Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Calligraphy at its Finest

When you think about a calligrapher over a decade ago, one would think about someone to address your wedding envelopes and RSVP cards.
Welcome to the new world of calligraphy!

I would like to introduce Laura Condouris a calligrapher based in Baltimore, Maryland. Laura loves all of the things girls are supposed to love. She is an artist, calligrapher, designer, collector of vintage clothing, and occasional comedienne. Although Laura is based in the Baltimore area, she works with brides all over the world and offers to ship packages securely and insured.

Laura offers additional services other than your basic envelopes, escort and RSVP cards. Have you thought about incorporating calligraphy in a keepsake map, table numbers/titles or for your readers? Think about framing that special poem, letter or whatever you choose for your reader to read. How great would it be to frame a piece of your wedding day other than a picture in your home as a memento of your wedding day!

Here are a few tips when working with a calligrapher:

Remember to order additional envelopes for the increasing last minute invitations and/or mistakes that may occur.

If you are using Excel to maintain the guest list, it is easier for a calligrapher to address envelopes in the exact format that the envelope will be addressed. Because they must look at each guest’s name and address, it is easier to keep everything straight in a format, here is an example below.

Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
123 Fake Street
Gotham City, IL 12345

Excel spreadsheets may also be exported to labels; this will avoid the addresses to be retyped. It is preferred that our clients provide the exported document in Microsoft Word or any other word processing format.

Think about the color of ink that you would like to use on your documents and how you would like to personalize them. What style do you prefer in alignment?

I spoke with Laura recently and would like to share an excerpt of our discussion below.

How long have you been practicing calligraphy?

I've been practicing calligraphy since I was a child, but I've been doing it professionally part-time for about five or six years and recently transitioned to doing calligraphy and illustration full-time!

How long before sending out the invitations would you require brides to contact you?

For envelope addressing services, I typically recommend booking at least three months in advance.

What is the turnaround time for invitations?

Orders of up to 200 envelopes usually take about two weeks to complete- the turnaround time is a bit higher for orders of more than 200 pieces.

How much of a notice do you need for place cards orders locally?

Since place cards don't take quite as long as invitation outer envelopes to complete, I can sometimes squeeze these into my schedule, but I still recommend booking as early as possible.

Do you offer writing/copying a poem or reading material for the ceremony?

Yes! I've worked on a few poems and recently finished a very pretty marriage certificate for the bride, groom, and all of their guests signed at the reception as a sign of solidarity with the couple.
What do couples do with the maps? How are the used?

Couples have used maps in their invitation, in out of town gift bags, as a keepsake and any other form they choose. A black-and-white map takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete, or a watercolor map, which takes even more time. The price includes the design fee, original, and a high-resolution digital file for you to print yourself at home, or take to your stationer or local printer. I offer small quantities for an additional fee.

Do you create monograms for couples?

Yes! I love doing this- it's like a logo for the union that a couple creates!

To find out more about Laura and Trial by Cupcakes visit:

Photo and Art credit: Trial by Cupcakes