Custom Seating Arrangements

Last year I worked on a wedding for a couple getting married in the Northern California wine country. They had the wonderful idea of sending a bottle of wine as their save-the-date, which set the tone early for a lovely, elegant affair with no details spared! They decided on Nickelson's Invitations in the OC and UK for their invites as well as menus and other printed materials. The calligraphy style they chose is Costello, shown here on the menus and also on the limoncello sign - isn't that the sweetest thing? The escort cards matched the menus in design and were creatively placed amongst rows of pears as the guests entered the reception area. These adorable touches exemplified the personality and thoroughness of the happy couple and made for a perfect wedding day!

Menus with personalized belly bands assigned a seat to each guest.

Small signs placed creatively complete the look.


More on the Placecard vs. Escort Card Conundrum

Clients {and wedding guests} sometimes wonder about the difference between "Escort Cards" and "Placecards," but it is very simple. Escort cards send your guests to their correct table, while placecards tell them which seat to sit at at the table. It is important to have assigned tables at the least so that there is a smooth transition from your ceremony to your reception, without guests wondering where they should sit or with whom. It's also important so that there aren't empty seats "wasted" and any given table.

These adorable cards with table numbers attached would hang nicely on a cute bulletin board, or a tree.

Escort cards can be simple or creative, such as these real sanddollars {above} that would hang in a little tree.

Often times for small weddings, escort cards are not needed if your guests are sitting at one long table. It's easier for them to just walk around until they find their names, such as with these sanddollars for a wedding in Hawaii. {This is quite common with destination weddings}

Placecards too can be very meaningful such as the bookmark below {there was one at each seat with the guest's name inscribed across the top edge in Copperplate Script}.

Menus {such as the one below by Nickelson's Invitations} with belly bands are one of my favorite ways to creatively use placecards. Though not all receptions require placecards, sometimes your caterer or the venue require them. If you are confused about whether you need them, you should consult with your wedding planner.

Whatever you decide, your guests will appreciate the token to take home with them.


Mapping International Waters

We love it when new opportunities present themselves, and with technology today, the possibilities of who we can reach are endless. In addition to creating maps for "destination" weddings such as one I did for a Stateside bride getting married on Isla Mujueres in Mexico, I also have the honor and joy of working with international brides all over the world
{or the Western Hemisphere thus far}!

One of my English brides was married in Oxford, and I created this authentic map for her. With an appreciation for the gorgeous architecture, we decided to accurately depict the various buildings and monuments - the result was quite nice! On the reverse of the map was an itinerary with further wedding details for the guests.

{Destination wedding map for and English couple getting married in Tuscany}

Over the past couple of years, I have also worked with a bride in Spain, one in Venezuela, another from England {photo above} and one from Italy. I am so pleased that thanks to reliable shipping, and of course the internet, we are able to collaborate across international waters, and I look forward to reaching out even further in the future!

{Map of Italy for a nice Italian couple last year}

{Map of Lake Louise, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies for a couple in Canada}


Spotlight on Anderson Green Events

I recently crossed {internet} paths with Lisa Green, founder of Anderson-Green Events, a New York-based Event Planning Firm that works primarily in New York, The Hamptons, Philadelphia, Westchester and Connecticut. After working many years for a top level wedding planning company, Lisa decided to start her own business that provides complete consulting services for Weddings, Social Events, Non-Profit Events and Corporate Events. From the chic and vibrant website to a helpful blog, Anderson-Green Events is full of sophistication and charm. The friendly team at Anderson-Green Events goes above and beyond, meticulously attending to every detail, pulling together flawless events, so that their clients can relax and enjoy their friends, family and colleagues.

With an exquisite portfolio already under way, Anderson-Green Events has been listed in the acclaimed New York Weddings Magazine and continues to produce events with a fresh perspective that are personal, memorable, and unique.


It's in the Details

Weddings are always a fun time with great friends and family. But the things that will make your wedding stand apart from the rest are the tiny details that can make your day unforgettable. Here at Laura Hooper Calligraphy, we not only handle all of your stationery and calligraphy needs, but we can also help you brainstorm special little "extras" that make your wedding truly personal and remarkable. This cake sign, for example, is a simple touch that goes a long way. This fabulous little sign was hand-drawn in the couple's colors, canary yellow and chocolate brown, and stood next to the cake letting the guests know the flavor of each tier and complimented the cake itself beautifully - can you see the resemblance?
{The calligraphy was done in Ella Script.}


Something Old -- Vintage Postage

{Photos Courtesy Elizabeth Anne Designs}

I recently addressed some oversized envelopes in Elegance Script for a bride {Incidentally, Ami of Elizabeth Anne Designs} with a very classic taste - as in old classics! After we sent the envelopes back for mailing, they spiced things up with these clever vintage stamps. The stamps {and thus envelopes as well} were different for every recipient!

Clients can order these vintage stamps on Ebay in all different shapes and sizes (and denominations - so make sure they add up to the correct postage on every envelope!). Revisit childhood cartoons, revered sports icons, symbolic moments in history and other classic images. Prices vary based on seller.

It's the perfect way to mix something old with something new!

{The above photo depicts the inner envelope}


Not Your Generic Bottled Water

We just love these adorable custom labels by Bottle Your Brand! You can transfer the overall theme of your wedding day to your own, personalized bottled water - even incorporating our calligraphy or monograms. The labels are printed on synthetic material that is completely waterproof, self-adhesive, and won’t tear or smudge, and Bottle Your Brand can offer quick and easy service, with a 5-day turnaround for water bottles. You can also order the labels alone to use as you wish, and the digital printing is always picture perfect!

This is a wonderful idea to compliment your maps in welcome baskets for weekend extravaganza's or to provide in your guest hotel rooms!

Thank you to Erika at Bottle Your Brand for introducing these fun and fresh labels to us.


A Family Affair

As a boutique company, many clients often wonder about our volume of work and how we are able to manage it. Well, I would never be able to do the work that I do without the help of my assistant, also known as "Mom." My mother, Roxanne, has worked her entire adult life, but she left her full-time job in Santa Monica a couple of years ago to become my part-time assistant. However, as Laura Hooper Calligraphy has grown, so has the time committment and dedication from my mom. Every day we work together to organize our projects and interact with our clients and vendors. Since I do so much of my work by hand, it's impossible to take every call we get, and that's what my mother is there for!

This is truly a wonderful experience to share with my mom. She is the only person I trust complicitly with my clients' precious stationery, placecards, maps, totes - everything. She is dependable and responsible and very crafty with assembly, allowing me to focus on the art of calligraphy and my creativity in order to satisfy our customers' dream wedding needs.

Another important member of the team is my Dad. My father, Don, retired 2 years ago after serving 35 years on the job at the LAPD. However, we keep him quite busy between his Bruin football games and Dodger Baseball -- My dad is responsible for coordinating all the deliveries to and from our various printing vendors which are located all over the San Fernando Valley. He uses his years as a lieutenant to keep me and my mother focused and makes sure all our orders are printed to the highest standards of quality.

{My dad, my sister, and me just this past January on a family vacation}

Also important to note that my dad was the original driving force behind Laura Hooper Calligraphy. He has always told my sister and me that we could do whatever we want in life, but we should find jobs where we get to do the things we love everyday. After I did the calligraphy for my best friend's wedding over 5 years ago, my dad bought me my first website and started referring me to his cop buddies whose daughters were all getting married.

Last but not least is my younger sister Alyssa {also pictured above}. My sister is a graduate of UCLA and is currently working on an MBA. Originally as a starving student I would throw her odd jobs such as organizing files and plotting points of interest for my custom maps. Now, in addition to the maps, she works on PR and helps choose topics for the blog.

It's great to have such a wonderful family to lean on for support when running "the business" as everyone who knows us seems to call it. There is no way I would be able to do all my work with out my loving family!


Map Insets

Many couples are enjoying our custom maps that I offer in many colors and styles. They are a unique way to showcase the wedding festivities as well as a couple's journey and relationship. This map I created for a bride who wanted the main map to feature Middletown, Delaware, but also wanted a couple locations from Newark. The map would have been too "zoomed out" to show both cities connected, so we marked the direction with the arrow to Newark, and placed this cute inset in the main map. It was a perfect solution to representing all of the meaningful places for this bride and groom. This map was especially personal because the gorgeous gothic boarding school on the pond was were the couple went to high school together - too cute!!


A Special Touch

Brides are always looking for ways to accentuate their invitation suites and maps and make them unique, and envelope liners are an easy way to add an extra touch! They can be as simple as a rich gold liner to tie the suite together, or as adorably creative as this wedding cake and ring liner. I hand drew these sweet illustrations and had them printed and cut to fit into the envelopes. Each liner was then inserted by hand to complete the look. The precious cake was also included on the front of the notecard with a save-the-date map inside. It was a subtle yet effective way to tie the whole look together.

Wedding Save the Date Bi Fold of Georgia

Seashell Liner for a Manhattan Beach Map

Our Birds Invitation and Liner

An Italian Crest Liner for the small town the Bride and Groom are getting married in. All the envelope liners are customized according to your map, colors, and invitation suite. They are also available in shimmer papers and solid colors!


Postage Stamp Increase - May 11th!

We would like to remind everyone that the postage rates are increasing from 42¢ to 44¢ on May 11th. This is very important to anyone expecting their reply cards to be returned around that time. The new stamps won't be available for sale until May 1st, so the best solution to avoiding any problems is to use the Forever Stamp, which costs 42¢ right now but will be valid "forever" - and definitely will work when your guests drop their RSVPs in the mail!

If you've already purchased your custom stamps, another option is to include a two-cent stamp, but this can be cumbersome on the tiny envelopes that often hold your RSVPs.

It's also a good idea to weigh any invitations going out in the next couple of months to make sure you get accurate postage so that all of your guests receive them in a timely manner.

See the USPS website for full details on the price changes.


Something New -- Signs

For a recent wedding, the bride, Michelle Ferry of the fabulous MiBelle Photography asked us to create some adorable signs to hang all over her reception. Taking their B monogram first, and then she told me all of the things she wanted her and her guests to "B" at their wedding! To coordinate with the overall look of the reception, and to match her invitations as well, I hand painted these black chalkboard-like signs with white ink. Pictured here is a more modern looking all lower-case script script, but they can be done in any calligraphy style. What a precious idea for adding an extra touch to your decor and getting your guests in a cheerful mood!

And as I mentioned before, the signs were meant to match her invitations, which are now also up on our website!

The invitations were specifically designed to match Michelle and Josh's more modern style.

And here is the fabulous couple at their wedding!
For more of their wedding photos visit the MiBelle Blog.

{All photos courtesy of MiBelle Inc.}


Not an April Fool's Joke

It's official - as of today, April 1, 2009, the LA County sales tax rate has increased to 9.25%, so please be aware that as an LA County business, we are required by law to put the new sales tax rate into effect here at Laura Hooper Calligraphy. I promise to continue to provide you with the highest standards of service and look forward to continuing to serve you throughout this temporary sales tax increase!

On a happier note...we have been very busy here at Laura Hooper Calligraphy and I thought I would share some photos of my recent work!

{Fabulous seating charts}

{Creative Maps}

{Fun itineraries}

{Sandollar placecards for a Seaside Wedding in Cabo}

{Exquisite Calligraphy -- photo courtesy of Trish Caal}

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