently taken of swaying Santa Monica palm trees, which became the background image in silhouette, silk-screened on creamy sepia-toned cotton paper from France, in metallic gold by Brooklyn's Haven Press, along with the '40s Technicolor-inspired custom burgundy and sea-foam green shades we had chosen for the vintage customized type and crest designs.
At the bottom of the invite, we added two custom Art Deco monograms, as well as the RSVP date in roman numerals; each gesture inspired by the opening credits of classic films (see an example from the 1939 Claudette Colbert film, Midnight, below).