Insider Scoop: Calligraphy!

We had so much fun interviewing Devon from The Carolina Inn on the blog a few weeks ago, that we’ve decided to make “Insider Scoop” a regular blog feature! Today we’re chatting with Carrie Shuping, a fabulous local Raleigh calligrapher who owns Calligraphy by Carrie.

Tell us about yourself, Carrie! I’ve been a professional calligrapher for 20 years specializing almost exclusively in addressing services. Working with brides is so much fun; it’s hard to have a bad day at work when you deal with such happy and excited clients!

Other than the benefit of your lovely handwriting, what are some of the reasons brides should consider hiring a calligrapher? I can save a busy bride lots of time! I’ve had many clients who initially intended to do their own addressing, but once they began realized what a huge task it is to address formal invitations correctly – and more importantly, beautifully.

I address envelopes nearly every day of the year, so I am fast and accurate. Plus, professionals have lots of unique tricks to keep the lines perfectly straight and evenly spaced so that each address is balanced beautifully on the envelope. Also, you may be surprised at how reasonable the costs are for calligraphy. Brides with small budgets don’t have to sacrifice having beautifully addressed invitations.

What questions should a bride ask potential calligraphy vendors to be sure they’re selecting the best one? Don’t hesitate to ask for references! Access the bridal message boards and ask friends if they have worked with a particular calligrapher. Be sure to ask a vendor how long they’ve been in the business. Oh, and don’t forget to ask how long they will need to complete your job.

What is one of your favorite trends in wedding stationery this year? Bright and unusual colors! In addition to black and chocolate brown inks, I’ve addressed envelopes in orange, red, pink, navy, royal blue, sage, turquoise, and taupe inks this year. Invitations are full of personality these days with beautiful, whimsical, or classic designs. I don’t often see old-school ivory stock engraved with traditional black ink anymore!

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve seen brides make? Not realizing how long it takes to compile the list of addresses! It can be a herculean task, especially if a bride wants to follow traditional addressing etiquette and use full names. I always tell clients that it will take three times longer than expected to finalize an address list.

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