Some three years ago Frances and Christ started planning a traditional wedding in a beautiful stately home – Knowsley Hall, home of the Earl of Derby and his family – and, not only fitting for the venue they had chosen, but also in the best tradition of weddings this celebration really was all about family. The wedding was booked for September 2012, and from the very first meeting Fran and Chris knew exactly what they wanted for their stationery, and it all had to start with the seating plan!

Fran and Chris had a vision – a family tree consisting of intertwining, organic forms each of which framed a table named after a branch of their newly combined families. In order to design all the other stationery items, we had to get this right. Our first few attempts were created on the computer, nice clean lines resulting in a clean, crisp finish – gorgeous, but rejected – not organic enough! In the end we went right back to basics and our talented designer picked up her sketch book and inks and hand drew each frame, all them different and each with charming details, little leaves, twigs and sprigs and sprays of grass. Once completed the design was de-constructed to allow us to pick out elements to use on each separate item within the stationery suite.


First came a save the date card, printed on soft ivory pearlised board in the wedding palette of ivory, lilac and plum with gold accents. The invitation was a take on our luxe card style with a small packet of cards secured to the inside, giving guests all the details they needed. The pretty, delicate colour scheme was perfect for the venue – lots of gilded cornices and frames, with cherubs on the ceiling of the main main hall and a library dedicated to ‘The Menagerie at Knowsley’. The use of colour brought everything together and thoughtful little details such as the individual welcome packs for each member of the wedding party really show how much care has gone into preparing this family affair. Keeping it in the family, Fran’s mum calligraphed the individual menus for each guest. And as a fabulous finishing touch, the wedding cake was painted in liquid gold icing using elements of the organic design.


Producing the seating plan was a labour of love. Who knew that to get a piece of heavy weight mountboard printed could be so complicated? We explored many different ways of producing a large format full colour print but we had a budget to work to and in the end, we found the solution. We kind of wish we could share that secret with you…..but we can’t 😉 Doesn’t it look great though? Each aperture is carefully cut around the intricate pattern, leaving Fran and Chris with a genuine keepsake which they planned to hang at home as a reminder of their amazing day. PS The happy couple look pretty amazing too don’t they?!


Additional photos courtesy of

Author: Ling, Dragonfly Couture Stationery