Jan 25

An Ode to Calligraphy

I’ve had dreams of many creative ventures.  Some of them are fleeting, romantic notions and others have lead me to where I am today.  Often I like to bite off more than I can chew, telling myself that I am more creatively adept than my natural abilities truly reflect.

It came to my attention that earlier this week we recognized national handwriting day.  My first thought, “What a silly thing to celebrate”. But then I realized that this was a really beautiful thing to pay tribute to.  This in my book, is a slightly more important than national donut day (which I can also easily get onboard with) or even some of the “Hallmark holidays”.  This is history, art and the written language.  This should be held in high regards.

Graceline Calligraphy | The Day's Design | Ashley Slater Photography

Cursive writing has always fascinated me.  Growing up, we had a close family friend who had the most stunning penmanship.  Just to see her writing my name got me ridiculously excited.  And she wrote this way every single day.  It was so natural for her.  I think this was probably the starting block for my love of beautiful writing.

For years I tried to emulate her talents.  I’ve doodle and played with different forms of the same letter for much of my life.  I used to write my name over and over and over again just to see how I could make it more striking.

Since I entered the wedding industry, my awareness of calligraphy and its beautiful form of art have been at the forefront of my mind.  It makes me incredibly happy when a bride seeks out a gorgeous calligrapher for her invitations and designs.  There’s a level of elegance and a timeless air that greets each guest.  And romance soars.

So back to me dreaming of many creative ventures, one talent that I was convinced for a while I could someday possess is calligraphy.  I have fairly decent handwriting, I love flourishes and modern scripts and somehow I convinced myself that calligraphy couldn’t really be that hard.  After countless Youtube lessons, a mini session with the fabulous Molly Jacques (through Bloom the Workshop) and lots of smeared ink, I have finally concluded that I’ll leave this to the experts.

Wedding Calligraphy | The Day's Design | Ashley Slater Photography

Photography: Ashley Slater Photography | Invitations Suite & Calligraphy: Graceline Calligraphy | Styling: The Day’s Design

But doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do the same, I am forever going to be an advocate of handwritten addresses, even if so many invitation companies are now offering printing services free of charge.  There’s something soothing about tracing a pencil across a crisp piece of white paper that typing cannot begin to compare.  Curate your own pen and even if only for the sake of proper communication, learn how to write legibly.  Sometimes it’s the smallest touches that add the most pleasure and let others know that you truly care.  I think my friend Ciarra at Silver Fox Calligraphy says it best,

“To me, calligraphy should not be about what etiquette dictates, or what will make your stationary seem luxurious. It is about adding a beautiful thoughtful touch, to add soul to your stationary”.

The above invitation was from Jarvie & Hank’s Lake Leelanau wedding, you can see the entire celebration here.

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