Real Weddings: Sanddollars in Malibu!

I was thrilled to see the photos from a recent wedding in Malibu that we did the hand-painted sanddollars for. The bride, Erin, contacted us pretty close to the event date and I was happy to take on the small order of sanddollars for the place settings.

These are actual real sanddollars found on the beach that we use to create these adorable name cards, which in turn function as cute keepsakes from the event for guests to take home. The sanddollars were painted in blue to go with the beachy theme.

This beautiful event took place at the Malibu Beach Inn, right on the public beach!

The guests dined at these beautifully dressed tables on the terrace of the inn.

The other vendors who took part in this event were:

Wedding Dress ShareenVintage
Florist Maggie Jenson Design
Hair Patti Williams, The “I Do” Doo
Makeup Mark Payne

Thanks so much to Cat at Next Exit Photography for sending over these fantastic photos! For more on this event, check out the Next Exit Blog as well!


Platinum Weddings Sunday!

Great news! Our calligraphy will have it's debut on Platinum Weddings on WeTV this Sunday at 10pm, 9 central. The calligraphy was used for the adorable and tiny escort envelopes for the wedding of Daneris and Hector. The event was coordinated by Tina LaMorte of Oh So Fabulous located in New Jersey.

The calligraphy was done in ivory Bickham Swash Caps calligraphy on shimmery cinnamon colored escort envelopes. They were adorned with beautiful crystals at the wedding reception that took place last summer.

We are so excited to see the calligraphy on Platinum Weddings and hope you'll all tune in as well!


Calligraphy Beginner's Tips

I often receive inquiries about mastering the art of calligraphy, and while I can't share proprietary information on my ink, nibs and other materials, I would like to share some general information on how to get started with calligraphy.

The most important thing is finding the right pen and ink that works for you - it is a personal art and every hand is different. The best pen for you will depend on how heavily you hold it and press down. I tend to have a heavy hand, so I press really hard on my nibs (the part of the pen that comes into contact with the paper surface and deposits ink) and therefore need a firmer nib so the ink doesn't spill out on the paper. I use pens with interchangeable nibs because I have to change them often due to my volume of work. With more "wear and tear" the nibs go dull and start to not work effectively. They can catch on the paper and splatter the ink, or the ink will not flow as nicely onto the paper. If you find that your pen is catching and splattering and you are using a brand new nib, or that all the ink is running out onto the paper, you probably need a firmer nib!

The next step is finding the type of ink that best suits your writing style or the work you are doing. I don't like India ink because it tends to bleed a lot, and I also stay away from waterproof ink as it often clogs the nib and doesn't flow well. Windsor and Newton makes a good ink. Bottles run about $2-$10 each varying by brand. Sometimes you will put your pen to the paper and it will just bleed and bleed -- not a good look for your beautiful calligraphy. So what I like to do is put a few drops of Gum Arabic into the ink to thicken it up. The gum arabic makes the ink rise off the paper, rather than bleed into it and is very effective. You'll want a few types of inks because not all inks will work well with all papers.

I recommend ordering a Copperplate starter set online from Paper and Ink Arts {a source that is a fantastic resource for calligraphy supplies} and several different types {and colors even} of ink. The set comes with about 12 different nibs, so you can test them all out and see what works for you. Then you can order the individual tips you like best on their own once you figure it out. It’s all very subjective and experimentation is best to see what works and what you like and don’t like.

Good luck!

Join Our Mailing List

If you enjoy reading A Lucky Orchid Wedding, be sure you sign up for the Laura Hooper Calligraphy mailing list by clicking here. You can also find the easy signup information in the right colum of the blog.
You will receive information on calligraphy, our products and services, and even exclusive offers sent only to those on our mailing list! And don't worry, we will never sell or use your information for anything other than our occasional newletter and each one will always include a special offer {no more than once per month, and usually not even that frequent}, so sign up today before our next e-blast!
Please note that if you sign up, you can unsubscribe after your wedding very easily, and we do not sell this information to any outside firms.


Thermography Invitations - A Cost-Effective Alternative

One of our brides getting married in the Florida Keys wanted beautiful invitations, but didn't have the budget for formal letterpress. The solution? Thermography - a simple process used in conjunction with any conventional wet-ink printing press. The printed sheets coming off a press pass through a powder application, where resin is applied to the wet ink. The resin is then removed from all areas, except where it adheres to the wet ink. The paper is then heated {hence the "thermo"} causing the resin to melt and fuse to the ink. The substrate is then cooled, which finalizes the process.

The raised letters from a thermographed print are shinier than engraved characters {the look is similar, but it is not the same as Engraving}, so we played up this effect with a lovely shimmer paper. The hot orange and magenta were a perfect combination for the process and looked amazing on the shimmer paper - especially the custom designed flowers on the invitation. The invitation set was completed with another adorable map full of manatees, dolphins, an alligator and other destination icons. Also on shimmer paper, the map was flat printed, and backed in orange metallic paper to match the rest of the set.

While we love the look of letterpress, we also LOVE thermography! All the invitations on our site are available in any color combination and in letterpress or thermography. As a note, our pricing on two color thermography is a few hundred dollars less than the cost of one color letterpress, so it is more affordable, yet still gorgeous!

Tips to Preventing Identity Theft

As your big day approaches, it is easy to forget that someone could want to steal your identity and, ultimately, your funds. After all, you are giving your personal information and credit cards to vendors on a weekly or daily basis with all that goes into every aspect of wedding planning.

Meagan Ellis, Account Manager at Keland Partners gave us these great tips from Identity Truth, and we wanted to share them with all our readers:

- Definitively make the decision to either keep your maiden name or assume your spouse’s name – using both leaves room for error, as it would be difficult to keep track of where you’re using one versus the other.

- Keep marriage license and other personal documents locked in a safe and secure place. Make sure your SSN does not appear on the marriage license.

- Do not give out your social security number when planning a wedding, unless you’re securing a government document, e.g. passport, social security card. Give only the “minimum” amount of personal information to vendors.

- When applying for a new driver’s license request that something other than your SSN be used as a unique identifier.

- When changing the address on existing credit cards, speak with the credit card issuer, as some will presume this is fraud and automatically cancel the card.

- Closely monitor your credit report for new incidents/events perpetrated by somebody using your maiden name.

- Fill out a National Change of Address Form (NCOA) to have your mail forwarded to your new address.

- Decide how you will be filing for taxes (jointly or separately) and file early with the correct name

- Consider being proactive and signing-up for an identity protection service.

Your wedding and marriage should be the happiest time of your life. Keep these tips in mind so that identity theft can't spoil your wedding!


Follow us on Twitter!

In other new and exciting news, Laura Hooper Calligraphy finally took the plunge and signed up for Twitter! If you'd like to follow us on Twitter for daily updates, just click here! Hope to see you there and happy Tweet-ing!

Television Debut

We were very excited to hear from Maria Cooke at Ritzy Bee that our work was used in a wedding feature May 13th on the Washington, D.C. FOX morning news special "Wedding Wednesdays." The piece focused on tips to meet your budget and our items were used to enhance the decor. The set made good use of our adorable signage including phrases such as "Nuts for each other" in Camden Script "She saw him She loved him She got him" in Upright Script and "Something Blue" in Ella Script.You can also see our placecards craftily tucked into the napkin setting at the tables.

You can watch the entire piece here and many thanks to Maria for thinking of us and using our work!

Also, Stay tuned for details on our second television appearance later this month on Platinum Weddings!


Real Wedding - St. Petersburg, Florida

Just last month we got these pictures from a bride in St. Petersburg, Florida. The bride was stunning on her big day, and the ceremony and reception were a wonderful celebration for the happy couple and their guests. The colors were green, blue and white, which were threaded throughout the event. While the bridesmaids wore blue, the florals were lovely arrangements of green and white. For the table numbers, we wrote out the tables in Bickham Swash Caps calligraphy and framed each one with a white, antique-looking frame. As their place setting, each guest received an elegant blue menu with green Bickham Swash Caps calligraphy on the belly band.
The menus and table numbers below featured the icon of the Vinoy Hotel at the top of each where the wedding took place. The icon was taken off their custom map they purchased a few months earlier to go with their invitations {above}.

For their finishing touch, the bride and groom left each guest with a cute tote featuring a map of St. Petersburg. The totes were filled with goodies and the guests just loved them!

Photography by Lauren Pauline


Charming Chandeliers

This is a set that we worked on for a New York wedding last year. The design is call Firenze, which is also the name of the city Florence in Italian, and the calligraphy is Cherise Script. Notice how the simple and chic invitation is complimented by the matching envelope liner as well as reply card. The pop of pink adds a sweet touch to the classic look of the set. The chandelier was drawn by hand to replicate a stunning chandelier I saw in a magazine one day. I fell in love with it and had to have it on one of my invitation.

The bride also included a matching Long Island map to direct their guests to the best spots in town - including right where they met at Avenue A & 12th Street! Very adorable. While this set is done in letterpress in 2 colors, we also offer it in thermography now for those who love paper but don't necessarily have the budget for letterpress.


Wedding Day Time Capsules

{Photos courtesy of Ami Price at Elizabeth Anne Designs}

One of my contacts at Elizabeth Anne Designs recently renewed her wedding vows and had the sweetest idea to celebrate with her husband and their friends and family - a time capsule guest book. Each guest was given a folder in which they had materials to write down their 2009 resolutions, favorite memories of the couple, predictions for the next 10 years and their favorite things today. They had also been instructed to bring a non-perishable item that represented them now. Their folders and items all went into an adorable antique chest. The happy couple completed the time capsule by putting in one of their own programs, that day’s newspaper, and other various keepsakes from the event. Maybe they will have another vow renewal down the line and dig into the time capsule.

{Calligraphy for all of Ami's items was done by hand in Elegance script}

I was happy to contribute to this special occasion for Ami. We did all of the calligraphy as well as the scrolled framework for the cards that the guests filled out.

It was a tremendously successful way to share the occasion with their guests and everyone had a blast!


Save the Date -- Miami Style

A happy couple recently asked us to create the perfect save the date for their Miami, Florida wedding. They wanted to share the places close to their hearts with their future wedding guests. You can see that they point out where they met (Islamorada) and also where they each grew up. It's a great way to let your guests know why the area is special to you!

We can create any sort of look for your map and include any icon that you wish. Representing Florida, this whimsical map is filled with manatees, Florida Gators, fish, sailboats, shopping and golf. It also includes architectural hotspots Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and the Freedom Tower. We even included a seashell as the compass! Our maps can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like, and we are always able to give suggestions for icons or creative ways to represent your big day.

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