24 Illustrated Crests and Monograms That Prettied Up Invitations
Wedding invitations are a lot like first impressions: They serve as your guests' introduction to you and your fiancé's big day, which is exactly why you want to make sure that they reflect who you two are as a couple. To bring as much personalization as possible to your paper goods, consider enlisting the help of an illustrator or calligrapher to add a bespoke crest or monogram to your invitation suite. These motifs do more than add a decorative element to the invites—they tell a story of who you are and what you love.
A standard printed monogram is always pretty, but there's something so special about working with a stationer, calligrapher, or graphic designer on something a little more unique. Hand-illustrated crests and monograms have been rising in popularity for years, and it's easy to see why: These designs are about so much more than just lovely, personalized wedding invites. They ultimately become a keepsake of the day itself, serving as something that couples can use long after the wedding is over. Just think of how much easier writing those thank-you notes will be if you have stationery emblazoned with your custom crest waiting for you after the honeymoon?
If the following illustrated crests and monograms from real weddings are any indication, they're also a great way to foreshadow the theme of the big day. Throwing an arid desert party filled with succulents? Take a hint from one of the following couples, who chose a blocky monogram with hand-drawn cacti. If you and your spouse-to-be are considering designing a new family crest for the big day, draw inspiration from what you hold dear—a favorite flower, a beloved pet, or a treasured place. The best part about these personal touches? After you introduce them on your invitations, you can then use them throughout the entire wedding. After all, drawings this thought-out—not to mention pretty—shouldn't be used just once. Consider adorning your ceremony programs, menus, cocktail napkins, and favor labels with your illustrated crest or monogram, weaving an extra bit of personalization throughout the entire wedding.
Karli Strohschein designed this save-the-date's adorable puppy canoe crest, which also included birch trees, songbirds, and vibrant florals. The dogs appeared again in the rustic barn scene that decorated the invitation, welcoming guests to a picnic-style reception.
The hand-drawn "M" crest, penned by Made by Meer, used on this couple's invitations and envelope liners was designed to echo the leaf illustrations created for the rest of the suite.
This entire invitation suite—from the stag and fox motif to the design and lettering—was created by the talented bride and groom.
Blooms and Antlers
Pink Champagne Paper's bloom-filled antler illustration proved that you don't need to use your initials to craft a gorgeous crest.
This couple's blocky initials, designed by Luigi Maldonado, were filled with cacti as a way to give a nod to their desert-themed celebration. Instead of carrying that exact design through to all of their paper goods, they used just that illustration on the RSVP card and enevelope liner instead.
This couple used two interpretations of their crest, both by A Paper Wedding, throughout their invitation suite. A pared-down version of the custom floral illustration appeared on the belly bands that held all the pieces together.
Of Alp and Dash's woodsy crest, which included tiny images of a heart, bee, mountain, and ant, was an appropriate way to preface the camping-themed wedding to come.
A lifelike succulent drawing modernized the traditional shape of the crest featured on this Centennial Press Design invite.
Animals and Fruits
A simple black-and-white crest, punctuated by the first initial of the couple's name, brought pared-down romance to muted stationary.
Criss-crossed pencils added a bit of quirk to this old-fashioned coat of arms, custom illustrated for the bride and groom by Folisi Design Studio.
This couple wanted to incorporate a hand-drawn image of their collie throughout their entire stationery suite, so Emily Rose Ink delivered this adorable design. The couple loved it so much that they used it again on their menus and a banner hung in the reception space.
For her Lake Tahoe nuptials, the bride, a fashion designer, drew the circular Camp Wiggehaha logo that reappeared on the sweatshirt favors.
Tenn Hens took the groom's traditional family crest and updated it with a few personal touches. Among the changes were an illustration of the couple's dog, which appeared at the very top of the design, and a watercolor painting of the log cabin home where their wedding took place.
Outlined with an illustration of laurel and gilged in gold foil, this couple's hand-drawn monogram adorned everything from the back of the invitation to the RSVP card envelope.
This couple's ornate green monogram, illustrated by Cheree Berry Paper, was used to decorate invites and coordinating matchboxes.
Palm Leaf Print
To inject their traditional paper suite with extra personality, this couple asked Bianca Mascorro of Studio Luzance to add in illustrated Hawaiian motifs, like palm leaves and pineapples. The hand-drawn details adorned their crest, insert cards, and map, giving a nod to the destination wedding to come.
Laura Hooper Calligraphy designed this entire illustrated invitation suite. While the flowers are lovely, it's the special accent in the center—a custom monogrammed belly band—that really stands out. The pink ribbon was adorned with the couple's joint initials in gold foil.
Emily J. Snyder created this couple's pheasant-feather crest, which was stamped onto leather-covered itinerary booklets and printed on other parts of the paper suite.