Sometimes you think (and discuss) your wedding priorities long and hard, but then when you set out to make them happen, the wedding industry responds with a big fat #nope. And sometimes, because APWers are problem-solvers, some of you make those giant gaping holes in the wedding industry into incredible womxn-owned small businesses. (So incredible, they’re quoted in the New York Times, in fact.) And that is exactly how Ink with Intent, APW’s go-to for modern, customizable, actually beautiful, ketubot (that’s the plural of ketubah!) and wedding certificates came to be.
Back in 2013, APW reader and Ink with Intent artist and founder Adriana Saipe set out to find the perfect ketubah for her Jewish-Quaker interfaith wedding, and instead found out the world was desperately lacking in ketubot and wedding certificates that were contemporary, colorful, and inclusive of all couples. So, because Adriana wanted to make the world a prettier and more inclusive place, she founded Ink with Intent, and now she makes ketubot and wedding certificates that are so amazing you’re going to want to hang one right where everyone can see it, kind of like this:
Ink with Intent offers both ketubot for Jewish, Jewish-interfaith, and Jew-ish weddings, as well as traditional Quaker wedding certificates, and secular wedding certificates that are appropriate for all weddings. Here’s a breakdown of what might be right for you:
- The signing of the ketubah is a Jewish tradition that is one of the major parts of wedding ceremony. Ink with Intent offers a range of text options suitable for a ketubah, from interfaith, to secular, to egalitarian, to even the original two-thousand-year-old Aramaic text. But most awesomely, you can supply your own text that Adriana can have translated into Hebrew. (Back when Meg got married in 2009, this was basically not an option, which is why, to commemorate her seventh anniversary, she opted to have Ink with Intent make a ketubah—shown above!—with the text they’d originally written, but couldn’t find a way to use.) No matter which text option you choose, Adriana will work with you and even your rabbi or officiant to make sure the language on your ketubah perfectly fits you and your wedding. For example, Ink With Intent has recently added what might be the only truly non-binary ketubah text out there. As Adriana told us:
Lots of sites have a ‘gender-neutral’ option, but it’s almost always just using the masculine-singular, which counts as gender-neutral in Hebrew, but which still makes most non-binary folx uncomfortable. I spent a year working with a non-binary translator in New Zealand to create the text and we used grammatical conventions that are currently being used within the Hebrew-speaking queer community. These grammatical conventions are definitely not part of the grammatical mainstream, and the text reads strangely to most Rabbis who are not themselves part of the LGBTQ+ community. Folx can learn more about it here, if you’re interested. Sorry to geek out about this! I’m just super excited to be creating Judaica that reflects the ever-evolving and increasingly-affirming nature of Hebrew. As a side note: I’ve put the text on our site free of copyright and anyone is welcome to use it.
- In the Quaker wedding certificate tradition, every wedding guest is asked to sign a wedding certificate as a formal witness. It’s a beautiful and meaningful way to have your community support the beginning of your marriage, and afterward you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork covered in the signatures of your loved ones to hang in your home. While wedding certificates originated as a Quaker tradition, they are now used widely among couples from all backgrounds, according to Adriana:
One of the questions I get asked most often from thoughtful APW readers is whether a wedding certificate is appropriate for them. So I would like to emphasize that it definitely doesn’t qualify as cultural-appropriation to use a secular wedding certificate—I’m a Quaker who married a Jew in a Jewish wedding, so I think I’m allowed to say this? While the tradition of having everyone who attends your wedding sign your marriage certificate was originally a Quaker one, it has evolved a lot in recent decades. We offer certificates that have the traditional Quaker wording, but the vast majority of the wedding certificates we produce are to non-Quaker couples who like the idea of having all their loved ones sign a certificate saying that they’ve witnessed and support their union.
- Ink with Intent also offers fully customizable wedding certificate designs that can be made to include guest signatures (as an alternative to a guestbook), vows, a reading from your ceremony, or any image and text that has meaning to you to commemorate the beginning of your marriage. (Adding your vows to a custom certificate or one of Ink with Intent’s existing designs also makes for a great anniversary gift!)
Four years into business, the Ink with Intent team has expanded to six awesome folx (plus 2 mega-cool, art-loving kiddos and one shaggy dog), but the team remains as committed to creating beautiful, customizable, and inclusive ketubot and wedding certificates as ever. Here’s what Adriana told us:
Since having my daughter, I’ve begun to spend my free time on children’s book illustration, and I’ve found that this has infused my new ketubah and wedding certificate designs with more magic and whimsy. I’m playing around a lot more with hiding secret messages in the designs and including tiny personal details that only the couple will know are there!
For example, the semi-custom “Star Map” ketubah and wedding certificate is a cool design, because you get to pick what’s on the horizon out of twenty-five different options—cityscapes, forest, ocean, mountains, open sky, etc.—and then I use some super cool astronomy websites to create a night sky that matches the exact night sky on the date and in the location of your wedding.
In all of our designs, you can pick your own texts, fonts, the number of signature lines, whether they’re labeled, and whether to include your names and wedding date at the top. And some designs even let you pick the primary and background colors as well. Furthermore, each ketubah and wedding certificate is put together by an experienced designer, so we’re happy to accommodate any requests you have for the layout or design. Just let us know what you’d like and we’ll do our best to make it happen! In addition to customizing the classic Ink with Intent designs, I also work one-on-one with couples to create totally custom ketubahs and wedding certificates.
Our clients have always been incredibly kind with what they say about us. But my favorite thing to hear is always this: that clients didn’t think they could find the right ketubah or wedding certificate for their LGBTQ/interfaith/minimalist/self-officiating/etc. ceremony, but that we had just the thing they were looking for! We take inclusiveness very seriously. All our texts are available in every possible combination of pronouns, whether you and your partner identify as a bride, groom, beloved (male or female pronouns), or non-binary.
Since I started Ink with Intent six years ago, I’ve always said that APW readers are some of my absolute favorite people to work with. You’re kind and generous. You always seem to remember that our small team is comprised of real people with real lives (which I know can be a difficult perspective to maintain when you’re in the thick of wedding-planning chaos). But best of all, you approach me with the most fascinating and fun ideas for custom projects. It truly is such an honor to work with you folx on this important detail of your wedding.
Ink with Intent wedding certificates start at $173 and ketubot start at $298, and shipping is always free. Adriana is also happy to work with couples on custom designs! Just shoot her a note, and she’ll set up a free consultation. After a phone or Skype chat, she’ll do a small sketch and provide you with an official quote for the project, and then it’s totally up to you whether or not you’d like to move forward.
Even though a ketubah or wedding certificate, like photos, will last for the rest of your life, unlike photos it can be an easy detail to overlook, as Ink with Intent client Zach realized:
In all the craziness of planning a wedding, I’ll be honest that we put off finding a ketubah until the last minute. Our rabbi recommended Ink with Intent (among other sites), and my now-husband and I checked them all out. This was the most unique and beautiful one by far!! We instantly fell in love with it. The staff were so helpful in making sure it came out perfect and got to our wedding on time. We were set on creating our own text, but some of their passages were so poetic that we didn’t have to change a word. Our friends and families loved it too. I don’t think anyone had seen such a personal and meaningful ketubah. It made our signing ceremony one of the most memorable parts of our wedding, so we even had it read out loud during the actual wedding ceremony. We can’t wait to frame it in our new home. I would not hesitate to use Ink with Intent! Thank you guys!
It used to be easy to spend hours and hours searching for just the right ketubah or wedding certificate but still come up empty-handed. But now it’s easier to just head straight to Ink with Intent, where there’s a certificate for every kind of couple (even us procrastinators!) and every kind of wedding, from Jewish to Quaker to interfaith to yours.