I’m Victoria Blüm from Victoria Blüm Calligraphy and this is my guest blog for Sapna Odlin Wedding Photography. I am a calligraphy artist based in Hampshire, Berkshire and beyond. I design and produce beautiful written art for your wedding, items that can include place names, seating plans, wedding favours such as macarons with guest names, etc. I can also produce beautiful bespoke handmade paper. Whatever you may need for your wedding, whether it be a laid back barn wedding, a fairytale castle wedding, romantic vineyard wedding, vintage style or a boho chic wedding handwritten calligraphy wedding stationary will add a touch of class and beautiful detailing that your wedding photographer will love to shoot.
Here is a bit of background about myself, I first discovered my passion for calligraphy at primary school. I was taken to a local cathedral and shown how to write in (what I now know to be) Uncial. I continued to admire script and fonts throughout my adult life but did not act upon the want to learn more until now!
Well I guess I should start with my own experiences of planning for wedding. Let’s not beat around the bush. A wedding is an expensive business and if you’re not careful you can get carried away very easily. Once you’ve considered when and where you want to get married and which photographer suits you and your wedding style, the next thing is how much budget do you want to allocate to the all important detailing which will include invitations.
Unfortunately when I got married I hadn’t heard of Pinterest and the wedding industry was a mystery to me *sigh*. Today, information is at our fingertips so we can take inspiration from so many places. (see my pinterest board for inspiration https://www.pinterest.co.uk/victoriablumcalligraphy/wedding-stationery/)
Setting the tone of your wedding
I wanted to have something tangible and everlasting that I could keep with my photographs. Something that you can reflect upon. Your stationery should really set the tone of your wedding. When people receive your save the dates they should really have an idea of what style of celebration they are attending and what the colour scheme will be. Although many people like to keep their colour scheme private, the idea is to hint, entice and allow people to have a sneaky peak. Oh and ensure they don’t turn up in the same colour as the bridesmaids! This will be the first glimpse into your big day. Traditional, glamorous, rustic, this is your chance to let people know.
Chances are, if you’ve ever thought about a wedding before you have roughly an idea of what you would like. One really important point to remember > fashions and trends will come and go and you should absolutely be a part of them if you want but remember it should suit you! Something that isn’t really your style will never really feel like it comfortably fits you. Take inspiration from around you but don’t let it dictate your style. Your venue will have a lot to do with that.
Once you have decided and set aside a budget for your stationery you need to find a stationer! There are many things to consider when looking for one. Do you want something completely bespoke / handwritten or ‘off the peg’. Lots of stationers have collections you can view or perhaps you’d like a completely bespoke designed / handwritten one. Prepare for the difference in budget. Handwritten invitations will set you back much more. Not only are you paying for the calligrapher’s expertise, you are paying for their time. If it’s a complicated invite, think about how much they need to earn per hour and how many they can write in that time.
Some stationery can be sent directly to the guests if there’s nothing else to be added. Check if this can be done (if required) and make sure you ask about postage costs and envelopes, these aren’t always included. If you’d like a hand addressed envelope that will be an added cost although totally worth it in my humble opinion. Is there anything more exciting or classy than receiving an elegantly addressed envelope through your letter box?
Placing your order
Ensure when sending your guest details to your calligrapher / stationer that you include all names on a spreadsheet so there is no room for error. Don’t forget to check all spellings for names and addresses. Turnaround time for stationery can be varied but it’s a good idea to book in several months before to be certain you get the calligrapher / stationer you want. Social media is such a great place to look. They are bound to have their own Instagram / Facebook for you to check out before making contact. This way you can make sure they’re the right one for you!
When thinking about your stationery collection make sure you include all the possible options such as; save the date cards, RSVP’s, invitations, guest information, maps, evening invitations, gift list, thank you cards, envelopes and postage.
If you are having your stationery designed and printed, check if the printing costs are included or if the digital files be sent to you for printing. No printing required with calligraphy of course but it is likely that your calligrapher will send you a tester to check that you’re good to go ahead. If you are having a calligrapher and providing you’re own materials, make sure you leave good time for the calligrapher to ink test to check its suitability and time to source new materials in case it’s guilty of bleeding!
As a traditional guide for timescales Save the dates are usually sent out six to eight months before the event. Bear in mind that if the wedding is during a popular holiday or being held abroad then guests may need more notice. Official invitations should go out 6-8 weeks before a wedding. You should allow guests up to a month to RSVP. Thank you notes should go out as soon as possible but always within two months of the wedding.
Table plans, welcome signs, place cards, escort cards, table numbers, guest books are all considered “On the day” stationery.
On the day stationery is becoming really popular and innovative. It’s the perfect individual way to decorate your venue. I adore doing on the day stationery because you get to see it all come together. Think about different needs complimenting each other, for example place cards are a great way to incorporate favours. I have done agate slices which double up as favours and personalised box. There are lots of trends but when thinking about what you want, think about the logistics too. I have written on leaves and apples. The result is undeniably beautiful but they need to be completed and placed in your venue in a very timely manner. Table plans are still going strong, anything from mirrors to the new trend of writing on fabric. If you decide to do on the day stationery make sure it goes with your theme and initial invitation suite to prevent it from looking incoherent.
So, try to stick to your budget and stay true to your style but most of all try to enjoy the planning.
If you want to see more of Victoria’s work visit her here: https://www.victoriablumcalligraphy.co.uk/