Calligraphy for your Wedding Invitation Envelopes

Looking to dress up your invitations? Today we have a guest blog by the talented Calligraphy by Kit.

Calligraphy wedding invitations

The ribbon on the bridesmaids’ bouquets; The flavor of the cake filling; The choice between bubbles, sparklers or confetti… In wedding planning, it’s all about the details. And truthfully, nothing is more detailed than the invitation: the very first glimpse that a guest has into that day six to eight week’s from its arrival. Between inserts, font selections, paper varieties and the wording itself, the invitation truly is a detail heeded by the most meticulous of brides.

As a bridesmaid eight times over, a guest nearly one hundred times over, and a bride once (and only once), I experience that giddy excitement each time my mailbox contains one of those distinctive, slightly heavy envelopes. Amidst the cable bill, a reminder to schedule a dentist appointment, and the third Oriental Trading catalogue I’ve received that month, what could be more welcome than an invitation to witness the happiest day of someone I love?

Personal mail has always fallen into the “Things I Love” category. I’ve practically turned the duty of “Writing thank-you notes” into a hobby, and Christmas cards are, admittedly, a source of pride for me. So I guess it comes as no surprise that I took great pride in the invitation to my own wedding… and the appearance of the envelope was no different. With the hope that each of our guests felt excited to witness the exchange of our vows (and partake in the soiree afterwards), I decided to learn calligraphy to adorn those envelopes. It turned out that I wasn’t half-bad, and with three of my sisters who subsequently wed, I gained practice.

With the help of social media and word-of-mouth, I have provided calligraphy services to brides both near and far. It is my hope that the details created by my pen provide a touch of elegance to many more brides’ Happiest Day Yet.

Fall Crafts

Leaves changing colors

It’s one of my favorite times of year. Recently Mum and I went to Morgantown, WV to visit friends for the weekend. It wasn’t yet peak foliage season, but it was glorious to see the red, yellows and browns rioting over the mountainside. There is something pleasing and nurturing about this palette as we move into winter mode.

We also yearn to bring this feeling into our home. I’m a great believer in using the real thing. I enjoy picking out gourds and swooping up leaves during rambles outdoors, rather than buying plastic or fabric ones.

Pumpkins, squash and gourds

 

 

You can choose a harmonious group of gourds and leave them au naturel.

 

 

 

 

 

Or if you’re adventurous, carve them exquisitely.

exquisitely carved out gourds

exquisitely carved out gourds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you looking for something to do with those divine leaves you gathered? I like to arrange them artfully and then laminate them. This is something you can do as a project with a child. It also creates fun placemats to enjoy every evening, and your children can get a kick out of using something they’ve made.

Fallen leaf place-mats

As a literary touch, after you finish laminating, you and your children can take a stab at composing a poem to write on the lamination. I’m particularly drawn to haiku – its aesthetic works well for the medium and the subject of nature is exactly right for haiku. Then when you take the plunge and are poised to write the poem on the clear plastic, perhaps a red or gold sharpie to complement the leaves?

This is a haiku I wrote amidst my own laminated leaves:

Shapes and colors rise

Leaves fan their finest display

Burnished forest floor

 

Are you going to have a festive fall party? Contact me for inspiration and we’ll see what we can find on the forest floor to wow your guests when they see their invitations.

Vision for Gay Wedding Invitations

We’re opening up a new chapter in weddings as more and more gay couples are legally getting married. It’s an exhilarating time.

I was just chatting with a very talented event planner Katie Rose. It seems that so many wedding visuals are feminine – from guest books to invitations. Now we have an opportunity to create a whole new tone and vision for weddings for a new group of people getting married. It’s incredibly exciting.

Rugged

I like to think of a more masculine aesthetic as ‘rugged’ and I’ve turned to folk art for inspiration. I created a very bold invitation suite using Hungarian folk art. As many of you know, my father was Hungarian and I grew up surrounded by gorgeous Hungarian embroidery. I even remember writing a report on Hungarian folk art in elementary school.

a wedding invitation for the marriage of two men

Romantic

Are you under the mistaken impression that men aren’t romantic? I find that men’s romantic side translates into more robust look – less lace or chiffon, more damask or brocade. I’ve been musing over how to transform that into a wedding invitation – which gives a peek at my process.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Willow Tea Rooms

I’ve been thinking ‘architectural’ and really love Charles Rennie Mackintosh, whose look is similar to Frank Lloyd Wright. His aesthetic is strong yet voluptuous. With a change in the
color palette – probably using deep, rich colors –  I can use this as a jumping off point to capture a masculine romantic mood. Stay tuned for more as this develops.

 

Charles Rennie Mackintosh – Willow Tea Rooms

 

I’m excited to be involved in creating gorgeous wedding invitations for gay weddings. It’s a heady time.

 

 

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Tips and guidance for thank you cards

Personalized Thank You Cards

Thank you notes are part and parcel of your wedding. They should be personalized, hand written cards or letters sent through the post. Lets look at some tips and guidance for thank you cards. Just think how delighted your guests will be when they see your lovely card arrive and read your warm words. I know I always am and I keep them sitting out for a long time.

This vision will keep you going as you write your thank you cards. Hopefully your spouse will help out – there are bound to be people at the wedding to whom Spouse is closer. If you’re writing all the thank yous, be sure to negotiate some extra treat or a reduction of your household tasks for writing all the thank you notes!

The easiest way I’ve found to keep up with the thank you logistics is to use the excel spreadsheet you made of wedding invitees and RSVPs to jot down gifts as they arrive. That way you have what people gave handy.

Don’t write all your thank yous at once.  That way lies madness – pace yourself with a few at a time.

Content of Thank Yous

Spend a little time working out a sort of template that you will personalize. You could start off by telling the guest how much it meant to you that they were at the wedding – and perhaps mention a fond memory of them from the wedding. Make sure to express appreciation for anything out of the ordinary they did (travel, a reading etc). You could then move on to exclaiming over the gift. Be specific about what they sent and focus on something about it that gives you pleasure – even if that’s hard. Close with good wishes and if appropriate a hope to see them again soon.

What if you were given money? Thank the guest for their kind/generous gift – mentioning the amount is considered poor taste. Follow on with an intended use such as ‘Jane and I are hoping to put the dosh towards exciting travel’.

Here’s a sample:

Dear Sue,

Joe and I were so touched that you came all the way from California to be with us as we joyfully pledged to spend our life together.  It meant the world to have you there supporting us and witnessing this important occasion.

The gorgeous red and yellow majolica vase you gave us looks great on the coffee table. In fact, it’s getting quite smug about how good it looks there and is positively demanding fresh flowers every week. Thank you so much, we treasure the vase and think of you every time we look at it (which is often).

I hope we can spend some time together again soon and have a proper catch up session – it’s been far to long.

Other Thoughtful Ideas

When people asked my husband and me what we’d like for our wedding gift we replied – experience gifts. This meant we had some lovely gift certificates to the theatre. While I sent a thank you card at the time, I made a point of e-mailing these friends – sometimes a year later – to tell them what we had seen and fill them in on the performance. Believe me, this was very much appreciated.

Get good quality prints of photos your wedding photographer took of any guests as they mingled and pop them in with your thank you card. Not everyone sees the official photos and they will be pleased to have a snazzy photo of themselves taken at your wedding. Make sure to check with your wedding photographer that this is permitted.

Timing of Thank You Cards

You’re supposed to send out thank you notes as the presents arrive and have them sent out within two to three months of the wedding. I knew I wanted to use a wedding photo for our thank you cards so wouldn’t be able to do any before the wedding. I sent a quick e-mail whenever we received a gift saying that I wanted to let them know it had arrived, that I would send proper thanks soon and (if appropriate) that we were looking forward to seeing them at the wedding. This way they weren’t left wondering if their gift had gone astray.

The Card Itself

  • Calligraphy – If you have a traditional wedding invitation with only beautiful calligraphy there’s nothing more elegant than the same calligraphy with just ‘Thank You’ on gorgeous paper.
  • Photo from the wedding – Many people, including me, think this is a good way to go. It captures the moment brilliantly, bringing back fond memories and you can superimpose a sentiment over the photo – perhaps ‘Thanks for being there’.
  • Detail from Your Invitation – You could feature the border from your wedding invitation or even your wedding monogram and combine that with your invitation’s typeface and background color. This way all your wedding paper is all of a piece.

Of course, working with me ensures that the thank you card itself as well as the sentiments in the note will leave a warm smile on your guests’ face.