If it’s possible you’re a bigger Indiana Jones fan than I am, this guest blog by my sister, Melissa Meek at Paper Truly, will surely win your internet today. Continue reading to learn the back story on Melissa’s original offbeat wedding invitation design based on a prop from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Introducing our latest “off-beat” invitation design, Choose Wisely is perfect for whip-slinging, snake-fearing fanatics. This replica grail diary invitation features pages of illustrations and inserts, handwritten notes in theme (regarding the quest for eternal love of course!), and puzzles for guests to solve, all in a faux leather hand-bound book concealed within a mailable parcel format just like the film.
I have always been a HUGE fan of the Indiana Jones saga, so this design excited me so much. I was basically trembling when the request for the idea was presented to me by a couple who loves indulging their nerdy, adventurous side to celebrate the great moments in life. Also get this ~ they managed to secure the National Geographic Museum for their venue, WHILE it showcases the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology traveling exhibit! This situation absolutely begs for an above-and-beyond invitation, and I, of course, was giddy to accept the challenge.
I began by studying the film prop of the grail diary. According to the movie, Henry Jones kept this diary for years as he researched everything there possibly was to know about what happened to the cup that Christ drank from during the Last Supper. The legend says that the blood of Christ was caught in the cup by Joseph of Arimathea, and gave immortality to those who drank from it. Joseph then founded a line of guardians to keep the holy cup safe for eternity.
My research process actually made me feel like an archaeologist, digging up clues and piecing them together – not to find the location of the grail of course – but to find how to present this prop in a new way that embodied the idea of a couple’s love for each other while making that apparent to guests. I loved the eternal life theme, and began to re-write all the journal writings that were included in the film prop; some that were read on screen, and many that weren’t. Hopefully guests receiving this grand invitation are readers, because I put a lot of very thoughtful writing into the pages! Below is an excerpt:
“The quest for true love would not be for gold or the dreams of extravagance. It is humble; rough, but purposeful; it brings everlasting life to those who live by it. The path to true unity is inextricably bound up with sacrifice; though miraculous events are frequently found; the blessing is received only by those who are true adherents, and the dire effects upon those who are not.”
The specific wording was important to me. One, it gave the replica a unique sense of antiquity: something from long ago that sounds like legend, but actually still holds up in real life. Two, I absolutely loved the idea of incorporating a profound spin on the idea of the prop, which already embodies a very profound idea about life. Applying this idea to love is especially meaningful, because love itself already is eternal! It transcends space and time, AND there’s no price to pay for love’s immortality – at least not the becoming-a-grail-keeper-banished-for-centuries-in-solidarity-to-a-dusty-ol’-cave kind of price. (Hurray!) I think that’s the best. And I hope guests receiving this piece will pick up on it and think about the ones they love when they read it. If they do, it will make them feel amazing and thankful, and I love that in some way I helped make that moment happen.
The inserts of the rubbing, telegram, newspaper clipping, ticket, and photo each tie in to moments from the movie. I really wanted to balance screen accuracy and the wedding theme while adding this extra layer of depth to the invite. Each is printed on a different paper stock and assembled so that they feel like they could be a real item. Placing them throughout the diary gives the guests something to discover and play with every time they turn a page.
The Grail Diary invitation is now available for customization in the shop, and it is by far the most complex invitation I’ve ever designed. (And there have been quite a few complex designs over the years!) I can’t wait to meet other couples who share my sense of adventure!
Melissa, Designer and Owner of Paper Truly