HEY EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION. We’re chatting about allll of your favorite piece - the wedding map! Custom maps have been ALL the rage lately, and we love them too. They’re adorable, useful, and serve as a special art piece to remember your love story down the line. Plus they liven up an invitation suite and are so much more fun than a list of information in text! So without further ado, let’s chat all about custom wedding maps.
What is a Wedding Map?
A wedding map is what it sounds like - a map of all the events of your wedding. If things are close to other important places, you can always include those as well! It’s basically a map that includes all the events and locations that are important to your guests, and often can include additional locations like tourist spots, places to eat nearby, your favorite beaches, etc. We always say invitations are like a treasure map to your wedding, and map can literally help your guests navigate their way around during your wedding weekend!
When do you send a map?
They’re fun both as Save the Dates and as insert cards with the wedding invitation suite. You may not have all the information you need to create a map when it’s Save the Date time, so if not, that’s alright! Maybe start with an illustration of the general area for the Save the Date, so then when you include a map later on, it all feels cohesive.
What Information do You Need to Create a Wedding Map?
You can include anything you want on a map. Our favorites are:
Wedding Ceremony + Reception Locations
Hotels with Room Blocks (so guests can see where they’ll be in relation to everything)
Airports that they’ll be using
Beaches, mountains, fields - any recognizable geographic formations are really lovely on a map and help place your location in the greater scheme of things
Tourists Spots that your guests may want to visit
Your favorite/recommended places to eat
Any important areas for you and your fiancé - if you met at the University in town, it’s really cute to include that on there, for instance!
How to Design a Custom Illustrated Map
Hire a good designer who’s familiar with maps! Okay, we may be a little biased, but mapping out a bunch of locations can take a good deal of time and expertise, as well as an understanding of how paper ratios and sizing works. There’s a balance to getting everything on the map in the right place that’s both aesthetically pleasing and as functional as possible.
If you want to do it yourself, or just are trying to help out your designer, here’s how we like to do it:
Pick out your places and map them all on Google Maps on the same screen. You can type in your first two locations and then use the + key to add another location until you’ve got them all on the same screen.
Pick your map limits - the farthest locations from each other will be the map limits, and this determines scale as well. If you have 7 locations within a 1-mile radius and then one that’s 24 miles away, it’ll be hard to draw this to scale. You may want to consider dropping the outlier location or illustrating it at a less accurate scale so that the other 7 locations don’t have to be too itty bitty.
Print out that screen, and trace over the major roads. Put a dot/star/etc. on each location that will be illustrated. This is your framework.
Use a different piece of paper to paint in your backgrounds (if you want that look). We like to keep backgrounds light, but it’s up to you and the vision you have for your wedding map.
Paint/Draw/Sketch the different symbols you’ll use to reference each location on its own paper, so you can draw them larger. If you draw them to scale on the map, they may be too small to get the detail that you want.
Use a program like Illustrator or Photoshop to place the drawings, framework, and backgrounds all together. You can add text titles here if you want as well!
As far as design style goes, you can use anything from a sketch to a fully painted watercolor and anything in between. It’s all about what speaks to you and your fiancé as well as the rest of your invitations. You can also try to fit the style of your location - for instance you have to go bright a colorful if your wedding is in Hawaii!
Budgeting Tips for Maps
Combine it with other inserts! A map can be printed on the back of another insert, so you can save a little on budget by combining those two!
Keep it simple - your designer will likely charge by the location (like we do!) or at a total price depending on how extravagant your map is or how many hours they’ll spend illustrating. Sketches can be more cost effective than full color paintings, for instance, and the less detail you have, the fewer hours it’ll take!
Use Clip-Art or Stock Images! If you are DIY-ing, you can use some stock images of your area or general vibe to spice up your map, without having to go 100% custom. Here’s our favorite stock image site - just search “tropical wedding icons” or “Hawaii watercolors” for instance!
Maps are here to stay for a while, and we are huge fans of that! From sketches to watercolor to digital illustrations - it’s all fair game and it’s all stinkin’ cute. A map can be a perfect way to include your guests in the story of your wedding from the beginning, and make a beautiful first impression! Custom inquiries for our maps can be placed here, if you’re interested in learning more!