Inclusive Personalised Gifts – Ft. Love is Designed

Things have been kind of quiet on my own blog frontier; I have to apologise for that. That is predominantly down to the fact that I have recently had my PEGJ feeding tube changed and I’ve had quite a few hiccups pre- and post-op. Currently, I am a little more stable and can take medications, fluids and feed into my small bowel which is really helping with my energy levels and concentration! 

Today I wanted to shine a light on an amazing company that I have recently worked with, Love is Designed. I’ve been working with Tina and Tasha through their Instagram and website for about seven months now. They helped turn my watercolour painting into a fully fledged wedding invitation for our upcoming marriage. That was such a beautiful, rewarding process as it allowed me to take something that I had created and imagined and turn it into something useful and tactile; something that will be used for the wedding day and something we will keep forever! I’ll pop a photo below of our wedding invites but I’ll blur out a few details just for privacy reasons (I love you all but I don’t want the 68k followers I have over all of my socials knowing all of our details haha!).

We also have a cute little copper paper clip in the shape of a heart and an insert that mentions things like dietary/ access requirements as I think it’s an area that is so often overlooked within wedding invitations and the wedding industry as a whole! There are more details on the reverse of this card and it looks beautiful when all packaged together in the wine red envelopes we eventually chose with copper piping around the lip of the opening flap. I also used a copper pen to calligraphy the invitees’ names on the front of the envelope so that looked very effective when all tied together!

Love is Designed do other invitations that they have designed themselves on their website and their printing/ paper quality was beautiful – I just had to be difficult and design our own haha! They also do fun gifts and other bits and bobs if you’re looking for something a bit different for your wedding party’s gifts or as wedding favours.

Although the wedding invites were a truly special process for us, the predominant reason I wanted to share Love is Designed’s details on my blog was how accommodating they were when I spoke with them about personalised gifts. It’s pretty traditional nowadays to give your bridesmaids “proposal boxes” to ask them to be your bridesmaid and also give your bridal party, parents and special family members a gift on the wedding day to thank them for being an integral part of your life and for their help with the wedding planning process. I have four bridesmaids and my husband-to-be (eek – I love that!) has a wonderful best man also. On top of that, we have parents on both sides we are close to and other family members who we will give a gift to on our big day. I must admit that, although we obviously know each of these people inside and out, trying to buy each of them beautiful gifts that are unified and fit together has been a long process!

You might have seen the images floating around, either at Christmas on people’s Facebook cover photos or on mugs or framed prints, that you can personalise to resemble you, your family, your friends or even your wedding bridal party in this case. Wedding  versions of these personalised figures are often images of either a whole bridal party, the bride and groom standing as a couple or the bride/ groom stood individually with their respective parents. They are images of the backs of figures that are standing up in their finery as they would be on their wedding day; so the bride would be in a wedding dress if that is what she has chosen to wear on the day etc. These are beautiful chances to memorialise people in nice groups and often these figures come with labels to show people’s names or even a thoughtful poem to show your love of the members of the picture. 

I has seen these lovely graphic designs and really admired them; the only problem was that I never saw someone represented who actually looked like me. A disabled person or someone with a mobility aid. There are currently 1.2 billion people globally with some form of disability – that is a whopping 15% of the worldwide population yet you NEVER see representation in gifts like this – especially in the bridal industry where perfection seems to be the aim of the game and disability is certainly under-represented as it may not fit certain ableist beauty standards. Understandably, many illnesses and disabilities are invisible so may not involve mobility aids but nonetheless, it was SO important to me that any personalised gifts I gave to my bridal party truly represented us as a group. That meant involving some sort of mobility aid since I am a wheelchair user and can also use crutches for very short periods and am hoping to be able to stand and perhaps even walk some of the aisle on our wedding day!

Tasha and Tina were absolutely brilliant with this – so genuine and lovely! They jumped straight to helping me find a way to represent the true me through the personalised gifts I ordered through them. We did find it hard to source a realistic design of a wheelchair or a bride who was seated we could use so I decided to ask them to represent my arm crutches instead that I will be using when (health allowing) walking down the final part of the aisle. This way the image of me with my bridal party and with my parents showcased my strength and growth through going through strenuous physiotherapy and pain to walk that last bit of the aisle. Plus, it is pretty nice to showcase an image of the whole length of the dress too in these images! 

I was absolutely thrilled with the results – they really represented us as a couple, my parents and my bridal party so well and you can definitely see which member of our “I Do Crew” each of them represent! I loved all of the little details from the dress colour to the bouquet that I am holding! I got to pick things like our hairstyle and colour, skin tone, height and build so the images actually really looked as close to the people we love as possible. I just know they are sure to love their presents!

I was absolutely thrilled with the results – they really represented us as a couple, my parents and my bridal party so well and you can definitely see which member of our “I Do Crew” each of them represent! I loved all of the little details from the dress colour to the bouquet that I am holding! I got to pick things like our hairstyle and colour, skin tone, height and build so the images actually really looked as close to the people we love as possible. I just know they are sure to love their presents!

I loved how easy it was to communicate with Tasha and Tina about these bits and also my disability. I just hope that in the long run that the 15% of the globe who have disabilities get to see more people that look like them represented more frequently by wonderful designers and that the wedding industry will as a whole be more representative and inclusive of all! 

If you want to check out Tina and Tasha’s things then their website is: https://www.loveisdesigned.com and their Instagram is: https://www.instagram.com/_loveisdesigned_/. Thank you to both of them for all of their help and for making my personalised gifts so accessible!

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