I get asked this question all the time: why should I pay for calligraphy services when the product just gets thrown away? I could go on forever. But, to start off, I'll lead with another question: who doesn't love getting mail that is not a bill or coupons? Receiving something beautiful and handmade is going above and beyond. It makes the recipient feel loved and cared for. Getting into the nitty gritty could take a while, but most of my work is for weddings, so I'll focus on that.
When it comes to wedding stationary, the stationary sets the tone for your event. The save the date and, more importantly, the invitation, give the guests clues as to the formality and feel. Sometimes, the differences are obvious - a rustic barn wedding is going to have a very different invitation from a very formal ballroom wedding. But, there are little subtleties that a calligrapher or graphic designer adds to the invitation that can make a huge difference. The choice of calligraphy style is a subtle indicator to the guest - even if it is subconscious. Ink color, envelope color, size and layout all affect the initial perception. And, the ceremony hasn't even started yet! These elements tell the guests what to expect and what to wear.
More and more, the wedding industry is moving toward an almost branded wedding. Often, every element is carefully planned and thought out to match a color pallet and theme (hello, Pinterest boards!). So, it is nice to have a cohesive element to your wedding stationary. I should point out here that beautiful cohesion for your stationary does not have to be expensive. Maybe you have all of your stationary calligraphed in the same style, or maybe not. Maybe the cohesion is a monogram or illustration stamp that you use for the envelopes, place cards and menus. Those kind of small repeated details make a huge impact.
Even if your wedding is casual, calligraphy elements can work to bring about your goals. But, with more formal weddings, calligraphy is an easy way to add elegance. That being said, calligraphers aren't just about style. A calligrapher or designer can help you make informed decisions about your wedding stationary that are about tradition and etiquette. Like, should you have escort cards and/or place cards? Neither? What's the deal with the inner envelopes? (I hope to come up with a guide for this soon.)
Even if the stationary is thrown away, the feeling it brings lingers: happiness, elegance, grace. Couples want those feelings for their guests (and themselves) and calligraphy and cohesion can create that effortlessly.
Look out on the blog for another installment of Why Calligraphy. Contact me if you have any questions about wedding calligraphy!