View Posts By:




#SMPWedding101 – Calligraphy Pricing Decoded

We’ve stumbled upon some confusion when it comes to calligraphy styles and pricing but thankfully Carla Hagan is here to help sort it all out. You see, not all calligraphied envelopes and escort cards cost the same – it depends on the style you’re choosing for your big day. Carla Hagan Designs recently conducted a survey and her results (below!) helps it all make more sense – because we all know, mixups are one thing we don’t need when it comes to wedding planning.

From Carla Hagan DesignsIn July 2016, I conducted a business pricing survey with over 233 professional calligraphers, asking them to share their pricing structure. Participants in the survey included members of calligraphy guilds, The International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting (IAMPETH), and various professional forums. While conducting the survey we found a considerable difference in price structure between “modern calligraphers” and calligraphers classically trained in traditional styles such as copperplate, spencerian and Italic script.

We also found that many blogs and online magazines post prices for calligraphy more consistent with “modern calligraphy” versus traditional hands. This is causing conflict throughout the calligraphy industry where brides have unrealistic expectations for the cost of traditional calligraphy based on these articles.

I’m excited to share some of the key points from our survey:

Modern Calligraphy

Twenty-five percent of the participants in the survey classified themselves as Modern Calligraphers. Modern Calligraphy is a unique, script style using free-form, mix and match lettering.

Base Envelope Average Price: $2.70
Range: $2.00 – $4.00

Return Address Average Price: $1.50
Range: $1.00 – $2.25
Custom Ink Color: $0.40
Range: $0.25 – $0.75

Inner + Outer Envelopes
Black Ink: $4.00
Range: $3.00 – $7.00
Gold/Metallic Ink: $4.43
Range: $2.00 – $7.25

Place Cards
Black Ink: $1.45
Gold Ink: $1.78

Escort Cards
Black Ink: $1.80
Gold Ink: $2.05

Rush Fee: 25%
May be applied to orders needed in less than 10 business days.

Seating Charts
100 Lines: $200.00
Chalkboard 100 Lines: $190.00
Mirror 100 Lines: $200.00

Traditional Calligraphy

Set Up Fee:
$40. 00
* Unique to traditional calligraphers
Range: $25.00 – $50.00

Base Envelope Average Price: $4.30
Range: $3.00 – $7.00

Return Address Average Price: $2.10
Range: $1.00 – $2.50
Custom Ink Color: $0.50
Range: $0.25 – $0.75

Place Cards
Black Ink: $2.25
Gold Ink: $2.50

Escort Card
Black Ink: $2.65
Gold Ink: $2.86

Rush Fee: 40%
May be applied to orders needed in less than 10 business days.

Seating Charts
100 Lines: $400.00
Chalkboard 100 Lines: $400.00
Mirror 100 Lines $400.00

*These are results from a broad survey, not guaranteed pricing for all calligraphers within the wedding industry. Please note that pricing will vary by artist and business. 

Ready to invite your guests? See our tips below!



We’re excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don’t miss out!


For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach

For our Destination Brides… Discount from Hitch’d Weddings & Events

For our Southwest Brides… Don’t miss upcoming trunk shows at Lovely’s in Dallas, Phoenix and Houston!

For our New England Brides.. Discount from Long’s Jewelers

For our Tri-state Brides… Discount from Femina Photo + Design, giveaways from NST PicturesOLLI STUDIO and Twobirds Bridesmaid, and don’t miss the Anna Campbell and Rue De Seine trunk shows at Lovely NYC location Oct. 28th – Oct. 30th!


Congratulations to our The Heritage House Resort & Spa winner Macye!

Congratulations to our Jenny Yoo winner Melanie E!

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Calligraphy Information: Carla Hagan Designs

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
A Big Island Hawaii Wedding All About Color

For Katherine and Tim, choosing to wed on the big island of Hawaii was a no-brainer. The natural beauty just speaks for itself and would serve as the ultimate backdrop for their five-day celebration, leading up to “I do.” Moana Events was behind all the beauty and you can see each moment through the lens of The Happy Bloom.


From The Happy BloomKatherine and Tim decided to wed on the beautiful big island of Hawaii. They wanted to shower their guests with sunshine, fruity cocktails and one heck of an island getaway! Katherine is Filipino so adding that special element to their traditional Hawaiian ceremony was extremely important. Ceremonial items in Filipino weddings include the arrhae (a gift of money), the candles, the veils, the cord, and wedding rings. The ring bearer acts as the holder of the rings while the coin bearer acts as the keeper of the arrhae until it is offered and given by the groom to his bride. Among the wedding sponsors, three pairs – each pair consisting of a male and a female – are chosen to light the wedding candles, handle the veils, and place the cord. Sponsors are important people to the bride and groom such as relative, close friend or godparent.

Moana Events created an incredible arch for their ceremony. Flowers, flowers, flowers! That was definitely the motto for creating this stunning piece. Our favorite moment of the day was when Katherine surprised Tim with a traditional wedding hula dance. The moment was so intimate and sweet. Tim was so surprised and loved every moment.

From Moana EventsKatherine and Tim hold the Hawaiian islands close to their hearts and could think of no better place than to invite their guests for a week of festivities than on the Big Island of Hawaii. When Katherine approached us to do her five-day affair the wedding day was to be the highlight of the week. We designed a romantic, coastal inspired event with pastel florals, French blue linens, vintage milk glass vases, capiz shell details, and white washed farm tables. Breezy dining canopies were the perfect outdoor seating for the guests and they danced the night away to a live band on the custom wood and white patterned dance floor.

From the Bride… We met online…E-harmony. At the time online dating at our age was very awkward. I was convinced by my peers to get out there and make myself available. Tim at the same time was doing the same. I took this challenge as a social experiment, while Tim’s outlook was to meet people. Come close to a year of online dating, we were both at the end of the experience. After a long day, I checked my inbox, pop up 5 matches. None of them were interesting enough for me to poke or wink at. So I decided to scan outside my pool of matches. The first one was Tim. His profile resonated with me when he wrote “ my children are my inspiration.” So I sent him a wink.  

When I saw Tim for the first time our eyes locked and the room closed in on just the two of us as if we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were giddy like high school kids for weeks, months and even still. I soon met his children after a year. From then our relationship was out in the open. It bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. I must admit, not having kids of my own, sharing my life with Tim and the kids has been amazing. I can honestly say, they were the best gifts Tim has ever shared with me.

Our vision for our wedding day circled around these words “family, friends, love and experience.” We took some time to look at venues in California, but nothing seemed to resonate our vision. We loved Hawaii, and were drawn to its beauty and serenity. We picked the Mauna Kea because of our love for their beach. Every time we went there, we always said we should invite so and so and so and so to share the magic of the place. The love and commitment Tim and I have for each other wasn’t for just us. We wanted to share our love in hopes that those that came to our wedding experienced love of all levels and inspired to carry that with them to share with others. 


Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: The Happy Bloom | Cinematography: Techy3 Studio Production | Event Planning + Design: Moana Events | Floral Design: Steven Boyle Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Makeup: Muse Agenci | Hair: Luxe. | Band: Elan Artists | Venue: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Bula Akamu Trio | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Sound: Hawaii Sound & Vision | Tent Rentals: Big Island Tents

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
A 54 Year Romance That’ll Give You All the Feels

If there’s one thing we love more than weddings, it’s a wedding anniversary. Because when it comes to your wedding day, it’s really the marriage that matters. Take this 54-year celebration that’s filled with endless love and all the #lifegoals you can dream up. Captured by A. Thomas Photography, we’ve got it all waiting in The Vault and some of the sweetest moments waiting for you below!

I am as lucky now as I was the day I married you – Mr. Larry

I walked away remembering why I

became a photographer in the first place

– A. Thomas Photography

From A. Thomas PhotographyThere are some things that are timeless: the dusk that settles over an ocean at sunset, fireflies that lead you home, the song of a cicada lulling you to sleep in the south…and love. Larry and Caroline are a rare story these days. They said “I do” to one another 54 years ago, and have continued to choose one another every single day since then. I have known these two my entire life, and I have never met a couple more loving and giving than they are – their love story is a testament to the staying power of true love.

Their granddaughter, Christina, reached out to me a few months back to talk about styling a session to celebrate their anniversary, and all of us jumped at the chance. It is so easy in this fast-paced world of weddings to forget that the marriage is actually the part we should be celebrating. This session reminds us that love is a choice that you make daily, and is the most fulfilling choice in the world. When we surprised them the morning of the session, I asked them to write down what they loved most about one another. It didn’t take them long to write a list, but these stuck out to me.

Mr. Larry said, “I love you for everything you’ve been through with me. You have put up with me for all of these years, and I am as lucky now as I was the day I married you.” Mrs. Caroline responded, “You are the most Godly man I have ever known. You are the best father, grandfather, and husband I could have ever asked for, and I have been so blessed by you”. I don’t think it gets much better than that.

We chose to do the session at their home in Sharpsburg, Georgia in homage to the fact that they were married in her childhood home’s living room – a custom that was common in 1962. They slow danced, snuggled, and laughed throughout the session, and I walked away remembering why I became a photographer in the first place.

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: A. Thomas Photography | Floral Design: Southern Stems | Wedding Dress: Dillard's | Hair + Makeup: Miss B Beauty Bar | Film Scans: PhotoVision Prints

Claire Pettibone’s Four Seasons Collection is Straight Out of a Dream

Claire Pettibone, the queen of all things romantic, has outdone herself with her latest collection. Truly. Inspired by each of nature’s four seasons, she masterfully mixed floral motifs, touches of color, dramatic backs and feminine details for a collection of gowns so pretty, you’ll want them all. But today, we’re giving you an exclusive sneak peak of sultry and earthy summer dresses, thanks to these gorgeous photos from Judy Pak Photography. See them all and read more about the collection below!

How would you describe the Claire Pettibone bride?

I’ve always felt that your wedding gown should be the ultimate expression of who you are, and a symbol of the woman you will become with this partner by your side. So when trying to describe the “Claire bride” I have no single answer. She is smart, stylish, irreverent, sweet, strong, independent, vulnerable, and everything in between. I am so grateful that my work has found an audience, and the brides who gravitate to it, are such devoted fans! For me, the diversity and variety of my brides is what inspires me season after season.

How did you decide on the Four Seasons Concept?

I had the idea for a collection inspired by the four seasons some time ago, which led me to the illustrations by Alphonse Mucha of the Art Nouveau period. I created dresses inspired by each of nature’s four seasons with lots of floral motifs, touches of color, and as always, dramatic backs and feminine details. Creating four looks to epitomize the season they represent, while maintaining the versatility to be worn by brides for any time of year, was a really fascinating challenge.

What distinguishes one “Season” from the next?

I love that each season has a very defined mood, Spring being all about nature literally blooming and coming to life. Summer is a bit sultry, and earthy. Fall becomes very rich, and introduces elements of color and the whole, turning-of-the-seasons magic. Wrapped up with a peaceful winter wonderland of snow dusted sparkle.

How did you translate each of the four seasons into wedding dresses?

The spring dresses literally bloom from head to toe with delicate floral embroideries, laces and carefully placed appliqués. Cotton embroideries, breezy tulle and linen, composed with sheer details and a bohemian spirit, epitomize the perfect summer mood. For Autumn, I incorporated rich texture, detail and precious metals woven into luxurious embroideries and laces. Elaborate embroideries, layers of lace and tulle, and the subtle shimmer of sequins and crystals are statement pieces for Winter.

What design details did you use to tie the four Seasons together?

Through my years as a designer, there seems to be an inescapable essence that comes through. I think perhaps because I pour my heart into my work, and have always stayed true to my own vision, that whatever that “it” is, gives the seasons a continuity despite the variations on a theme.

Do you have a favorite Season? Why?

In my personal life, I’m a Summer girl without a doubt, but for this collection, it’s REALLY hard to pick a favorite…I have favorite dresses within each season, but I’m hard pressed to choose one over the other. That is partly what made this collection so much fun to design, that each season really does have a distinct point of view, and defined inspiration.

Is there a different bride for every Season? Who is she?

There could be, although I believe a dress from spring could certainly be worn for a fall wedding, and a winter gown could be perfect for a summer soiree. If I had to put it in a nutshell, I would say, Spring is the ultimate romantic, Summer is casual sensuality, Fall would be dramatic and unique, and Winter glamorous show-stopper. I present this collection as an inspirational starting point, and leave it to the creativity and individual personalities of my brides to make these dresses their own.

How did the hair and makeup relate to the dresses for each “Season?”

I wanted to keep the look kind of classically beautiful in keeping with the Art Nouveau references, but then we put a little twist with each season having a signature lip color.

See Every Gorgeous Gown from the Four Seasons Collection

Claire Pettibone Bridal Week Fall 2017
View Slideshow
Claire Pettibone Bridal Week Fall 2017
View Slideshow

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Photography: Judy Pak Photography | Event Design: Type A Society | Floral Design: The Southern Table | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Shoes: Emmy London | Engagement Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup: Kevyn Aucoin | Hair: Ted Gibson | Mixology: Alchemiq Catering | Programs: Two Paper Dolls | Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here