Joy and lightness, bearers of messages and praise; the hummingbird has delighted and inspired humans for thousands of years across cultures and geographies. Moving deftly from velvety scarlet bee balm and stately lupine across prairie and plain we watch from kitchen windows and porches hoping they stop for a sip in our gardens so we might catch a fleeting glimpse of them in flight.
Several months ago I received a call from a client’s daughter who shared happy news that she was recently engaged. I cried tears of joy and sadness as she also told me of her mother’s passing. I recalled her dear mother visiting Honey Paper years before with her husband and instantly striking up a special friendship.
We always had a great time catching up when she came to my shop and I produced menus for her dinner parties and invitations for small gatherings including a festive Las Vegas birthday invitation.
Tory, the bride to be, asked me to create her wedding invitations because of my relationship with her mother. Tory and her fiance started with a beautiful vision that would honor her mother by incorporating her favorite bird - the hummingbird.
With her mother’s spirit and the memories of our conversations as my starting point I illustrated what has become one of the most special invitations I have ever had the honor of creating.
The ruby throated hummingbird is perhaps the most beloved and instantly recognizable of all the North American hummingbirds. I wanted to call to mind the glittering, iridescent spectacle of its tiny body seeking nectar in a waltz among coral honeysuckle, gooseberry, fuchsia, and penstemon. The watercolor illustrations on the main invitation, envelope liner, and save the date feature this magical bird hovering on the lip of clusters of red and pink flowers.
What a perfect way to honor and celebrate Tory’s mother by including the hummingbird whose complicated song, intricate feathers stitched with gold, and fearless nature never fail to inspire and awe its human admirers.
Tory’s mother would have been pleased with the invitations and her family surely felt her warm and loving presence on that beautiful spring day.