The Art of Storytelling

"Retention of the past, attention to the present and anticipation of the future."

Some of your guests may know you both well, some may know your deepest secrets, some may know only one of you, they may be partners of friends you've only met once, or work colleagues that are unaware of your secret passion for chess, or they could be distant relatives that you've never met and are unlikely to see again... whoever they are and however you know them they will have been invited to share your day, to celebrate your story, your journey together and send you off into the great expanse of the future for a reason... and this is your opportunity to educate them with your personal love story, show them your unity of passions and interests whether they are mutual or happily contradictory and tell them why you are simply perfect for each other.


I { Freya Deabill - founder and designer at Deabill & Quince } have been delivering incredible narrative designs for creative briefs for over 20 years and am an expert in extracting the smallest nugget of gold from your deepest thoughts and masterminding it into a beautiful visual creation which tells the complex story of you.


Now, I am not a mindreader, I try and explain this to my husband frequently, but I am nosy and love listening, and after two decades of creative observation have compiled the most comprehensive set of leading questions which allow me to delve into the real 'you', recognising the obviously visible to discovering the sometimes hidden, deeper emotions which make you - as a couple - stronger than ever. The bond that runs through you both, through heritage, style or simply your love for a colour taken from your first walk together. All of these nuggets can be taken and conveyed through design, illustration or language within your stationery. Sometimes its almost as if I am creating a piece of art which encapsulates the connection between you and often couples or guests ask me to create one off pieces in the style of their stationery which can be framed as a reminder of the bond between them and the joy of their wedding day.

Use your own language...

Storytelling can appear in many forms, from the written word, to spoken tongue, to picture form and illustrative depiction. All of which can be incorporated through your stationery.


The written word can be magical, powerful and emotive - all emotions I relate to a wedding day. The language you choose to use through out your stationery can be a powerful way to portray personality, why use traditional formal wording if you are a relaxed, care free couple, why not use your own distinctive dialect to communicate the information within your stationery. Is there a favourite remark for which you or your partner are known for? Is there a certain way with words which your heritage or background can be expressed, think about how you can include your favourite quote from a book... all these things will provoke emotions with your guests and help them really engage with you as a couple.


Now, words are of course, a necessity in your wedding stationery - they convey the actual required information to your guests, so however personal you want to make them, they do need to actually follow a certain format so people know, where, when and how to join you. The design direction you choose to take however can be as personal, unique, subtle or eccentric as you like! This is where the fun starts.


You may have a long great love story fit for a blockbuster which has fabulous milestone moments which can be easily imagined, or you may have absolutely NO IDEA where to start, and thats OK too!


Storytelling doesn't need to be an in-depth novel, it can also be a short verse, a one liner, a subtle connection that ties a part of you to your day. The simplest of references can often be the most powerful.


One of my specialities at Deabill & Quince is creating personal and bespoke repeat patterns and flourishes. Using simple details I can create an incredible design which encapsulates your personalities and unifies any connections, bringing you both together in one fail swoop.


In the past I have combined a whole host of ideas to generate bespoke patterns and designs, combining national symbols and details from the embroidery on the brides dress, to colours from the grooms suit, football team references, sky lines, flowers to match the bouquet, leaf shapes that can be found on tree's in private estates, flora and fauna depicting international heritage, religious symbols, illustrated caricatures... the list goes on! However contrasting your personalities may seem the style in which I can portray them will bring them together with effortless ease.

If you would rather leave your personalities out of the story in a literal sense, then another way of storytelling through your stationery is to let guests know what kind of day you are planning, what they can expect - from a wild, moonlight dancing woodland wedding to a stately, black tie event - you can use your venue and timeline for the day depict the style of stationery.. incorporate a detail from the architecture, a design from the wallpaper, the type of flower that will be in season around the grounds on your wedding date, choose colours which represent the time of year your wedding will take place. All this will help tell the story of your day and generate anticipation throughout your guest list.

So grab a cuppa and think about you as a couple, what makes you or your relationship unique, what are your passions, what are your backgrounds, what is it you love about your venue, what style of day are you having? Ask your close friends and family what three words they would use to describe you as a couple... all of this builds up a picture of who you are to each other and to others, and will help you decide what elements of YOU you choose to include in your stationery.


Then, get in touch and let me visualise your unity through incredible, and beautiful storytelling stationery. Simple!




Image 1.

Freya & Steve A bespoke invitation created using an Austrian illustration style the couple saw and fell in love with on holiday, intertwined with chillies, which F&S were renowned for growing. The style & colours also reflected Freya's Jenny Packham gown with a hint of hot red to match Steves red velvet jacket. We even created bespoke packs of playing cards for the tables which represented how the couple met, over a card game.


Image 2.

Jenny & Pete A tri-fold invitation incorporating bespoke caricatures, favourite book quotes, inspiration from their favourite film, a pheasant feather to match the bouquet and Able & Cole wallpaper to represent their home life. Completed with a Penguin Books order of service complete with engagement story.


Image 3.

Ryan & Jeanna Really personalise the language on your stationery - this RSVP was for a wedding in the Caribbean and the couple chose to use light hearted language to enhance the guest experience and build joy and anticipation.


Image 4.

Sophie & Gregg

An incredible pop up invitation based on a book the couple loved. Next months blog post is all about this incredible winter wonderland wedding at Soho Farmhouse.


Image 5.

Diane & Mike - THE BABINGTON COLLECTION Diane is from Malta, and Mike an international Welsh Rugby legend... so we created the most gorgeous repeat pattern using the national flower of Wales, the daffodil. And the Maltese cross. The pattern was used in repeat, and split details throughout their entire stationery suite.


Image 6.

Jess & Chris Keep it simple and let us create a gorgeous monogram using your initials. This beautiful classic boxed invitation also featured amazing watercolours by the grooms mother. They featured throughout the stationery and on the day itself, a wonderful way to include the grooms family in what is usually dominated by the brides family.


Image 7.

Michaela & Ollie Winter wedding, with a hint of Christmas, but not to weddingy & not too christmassy... and we go to Turkey every year. Michaela & Ollie really did have an incredible brief and this hand illustrated botanical design complete with Winter berries and all-seeing-eyes really delivered. One of the very first weddings we ever worked on it shows just how much storytelling has been part of Deabill & Quince since we started over a decade ago.


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