It all started off innocently enough.
I was newly engaged, and it was time to design ‘Save the Date’ announcements for our upcoming wedding. I wanted a beautiful image to go behind the text. Luckily, I had just spent an afternoon in the Musée du Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art and my memory was saturated with colorful Iznik pottery. Utterly inspired, I decided to place the announcement text over an image of a gem-colored Iznik tile (green, red, and cream vegetation swimming over a rich blue background) from the Musée du Louvre’s collection.
But the Louvre theme did not stop there.
Next up were the official invitations. I have long loved the Louvre’s “Portrait of a Couple”, a French painting from around 1610. The painting is so simple, with a man and woman looking directly at the viewer, the man holding on to the tips of two of the woman’s fingers. This strange way of holding hands always intrigues me, with its formal display of intimacy. I cropped the image down to the delicate hands of the couple and put the invitation’s text on the back.
My husband and I were married in a simple ceremony in Paris last summer. But, as I am American, we decided to have a stateside ceremony for my family and friends who couldn’t make it out to Paris. It was at the American wedding that the Louvre theme got a little out of control.
First, the cake. I come from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Besides the University of Michigan, one of Ann Arbor’s major claims to fame is Zingerman’s, a heavenly deli filled with all sorts of deliciousness (President Obama has eaten here). They also make gorgeous wedding cakes. We decided to have our wedding cake decorated like Iznik pottery. My mom (our local proxy) brought images of the Louvre’s ceramics to Zingerman’s Bakehouse, where a cake artist sketched out an Iznik vision in fondant. The resulting cake was unbelievably delicate and colorful, with flat motifs and 3D flowers flying out.
Now the Louvre theme was really gaining momentum.
Next, the programs. As a paper fiend, I knew I wanted to do something special for the ceremony programs. Since this wedding was taking a turn for the Louvre-y, the obvious course of action was to make programs based on the museum’s maps. I added our names to the front of the maps, which opened to reveal information about the ceremony and the day’s order of events.
The last touch of Louvre came with the seating arrangements. Keeping theme with the map programs, I made seating charts on individual maps for guests to use to navigate to their seats. The obvious next step was to name each of the four tables after a genre of art found in the Louvre’s collections. Each table was identified by a large image of an artwork from that genre, and at each table setting was a Louvre postcard with an image of an artwork with the guest’s name on it.
And that was our Louvre Museum themed wedding.