How to work with a calligrapher

In the past few years, the wedding industry has seen a rise in demand for bespoke stationery and calligraphy. Brides are no longer looking to create a wedding, but a memorable experience. And, it all begins from the time their guests open the invitation.

From the moment the invitation is unhinged, it’s a sensory adventure. Guests are immediately given a taste of what the wedding experience will be like, by color, texture, printing, style and feel of the paper. Calligraphy gives a couples’ paper that je ne sais quoi, that certain something…the form to the feel. It’s an art that can conjure an ambience in words.

But, let’s back up a minute.

Before a couple can dream of putting all the details together to create the entrance to their beginning of life ever after, a calligrapher must be chosen. Calligrapher and handmade paper artist Katie Hyatt of Signora e Mare has been kind enough to share her expertise with us on this popular topic.

How do you find and work with a calligrapher?

Start with your wedding planner. Most likely she or he will have a list of calligraphers they work with and can match you with an artist who’s in-tune with your style to ensure your suite has a cohesive look. If you don’t have a planner, check with wedding blogs. Often times, they will have a directory of different wedding artists and may even have them broken down by city. Or, ask friends who have recently been married! There may have been a wedding you attended where you just absolutely loved the calligraphy style and it had your name written all over it.

How do you choose your calligrapher? 

Once you’ve have found a few calligraphers that you feel fit your wedding style, email them to find out their process and work. Anytime you are spending a good amount of money on bespoke pieces, request samples. It provides a hard visual and you can decide if it really is a good fit for you as a couple. Samples are also helpful if you’re working with an artist who may be in another state or country.  Request a phone call or face time meeting. You’ll be working with this person for the duration of your wedding once you book, so it’s important you’re on the same page not only style wise, but personality wise.

When should you book your calligrapher? 

When you have found your calligrapher of choice, it’s time to book them! Depending on what services you’re interested in, you may need to begin booking anywhere from 5 to 8 months from your wedding date. In my experience, brides tend to underestimate the time it takes to create a wedding suite. We get just as busy as photographers do so if paper is a priority in your wedding, be sure to book as soon as you can! To request a quote from a calligrapher, email your wedding date, approximate guest count and a general description of your wedding style. Sometimes calligraphers will already have a form online with details regarding quotes and pricing. The more details you can provide the better! Once you have decided on the calligrapher and when you want to book, find out how to reserve your date. Do they require a contract? A retainer fee? Get the scoop!

Now what? 

You have chosen your calligrapher! Yay! Now, it’s time to get a schedule in place of when you will need to provide information to your calligrapher (such as addresses, text, inspirational imagery, etc) and when you should expect to see your paper in the mail. After a schedule is in place, you will work with your calligrapher to determine a design and layout to create a cohesive look with the rest of your wedding. Once you have received your invitations, you will need to review. We do our best to catch mistakes, but sometimes we miss a few. Give yourself time to go over everything carefully before posting to all of your guests. After you have sent, you’re ready to starting recording those RSVPs!

Photography: Exquisitrie by Kelly Sauer | Venue: River Oaks Charleston | Set & Prop Styling: Ginny Branch | Hair & Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Hand Lettering, Handmade Paper, Leather Pouch: Signora e Mare | Dress: Elizabeth Suzann “Artist” Dress | Shoes: Bryr Studio

07.10.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog, Wedding Planning

A Dreamy Coastal Engagement Session

Who could say no to this beautiful collection of dreamy engagement photos?  There is a reason why we love fine art photography, and a quick scroll through these images from Lauren Kinsey will tell you why. It goes beyond just taking pretty pictures of a couple in love, to capturing emotions, the scenery and what kind of impact it has on the couple, the way a couple moves together and orients themselves around each other. If you’re planning your own engagement photos, our best suggestion is to keep it as simple and naturally beautiful as possible.

More from the stylist, Em Jayne Scott: 
“When Lauren and I dreamed up concept for Olivia and Jesse’s engagement session, we were inspired by the natural and simple beauty of the California coast, so we wanted to choose something uncomplicated, yet elegant, to complement the natural colors and textures of the coastline.

We thought the wardrobe should reflect Olivia and Jesse’s laid back style – so black and white seemed like the perfect balance of all these things.”

Photography: Lauren Kinsey | Styling: Em Jayne Scott  | Hair + Makeup: Kelly Jones  | Floral: Farm Girl Flowers  | Black gown: Asos | White gown: Asos | His black cardigan: Everlane | His chambray: crew | His white cable knit sweater: LLBean

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07.09.15 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Start Your Honeymoon Exploration at Casa De Campo

We’re thrilled to share a little bit about an awesome honeymoon destination in the Dominican Republic today! Emily’s sister Hannah and her husband Andrew took a little trip south to Casa De Campo. Keep reading for more on their experience.

From Emily’s brother-in-law, Andrew Mcclure:

We were ecstatic when I received an invitation from Casa De Campo to visit their sprawling, beautiful coastal resort. Nestled on a massive 7000+ acre property on the Southwest coast of the Dominican Republic, we spent three amazing days and nights experiencing everything the resort had to offer. Just an hour drive West from Punta Cana airport, Casa De Campo is a lush resort that is part country club and equal part oasis. From to the first glass of champagne as I checked in, to my last breath of ocean air when I departed, I was treated like royalty.

On my first day at Casa De Campo, we were whisked away to Catalina Island where couples can escape for the day and enjoy crystal clear water, pristine white beaches, scuba lessons and the freshest pina colada they’ll ever have! When we arrived back on dry land I was given a tour of the village of Altos De Chavon. Modeled after a 16th century Mediterranean village, it’s complete with shopping, a Grecian amphitheater and even an arts school for local artists as well as a sweeping view of the Chavon river. Perfect for an evening stroll…

The next day would prove to be just as amazing. Horse riding, kayaking and of course, a trip to the spa were just a few of the activities offered to newlyweds at Casa De Campo. Nothing could be more relaxing than an outdoor couples massage, as you listen to the sound of the waves crashing outside the villa. I know I enjoyed it!

Each night brought something new, especially their many restaurants located throughout the resort. Exceptional dining options were always a golf cart ride away. Whether at The Beach Club, La Cana or the Italian inspired La Casita, the seafood could not have been fresher and the beach side sunsets could not have been any more majestic.

So if you’re looking for a honeymoon where the possibilities for romance and adventure are limitless, Casa De Campo is waiting. Whether you enjoy the spa, the ocean, golf, hunting, or polo, Casa De Campo provides a perfect combination for every couple.

Photos: Hannah Bargainer 

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07.09.15 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Warm Coastal Wedding Inspiration

We always find coastal weddings and editorials to be so inspiring. There is something about a seaside view that just takes your breath away, and makes it the perfect setting for a wedding! In this gorgeous editorial, we also cannot get enough of this truly amazing MXM Couture gown. Have you ever seen such subtle detailing create such a major impact?

More about what inspired the stylist, Paper Diamonds:
“I wanted to take a soulful approach to the design of this editorial. Hidden in a cove, our little patch in the sand was a warm, inviting, and familiar setting. Raw, rugged, and resplendent, crystal blues, soft shimmering greys and washes of lavender play against jagged sandstone rocks.

For the table I pulled in treasures of the old world, pieces that might have travelled the oceans many years ago on ancient voyages. Silver chargers, candelabras and serving spoons paired with velvet textured ribbons and hints of raw crystal elements. I paired the linen with a tulle overlay to resemble the ocean shimmering gently at dusk.

The incredible gown was almost other-worldly, as though it was from a bygone era of royalty and utter decadence, even reminiscent of a divine mermaid lost along the shoreline. With every angle we saw something new, with layer upon layer of tulle, ruffles, crystals and intricate beading playing perfectly against the ocean.”

Photography: Feather & Stone | Planning, production and styling: Paper Diamonds | Wedding gown: MXM Couture | Hair & make-up: Odelia Sarre | Model: Rebecca M represented by Viviens Models | Flowers: Lua Leuca | Cake: The Cake and I | Furniture and table decor: Her Handpicked Harvest | Stationery: The Little Press | Crystals: Sharon Settineri

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07.08.15 / Featured, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Ideas Blog