Oklahoma Wedding Planning: When Should I Hire a Calligrapher?

You love the pretty, personalized look of calligraphy and you realized the task of perfectly writing out 250 addresses for a fancy event is very daunting and stressful. So, you decide you want to hire a calligrapher for your wedding invitations. At what point in the planning process do you involve a calligrapher? How long do they need to do this? Or are you wondering if you are too late or too last minute?

Although every calligrapher is different in his or her pace and timeline of projects, it is always best to involve a calligrapher early on in the wedding planning to secure time in their schedule.

I always suggest reaching out to a calligrapher and invitation designer at least 6 months before the wedding, if not more. 

As a calligrapher and invitation designer myself, I prefer to have ample time to put careful thought and attention to detail to my bride's invitations. I love meeting with the bride in the very beginning to begin to develop a relationship with her and understand her entire vision for the wedding day. I strive to match my design and calligraphy with the vision of the event. 

For me, turnaround times are determined based on when you need to mail your invitations and what projects are already on my calendar. But to give you a rough idea, I typically ask for a 2-4 weeks for 100 invitations or less, and 6-8 weeks for more. 

I'm always willing to work with your wedding planner or stationer to discuss timing. I also ask that you involve me in the process of choosing and ordering your envelopes. Some envelopes simply won't work with pointed nibs. Even if the invitations are not done being designs and printed, I can still get the envelopes in my hands to begin work. 

But of course if you're the last minute gal stressin' about your envelopes, please call me. :) I'd love to see what I can do to help. No need to stress, we want your guests to feel loved when they get your invite in the mailbox!

And I want you to have an heirloom, a piece from your wedding day, to remember this special time in your life. 

How Do You Know When You're Really in Love?

How Do You Know When You're Really in Love?

With it being "wedding season," your mind may be focused on planning a wedding, attending an upcoming wedding or maybe you hope to be married soon. My heart is not that your focus will be on the details and products of the wedding industry, but the reason for your love for the person you are with. Does it just feel good? Does that person make you happy? If you are getting married this year or hope to someday, I hope that you think deeply about those words, "I love you." What do they mean to you? And will your love for that person really last a lifetime or will it fade when life gets hard?  

Recently, I was chatting with a friend of mine  about how to know when you love someone. I was sharing with her when I first told my husband, Isaac, "I love you," and how I felt confident saying three words and choosing him as my main man. 

Thinking back, it seemed so obvious. I didn't hesitate when I said it. But when I really try to remember how I knew, it's hard to describe. It almost seems too simple. 

Once I got to know Isaac over the course of a year, I knew that I didn't want to even try to do the rest of my life with anyone else. I knew he wasn't perfect, and there were things we disagreed on. But there are a lot of things we do agree on, like our morals, our belief in Jesus Christ, a growing family and activities we enjoy together. 

We are also compatible, meaning we are both introverts and home-bodies. We love our alone time to reflect and gain back energy from a long day. And we love just lounging and being at home. We also love to watch movies, travel, play with our dogs and eat out. Overall, we just enjoy the same activities and being with each other. 

Isaac and I on a recent trip to Hawaii. 

Isaac and I on a recent trip to Hawaii. 

Of course, there are also activities we enjoy doing without each other as well, and that is okay. In fact, that is healthy. We are still our own persons, so we do not need to always be with one another to be happy. He loves video games and Oklahoma State football. I love watching sappy, romantic movies and working on my calligraphy. He loves his weekly "guys night" to do manly things that I can never do with him. And I love to have a deep conversation with a girl friend over wine to discuss womanly things, which he can never do with me either simply because he is not a girl. 

We don't complete each other. We go well together. We work well together. We enjoy each other, and can do life together. He's my main person over friends and family. We encourage each other and are there for each other no matter what. 

I knew I loved him when I knew I didn't want this life with anyone else. I didn't want the daily grind with any other man. I wanted the rest of my life - the good, the bad and the ugly - to be walked with this man. 

But he is a choice. Even when things get hard, and you know they will (you're fooling yourself if you think life with your spouse-to-be won't get that hard, because "your love conquers all"), you must continue to choose your person each day. 

Isaac is my perfect choice for our imperfect life here on earth. 

So, I love him. 

This is our life - at home, on our back patio chillin' with the dogs. :)

This is our life - at home, on our back patio chillin' with the dogs. :)

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Why You Should Hire Help When Wedding Planning

Expert help should be arranged for well in advance to avoid last-minute confusion. Otherwise father may be irritated, mother jittery, the bride in tears, and the groom cross. - Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette, 1956
This quote from my grandmother's etiquette book makes me laugh every time I read it. But really, it is still so true today in 2015. 
Weddings, big or small, can be stressful. There are so many moving parts and emotions flying around. It's a big day - lives are changing, a last name is dropping off, two families are merging together, parents are giving away their young daughter and two love birds are vowing before God and family their commitment to one another. 
Your wedding day is a big deal, and this day deserves expert help in at least some areas of the planning process for a smooth and happy experience. 
Sometimes with so many close relatives involved and emotions flying around, it can be difficult to make decisions. It can be difficult to actually enjoy your engagement season and not feel stressed with so many decisions to make and things to do. And of course, you want it to be flawless and beautiful. 
Hiring wedding professionals to do the time-consuming work and research for you while also giving you an unbiased opinion on what will look best, will alleviate much of the stress and tension. Professionals from photographers to planners to invitation designers know exactly what will look best for your wedding, because they do this kind of thing for a living on a regular basis. 
They know what they are doing, and they are good at it. Trust them, lean on them and just enjoy your engaged time with your spouse and the day that you will one day tell your kids and grandkids about. 
Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Wedding invitation suite and calligraphy designed by Rachel Kathryn Designs. Photo by Erin Goodrich Photography. 

Low on wedding cash?
Determine a couple aspects of the wedding planning that are most important to you or give you the most stress when you think about having to do them Set aside the budget to hire professionals for those couple areas.
Maybe the idea of you or your mother dealing with all the set up, decorating and coordination on the wedding day makes you cringe, and you don't want coordination to to get in the way of enjoying your day. So, set aside some extra money in the budget to hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. 
Maybe sending out beautiful, classic invitations that give your guests an exciting first glimpse into your special celebration is important to you. Leave the designing, paper selection, printing, assembly and envelope addressing up to a professional who has the time and experience to give you an amazing product and less stress. 
Professionals I Recommend
Of course for wedding invitations for calligraphy, I would love for you to come to me. However here in Oklahoma there are other amazing options as well like Paper N' More or Chirps and Cheers in Oklahoma City. 
For photography, Erin Goodrich Photography located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Magnolia Adams Photography in OKC are both amazing. Erin shot a lot of the beautiful photos on my website!
For wedding planners and floral design, I would definitely recommend Talia Morgan of Inspire Events and Design or Forever Cole Events both in OKC. Erin Goodrich Photography also offers day-of-coordination
If you are not in the Oklahoma area, there are so many wonderful professionals all over the country. Meet with them, get to know them, grab coffee with them, read reviews and go with your gut! :)
Comments? Advice?
For all the married couples out there who have already gone through the wedding planning, what is one part of your wedding you wish you would have hired expert help for and why? What do you wish you would have just spent an extra few hundred dollars on just to alleviate stress? Comment below! :)