Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Personalized Wedding Maps & Invitations From CW Designs

Pete and I are from New York, and 90% of our guests are also from New York. But our wedding is in North Carolina, where we live now. I had a fleeting thought that we would plan the wedding up north, but it was too hard for me. I couldn't fly there every time I wanted to see a venue or had a tasting, so it would have been me relying on my mom a lot. And I didn't want that. I wanted to plan our wedding and have Pete be an integral part of that, I didn't want my mom to have to plan it.

So this has turned into a destination wedding ... for everyone but us.

In my mind, it isn't a wedding, it's an event. And it's a chance for us to introduce our friends and family to our new town. We have had a few visitors (in fact, last summer we ran a hotel here), but not everyone has gotten a chance to visit. So I wanted a way to introduce them to our town without actually sitting them all down and putting on a PowerPoint presentation of some sort.

A map of the area added to the wedding welcome bags are a perfect (and more realistic) alternative. If you have a visitors bureau in your city, you might be able to receive free maps and brochures for your wedding welcome bags but those can be very ad heavy and generic.

CW Designs has an alternative to that. Carol and Jeremy actually design personalized wedding maps. They are absolutely and completely personalized.


You go to Google Maps and create a map with the locations that you want on the map. Once you select those, you'll send a link to Carol. That will show her the size of the area that you want covered in your map, plus it will show the locations that you want highlighted. You definitely want your ceremony and reception site(s) on there, but other than that, everything is up to you. Consider hotels, places you like to dine, museums, and other places of interest. The only thing stopping you is your imagination.

CW Designs is based in Chicago, but location doesn't matter. Because Google Maps can map anywhere in the world, you can have a map created for anywhere. As long as you provide CW Designs with the necessary info, they can work their magic after that.

What's really great is that you get unlimited edits. So if you forgot a location initially, no problem. You can add it on. If there is a champagne glass graphic at your venue but you would like a wedding cake instead, it can be done. If you realized you spelled a restaurant name incorrectly, it can be fixed. CW Designs wants you to be absolutely happy with your purchase, and it will be worked on until you approve it. Keep in mind, though, more edits means more time, so if you are thinking about this, don't wait until the last minute.

You can have the back blank or you can add an itinerary, directions, a thank you note ... anything you can think of.

What is very cool is that the back of your map will be completely customized to match the front of your map. You can provide CW Designs with your wedding colors and those can be incorporated into your map, both on the front and back. If you have a theme for your invitations, the map can be customized to match that as well.

Really, these are about you and your fiance. So if you have anything that you want incorporated, make sure to communicate it.

But CW Designs goes beyond just personalized wedding maps for your welcome bags. You can actually use these for really unique Save the Date cards too. You can work with CW Designs to create your entire invitation suite (everything from stamps to tote bags can be customized).

You can check out prices and ideas at the CW Designs Etsy shop. You'll be able to see some of the designs Carol has done, although they're not all there (she has designed over 550 maps!).

The maps are amazing. I can't even put into words how very cool and unique and special they are. They are very "you" and are a complete reflection of places that are important to you. Plus, they are so bright and happy and colorful.

I had such an issue choosing wedding invitations because so many of them were so rigid. I didn't want that for us. Yes, we are having a very classy affair. It's formal in that we are expecting everyone to dress up and we are serving a (delicious) sit down dinner. But it's not stuffy. Pete and I are both generally really relaxed, easy going people who just like to have a good time. Everyone who knows us knows how we are, and they have seen that reflected in our Save the Dates and our wedding invitations.

These personalized wedding maps, they give off that same vibe. There is no way to look at them and not smile. They just make you happy. And that's how every aspect of weddings should be. These maps are nothing short of perfection and a great reflection of wedding joy. Your guests will absolutely enjoy these and keep them a lot longer than those free maps from the tourist bureau. Plus, these are incredible for your wedding scrapbook. I love CW Designs' style and I can't say enough nice things about the designs.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Today's #BridalBabble chat (at 4pm EST) is actually with Carol and Jeremy of CW Designs. Will you be joining us?


  1. I love this idea! Most of our guests came from out of town, so a map like this would have been perfect (and made a cool souvenir).

  2. These are awesome! I never would have thought of custom maps, but guests are going to love these. Filing this idea away!

  3. This is so neat!! I will have to keep them in mind for in the future. Thanks for your thought.

  4. What a nice idea and a great personalized, memento to keep as a reminder of the trip and the nuptials. Thank you for sharing this. I will be passing it along to my brides.

  5. What a great idea! I wish I had known about this when I married! We wound up having to print our own maps, and they didn't look half as good as these do! Plus, they'd make a great memento for you and your guests!

  6. They do lovely work. I'll have to keep them in mind for future weddings.

  7. I love this idea! I love infographics! It's all awesome!

  8. These are lovely - living in Ireland, wedding venues and especially churches can be in very rural areas and hard to find - this is a really cute way to give directions to your guests, and help out-of-towners plan their itinerary.

  9. Do Carol and Jenny have any interest in wholesale opportunities? I love their products. Let me know!

  10. I love this! What a great thing to put in welcomes bags!

  11. I love these designs by CW Designs, thank you for sharing this resource!

  12. Hi, Lisa I had a wonderful time reading your experience. The maps & invitations you posted are beautiful and quite a unique idea. It was fun to read about your situation and how you dealt with it using this cool idea. Great piece of article and beautiful wedding cards. I would love to read more from you.

  13. Thank you so much, everyone! Theodora, we are just now coming around to wholesale products when the new website it up! Please contact me if you're still interested!