I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen the owner of El’s Cards at a business workshop. Little did I know that I would be photographing her beautiful hand crafted wedding invitations just days later at a wedding inspiration shoot. Her wedding invitation suites are all hand made and so beautifully crafted. She uses calligraphy and works with watercolors. Ellen is a talented artist and really gets to know her clients and listens to their needs creating the most amazing watercolor wedding invitations and wedding calligraphy keepsakes. Get to know Ellen below and see more of her beautiful calligraphy and watercolor work on her website El’s Cards:
1. How did you get into wedding invitation design? I have always been creative and have done calligraphy since high school (a LONG time ago!). Painting was something that I have always also loved, and that came naturally to me. I started creating invitations the second year I had started my card business in Boston. People started to request watercolor invitations, so I started offering them. At the time they were very simple designs (single stem hydrangeas, snowflakes, etc.) and they were each painted by hand individually on every invitation! I had a custom font created of my own calligraphy style and it’s taken off since then.
2. What tips would you offer the bride and groom when working with their designer? Ask questions! And be true to what is important to you as a couple. Consider the venue of your wedding and the formality. I like to sit with the couples and ask them about themselves and how they met. If you take the time to get to know your designer a bit, you will be more comfortable through the process. Be sure to see their work and the different types of papers that are available. Be honest about any budgetary concerns you have. It may not be in your budget to have a custom design, but there may be other options available. I can’t speak for other designers, but I have many designs in my repertoire that can be purchased as an invitation from my website. Often, people will select one of these designs, and choose a custom item later, like a map of wedding festivities or a seating chart for the reception.
3. The wedding invitation and stationery suite can really set the tone for the overall wedding…how can the bride and the groom really make their wedding show their personalities? The save the date card or wedding invitation is the first hint of your day that your guests will see. Sending a custom save the date map to your guests can be such a fun way to get everyone excited about the wedding…or if the save the dates are out, including a map in your invitation suite is a perfect addition. These maps can include all the wedding locations (rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception, after party)….to family home, favorite beaches, place where the couple met, pets…so many ways to make them personal. Couple often like to use the original artwork from the save the dates as a sign in board. Or including fun table names at the reception is another favorite way to personalize the day! I’ve done table signs with destinations where couples have traveled, vineyards, tea flavors, special places/things to the couple and even important dates-just to name a few! Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a great couple who love to ski. They were married at a ski resort and I created a hand painted seating chart of the ski resort trail map. The tables were named after all the trails and the artwork was chairlifts in autumn. That custom artwork was also used on the ceremony programs! Watercolor is such a fun medium. And calligraphy is so classic and beautiful. Having your envelopes addressed in calligraphy really honors your guests! It’s like getting a piece of art in the mail. Choose a style and ink color that speaks to both of you….block style and modern or something whirly and whimsical.
4. What is your favorite dessert? Hot fudge brownie sundae with melted marshmallow sauce (on the side) J 2 spoons to share with my husband, Bob.
5. What is your favorite thing about wedding stationery design? To be able to talk with the couples and get some ideas of what they like and value. Then to be able to put that down on paper and create something special just for them is such a wonderful feeling! Or to have them approach me with some vague ideas that aren’t related to each other, and then have me put them together as they never would have expected! I am constantly having new ideas and inspirations! I get to do something that I absolutely LOVE. My job is creating beauty and I feel so blessed to do what I do!