Science-themed weddings, aquarium weddings, beach weddings, weddings for folks who just love octopodes… these whimsical aquatic wedding invitations somehow manage to take vintage-era prints and make them totally new. Our longtime paperie partner, Concertina Press, has always been a mainstay for readers of Offbeat Bride, but new advances in technology are giving us a new perk!
We talked with owner and designer Ruth Bleakley about it and how her style got its start…
When I first graduated college, even though I had an art degree, I thought I wanted to become a librarian like my mom, so I got a summer job at a local science and research library in the town of Woods Hole, MA. This town is the home of several famous marine science institutions, and I worked on a project to scan the really old academic journal collection that was no longer under copyright to be part of the public domain.
I saw all of these beautiful old illustrations contained inside the journals and I thought they should be brought back to life in some way, so I began digitally restoring the scans, and then collaging them to create new stationery and invitations. I decided that although I still love libraries, my true calling was to follow my artistic heart and become a stationery designer so that I could showcase these beautiful old images of sea life.
Public domain art is a veritable smorgasbord of stunning and totally different designs that give your whole wedding aesthetic a vintage vibe that can easily blend with alternative, romantic, modern, boho, and rustic styles. We were so stoked when we first saw Concertina Press' designs and now there's a whole new layer of design style on offer.
Oh, and that new design perk? It's awesome. Here's what Ruth told us about it…
When I started Concertina Press in 2011, double-sided printing was expensive and not widely available, but now that printing technology has improved I'm happy to report that I'm adding illustrated backs to all of my invitations at no additional cost.
Double-sided printing is one of those techniques that gives your invitation suite that super professional look and now you can snag it on these designs and not bulk out your budget. Score.
Ruth's designs are a great fit for beach weddings, nautical weddings, boat wedding, science-y weddings, whimsical weddings, zoo weddings, and a perfect match for aquarium weddings, naturally.
She's actually created invitation suites for events at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Scripps Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, North Carolina Aquarium, and even inland in Las Vegas, Oklahoma and Tennessee! If anyone is planning a Disney or Little Mermaid wedding, now's your chance to get that vibe!
Are there any reviews?
Yep! Ruth's work has a lot of love from her clients…
“Recently received my wedding invitations and they came out fabulous! We ordered the navy octopus — I love how unique they are and can't wait to send them out. Working with Ruth was a breeze, she answered all our questions quickly and the invitations didn't take long at all. I would definitely recommend Concertina Press to anyone looking for awesome nautical inspired stationery.” – Erica D.
I am getting married on Cape Cod this fall and ordered my wedding invitations from Concertina Press. It was such a pleasure to work with Ruth, she was attentive, timely and her invitations are absolutely stunning. The hardest part of ordering invitations from Concertina Press was deciding between designs, they are all so unique and beautiful. When we finally did decide on invitations (pink squid!) they arrived early and packaged with such care. I can't say enough for this fantastic company! Thank you Ruth, and I recommend her to anyone looking at her site. Thanks for creating a piece of our special day that we will hold very close to our hearts!” – Vina L.
Our invitations arrived and are BEAUTIFUL. We absolutely love the combo and will definitely be back for thank you notes when the time comes. Everything looks perfect and they are in the mail as of today! Ruth was so accommodating and let us mix and match styles! We love that as soon as you open the envelope, you can see a seahorse head peeking out with the line ‘We're so excited to celebrate with you.' Awesome detail. Ruth was fun, easy, and friendly to work with and every single person has reached out to complement how creative our invites are. Definitely recommend!! – Emily M.
If you spied a design you loved, don't stop yourself from peeking through more to see if there's a sea creature that deserves a place in your heart and on your paperie. Get unda da sea and go see which suite (or invites, save-the-dates, thank-you cards, and more!) is the set for you.