Penny's Wedding

UK Wedding Blog

Bespoke Gift & Wedding Maps

As a bride-to-be, you’re always on the look out for something a little bit different and personal to your wedding day.  Penny’s Wedding HQ have been discussing wedding maps with the team behind Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Procession route design!  We adore this idea.  Imagine filling your invites with these little beauties.  If it’s good enough for the Royals then it’s good enough for us.  Enjoy! 

What is Bespoke Gift & Wedding Maps?

Bespoke Gift & Wedding Maps creates hand-drawn personalised maps for event stationery (most commonly weddings) and as gifts for all kinds of occasions.  Our maps are very personal and can be created to suit any kind of celebration; birthdays, anniversaries and retirement presents.  We’re usually commissioned because a client wants an individual touch to their wedding invitation, typically an illustration, with meaning that also helps get your guests there on time!  We have drawn maps that include places that are special to the bride and groom, perhaps an area near their homes or where they met, or the location of a particular holiday. 

For instance, we created a map for a Venezuelan and Scottish couple.  We included the national flowers of both countries (the orchid and the thistle), and the bride’s mother requested the inclusion of a Famous Grouse in sunglasses. Our initial discussion with the client usually tells us enough about what kind of map they want,  and each map is hand drawn and unique.

This map was produced for a Scottish and Argentinian couple getting married in Scotland. The map shows the location of the wedding with an image of the remote church and the castle where the reception was held. The thistle and the orchid (the Argentinian national flower) were also used on the order of service and menu for the wedding lunch.

How did the business come about?

Our commercial site, Maps Illustrated, has been drawing maps for business commissions for over a decade, including maps for publications such as Vogue and Conde Nast Traveller.  Over the years,  we received lots of inquiries about doing private commissions, and decided to expand the company into Bespoke Gift & Wedding Maps in order to cater for these requests.  It is a dedicated service and has its own separate website, making it easier for clients to view our range of work and get some inspiration for their own maps.

A classic map for a wedding held at the bride's family house and local parish church. Many of the guests were coming from London and arrows were added to show the easiest routes to the church, pub and reception.

How does the design process work?

The process is the same whether it’s a commission for a gift map or a map for wedding stationery.   There are no pre set conditions: each map begins with a conversation with the client, who gives us an idea of what they want.  This can include  size, shape, colour and wording etc.  Based on this, we supply a quote and a time scale (generally 2- 4 weeks).  We then produce a first draft sketch for further discussion, followed by one more draft before the final image.  We send the client a scan of the drawing for approval before the final art work (for a gift map) or the final scan (for stationery).   Clients who commission maps for their wedding stationery often buy the original artwork (in watercolour or ink) as a memento or first wedding anniversary gifts; ideal as the first anniversary is paper.

A full colour map of an area of Turkey where a couple held their wedding on a beach, before honeymooning on a yacht around the Med.

How much does it cost?

A classic black and white wedding map starts at £100.  Gift maps start at £200. Deposits taken on larger commissions and each map is paid for in full before dispatch.

A simple classic black and white wedding map. The River Thames links together the different locations for the wedding. The spaces top left and bottom right were used for directions and timing etc.

What type of commissions have you had?

We have a great mix of clients from all over the world, but the most well known has to be Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.  We drew the map for Royal Procession Route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, which was included in the official programme.  It was a great honour to be asked and we were thrilled to be part of such a huge event.  But usually our maps are intended for less famous (and untelevised ) weddings.  We’ve drawn a map that shows how to get to Islington Town Hall and a map featuring the coast of Turkey.   Much more personal than the A to Z or a Google map! 

You can see a selection of our work at our website.  Although we hope our clients will only get married once, they often come back for gift maps.  Recently one of our clients wanted a first birthday present for her niece so we drew a map which showed her niece’s first year in Dublin – where she was born, her grandparents’ house, the park she played in – with some special wording from her aunt.   We also receive commissions via wedding planners, party organisers and stationery designers.

Map produced for a couple getting married on The Amalfi Coast. The image was used on a postcard and sent out as an initial "save the day" card with a 'Wish you where here!' message. It was later used to provide the guests with details of timing and locations.

How can we contact you?

You can reach us via our website – www.bespokegiftmaps.co.uk.  This showcases many of our previous commissions.  There are also prints of other art work to buy directly from there.

Penelope x x