Thinking about booking a calligrapher for your wedding, or you already have?! Great! Wedding calligraphy is continuing to get more popular and accessible, thanks to Pinterest, Instagram and local Facebook wedding groups. That being said, there’s still SO much to explore in terms of education for clients and calligraphers as the wedding trends continue to evolve and services become more widely available with new artists popping up everyday.
Here are 5 things that your wedding calligrapher wants to say to you.
We LOVE creative couples.
I seriously cannot stress this enough! There is nothing better than a client who has complete trust in us and our skills, letting our creativity run free with design. Some of my favourite projects were things that I had never done before or been asked to do until a few creative brides hired me for some projects! Pinterest is a blessing and a curse, in the sense that there are SO many unique ideas out there, but there is also a lot of beautiful (but repetitive) stuff as well. Don’t be afraid to try something new or something out of the norm!
We will not directly copy another artist’s design that you see on Pinterest, Instagram etc.
Like mentioned before, Pinterest, Instagram and all that jazz is great for inspiration, but it’s not appropriate to ask an artist to directly copy someone else’s work. We will be glad to use what you send us for inspiration and add special elements to it to make it custom and personal to you. Hiring an artist that has integrity in this regard, should be important to you as a client! Even if integrity was lacking, each calligrapher has their own distinct style that would make it extremely difficult to copy something exactly.
Proofread your stuff, please.
This is SO important! When I send a quote for services, I explain to my clients that part of my set-up & design fee includes the time that I spend double checking the information that you sent me. As a newly married lady, I remember all the names and addressed blurring into alphabet soup in front of my eyes, so I TOTALLY get forgetting how to spell “George” and mixing up last names. Do your best! Your calligrapher will most likely go over your guest list and give a quick proof read before working away, but this is NOT guaranteed. Clarify with your calligrapher prior to sending the guest list and addresses if this is something they will do for you. Also, do your best to be reasonably available in the event that your calligrapher needs to clarify spelling with you!
Small details matter, and guests appreciate it.
Seriously! It sounds corny, but the majority of guests are tickled pink to see their names written out fancy! Don’t get me wrong, your wedding is ALL about you and your partner, but having your guests swoon over your signage, seating chart and envelopes is lots of fun too. You’ve invited these people for a reason (hopefully), they’re spending their day celebrating your new venture into married life and sending lots of love your way. Finding a way to show guests that their presence means something to you is important to them!
Calligraphy is a luxury service.
Calligraphy is still not a high-priority budget item for most weddings, but it is starting to creep up into some couple’s must haves *swoon*! Modern Calligraphy is starting to pop up everywhere from seating charts, to jackets and more as couples are looking for ways to make their special days even more personal. With all that being said, anything personal and custom comes with a price tag because it’s one of a kind.
If you see someone on Facebook offering to do a sign for free for exposure, consider this: they aren’t valuing their time for anything other than a picture for social media and a hopeful review from you…if they don’t value their time, they likely don’t value the quality of work they’re putting out either.
A lovely little quote floating around social media right now, and it goes a little something like this:
“If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.” - Davy Greenberg
Calligraphy takes time and money to learn…usually a lot of both. The calligraphy artists that you are considering hiring should have prices that reflect this.
Having a budget in mind is helpful to both you and your calligrapher, so consider figuring this out between you and your fiancé(e) before committing to anything. I’m always happy to explain to couples why I’m worth what I quote and how it breaks down, as I’m sure most calligraphers are. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions if you’re genuinely unsure of the value and processes.
The calligraphy community has just recently started being more transparent about pricing and it’s done a world of difference for the community and provided a level of education for clients that was not available before. Check out the #panicfreepricingchallenge tag on Instagram to check out some amazing calligraphy artists and how they’ve priced some of their projects in case you’re curious!
Your calligrapher should have a contract for you
As should any reputable wedding vendor! If there is no contract, be wary. Get something in writing to protect yourself, especially if they’re asking for payment upfront.
You can book us as early as you want; the earlier, the better!
Most times, calligraphy is an afterthought after couples realize they have a little more room in their budget than they originally realized. Most calligraphers end up booking couples anywhere from 3 months to 4 weeks out!
I’m not sure if it’s just this year or what, but I’ve recently had brides booking OVER A YEAR OUT. Seriously, so bad ass and I love it! If there’s a calligrapher that you reallllly want to work with, but you don’t have the details all worked out yet, still shoot them a message and let them know! Most calligraphers will take a deposit to hold your spot with them, and then when the time comes for more details, you reconnect and start hashing everything out.
Follow up with us if you’re not choosing to work with us after inquiring; we appreciate it!
Oh em gee. PLEASE do this. We get it, you have 100 different vendors that you’re back and forth with and it’s easy to forget who you’ve responded to, but try! Most of us also would love to know why you’re not booking with us either, just for future reference. It’s good feedback to know what it was. Was it my pricing? Are you just not sure and will potentially reconnect in the future? Let me know! I won’t take it personally, promise!
True story: I’ve actually had a bride tell me that my pricing was a bit much after providing a quote and it was the reason she wasn’t booking at the time. I was super polite and responded back in a way that let her know that I respected her decision and truly appreciated her letting me know. Fast forward two months later, she ended up messaging me back and decided that she did want me to do the project after all!
A big thanks to the following ladies who helped contribute to this post:
Cristina at Dazed & Lettered
Ashley at Tayne & Ashley
Megan at Megan Nicole Lettering
Kaitlyn at Crystalline Script
Nora at The Chicago Calligrapher
Erica at Blossoms & Ink
Jill at Jaye Designs
Aislinn at Blush and Faire
Victoria at Victoria Monique Designs