Happy Leap Day

I just learned an interesting tidbit this morning. My mother told me with a sly grin that women are encouraged to propose to men on leap day (is that a hint, Mother?). Sure enough, there is an article on the front of the Daily News today, because February 29, the rarest day on the Gregorian Calendar, is full of odd and quirky traditions.

In case you are wondering, Leap Year was established to correct a major celestial quirk, that the earth takes 365.25 days to revolve around the sun, so every four years we need an extra day so that our normal years consist only of 365 days exactly. Therefore, Leap Year will always be a year that is divisible by 4: 2000, 2008, 2016.

Regardless of the feminist tradition, I think I will hold off on any marriage proposals....Sorry Mom (maybe my sister will propose to her boyfriend instead!)


An Event in Calligraphy

So often after getting back envelopes, a bride will say to me, "I love them! What else can I use your calligraphy for?!" so this blog is dedicated to showing you girls what cute things I can do for you in calligraphy. First off, we obviously have the invitation envelopes. I do outer and inner envelopes, I also do belly bands that wrap around envelopments and hold them closed. Belly bands perform the same function as an inner envelope where you can include guests or family. Plus they look great! I can also write directly on an envelopment envelope which serves the function an inner envelope as well. {by the way, the envelopes above are in Bickham Swash Caps, my favorite style. The envelope above says "country instead of county and was an error on my part, which is why I saved it as a sample}

This envelopment and belly band are both done in shimmery brown and pink paper. The script is copperplate. Envelopments (which I can also provide) can also be tied with beautiful hand-dyed silk or double-faced satin ribbons. Below are three examples of ribbon, the first two are gorgeous hand-dyed silk and the third is double-faced satin. Whenever I get an order that includes ribbon I am thrilled. It really makes the invitation look so unique and so luxurious. The hand-dyed silks come in solid colors too, not just two-toned, though I love the look of the two-toned to match more than one color of your invitation design.

Envelope written in Bickham Script.

I design invitations, as shown in yesterday's blog. Invitation design is simple. You email me the text, I email you back a proof, and we go to print. They come back and just look so good. They are perfect for the discerning bride who is going for the hand-lettered look. As you can see, this set includes a yellow gold backer paper which adds to the luxe look of the invitation suite, and it is tied together with a double-faced satin bow. All the paper is shimmery and the lettering is done in thermography (which means it is raised up off the paper). The envelope for this order was an ivory shimmer with a matching yellow gold address hand lettered on the front. Seen here is also a map. It's relatively simple, but the maps can get complex as well. Script style is citadel, with splendid flourish for the names.

This map is one I just completed for Nicola and Nicholaus in Manhattan Beach, California. It covers a very vast area (if you are familiar with Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach is nowhere near Burbank Airport but there it is up in the right corner). The maps are an adorable keepsake of the wedding, for you and your guests. They can be enlarged and watercolored in so that you can frame them. I am working on one now and will post a picture of this soon. The maps are meant to be an artistic rendering of the area. Therefore, they are not drawn to scale, but are used to encompass many places and locales so your guests can get a feel for the area. The writing on this one is called Costello (named after one of my brides) Maps can also be in full color (in flat printing only). Here is the perfect example...

This map's reverse side has directions and a matching design printed. It looks great, and even though the map is not to scale, guests will still be able to find their way about town with accuracy. The writing is in baby script.

This map is on an itinerary for the wedding weekend in Palm Springs, California. It folds in half and has a design with the Bride and Grooms' name on the front. How cute is that! I promise to write more on these adorable itineraries later. Plus, I have tons of samples so if you want to see some let me know.

Programs I do as well, in all different formats.

Moving on to the reception...of course I do escort cards, and placecards. Here are some examples:

Really pretty with rose petals scattered around. These tent style escort cards have the table names written on the inside flap. They are written in Bickham script.

Escort envelopes, they are light green coin sized from Paper Source with tiny inserts inside telling guests where to sit.

Escort cards in handmade bamboo holders. Notice the little cards to the left in front of the boxes? Heres what those are...

They are adorable cards that say "Wedding Day Wishes" "One Year Wishes" and "Five Year Wishes" for each guest to write a note for the bride and groom to read. They will open the latter two on the prospective anniversaries. I wrote the wording and had it printed for her 25 times each.

Above, placecards in Bickham script, photo by Aaron Delesie.

Moving along, we have placecards, which tell the guests where to sit. One per each place setting please. This one is in Chaucer (not Costello...Costello was named after this bride's new sister-in law).

A cute spin on the placecard -- this menu has the guests' name at the top.

I also do favor tags and table signs.

Table names are a breath of fresh air. These ones were all favorite vacay spots of the happy couple. Photo by Always a Bridesmaid.

These ones were all Italian words celebrating love, and a nod to the groom's Italian heritage.

Standard table numbers for a simple clean look. Photo by Aaron Delesie (I love his work)

Donation signs....in Citadel script.

Favor signs...

Petal toss cards.

Calligraphy for your welcome baskets. Look at all the goodies in here! This was an event by Beth Helmstetter I worked on.

Calligraphy for your menus too! (in Bickham Script)

And finally, "Just Married" signs, or any large sign at all for that matter. This sign I made on a fantastic watercolor paper, and it was later mounted on the back of a car. Simply perfect! Photo compliments of Xochitl at Always a Bridesmaid.

With that, I am at the end of my list--I am sure I missed something. Lets just cover our bases and say pretty much anything involving paper can utilize calligraphy. I encourage you all to think outside the box, and don't use your computer! Hand-lettered calligraphy is the only way to go when it comes to your wedding. Please contact me if you have a custom idea you want to accomplish!


A Cabo San Lucas Wedding

Here's a really cute invitation set with map I designed in collaboration with Jenny at Z Paperie. It was a collaborative effort, with me doing the writing/drawing and her doing the digital layout and coloring. I think it looks so great in the orange and purple. It's very festive and summery. The calligraphy style used is carpenter, but this style is completely optional and you can choose from a range of over 25 different styles.

This design is completely custom and could be colored to match any combination of shades. the map is drawn based on the information the bride provides on the form I have put together. Notice the tiny details, such as the venue, the seashell compass, and the petite water-skiier. This particular set was printed in offset printing however I think it would be fabulous in letterpress as well.


A Red Reception

Thank you so much to world class photographer, Lisa Lefkowitz, for sending me the gorgeous photos for this darling wedding I worked on last September for one of my brides, Margaret. Margaret had a very specific idea of what she was looking for. She wanted placecards, envelopes, table signs, and a cake sign. I was lucky enough to get pictures of all of them today from Lisa. I just want to show how beautiful calligraphy can accent your wedding, other than just using it for your outer envelope or the placecards. Everything she chose coordinates to her colors, red and brown, which used together are bold, sultry and romantic.

This cake sign is so great. It looks just like Margaret's cake and it lists off to the right the flavors of each tier. It has their names at the top and can also include the date or anything you'd like to put. It can be in full color, or on different paper colors, in any size on any type of sign. What an adorable way to let your guests know what delicious treats they are eating. A sign that reads "sweets" also adorns the table.

These tiny boxes are actually nerds candy wrapped up as favors. Each sign is written on white paper and mounted on a thick brown card stock that I provided for her. The bride had tons of favor ideas, and she didn't just settle on one or two! Read on for more photos....

Of course I have to show the invitation with the calligraphy. The script style is Holly, more commonly known as Sloop.

A candy jar full of red treats greets wedding guests in their room. The script style is Bickham.

Baskets of vibrant red umbrellas, urging family and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion.

Baskets of white and red tennis balls as favors with the note, "Love All."

The placecards are, of course, bright red.....in Bickham Script.

And finally, a basket that reads "A midnight snack" filled with late-night goodies. Margaret's attention to detail was not only refined but completely unique as well.


Coordinating Calligraphy To Your Invitation Set

I just received this photograph from the lovely Anita Zomkowski of Perfect Paperworks in the Los Angeles area. It's a perfect example of how calligraphy can be used to highlight your wedding invitation. This bride opted for pink on brown and how lovely it all turned out. My favorite invitations are calligraphed in light colors on dark papers. To me, it's so unusual, and it's quite likely that your guests have never seen anything like it. I've worked with Anita several times and she does beautiful work with exquisite presentation boxes and gorgeous satin bows like the one shown here. The monogrammed top of the invitation folds up to reveal the details of the wedding event. What a unique concept!
Anita is a graphic designer and she started out by designing holiday cards to send to friends and family. Before long, she was doing wedding invitations and Perfect Paperworks was the result. She has full lines of wedding invitations, save the dates, and other accessories for your wedding. If you are not in the LA area do not despair, she can meet with you via phone or webcam to discuss the perfect invitation.

Rustic Save the Date Postcard

Here's an adorable idea. It's a map disguised as a Save the Date card. Better yet, its a charming postcard so you can save money on postage if you're on a budget! This custom map was designed specifically for one of my brides, Annika, and her fiance Jason. It features my font style, Camden, and is filled to the brim with adorable icons of her and her fiance's favorite places, including an apple tree in her hometown where they carved their initials, the historic "Cog Rail" that climbs Mt Washington, a kayak-er in Horseshoe Pond near the groom's childhood home, nearby shopping (check out the LL Bean boot) and sites to see, and a "moose crossing" sign near the main highway. Each map is completely drawn by hand according to the specs you provide on the form I will provide you with.
The Save the Date side has an icon of the Castle in the Clouds where the wedding is taking place and provides all their essential information, including their wedding website. Turn around for these unique pieces of art is about 3 weeks so contact me right away if you are interested in having a map done. I am currently working on two other map/save the dates so as soon as they are done I will post them for all to see.

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