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Wedding Guest List: How to Format it and When to Book a Calligrapher

{Your Wedding Guest List}

This will vary from calligrapher to calligrapher because some work full-time while others work part-time, some work on multiple projects at a time, etc.

For me, turnaround time depends on quantity of envelopes or complexity of your project, and availability on my calendar. I book my calendar on a first come first serve basis. Typically, it’s about 1 week for 100 envelopes.

It’s best to send an inquiry about two months in advance of the date you wish to mail out your invites (not the date of your wedding). More if your getting married in the peak wedding months as those months tend to book faster for wedding professionals including calligraphers.

The best way to determine current turnaround times is to send an email with your specifics (total guests and desired completion date). And if your in a pinch ask about rushed options. Most calligraphers will accommodate if possible, but some will charge a fee to do so.

It’s never too early to reach out and check availability. Plus doing so early is a good way to make sure you get a spot on the calligrapher’s calendar. So drop a line just to say hi and follow their social accounts to stay in touch and on top of their bookings.


Calligraphers want to see the names and addresses presented vertically rather than horizontally. At Raleigh Calligraphy & Design we ask that the address lists is typed in label format and center aligned (two or three columns per page is ideal).

Avoid submitting your list in spreadsheet format. Why? Data presented horizontally across a spreadsheet is very difficult to translate to the best placement on an envelope.

But there’s no need to panic if your guest list is already in a spreadsheet. Depending upon your software, the address data in most spreadsheets can be imported to a Word document and converted to label format via the “mail merge”.

And remember to proofread your list carefully!


Follow these simple examples of formal wedding etiquette of the three most common recipient types when compiling your list:

Couple with Same Last Name

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

123 Fairytale Way

Raleigh, North Carolina


Couple with Different Last Names

Ms. Anna Murphy

Mr. Marcus Levin

222 Love View

Cary, North Carolina



Ms. Samantha Wise

2015 Ever After Court

Raleigh, North Carolina



Ms. Megan Holliday

2015 Ever After Court

Raleigh, North Carolina


When in doubt… contact your calligrapher ;)

Are you getting married in 2017? Congrats!! I’m currently booked through February 2017 but still have availability in March. If you’d like to book my calligraphy services for your wedding or event send me an email at and let’s hand letter your big day!

Envelope Addressing | Invitation Design | Reception Signage | Wedding Keepsakes

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Typography A-Z: Creating Outside the Box!

Last month we kicked off a #letteringchallenge and it was a blast! If you followed along, then thanks for joining in the fun! If you missed it or just missed some of the letters, keep reading for a complete recap.

Twenty-six days of lettering in styles ranging from copperplate calligraphy to modern brush lettering. The goal was to step outside my comfort zone and try new styles while also experimenting with different mediums.

Some letters were drawn with a dip pen and calligraphy inks others were drawn with my toddler’s Crayola markers. {smile} I found myself writing on something other than my favorite paper (cotton linen) and doodled my way through paper bags, porcelain and even wood.


Some of which turned into brand new creations, like hand lettered coffee mugs and signs that are now available in my shop. {yay!}

It goes to show that when we step outside of our comfort zones we open ourselves up to a world of new possibilities and hopefully many great things to come.

(Want more? Click on an image to see all the new products in store!)

a b c d e f gh i j k l m n op q r s t uv w xy zxoxo-red-rose


Alphabet Challenge: 26 Days of Hand Lettered ABC’s

Like everything else, handwriting gets better with practice. That’s why I’ll be hosting an alphabet lettering challenge on Instagram and Facebook.

Join in on the fun and follow me as I post a new letter of the alphabet each day. The goal is to hand draw each letter in a variety of styles and mediums. I’ll tag each photo on social media with #letteringchallenge.

So if you’ve been dreaming of dreamy writing, this is something you can easily do with me! Just draw, snap a picture and post it using the hashtag. Just don’t forget to tag me @RaleighCalligraphy so I can see comment and share some of your best work on my page.

All skill levels are welcome, because the more the merrier. {smile}

The #letteringchallenge is starting August 1st. Get ready to share your ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYandZ’s! Yep. That about sums it up. {wink}

I’ll be posting updates here on the blog as well as a recap post at the end of the challenge.

If we’re not already besties on social media, you can follow me here: Instagram Facebook Pinterest

So go pull out a fresh notebook and some writing supplies and I’ll see you on Monday. Have an awesome weekend!



Meet the Boss Behind the Brand: Interview with Moira and Badseed Studio

We made it. It’s Friday. {YAY} And what makes today even better than the average Friday? Well friends, today I get to share an interview I did with aftcra artisan, Moira. AKA artist, boss babe extraordinaire. {smile} Moira is so great and her work is amazing, but I’ll let her tell you more. All yours, Moira!

Please introduce yourself and your business.

My name is Moira McAdams (hi!) and I’m the creator of Badseed Studio, a line of handmade concrete home décor. I’m a Wisconsinite, and recent graduate of UW-Madison where I studied landscape architecture and environmental studies. It was during that time that I discovered decorative concrete and I’m still seeing where it will take me! Being an artist was never part of my plan but I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue it.


Where are you physically located and where can we find you online?

I work between my home town of Milwaukee, and Madison, where I currently reside and work out of my one bedroom apartment. Online I sell on Etsy at and aftcra at My website,, features some of additional projects I’ve worked on and is currently under construction.
You can also find me on facebook:
and Instagram @badsseed


How important has social media been for growing your business?

Social media was intimidating at first (and still kind of is?!), particularly facebook and twitter because I just didn’t know what to say! Instagram was the easiest way for me to grow my brand and build a following using photos from my life, without feeling like I was indulging in too much shameless self-promotion. I feel like I’m connecting with customers as myself rather than as a business. It’s even been helpful in developing my target audience, as I follow people with such great taste that I find myself thinking ‘would this person buy this product?’.


How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I actually bought my first bag of cement to make a concrete tabletop for a woodworking class about a year before I opened my business. What was left over I quickly used up by pouring it into pretty much any usable vessel I could find – including old Tupperware, milk cartons, and even empty toilet paper rolls. Decorative concrete is awesome because there’s not a whole lot of precedent (read- no rules!) and experimenting is still my favorite part of the process.  The industrial elements of concrete are influential to me, but I’m especially inspired by the challenge of creating something delicate and beautiful that contradicts the traditional aesthetic.


How did you get started making your products?

It took about a year of practice and learning on my part before I felt comfortable opening my shop on Etsy, followed by a lot of improvement in the next few months. I’m still evolving my business all the time – its definitely a work in progress!


What was one of the challenges of starting your company?

The biggest hurdle to overcome was my own perfectionism. It was so tempting to keep putting off my grand opening until everything was just right – if I had, I probably still wouldn’t be open! My advice to anyone with an idea they believe in is to go for it. Things may never be quite perfect, but the experience of putting yourself out there is the best way to learn and get better.


How many employees do you have? Do you outsource any aspects of your business? (i.e. accounting, legal)

I’m a one woman show! It’s been an adventure in this first year of business learning to do everything myself from design and creation to photography, packaging, marketing and most recently, taxes. I think it’s important to be involved in all the ins and outs. That being said, one of my goals for the next year will be to relinquish some control and give myself more time to make!


What is one of your favorite parts about being being your own boss?

Being my own boss is a dream come true. I’m a very self motivated person and it’s a great feeling waking up every morning to work hard on something that I care about. It is hard work, but totally worth it. Plus I get to hang out with my pooch and take lots of walk breaks!

Thanks, Moira! I LOVE the minimalist look of concrete planters and coasters. And since those coasters come in many colors, they’d make the cutest wedding favors. Just think, mint painted coasters pulling double duty as table decor and favors. {ah sigh}

What are your thoughts about this interview with Badseed Studio? If you have any other questions for Moira or thoughts on on future interviews I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Running a Handmade Business: Interview with Ginger & Juniper

Ever wonder what it takes to run your own craft business? I recently had the opportunity to interview Gabrielle of Ginger and Juniper and got her take on the subject. No doubt she’s good at what she does, selling both online and in stores. I’ll let Gabrielle tell you more…

1. Please introduce yourself and your business.

Hi, I’m Gabrielle. I am the designer and owner of Ginger and Juniper, a fabric accessories brand for women and children. I focus on small batch production by buying limited quantities of natural fabrics in colorful prints {and wow do I have a lot of prints!}. This ensures that customers are getting a unique and sometimes one-of-a-kind item. Custom orders are always welcome.

A sneak peek at some of the #gingerandjuniper goodies that will be available at the @7thpublicmarket tomorrow. #7thsipshop #handmadeclt #madeinnc #graduationgifts #mothersday #shopsmallclt

2. Where are you physically located and where can we find you online?

I work out of my home studio in the Charlotte, NC suburb of Matthews. I sell online at, and at brick and mortar shops Sanctuary of Davidson in Davidson, NC and Trashed Studio in Concord, NC. I also participate in numerous local arts & craft shows throughout the year. Ginger & Juniper is no stranger to social media, and can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.






Bunny Ear Teething Rings


3. How important has social media been for growing your business?

Social media is an important part of selling in a tech savvy world, and it’s a great way to boost my brand’s visibility. Regular postings of new products, events, or a glimpse into my personal life helps me to connect with both customers and makers alike. Social Media has been extremely useful in building relationships with other creators, and sharing ideas and support.


Crayon Wallets

4.  How did you get started making your products?

My mother often made clothing for my sister and I when we were young, so I was familiar with the general workings of a sewing machine. It wasn’t until my step-mom gave me her rarely used machine in 2010 that I realized I had a passion for sewing. I hadn’t touched a sewing machine in more than two decades so my skills were more than a little rusty. Thank goodness for YouTube, and its plethora of how-to videos! For the most part I am self-taught, and when I first started out I spent a lot of time flipping bags inside out to learn how different gussets, zippers, pockets, etc. were created.

Foldover clutch - Patricia (model)

5. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

The idea for my business came from the need to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags used by my family. We live in a disposable world, and I wanted something that could not only be reused, but that was natural, and could be kept clean easily. I started making reusable, washable market bags for family and friends, and then just kept going from there. Today I make everything from teething rings to clutches. And as all my fabrics are washed and pressed prior to construction {time consuming, but oh, so worth it!}, every item that I create is machine washable!

Padfolio in Peackock Blush

6. What was one of the challenges of starting your company?

The biggest challenge was in researching the laws and requirements for owning and operating a small business that makes products for children. There is a lot to know and the information isn’t always easy to locate. Luckily, there are a lot of small makers on Etsy who are more than happy to share their knowledge. But there’s still a lot of digging and prepping involved such as product tracking, testing requirements, permanent labeling, etc., The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is steadfast in its requirements. You have to make sure that you’re covered in the event of an accident, so product liability insurance is a must!

Southwest Foldover Zip Clutches
7. What is one of your favorite parts about being your own boss?

It’s difficult to pick just one thing, but I’d have to say flexibility. Being in charge of my own schedule, and not having to abide by a typical 9-5 routine is a major plus. I love having the freedom to play with {my!} new ideas without feeling pressured to stick to someone else’s timeline.

Southwest Zip Pouches

9. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

The exterior shots from the sitcom Roseanne were filmed in my home town of Evansville, Indiana. I attended after school daycare {known as The Yellow Cottage} in the house used as the Connor family’s home.

Tea Pouch

10. Sending snail mail can be a great way to personalize a message or stand out from your competition. When do you use snail mail in your business? 

As I create physical products, I use the postal system on a very regular basis. All purchases are wrapped, tied with fabric, and include a hand written note. One of the wonderful things about running a small business is being able to have a more personal connection with the customer. Personalized touches make the experience more special for the buyer.

Blog Pic 3


Thank you, Gabrielle, for taking us behind the scenes of Ginger & Juniper! It’s always great to get another perspective… and see cute products in the process!

I especially love your comment about the importance of sending customers a hand written note with their order. Taking that extra 5 minutes to tuck a note in a package can go a long way in improving a customer’s experience and increasing the odds of repeat business. If you’re a handmade business owner I’d recommend trying this if you haven’t already and you can find a range of artisan stationery on or right here on the site.

What are your thoughts on Ginger & Juniper? Do you have a favorite product?




Engaged? Matching Suites from Save the Dates to Saying Thanks

Calling all engaged couples!

Woohoo! We’re launching our wedding invitation suites this summer. Think modern calligraphy and brightly colored roses. And not just pressed roses my friends, digital images and perhaps some watercolors, too. (hint!) If you’re getting giddy just thinking about all those scattered rose petal designs and ALL of your wedding stationery matching down to the very last hand lettered envelope, you’re not alone.

And rather than design our first invitation suite for a make believe wedding, we’re inviting real couples to share a few wedding details with us for a chance to participate in one of our design demos for promotion in our shop.

To participate simply email or comment below with your info: 1. Bride/groom first names 2. Wedding date/time 3. Venue(s). No purchase necessary. Of course, if we choose your entry you’ll have the chance to order the suite (as is) at a steep discount. Find us on Facebook and Instagram @raleighcalligraphy to tag your bride-to-be friends.

Okay ladies and gents, congrats on getting engaged and good luck!

Celebrate Motherhood + Free Downloadable Art Print

Watercolor art: Phylogeny Art | Calligraphy: Raleigh Calligraphy & Design


“I exist in two places; here and where you are.” -Margaret Atwood.

To me this is one of the best quotes to sum up parenthood. If you are a parent or a parent to be then this quote probably hits home. Once you become a parent so many things change. And one of the biggest changes: It’s not just ‘you’ anymore. There’s someone else that’s a little part of you, a big part of your heart and likely the entirety of your world.

My little one is my everything, whether we are together or apart. And though I don’t yet know the path of his stars, I do know that no matter where in the world his feet lead him, a part of me and my love will be with him.

Now maybe you don’t have a son or daughter. Well, that’s okay the quote still applies to you because you are someone’s son or daughter. You are (or were) someone’s little one. A mother’s love – whether it’s your’s, your mother’s, or your grandmother’s – that love is unceasing and matters not about the distance between her and her child.

This art print is available for free download by a special collaboration with Phylogeny Art to help you celebrate mothers in your life this Mother’s Day. Stephanie of Phylogeny Art hand painted her gorgeous tulips and paired it with my calligraphy of Margaret Atwood’s beloved quote. To download your copy head to