Monday, October 5, 2009

Vendor Advice and Trends - Jan Boyd on Calligraphy

Jan for Jan Boyd Calligraphy provides brides with some insight about paper products and the use of calligraphy. Check out just some of her work below, or to see more visit her website at

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1. Plan ahead. If you are ordering your invitations through a stationer, try to get clear information on how long the printing process will take. Some local companies have quicker turnaround times if you need that. If you’re running close on time, ask if the envelopes can be run first and sent ahead to the calligrapher while the rest of the order is in process. Add about a week to whatever estimate you are given.

2. Try to be very organized and thorough about gathering your guest’s addresses. Remember that the list you give to the calligrapher is exactly what is going to go onto the envelope (unless you are lucky enough to have someone catch your typos). ALWAYS order at least 10% more invitations and envelopes than you think you need. Calligraphers are human and occasionally make mistakes. You are human and may have forgotten cousin Sue or your fiancĂ©’s new boss. It’s a lot more expensive to get extra envelopes/invitations after the fact.

3. Think about your guests’ reactions when your invitation arrives. Won’t you want to WOW! them with the presentation? Whether it’s funky or extravagant or classically elegant, the arrival of the envelope is the first look your guests will have of what your wedding will be like. You only have one chance to make that first impression.

4. Consider a “seating scroll” instead of (or in addition to) place cards. Each scroll is designed for the particular bride and groom and becomes a keepsake of the day with all the guests listed for you to see over the years. I’ve designed scrolls with illustrations to match the flowers at the wedding, with a painted representation of the venue, with motifs to match the china in the room the scroll will “live” after the wedding, with the pets that the bride and groom love, etc. The design ideas are endless and the framed scroll will last long after the cake has been eaten. The actual work on the scroll is done in the last 2 weeks before the wedding (with the table numbers going in just a few days before the wedding) so it’s a “doable” option for almost all couples.

5. Would your guests like to know who each member of your wedding party is and how they’re connected to you? Consider a program that includes that information along with the order of service. Would your guests like to know exactly what the menu is and what the sauces and embellishments are? Consider a menu – one for each guest or one for each table that can be passed around. You spent a long time deciding on the food details – let your guests enjoy the information too. Are you having a signature drink? Consider a sign on the bar that names it and gives its ingredients. Are you donating to a charity in your guests names? Consider a sign near the place cards or seating scroll that tells your guests what charity and perhaps why you support it. As you can see, adding calligraphic details can help your guests to better know what all the plans you’ve made mean to you.

6. ENJOY the process and the day. Especially enjoy the little things that go “wrong”. They will be memorable to you – especially if you think you’ve planned every single detail perfectly – and they can be some of the best, most fun memories. Stop every now and then during the day to take a deep breath and just absorb what’s going on. The day will go by very fast … don’t be one of those brides who doesn’t remember it. If you’ve chosen details you love, your guests will see your enthusiasm and joy and the energy around you will be electric. ENJOY IT!!

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