A month before my first wedding anniversary I found myself crying in the bathroom at a friends’ wedding because “I hated weddings, I hated marriage, and mostly I hated that no one talked about how hard any of it was.” Translation: being engaged and throwing a wedding was hard AF for me (and us), and the first year of marriage was no cakewalk either. In that moment—not even exaggerating you guys—the thing that pulled me through was the memory of a post Meg wrote about marriage being bigger than either of you. I also remembered how she spoke about the Jewish tradition of hanging your ketubah on the wall as a daily visual reminder of the promises you made to each other. Because we are not Jewish and our actual marriage certificate was just a computer print-out, for our anniversary (it was “paper” after all!) I bought a shadowbox and pinned our handwritten vows along with a few of our wedding photos inside. And it’s been hanging on our bedroom wall for nearly five years, reminding me that I only ever promised to take things one day at a time, and so far, so good.
All that to say, if you’re preparing for a Jewish wedding—or a Quaker wedding—you might already know a little something about the magic of having a religious ketubah or marriage certificate, and if you’re not, it’s something you might want to consider incorporating in the form of a secular wedding certificate. And if, like me, you’re married but need a daily visual reminder of what you signed up for, you can always get your vows worked into an anniversary certificate. (Meg gifted her husband this religious anniversary certificate for their seventh). APW’s favorite go-to for all of the above is Ink With Intent, who designs the most inclusive, beautiful, and customizable ketubot and marriage certificates around. (And for those of you having Jewish weddings struggling to find a way to write your own ketubah text, without, you know, being able to translate Hebrew on your own and being a millionaire? Ink With Intent is the answer to your prayers.)
Ink With Intent was founded five years ago by illustrator/designer and APW reader, Adriana Saipe, when she couldn’t find anything nearly beautiful and modern and inclusive enough to want to use in her own wedding—an interfaith Jewish-Quaker ceremony. Over the years Ink With Intent has grown to include a broad range of wedding certificate options:
- Traditional and contemporary ketubah designs, which are available with a wide variety of—super inclusive!—text options. And, since most people don’t have a ton of experience purchasing a ketubah, Ink With Intent’s site has a bunch of super useful advice on everything ketubot (from the ketubah explained in sixty seconds to a step-by-step guide to your signing ceremony).
- Traditional Quaker wedding certificates, which have the traditional Quaker wording, and which are required by meeting houses in order to have an official Quaker wedding.
- As well as wedding certificates that are appropriate for a variety of secular wedding uses.
As Adriana told us:
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.
Regardless of what kind of certificate is right for you, Ink With Intent’s number one priority is making it as inclusive and customizable as they come:
We’ve always been committed to working with every couple in a loving and respectful way, regardless of religious background / gender identity / whether we’ve had our coffee yet / etc.
Here’s one thing that I was surprised to learn recently. A lot of ketubah sites have one or two “same-sex” ketubah texts in addition to the more standard offerings. I always assumed that these texts spoke specifically to same-sex couples in a way that their other texts did not. But just the other day, I learned that, in fact, they were instead the ONLY OPTIONS given to clients who needed all female or all male pronouns. So two brides getting married couldn’t order their normal Reform text?! Or, even if they can, they’d be charged extra as though it’s custom translation work?! I found this pretty shocking in 2018. Needless to say, every text option we have is available for all couples. And we’re always happy to change pronouns and partnership terms to best reflect the nature of your relationship.
In all of our designs—ketubah or wedding certificate—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. Some designs even let you pick the primary and background colors as well. And since each ketubah and wedding certificate is put together by an experienced designer, we can easily accommodate any requests you have for the layout or design. We have a very personal and communicative style of working with our clients: Planning to have seven witnesses sign your ketubah? No problem. Dying to use the same font on your wedding certificate that was on your wedding invitations? We can make it happen. We also obsess over logistics like it’s our job (because, it totally is). We’ll keep track of all your deadlines; send you plenty of information about pens, care, and framing; and track your shipment until it’s safe in your home. We figure you have enough on your plate what with planning a whole wedding, so we take as much of the work off your hands as possible.
For something so beautiful and so customizable, Ink With Intent’s prices are hella affordable. Wedding certificates and anniversary certificates start at $155 and ketubot start at $280, and include all the customizations mentioned above. AND! They are all 10% off for APW readers until the beginning of May. Just use the code APractical2018 at checkout.
Adriana also frequently works with couples on custom designs (which, once you fall down that rabbit hole, you’re going to want one for yourself). Just shoot her a note, and she’ll set you up with a free consultation. After a phone or Skype chat, she does a small sketch and provides 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. Those custom designs can include more than just ketubot and certificates, but also invitation suites based on your certificate design, anniversary certificates, and adoption certificates that celebrate a child’s legal adoption into a family. And just a heads up if you think you might be interested in a custom design, now is the time. As Adriana told us, “Our team (and, more specifically, my little family) is adding another baby #girlboss to our ranks this coming summer. It won’t affect any of our regular orders since my team can carry the torch without me just fine while I take some maternity leave. But if anyone is interested in a custom design, I’d encourage them to reach out ASAP to get the ball rolling!”
Speaking of that team, here’s what Adriana—and clients Cori and Matt—have to say about them:
Sara and Sarah care about each of our clients as deeply as I do. We got a really sweet note last month that’s definitely stuck with me. Cori and Matt wrote: “Working with Sarah and Sara was the best experience! They were always so quick to respond and make any revisions that were needed. I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was to get everything done, definitely our most beautiful and efficient wedding vendor! Our Ketubah looks more beautiful than I could have imagined. I’m so glad I found this design, it is exactly what I was looking for and deeply represents who we are—not to mention the colors and design are stunning! Thank you again for everything—we couldn’t have done it without you!”
When you work with Ink with Intent, you get a whole mini-team of people who are obsessed with getting you a perfect ketubah or wedding certificate well before your wedding. They are seriously THE BEST.
Chances are, if you’re in the market for a ketubah or wedding certificate/super cool guestbook option, you’re already checking out Adriana’s designs—but if you’re not, you’re at the very least going to want to read the magical meaning behind Adam and Sumit’s interfaith Hindu-Jewish, travel-related ketubah (and ogle their beautiful wedding), or get inspired by how other couples included a ketubah or wedding certificates as part of their celebrations.
Ink With Intent is offering 10% off to APW readers until the beginning of May. Just use the code “APractical2018” at checkout. CLICK HERE TO FIND Your FAVORITE DESIGN!