6 Calligraphy Facts [Why Calligraphy]

Calligraphy Celebration

I recently met up – in the loose sense with the lovely Helene, Director of Smitten With Ink – Over FaceTime with coffee on a cold December day wrapped in blankets we spoke about all things Calligraphy and how we could help future clients understand the handwritten artform and incorporate this ancient art into their traditional or modern event. 

As an Event Consultant, I always receive requests for stationery or need stationery for my client’s events.  

Like printed stationery, Calligraphy is available in many beautiful handwritten scripts on a variety of paper types and textures however the price tag is not for the faint-hearted. 

So, if your thinking of incorporating a handwritten piece into your event or alternatively you think calligraphy is not for you, Helene will help you think outside of the box; transporting you into a world of the ancient art form and she  will explain how you can evoke emotions in your guests by using calligraphy.

Calligraphy Styles

What is your favourite Calligraphy style?

That is one tough question to start with! 

I definitely do have a preferred style to use which is my own. I have put countless hours developing it, working on it and perfecting it and it has now become second nature to me. 

It is modern in style but, I find it has a touch of the old fashioned script in it. I realise it probably isn’t obvious to all, I do get a bit geeky when I talk about calligraphy!

However, I don’t think there is one style fits all. When choosing a style of calligraphy,  you may need to consider your stationery design as a whole so all the elements (colours, theme, textures, calligraphy, etc) come together.  

And…these are the things I look at and discuss with my client when we sit down for our initial consultation. I do give advice on the different styles of calligraphy I offer but ultimately it doesn’t matter which one is my favourite, it’s all down to the client’s vision.

Handwritten Calligraphy or Printed?

A bit of both! I do love mixing both, although sometimes a whole calligraphy piece is just too beautiful to resist, such as wedding vows.

I generally find that for a modern look a mix of printing and calligraphy does wonders. It’s a bit of a “less is more” approach: spot calligraphy will make it pop.  

Again, it is all down to personal preference. But it also depends on your budget. Calligraphy is more expensive mainly for two reasons: 

1. It is a real craft, a form of art that takes years to hone. It is also completely bespoke to your event, making handwritten calligraphy an exclusive piece of art.

2. It is a time-consuming process. Now, if you order 100 invitations, your calligrapher won’t be writing each piece by hand (unless this is something you want and are ready to pay for!). However, the original piece will have to be digitized so it can be printed on the stationery piece. This requires time and expertise and this is what you need to keep in mind when your calligrapher gives you a quote.

Calligraphy Considerations

When looking for a Calligrapher what do you need to consider?

There are many of us out there which I believe is great for engaged couples because it means there is a choice!

You should look for someone whose style complements the other elements of your big day. Most calligraphers are on Instagram so you can check out their work and see most of their portfolio. 

Once you are set on someone, I think it’s a good idea to talk to them on the phone or via Skype to get a better sense of who they are and see if they are a good match for you. 

I believe in working with people you click with, it makes the calligrapher & client experience so different and much more personal!

Another thing that clients should look into is prices. There is some homogeneity in the industry and calligraphers are transparent about their pricing, be it on their website or during your first contact with them. So keep in mind that a lower quote doesn’t mean you are getting a bargain, it might mean the work won’t be up to par. 

Which leads me to my last point: professionalism. To make sure the person you are hiring for your calligraphy needs will deliver beautiful work in a timely manner, check their credentials. Again, there is a lot of information out there and you can read reviews on their website or Facebook page, contact someone who has used their services before or ask for some samples (you might have to pay a small fee for that).


After placing an order how long does it take to be delivered?

It depends on a few things, amongst them the time of the year and the type of services you order.

The wedding business is very seasonal and some periods extremely busy.  So, I would always advise the client to start looking for a calligrapher/stationery designer as soon as you have decided on a date. You don’t need to be set on all your stationery details, you just need to be booked into the designer’s planning, so you have peace of mind that they have set time aside for your project when the time comes.

Depending on the type of order, the delivery delays may vary. If you have opted for a full bespoke suite, it will usually take between 6 and 10 weeks from the initial consultation for the whole process to unfold. 

If you are using a calligrapher for your on the day stationery pieces, such as place cards, table numbers, table plan or other signage, then again you should make sure to book ahead. 

2-3 weeks turnaround is to be expected. If you’re caught short, I may be able to take on last-minute jobs, but I will have to charge an additional fee.



Hand-written letters and envelopes

Smitten With Ink recommends!

Wedding Stationary

Budget-conscious couples who want to create a long-lasting first impression using calligraphy,  which three must-have items would you suggest they should incorporate into their special day?

People absolutely love receiving a beautiful envelope handwritten in calligraphy!  But I completely understand that it is not for everyone’s budget, with an entry price point of £2.50 per envelope (not including the envelope).

So I guess a way of absorbing the cost of calligraphy is probably to have it incorporated in the design of your invitations (the design cost is spread across the number of your invitations). It is a fantastic first impression for your guests and it will be proudly displayed on their pinboard or fridge for months!

I love how you can combine a place card written in calligraphy and wedding favour. For example, you could use agate slices or a glass/perspex coaster as place cards. Your guests will love the personal touch and that they can take it home.

Finally, a beautiful keepsake is to have your vows written in calligraphy. I get that it is not something your guest will necessarily see (although it could be displayed as part of your wedding decor), but it is a lovely piece for the newlywed couple to frame and cherish for years to come.


Handwritten notes

I hope you enjoyed my chat with Helene and her passion for calligraphy has made you consider how you can use calligraphy in your own event.

Everyone has that something they love;  my personal style is elegant, simple with a little touch of traditional when I received my Marriage Proposal on a handwritten note this touched my traditional emotional side. The handwritten note in my husbands’ scribe; 19 years on, I can still remember the feelings the note evoked.  

Helene’s website is coming soon however in the meantime catch up with her on Instagram @smittenwithink .

Wedding Trends 2019 – 5 Finishing Touches

The 2019 Wedding Trend - Pampas Grass and Living Coral


I have fallen in love with the 2019 wedding trend in a big way! 

Possibly, I can even go as far as saying I think this trend was created for me as it incorporates generally most of the things that I love.  

The trend is all about being bold, colourful and bright, rustic, elegant, simplicity, and when all these elements are fused together I’m left felling with a romantic collision of excellence.  

Lets take a look at the trend in more details

5 Finishing Touches

Pampas and Flowers

Bring the outdoors indoors by using grasses such as pampass grass instead of foliage to decorate your wedding breakfast table centrepieces.  

Pampas Centrepieces

For a whimsical romantic flair, theme Pampas Grass with plumes of pinks, living coral, peach or blush flowers such as Roses, Carnations, Antikes and Lisianthus. Consider complimenting these with coloured satin ribbon and link with either tones of gold, rose gold, antique gold or just keep it simple with glass, crystal or perspex. 

Coloured Cutlery

A traditional opulent look can be created by theming a China gold coloured rimmed plate placed elegantly on a glass charger plate, compliment with coloured cutlery and complete the look with a coloured napkin.   

Wedding Cake

With the Pampas Grass making a huge statement, consider keeping the wedding cake design simple, with Royal Iced cakes and delicately handcrafted flowering. 


The use of foil printing on a card or vellum paper with coloured wax seals will be making bold statements in 2019. 

Consider creating traditional hot foil stamped Save the Dates, Wedding Invitations and Thank You cards, finish with a translucent vellum envelope sealed with a personalised coloured seal.

I am really looking forward to working with clients in 2019 who are inspired by all things whimsical, romantic and elegant.  


7 Living Coral [How to Use]

7 Ways To Use Pantone Living Coral In Your 2019 Wedding

St Albans Wedding Planner, Radlett Wedding Planner, Living Coral Wedding.

Peachy Orange

There are many mixed feelings about the colour of the year, I love it, that’s what matters for this blog. Colour experts Pantone have given us a peachy orange shade named Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546, HEX/HTML: FA7268and RGB: 250 114 104 – as the colour of the year for 2019.

Described by Pantone as “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.

Its time to celebrate, its what makes life fun, its what keeps us interested, its what keeps us going forward so when planning your 2019 wedding here’s the 7 things I would recommend you consider if you choose the colour of the year.


Coloured Wedding Dresses

Who says you need to wear white on your wedding day?  

Bring your personality to your wedding in a coloured wedding dress, with coloured wedding dresses so on trend at the moment, hey why not consider a beautiful Wedding Dress in the Pantone colour of the year 2019.  Your guests will be amazed!


Coloured Wedding Dress, Coral Wedding Dress, Living Coral Wedding Dress, Wedding Dress St Albans, Hertfordshire Wedding Planners
Custom Wedding Invitations, Custom Wax Seals, Handcrafted Invitations St Albans,



Set the tone of your special day by creating a beautiful first impression with a luxury plexiglass invitation, delicately dressed with a meter of Living Coral ribbon.  

To complete the beautifully handcrafted design, ask your calligrapher to seal the envelope with a gorgeous personalised Living Coral Wax Seal.   

Table Settings

If hiring tablecloths and napkins in the colour of the year, be prepared this will go quickly, so book early.  

Add a little bit of sparkle it sets a nice glow, consider doing simple wedding favours for your guests and why not ask your calligrapher to personalise these with your guest names or another elegant touch, ask your printer to create personalised Menu Cards. 

These simple touches will keep your guests speaking about your Wedding for a long time.

St Albans Wedding Planner, Radlett Wedding Planner, Living Coral Wedding.


Tired Wedding Cake, Cake Maker St Albans, Cake Maker Radlett, Wedding Cakes St Albans.


Wedding Cake

Cake, I love cake I think everyone loves cake why not carry the Living Coral colour into the traditional tiered Wedding cake. 

Make each tier a different colour and flavour.  

Hey! Go all out or keep it simple ask your cake designer to decorate the cake with hues of Living Coral and create tiers flavoured with Prosecco, Luxury Belgium chocolate or Coconut & Lime.  

Following the cake cutting ceremony, everybody can then have a little piece of this tier and a little bit of that; the guests will all be beaming from ear to ear over the flawless flavour sensations.  



Bubbles & Dessert Table

What to serve, the Living Coral colour will also transcend itself into our food & drinks, so, when thinking about your dessert table consider Living Coral coloured food items such as: delicately flavoured orange blossom macaroons, red velvet cake pops stamped with orange popping candy, orange vanilla glazed doughnut rings or orange & champagne flavoured cheesecake.  

Compliment your desserts by serving drinks beaming in the colour like: Gin with Pink Grapefruit or Prosecco and Rose flavoured Shaved Ice served in a gold rim glass.

Living Carol Cocktail, Cocktail with fresh flowers, St Albans bartenders,
Living Coral Button Hole, Coral Button Hole, Hertfordshire Planner, Bespoke Suit, Tailors in St. Albans


Bouquets & Buttonholes

I love fresh flowers, you can have a simple elegant design or larger more dramatic arrangements as your table centrepiece.  

For a beautiful summer feel consider using Living Coral coloured roses, peonies and coral tinted  hydrangea’s. 

A Living Coral Rose buttonhole will look striking on any mens coloured morning or bespoke tailored suit.

Finishing Touches

Let the Wedding Breakfast begin!

Sparkle is so important, create an amazing table setting, by theming your napkin with your tablecloth in FF6F61; Living Coral to you and me.  

Consider accessorising your tables with statement pieces such as gold or silver charger plates,  gold or silver cutlery and sparkly rimmed glassware or on the other hand keep the colour rustic with ivory and green tones. 

Living Coral Table Setting, St Albans Wedding Planner, Hertfordshire Wedding Planner, Event planner, St Albans Event Planner


And finally...

Personally I really like this colour and I think it is going to be a very popular colour in 2019.  I certainly am looking forward to making my clients dreams come true in Living Coral.  

After reading this and you need to be inspired further and not sure where to start, contact us we will be able to help you with the planning of your event.

6 Wedding Costs To Consider…[How Much Does A Wedding Cost]

The True Cost of a Wedding

A recent national survey by mentioned the average UK wedding costs £33, 350 I wonder if you think this sounds like “wow that’s a lot”, let’s take a look and see what do couples get for their cash.

Wedding Venue


The cash splash usually starts here with venues ranging anything from £115 – £180pp depending on where you are in the UK. So, for 100 guests you’ve already spend anything between £8,000 – £18,000, this gets you a beautiful wedding venue with palatial grounds,  welcome drinks; Prosecco and something non alcoholic,  4 choices of canapés a 3 course Wedding Breakfast complete with tea & coffee and optional petit fours and not lets not forget the elegant complimentary bridal suite, which overlooks the palatial grounds. 

Remember an additional suite may be needed if your partner is also getting dressed at the venue.

Flowers [Centrepieces]


If you are considering a lavish Wedding Venue, then you need to go all out on the flowers and possibly the finishing touches.   “Wedding flowers for the venue can start at around  £150 per centrepiece, this depends on the type of flower used, whether it is in season, Yes, I am aware smaller centrepieces won’t set the client back as much but if you go with palatial it would be offensive not to go luxury on the centrepiece.”  Andreea from Your Flower Story London

Let’s calculate; ten tables with luxury flowers £1500.  Let’s not forget, bouquet, buttonholes, bridesmaids bouquets, flower girl bouquets, pew ends arrangements on window sills, the list can go on…let’s round it up to around £3,500.

This figure can be so much more depending on the flowers you choose, the season and the floral designer you’re working with.


Wedding Attire

Did someone say Couture? I mean after all it is for a very special day…so why not?  A handcrafted Vera Wang silk wedding dress starts at around £4.000, however, considering the budget there are many more reasonably priced options available;  the  Bride books statisticians say the average wedding dress starts outside London at £1,385, for those within the capital the average price for the wedding dress will set you back about £1,677. 

Menswear this should be a tad more reasonably priced. 

I am a big fan of Cad and the Dandy who pride themselves as tailors and shirtmakers.  Let’s say the groom-to-be opts to go for a bespoke traditional Tails, Dinner, or bespoke wedding attire, well this is going to set you back a pretty penny.  It’s not necessary to go bespoke for your groomsmen this is where its possible to reign in the finances, a morning suit can be hired from around £276.

Shoes, accessories; such as ties, pocket squares, cufflinks etc…these are not included in this price so add another £230.

Wedding Stationary

This is the first indications your friends and family will be aware you are getting married,  and fortunately, there is a stationer for everyone’s needs.

The stationery you choose is the attention-grabbing luxury item which says “this is what to expect on our wedding day”…Getting the theme, look & feel right at this stage gives everyone an opportunity to envisage what the day itself.

If you are considering going bespoke remember Stationers have to create a bespoke press just for you; therefore, the most cost-efficient way of buying bespoke Wedding Stationary is to purchase all the items in one go.  Therefore if you return to them in 6 months time asking for your menu cards and table plan it will cost you more as a new press will need to be created.

There is a stationer for every budget, so if hand painted, foiled, embellished or gold leaf and completely bespoke is your thing be prepared to spend about 5% of your overall budget – around £1500-£2200,  off the shelf wedding stationery packages are available and will set you back around £500.

Items traditionally brought all together: Day and Evening Invitations, Menu Cards, Place Cards, Table plan, other signage; guest book, confetti etc




Exceptional photographers get booked months in advance – generally after the wedding venue has been booked, therefore if you have a photographer in mind for your wedding day start planning over a year in advance.  I have heard from some photographers, they have had  clients book the photographer  first and the venue after.   

Due to the nature of their work being seasonal exceptional London Wedding Photographer can command prices from £1200, I must emphasise this is generally their starting price and is dependent on the package you choose. Your photography budget, complete with elegant album can set you back about £3000

Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are a work of art and this is reflected in their price.

With on average 18 hours going into any cake and quality ingredients you can start to appreciate why they cost so much. 

London Cake Designer Ria from Buttermilks Cakes  mentioned, “Fondant covered cake, 3 tiered flavoured sponge cake, feeding 100 guests, can start from £550.  If the couple require bespoke hand crafted details like: flowers, ruffles, embellishments etc this will add to the budget,” additionally when a client adds a fruit cake tier to their order, this  doesn’t come cheap either.

The average cost of cake with design will most likely end up costing more like £800, the more layers and detailing the more the cake will cost.


And Finally...

This is what the national average budget will get you for your very special day and there are so many other items still to go:

Bar Tab,Videography, Wedding Bands ,Wedding Transport, Hair and Makeup

I hope this has given you a transparent view of what you can get for your cash based on the national statistics. 

I really hope this has helped.


A newlyweds downtime and you will want it as relaxing as possible, couples wanting downtime in a non-European destination will have to part with their ideal honeymoon starting at around £5K for 10 nights.  Honeymooning in Seychelles in May you can expect to pay around £5K  this will get you a 4-5* hotel on half board bases, 7 hours of sun, white sand and translucent warm beaches.  

This is a starting point as  Liz Don at Holidays Please  mentioned most honeymoon couples really go all out on their honeymoon. I have had couples spend over £10k on their fortnight away.”


When having guests over for a spectacular meal, take your time and remember the fine details.

Present your table with a little attention. Clean your table before dressing, visions of a breadcrumbed, sticky table with a lovely clean table cloth is not nice!cutlery
Ensure the tablecloth/napkins -if using- are clean and crease free. If necessary iron before hand.

Cutlery, there are so many different ways to present your cutlery. No one wants watermarked cutlery, get a soft cloth and wipe marks away.

A glass for water is a must, include a glass for wine. ensure they are smear and watermark free.

Centrepieces set the mood and style. Use a collection of candles for elegance or flowers to add colour and fragrance or make create a theme with your centrepiece.

A little time over the details will leave your guests marveling at your attempts, creating a lasting impression and leave them speaking about your event for weeks.

RSVP – Reply Please

When you need to change a venue.

Inform the guests, apologise profusely. Request a RSVP.

No event planner wants to change a venue at the last minute. Sometimes this is unavoidable. A tough decision to make:upset a few guests or upset all your guests.  This was our recent dilemma.

With less than 24 hours to an important corporate event; including guest speakers and over 30 members, we were asked by the client to find a larger venue.

Finding a larger venue is not a problem, if the location is the same. However, asking your guests to travel half the way across the city is another issue.

An email was sent to all guests and members, requesting they reply: acknowledging the venue change.  The email was sent a total of five times.  We received four RSVPs. Nightmare!
Does this mean, the speakers and our client will only have four members/guests.

I was astonished the following morning when I arrived at the venue, to see, all our guests there, except one. Everyone mentally acknowledged the change, organised themselves accordingly and turned up at the new venue. Panic over.

Two, RSVPs, came from guests who were unable to attend; due to location.
Two from guests who still respect, RSVP – répondez s’il vous plaît – Reply Please
Only one guest showed up at the original venue.  This guest failed to open the email, until, they were informed by security of the last minute venue change.

Event Consultants take things in their stride; last minute changes are often unavoidable, however, keeping your guests informed of the changes is paramount.
Event Consultants will always request RSVP, however their clients and guests may fail to realise their importance.

Lunch with a Difference!

The TV Collective hosts a monthly luncheon.  Each month the members meet up with a special guest, from industry.

This months Special Guest Derren Lawford from London Live.

Lunch Date: 20th March 2014
Book at: The TV Collective

If you need an Event Consultant to assist you with your event contact us:

Book: By Appointment Only

Mobile: 07594 832 085 | Email:

Why use an Event Consultant?

The number One question. Event Consultants; save you money. The cost of paying a consultant, can be seen as an unnecessary expense; until you receive your final bill, realising you’ve spent over your predicted budget and could potentially be paying for your wedding long after the special day.

Event Consultants seek out and work with a variety of suppliers. We connect the clients with knowledgeable, professional individuals, who fully understand their talents.

If you need an Event Consultant to assist you with your event contact us:

Book: By Appointment Only

Mobile: 07594 832 085 | Email: