As you may have noticed by now, I’m a great lover of bees. In fact, one of my favourite things about summer is seeing all the busy workers on our lavender, buddleja, and the other bee-friendly plants we keep in our garden. They’re one of the hardest workers on the planet, pollinating one sixth of all flowering plant species and about a third of what we eat. So I always keep a little dish of sugar water on standby for any tired fliers. When it comes to my wedding stationery designs, I usually try to include an element of nature in the design (whether it’s the material or illustration), and unsurprisingly, bees are my favourite! They’re perfect for summer weddings, evoking beautiful countryside settings from English gardens to French lavender fields. And of course, bees are a popular motif for my Manchester couples too!
But did you know that the noble bee has a long and glorious history in fashion and design? Napoleon chose it as his personal emblem, representing industriousness and successful government, and wore it embroidered on his garments and woven throughout his decor. It became a symbol of power and prestige that has been revived many times, including in the jewellery collections of designers including Gucci and Dior. In general, the bee symbolises cooperation as well as fidelity, making it a perfect motif to be associated with marriage. And of course, it evokes nature in the most beautiful way!
One of my first bespoke invitation suite designs was for food photographer and recipe blogger, Annie Mae of The Culinary Bee. Annie shares my love for the busy little fuzzballs and wanted to include a bee detail on her wedding stationery – I couldn’t wait to get started! I used a gold bee illustration detail on the invitations and finished the suite with a copper wax seal on the envelope, as well as the actual suite, which was tied together with gold thread.
Of course, I also have my Bee House Collection, which features a bee illustration in copper hot foil on the wedding invitation and printed in ink on the other elements. It features a blue watercolour wash, and can be beautifully finished off with a bee wax seal. Or, if you just want wax seals to add the perfect finishing touch to your stationery, my bee design looks great in any colour. You can order these via my shop and they come with an adhesive backing for easy application.