Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays : Hand-lettered Signs & Cards

[ A dressed-up envelope to accompany a special, glittery card for the newlyweds. ]

After deciding to learn calligraphy last fall, my best friend quickly informed me that she'd love to put her maid of honor's newfound skills to work creating signage for her wedding. And in the two weeks leading up to her March 27th Malibu nuptials, put to work I was! I hand-wrote three chalkboard signs; two for the ceremony space and one for the bar. It was my first time ever using chalk markers and, while I'm sure there's a better way, I freehanded each of them. Several hours were spent on each one. I also lettered or calligraphed smaller, framed paper signs (for the gift table, the escort card table, and one with their wedding hashtag) as well as place cards for the dessert and snack bar so guests would know which cookies were chocolate chip and which were peanut butter, and so on. The treat table signs were whipped up, no joke, at 2 a.m. the morning of the wedding at the request of a bridesmaid who was heading up the last-minute "Mission: Dessert Table." (Funny enough, I was happiest with how these tired-eyed pieces came out. I guess I was too exhausted to overthink them.) In addition, I created a personalized card for Marielle to give JP on their wedding day.

Finally, perhaps my biggest task, was painstakingly calligraphing 105 escort cards with guests full names in black Sumi ink and table numbers in gold (and then helping the bride stick on glittered tape to distinguish who was getting beef, fish or vegetarian). Initially I planned to break this massive project up into chunks, but due to time constraints I ended up writing all the names in one day and then writing the table numbers the next.

I am a perfectionist to a fault and my own worst critic, so while some of the projects didn't ultimately meet my high, self-imposed standards—I feel I could have done better on the escort cards if I'd had more timethe bride and groom were absolutely thrilled with everything and I heard that some of the wedding guests even commented on my work, thinking it was created by a professional or store-bought. So I know I need to cut myself some slack and be proud of all that I did create, especially since I'm still learning and it was my first time doing many of the projects. (I didn't even do all this sign-making work for my own wedding! Though still a big undertaking, the menus, dessert table signs, and favor tags/escort cards were simply written in my own, natural hand and the chalkboard signs were created by our very kind catering coordinator.)

Without further adieu, I thought I'd share a few photos of my work. I'm looking forward to seeing my bestie's professional shots when she gets them in! While it was, at times, a bit stressful taking on all these projects, it was a true labor of love for my very favorite lady.

Thanks for looking and reading! If you are interested in learning calligraphy, I would suggest taking Molly Jacques' Skillshare class. (Use my referral link to get a free month of membership with unlimited access to all Skillshare classes.) And my No. 1 tip is practice! I got a lot of practice making all those little signs, and multiple versions to boot, not to mention writing all those escort cards :)

P.S. You can follow along on my calligraphy journey on Instagram! Find me posting my latest creations and practice sessions at @wispandwhim.

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