If you are anything like me at all, when planning your wedding you want your guests to open their mailbox one day and be delighted that there’s some “fun mail” in there, mixed in with the typical sea of bills and junk. While it is just essentially a way to tell a person they are invited to your wedding, and provide them with details they need to attend, it’s also the first impression your guests will have of your event. You want to set the tone and let them know what to expect. Luckily today we all have access to some way of printing and quickly sending out invites. That hasn’t always been the case. Have you ever wondered how wedding invitations got their start? Maybe it’s just me, but I did some digging and wanted to share my findings. Here’s a brief history of the wedding invitation.
It’s hard to imagine, but there was indeed a time before the printing press existed. Before 1447 when that came about, English weddings were typically announced via a town crier. Can you imagine? Someone roaming the streets yelling your wedding is happening, and anyone within earshot was expected to be a part of the celebration. I imagine the modern day equivalent being a post on social media and anyone who sees it is invited. Please don’t do that.
The Birth of the Wedding Crest and Wax Seals
Something a little more eloquent to think about is the fact that our use of wax seals and wedding monograms and crests originated with nobility and monks who were masters of calligraphy. In the Middle Ages, most people still couldn’t read or write, so only the nobility sent out physical invitations. They would commission monks to do calligraphy and hand write their invitations, which at this time typically included a Coat of Arms and a wax seal.
Hi! In case you don't personally know me, I'm Amanda Sides, and I love pretty paper. I believe it's a reflection of you as a person and especially sets the tone for any wedding, event or party.
I also love red wine, hot coffee, fresh flowers, and good shoes. You can usually find me wearing great fitting blue jeans, a white tee (or something equally as basic) and always good shoes. Okay and probably a good bag... but lately I just carry my diaper bag... but you know it's a stylish one.
Before kids you never would have found me without a perfect at-home manicure. We won't talk about how that's going now that I have three tiny dragons...
I'm a mom of three working to build a beautiful, happy and healthy family as well as this business.
While I started The Calligraphy Bar a few years back to turn my calligraphy hobby into a side hustle, it started turning into only handmade, custom one-off orders and while I do enjoy that, it was keeping me from growing the invitation side of the business, which is where my passion truly lies.
I designed my own wedding invitations almost six years ago and it sparked something in me that just won't quit. I feel like your invitation is ultimately the start of how you present yourselves to the world, and should never be an afterthought.
Signs are one of my favorite things to do for clients, and this event did not disappoint. Back in July, some great girls, Hope of Hope Taylor Photography and Caroline of Caroline Logan Photography put on a photography conference for those who are looking to start a photography business called The Gathering. The event took place at Stevenson Ridge, a beautiful local venue here in Fredericksburg, VA. Photos provided by Erika Lynn Photography.
I was already providing a single card for the swag bags lucky attendees got to take home, but then signs were also in the picture. I provided signage for the drink and buffet tables as well as a sponsor spotlight sign as well as a lovely little welcome sign, my favorite! Scroll through to see some of the signs we provided for the event.
If you are a beginner, you've likely popped your new nib into your nib holder and attempted to start writing with zero success. What's one more frustration when trying to learn something that's so dang hard already!? That's because nib manufacturers leave an oily residue on the nibs to help preserve them for long term storage. While that helps keep the nib in shape until it's ready to use, it leaves more work for you before you can get started. If you don't remove the oil by priming your nibs, the ink simply won't stick to your nib and will just run right off. I've provided five methods for priming your nibs below, so try them all and choose whichever you prefer!
I’m pretty sad I’m just getting a chance to post about this beautiful shoot I was able to be a part of in the spring! A few lovely local vendors put together a styled wedding shoot showcasing some beautiful florals, rental equipment, table settings, bridal looks and photography. This shoot was recently featured on the Virginia Bride Magazine blog, which is really exciting. Here are some of my favorite photos that came out of the shoot, enjoy!
While to some of us wedding paper is top of mind all the time, to many brides it's almost an after-thought. Like many things in life, it's put off until the very last minute and then you're out of time and can't get what you really wanted and have to settle for whatever is available. I'm here to help you plan out the different types of wedding stationery you might want to consider and map out the timeline for planning, hiring, and send-off purposes.
I have brides write me two weeks before they want to send out their invitations when they haven't even received their invitations yet and don't have their address list completed, and I, like most calligraphers, have a turnaround time of about 4 weeks or more. All it takes is a little extra thought early on in your wedding planning process and you can work your wedding stationery nicely into your timeline and budget.
12 MONTHS +
Whether you decide to have your return address printed, write them out yourself, use a stamp, or hire a calligrapher, figuring out your return address is more daunting than you might think! I've put together a few tips on placement, who's address to use, and ways to format the address for your reference!
Well, there goes another month! Time is showing no signs of slowing down (especially when you are counting down to baby number three!) but at least we are getting some tastes of warmer weather here and there. I don't know about you guys but seeing the Bradford Pears that line the streets of our neighborhood blooming gives me confidence that winter will soon be behind us. I hate the bees and other bugs that come with warmer weather, but I hate being cooped up for so long. The frost is waning and flowers are blooming and a new season is upon us.
I'm doing a much better job this year cherishing each season as it's happening instead of wishing for the next season, trying to savor every moment, but I'm still aching for every day to be warm enough to take everyone outside and live there all day! I'm also dying to get my hands on all my empty pots on the porch to plant gorgeous flowers and ferns! What's your favorite thing about spring?
You guys! I took a leap and joined on as a vendor for the Stevenson Ridge Bridal Open House last weekend. It was such a great experience and helped me get organized and actually finish my semi-custom suites and put together some helpful guides that you'll see on the site over the next few weeks (think timelines, checklists, etc.). Here's a quick snap of our table from the lovely Wolfcrest Photography.
Photo credit: Wolfcrest Photography
I love giving gifts almost as much as receiving them, but we all know budgets are always tight and you can't buy everyone everything they ever dreamed of... Homemade treats are a lovely way to show you care and share something you love with friends and neighbors. Trust me, no one will be mad about an edible gift this time of year.