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Working With Your Vendors: Stationery and Calligraphy

Imagine if you will that you’ve done what you think is all the heavy lifting for your wedding: you’ve picked a date, found your venue, and selected all your vendors! Now that all that work is out of the way, you are definitely in the clear to relax and go party, right? Well, not exactly. The big rocks may be out of the way, but there’s a lot of detail to cover to make your wedding day truly a success. Each vendor will have a list of things that need to be done before the wedding, and we will be looking at several of them over the next few weeks. This week, we chat with Genevieve Cerasoli to give you the inside scoop on what you can expect when working on your wedding stationery suite and what it looks like to work with your calligrapher.

Stationery Suite - Photo by Kristina Staal

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of calligraphy and stationery, but may not realize that they don’t necessarily come from the same place. Working with a professional like Genevieve can really help bring your vision to life and simplify a lot of the detail work you will need to do. Ms. Cerasoli is a calligrapher and stationery designer in the Hudson Valley. “I took my first calligraphy class in high school [and] I took more classes in college as part of my major in graphic design. I worked at a packaging studio, and every time someone needed something hand written they would ask me. There were very few script fonts back then. Then I started incorporating hand lettering into my logo designs and I realized how much I loved lettering. I studied under some really amazing calligraphers over the years and love that I am finally getting to use so much calligraphy in my work: in invitations, envelopes and wedding decor.”

Before we dive deeper, a few explanations: what is a wedding stationery suite? It’s the collection of products (usually paper, but there are other options) that essentially brand your wedding: invitations, menus, place cards, signage, and more! If you’re wondering exactly what pieces you need, how these suites get created, and what this really means for you, you’re not alone. “One of my favorite parts of working with couples is our first meeting whether it’s in person or on FaceTime or Skype,” says Genevieve. “I ask all about the vision they have for their wedding, look at their Pinterest and get sense of their personal style. I have a stationery worksheet that I review with them to see what items they might be interested in having me create for them. Then I prepare a detailed estimate. If they want to work with me, I prepare a timeline for all of the items we need to complete and that becomes the guide for the days leading up to the wedding. If I’m doing a full suite plus day of pieces I often meet with the couple once a month or so. And step by step, I help them create all of the stationery pieces for their wedding.”

Because the invitations are often the first thing your guests will see to indicate the style of your wedding, the decisions you make on your stationery will definitely affect how they anticipate your event. You can have all these pieces created to match each other and flow with your event. According to Genevieve, “I create wedding stationery from save the dates to thank you notes and that often includes calligraphy whether in the custom invitations or envelopes, place cards and other wedding decor.”

The best part: these designs will be unique to your style and your event: “All of my designs and lettering are original. I do not use any script fonts. I do a wide variety of lettering styles and scan them in to incorporate into my work. When I need illustration such as watercolor flowers or backgrounds sometimes I create if myself or sometimes I purchase artwork from other artists.” She has also had the opportunity to work on some truly creative pieces, like the donut invitations: “I worked with a planner on this one, she had a couple that wanted to send out an actual donut with their invitation that said ‘donut worry you’re invited.’ It involved a lot of planning and pieces and each invitation was sent out overnight!”

Once you’ve shared your vision, there is still some work to do! One of the potentially labor-intensive details is coming up with your guest list, and then having to address all those envelopes and place cards. If that sounds like more work than you signed up for, you may want to work with a calligrapher who can help make the process painless.

If you’re interested in learning more about working with your calligrapher and getting a better idea of what’s involved in working with other vendors, come to our bridal expo in Nyack and get to meet Genevieve in person!

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