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A while back, the mother of the groom approached me about doing something a little different for her son’s wedding: a love map. Cathy, that same mother, had perused my blog and seen something I had done several months before thatI dubbed “the Map of Love & Birthdays.” Cathy asked if it would be possible to illustrate the unique and dear relationship of her son and his fiance. What resulted was a complex map to be used as an escort card and multiple small pieces for the wedding reception.

Once I received the couple’s story I went to work. The bride is from Osaka, Japan and the groom from Little Rock, Arkansas. The two met in Arkansas while they attended the University of Arkansas. They fell in love, and despite years spent apart separated by an ocean, coincidence and careers brought them to the same city once again and they got engaged. How cute is that?

Cathy had a vision for the Love Map that helped guide this project to fruition – she knew the fonts, colors and themes she wanted used (she’s very creative). She had already worked with the Aerialist Press to create a gorgeous Save the Date so I was able to use their design as an added guide in creating the map.

The Aerialist printed the finished Love Map that was accompanied by a second text page (printed in-house) telling the story of the bride and groom. The pieces were to rest in a clear envelope, Cathy had devised this elegant wrapping, and handed out to guests arriving at the wedding, serving as escort cards.

Cathy also had the idea to make custom postage stamps for the the invitation suite. She wanted to use images from the Love Map, so together we came up with designs that would fit the dimensions of a stamp. Cathy had the stamps printed through Picture it Postage – and if you haven’t yet, check it out. A custom stamp is an adorable embellishment to add to any suite or Save the Date. It’s super simple and with a couple of clicks you have a custom stamp!

Next Cathy and I embarked on the topper for the escort cards and table markers. It was simply a matter of designing a layout for the map images to rest in since Cathy was doing the printing herself.

Throughout this several month process that spanned my move from West to East coast, Cathy and I spoke on the phone and emailed back and forth quite a bit. It was a wonderful experience and by the end of the project we knew that we had a budding friendship on our hands. We’ve been exchanging letters ever since, Cathy is an amazing pen pal 🙂


Ok, it took a while but it’s finally done (in time for the boy’s birthday!): my Map of Love and Birthdays. This year, a few days ago in fact, I turned 25. It seemed like a big deal – better than 16 or 21 which, though sparks flew on 21, were not the same kind of landmarks as 25 in my mind. This year also happens to be my four year anniversary with my darling. In light of this (and the fact that his birthday is a few days after mine which is a few days after Valentine’s Day and before our anniversary) I decided to illustrate our love story – which had many twists and geographical coincidences – by using my birthdays as chronological signposts.

the map

the Map of Love and Birthdays

I wanted something that was both whimsical and a little classic – my boy likes old books, antique maps, Shakespeare and dusty bookstores so I thought that I would give the map a little of everything. Of course I couldn’t help but throw my own style into the mix, and of course colors. I have been really enjoying orange lately – dusty, copper and ochre-y orange. Especially mixed with blues and browns.

By default (there was so much to fit in!) the text took on a turn-of-the-century esthetic: tight leading, the scrawling and beautiful “affair” typeface and the tiny font size.

This project was a fun digression, something of a challenge. And the best part: he liked it a lot.

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Genevieve Walker Wedding Maps