So, you’re getting hitched?! Awesome! It’s honestly such an exciting time in your lives together, and it truly deserves as much attention as you can give it! With that being said, what takes up a lot of attention while planning a wedding is checking out what other people are doing, whether that’s on Instagram, Pinterest or creeping wedding albums on Facebook (which is what I am SO guilty of). It’s very easy to lose sight of what’s truly important to you and your partner after drowning your eyeballs in all different types of weddings with varying budgets, themes and locations.
Some Words of Wisdom
My biggest piece of advice is writing down everything that interests you from what you’ve seen and heard from others, and then go through that list with your partner and narrow down what are “musts” and what are “wants”. Mike and I prioritized food, music, videographer, photographer and transportation and delegated our budget from there. It honestly made things easier to plan and helped set us up for realistic budgets for flowers, rentals and other things that weren’t such a huge priority. Vendors appreciate when you come to them with a budget in mind, as most vendors will work with whatever you can afford! Some other random pieces of advice include renting the #JustMarriedJacketOtt from Chalked by Mabz (if it’s available and you’re in the Ottawa area), hiring a videographer if you have the budget for it, having pizza as your late night snack, get a “Day of Coordinator” if you can swing it (we had Gill & Riley from Julie & Co Evnts and they were AMAZING), bottling your own wine (if your venue allows it) and wearing comfy shoes! I wore the Kate Spade Wedding Collection Keds and they were the BEST idea ever!
Our Wedding Day - September 1, 2018
So let’s quickly talk about the big day! We were married on Mike’s family farm in Lombardy, Ontario where we had the luxury of setting everything up exactly as we wanted it. I got ready at the Best Western in Perth, Ontario and we had our first look in Stewart Park which is just steps away from the hotel. From there, we went to the farm for more photos, and the ceremony and then transported guests by bus to the Lombardy Agricultural Hall, where we hosted our dinner and reception.
This was a complete DIY wedding from start to finish, with set up starting 3 days before the wedding and ending just before our rehearsal dinner on the Friday before the wedding. We completely transformed the Lombardy Agricultural Hall to the point where people who volunteer there all year were taking photos of our set up, simply for the reason that they’d never seen the hall look so beautiful! Our arch, entry way, landscaping, donut wall centrepieces and basically everything else was set up and built by us with help from our wonderful families and friends. I truly wouldn’t change anything about it, because all the rushing and stressing paid off on the day of, ten times over. Based on the feedback we received, our guests thought it was one of the more personal weddings they had ever been to and no one could believe it was the same hall that they had been in for our Stag and Doe! It was truly OUR vision from start to finish, and no other wedding was exactly like ours because of how personal we made everything. (For the record, DIY weddings are NOT for everyone, and that’s why places like Stonefields, Evermore, Aquatopia, The Barn and other Ottawa Valley wedding venues exist!)
You can check out our wedding video by Peaking Zebra Productions here, which also includes a list of our WONDERFUL vendors. Ps. We LOVED working PZP and HIGHLY recommend them!
Our Wedding Calligraphy
So, now let’s get to the calligraphy! My now-husband was very much on board with me doing my lettering everywhere and anywhere that I wanted to, and he was quite happy to leave it to me while he focused on building things for the ceremony. As someone who offers modern calligraphy services, this wasn’t even a part of the day that I considered prioritizing; I just knew it was important to me and I would do it. If I was a bride that wasn’t able to do the calligraphy myself, it definitely would have landed in my top 5 list of “musts” for the day!
I used my calligra-SKILLZ on:
seating chart (two 15 pane french doors)
random signage (quotes on windows, saws, wood)
thank you cards & envelopes for my bridesmaids
card & envelope for my groom
order of events sign (used an old mirror)
bridal party window (used a 6 pane window)
ring bearer sign
“wish you were here” display for relatives that have passed away
head table sign
unplugged ceremony sign (window)
seating arrangement sign (window)
This is clearly an extensive list that MOST couples would not have done for their whole wedding. I’m thankful that I put in the time (over 18 months!) learning the skills beforehand so I was able to do all of this for our special day.
Most couples that hire calligraphers are looking for the following items: calligraphy on invite envelopes, calligraphy on seating charts, place cards and calligraphy on wedding signage. These are easily the most commonly quoted services that I offer and book throughout the year. Being one of a few people who offer calligraphy services for weddings in the Lanark County and Ottawa Valley areas, I get a good picture of what’s in the average wedding budget and what calligraphy items are valued most by couples getting married in this area.
How soon should you look to book for calligraphy services? As soon as you make it a priority for your big day! You seriously can’t book a wedding calligrapher soon enough! Clients that book me far in advance are sent a contract, a pricing structure and send a deposit to secure their booking. We will connect closer to the event for more specific details like guests lists and what not, but the contract and deposit locks in the project in my calendar, allowing me to block off time for the project.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to comment below or shoot me an message on my “Contact” page. I’ll be glad to answer what I can for you, whether it’s a questions about something that I did for my wedding or looking at services for your own wedding!
Thanks for checking out my first blog post! xo