I have always filed wedding calligraphy under the “definitely a luxury” header in the part of my brain that thinks about wedding things. I mean, your guests will read their names on an envelope regardless of how pretty it looks, so I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s not something you need. But, as we’ve chatted about in the past, sometimes it’s okay to want a luxury. And it’s okay to want a luxury to be affordable enough that you can make it yours (especially if you’re like me and manage to ignore every wedding adage except the one about the invitations being the first thing people see… sigh. So impressionable). Which is why I’m super excited to introduce you guys to our newest sponsor, Everly Calligraphy, a business built around the idea that calligraphy should be affordable and accessible (and it’s about damn time). So listen up paperphiles, because this one is for you.
I’ll admit, at first I was a bit concerned I might not be able to write an entire post on pretty lettering. (I’m sure I could, but I think even Everly’s shop owner, Charmaine, would get bored with that.) But really, I needn’t have worried, because when Everly Calligraphy explained their services to me and what makes them different from traditional calligraphy companies, I was kind of blown away (in an, “Oh, I could have actually afforded this when planning my own shoestring budget wedding,” kind of way.) You see, Charmaine has built her business on the principle that calligraphy should be something anyone can afford, which means that the variety of products and services offered by Everly Calligraphy runs the gamut, from return address stamps to hand-lettered vows and even to custom work like bottle caps stamped with calligraphy (more on that in a minute). In short, it’s possible that there is something for everyone here.
But what I appreciate most about Everly Calligraphy is Charmaine’s approach to what she does. As an APW reader (and recent bride) herself, she gets where you guys are coming from. So Everly Calligraphy is all about meeting you at your level. She told me, “I firmly believe that you can have calligraphic elements in your wedding without spending exorbitant amount of money, and I will never pressure you to extend yourself past your budget. I am happy to do invitation design, save the dates and monograms that you can print yourself, as opposed to a full suite of calligraphy. Or, make you a return address stamp to use on your invitations or thank you notes (which you can make yourself with a calligraphy thank you stamp!). Calligraphy does not have to be stuffy, but can be youthful, fun and modern. Additionally, I, like many other APW people, do not think that just because you can afford a big, huge wedding, does not mean that you should, so I offer several lower cost, more DIY options, like digital design and stamps.” Which, there’s nothing I love more than a vendor who is willing to challenge the foundation of their chosen field and update it to be more client-friendly.
Of course, that doesn’t answer your question (I’m assuming this question is in the back of your mind as it was in mine): what does affordable calligraphy even mean? I mean, for me, calligraphy was such a reach item (we had a 250 person wedding, so unless it was twenty-five cents a pop, there was no way we could have made that happen) that I didn’t even bother looking into pricing. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Everly Calligraphy’s prices also run the gamut, from super affordable stamps to more luxurious hand-lettering options.
While each project is different, Charmaine broke it down for me a bit. She said, “There is a huge range here, depending on what you would like done. A return address stamp can run from $55-$70, while a thank you stamp is $24, and a save the date stamp is about $150. Envelope addressing is $4 each, and a custom invitation suite is $200-$650, depending on the size and detail. A digital file of your names or a monogram is $75-$100, and vows or a love letter is $125-$150, depending on length. Place cards are $1.50 each, as are table numbers, and gift tags.” And on top of the already affordable variety of prices being offered here, Everly Calligraphy is also offering APW readers a 10% discount on their products! If you shop through their Etsy shop, use the code APW10. Or if you’re contacting them directly, just tell Charmaine you came from APW and she’ll take care of the rest.
And the best part is, Everly Calligraphy loves custom work, and can’t wait to help APW couples bring their projects to life. Charmaine even told me about some of the rad projects she worked on this year, explaining, “I love doing custom work, and just when I think I have thought of something great, someone contacts me with an amazing idea for a custom piece. I even had one couple who brewed beer together as a hobby, and when they decided to get married, they brewed beer to serve at the wedding. They had me design their initials for them, and they had them printed onto a bottle cap for each bottle! I am also so touched when someone has me write their vows for them, or a love letter for their partner. Those are some of my favorite jobs; I feel like I am being entrusted with a very important duty when I take those on!”
But the thing I really want to touch on before you go check out the rest of Charmaine’s work, is the amount of heart behind Everly Calligraphy. You see, when I emailed Charmaine to learn more about her work, I wasn’t expecting the response I got back. She explained to me that she’d started Everly Calligraphy as a way to maintain a creative outlet after graduating into the recession with an advanced art degree, but that she fell in love with APW when planning her own cross-cultural wedding earlier this year and read the archives cover-to-cover. She even told me that my post last week on maintaining work/life balance had really resonated with her because she’s working her butt off to make Everly Calligraphy her full-time job while holding down her day job. In short, she’s exactly the kind of person that makes APW’s sponsors so special. Because she’s one of your own, she knows what you guys are about, and she wants nothing more than to make a living doing what she loves with APW couples. And that motivation is always a magic combination.
So, if you’ve been secretly pining after calligraphy, but couldn’t justify the cost, I am beyond thrilled that Everly Calligraphy is here, offering affordable calligraphy to the APW masses. If my exchange with Charmaine is any indication, you guys are going to love working together and I’m going to be seeing a lot of pretty paper very soon.