Thank you for all of the love and support this little corner of the internet has received over the past several years. As friends and family members were getting married, their weddings fueled the inspiration for this blog. But as seasons of life change, my focus, along with those nearest and dearest, shifted away from the wedding planning stage and I began to neglect this blog.

I have decided to indefinitely retire Calligraphy by Shannon in an effort to pour my attention into my lifestyle blog The Scribble Pad where I will be merging past and future inspiration boards and parties. You will still be able to place orders for calligraphy, custom invitations, and hand stamped items through my etsy shop. And as always, you can stay in touch with me under my moniker, The Scribble Pad on my blog, etsy shop, facebook, and even twitter! I look forward to sharing this new adventure with you.

Tulle & Toile Tuesdays

It is giveaway time! I am officially kicking off my Tulle and Toile Tuesdays! I hope to make this Tuesday giveaway a weekly occurrence. The time line for which you have to enter will change week to week, the rules for entry may vary, but the giveaway will be featured on Tuesdays.

This week the giveaway isn't from me. (Sometimes I will simply direct you to other fabulous giveaways that fellow bloggers are offering!) This week I am directing you to one of my favorite letter pressers: Adrienne from Dingbat Press.

Her giveaway this week: Letterpress Recipe Cards:

::::: The goods :::::::
1 set of 15 letterpress recipe cards: Chocolate Covered Pear
2 color, printed on 110# Soft White Lettra paper
4.5" x 6" and boxed in a ClearBox for safe keeping until use!

Go to The Dingbat's Agenda and enter by simply leaving a comment! You should enter because her work is beautiful, and every woman needs beautiful things in her life. As an avid cook I am constantly passing on my recipes to friends. What better way to share tasty foods than with tasty recipe cards (cholocate covered pears) "from my kitchen to yours." I mean, does it get any better than this? Go ahead and enter!

If you want a special heads up for next week's giveaway, leave a comment here by Thursday!
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Monograms and More

Briar Press has a whole host of monograms and other graphic ornaments available to download for FREE! There is a wide range here that can be used to personalize any and every event. Just imagine, you could have your monogram printed on your program, menu, cocktail napkins, save the date, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some of my favorites:

Note: All images from Briar Press. Images are available for download and will have better resolution than those pictured here.
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Sunflower Shower

This weekend I was able to attend a bridal shower for a good friend. She loves sunflowers and the color blue. She is Swedish and a ringer for Reese Witherspoon. She is going to make a beautiful bride and an even better wife! I am so excited for her and her hubby to be! Here are some pictures from her shower:

I love how her mom decorated the tables with picnic clothes and tea towels and created center pieces with a just picked feel. The easy going decor was beautiful and yet fit the relaxed atmosphere of the shower.
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Dress Alterations

They do not have to be outrageous! But they do have to be good. Here are a few tips to consider before getting your dress altered:

1. You do not have to get your dress altered at the bridal salon - they will most likely be expensive.

2. Ensure time is allowed for alterations - not all alterations are easy.

3. Get referrals from friends and family! Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find the right place. Also, be sure that where you take your dress specializes in formal wear. Here are two of my favorite places to get formal wear altered:

Near Philadelphia:
D&B Clothier in Newtown Square, PA

Near Washington, DC:
Kim's Tailoring in Arlington, VA
(in the Pentagon City Mall)

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Letterpress Giveaway - It Couldn't Wait 'Til Tuesday!

A Dingbat Press Wedding Suite - you have to comment on the post and add the contest to your blog to be eligible for the contest!

Letterpressed Invitation/Reply Suite of 100 (one hundered!)

2 color, 5x7 or 4x9 letterpressed invitation.
1 color, Return Addressed Outer envelope.
Printed on our thick stock 110# cotton rag paper.
2 color, 3x5 reply card (or thank you).
1 color, Return Addressed Reply Envelope.
Printed on our thick stock 110# cotton rag paper.

This will be for a CUSTOM design (4-6 week turnaround, no RUSH available on this giveaway)
3 custom designs will be produced, winner will get 3 additional rounds of proofs.

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Wedding at a Winery

This past weekend I had the treat of visiting the award-winning Boordy Vineyards in Maryland (just north of Baltimore). Boordy makes some of my favorite wines, and so the tour and wine tasting were very exciting! It was an incredible afternoon spent with friends.

The whole time, I kept thinking that it would be a wonderful place for any event surrounding a wedding: engagement party, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, it would even be a great spot to get your wedding photos taken! The location is convenient, and the drive to the vineyard is beautiful. The vineyard also has great history. It was started by news reporter Philip Wagner and his wife Jocelyn after business trips to vineyard rich areas of France and Italy. The winery also has some neat trivia; named Boordy because the Wagner children couldn't pronounce Bordeaux, and the old barn is the site of scenes from the movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts!

Here are some pictures of the beautiful area.

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Clients: Write a Testimonial

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Quick Tips: Flowers

I am really hooked on orange right now. I am not quite sure why, it is rarely a color I naturally gravitate towards, but here is my "orange" inspiration for you. I really don't have much more to add to this...

However, InStyle Magazine online is offering some great tips regarding flowers that I thought I would share with you:

Flowers 101: Check this out for names, descriptions and images of many of the most common wedding flowers. Understanding what you like and don't like is vital before your first meeting with your florist.

Flower Glossary: If meaning matters, InStyle also offers a comprehensive list of wedding flowers and what they symbolize as well as key facts including their blooming season.

If you haven't seen these two features on InStyle, I would recommend you head over there!
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Tulle & Toile Tuesdays

So I am brainstorming the concept of having a give away every Tuesday, or maybe every other Tuesday. For those of you who run contests and giveaways, do you have any tips and tricks? Enlighten me please!

I want to make sure the prizes can be used by everyone: brides-to-be, happily single, and already married. Not only brides need calligraphy! I love stationary and hope to make some baskets of coordinated goods to give away. Also, I am going to try to have a few of the giveaway items be from my sponsors, just because I love them! I want to run service promotions for my calligraphy, but I am not sure of the best way to go about this. Finally if you would like to suggest (or donate) something to be given away, let me know!
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September Wedding of the Month

Each month, I hope you bring you photos of a real wedding to provide inspiration. As part of this monthly feature, I will list locations and vendors to help you plan your weddings as well. I will also use this feature to highlight the wide spectrum of weddings which I have done calligraphy for. To start this off, I figured it would be fitting to share pictures of my own September wedding from two years ago.

My dad and I walked down the aisle in our true form, talking and waving to our guests the whole way down.

In this photo, I was resting my legs between photos. I am so glad my photographer caught this shot. It shows how honestly elated and content I am to be married.

The church where we got married, Great Valley Presbyterian, is the oldest Presbyterian church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The church is absolutely beautiful. We love the photos we have from in front of this big red door.

No wedding in my family would be complete without Greek dancing! Just after dinner we kicked off the evening with a Greek circle dance including almost all of the wedding guests. Here you see my mom, sister and dad in the middle of this photo. Mark and I were leading the dance, but because we are novice Greek dancers my Yia-yia's (grandmother) cousin had to take the lead and move us faster! We could hardley keep up!

This is a terrific action shot which caught a moment Mark and I missed. Here my sisters and brother are hoisting my cousin Ryan across the dance floor. I love how much fun they all had!

I hope that you enjoyed this first Wedding of the Month, and were able to learn a little bit more about me too!

Wedding Details - Location: Philadelphia Main Line; Reception Site: Lamb Tavern Inn; Photographer: Light Touch Photography; Cake: The Bakery House

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Wedding Carousel

In the spirit of Friday, I thought I would share this video. I love that at this wedding, the guest all rode the carousel. They are laughing and seem to be having such a wonderful time. What a fun idea!

Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
- Franklin P. Jones
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Quick Tips for a Green Wedding


Use Recycled Paper: check out some of the following planet saving paperies
Botanical Paperworks: You will find paper printed with seeds. Your guests will be able to plant your invitation{hopefully after your nuptials} in their garden and enjoy the beautiful blossoms.
Invitesite: Known for their environmentally invitations since 1995.
Earthly Affair: Check out the blog for many more green ideas!
Oblation Papers + Press: Provides a unique take on organic design.

Use Less Paper:
Skip the vellum, 2nd envelope, and make the RSVP a post card!

Berries and Foliage: Skip the elaborate bouquets of cut flowers grown overseas and opt for foliage that is local and in season. Fall provides a variety of beautiful foliage and berries. Some of my favorites for fall include: Oak Leaf Hydrangeas, Yellow Ripple English Ivy, Black Eyed Susan Vines, Grapevines, and Hypercium Berries. Visit The Flower Shop, where you can find a comprehensive list of fall foliage in their September 2006 Newsletter.

Buy 2nd Hand: Visit E-bay and Consignment stores for a dress. This is a great way to save money and the planet.
Buy sustainable: Check out a wide array of gorgeous frocks from Olivia Luca and while you are at it, check out her blog.

Serve Organic: Choose from a wide array of organic wines to serve your guests. {I need to do more research before I recommend any organic wineries to you. If you know of some great ones, please share!}

Note: Fellow blogger Jennifer from Earth Friendly Weddings covers this topic in her Eco Wine post today! {Thanks Jennifer, your post was perfect timing!}
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Today's Wedding Etiquette

It cannot be denied, navigating the wedding invitation etiquette is no easy task. From proper wording, to questions about what to send to whom and to how to reply, here are some helpful etiquette lessons that we could all stand to learn:

Q: When should invitations be sent? How long should you allow for guests to reply?

A: Invitations should hit the mail 6-8 weeks prior to the date of nuptials. This gives your guests plenty of time to make arrangements, but not enough time to {gasp} forget. You should set the RSVP date 3-4 weeks before the wedding date, understanding that some guests may respond immediately and others may respond past the deadline. This gives you extra time to round up those final RSVPs. It also allows you ample time to finalize the headcount, seating chart, etc. before you are down to the wire in your final week. Although not all engagements allow for this time frame, at the very least you should provide guests five weeks advance notice, and request their response two weeks before your big day.

Q: Who should get a wedding announcement?

A: Announcements should be used after the wedding to let friends, family, and possibly professional colleagues who were not invited to the wedding know about your nuptials. These should be sent within a week after your wedding. To ensure the timely mailing of these announcements, elicit the help of a detail-oriented friend.

Exception: If you are getting married in the late fall, you can couple this with your holiday greeting card, but it should be sent to everyone, including wedding guests. However, this would not work for a spring wedding – the announcement would come too late and would appear awkward.

Q: How do you not invite everyone? What about two receptions?

A: I subscribe to the all or nothing mentality. If you are inviting one of your friends from your close circle, you should invite them all. If you are including one next door neighbor, you should include the other, especially if any of the wedding events will be held at your home. Even if you are certain that someone will not be able to attend, it is proper to invite them. A wedding is a celebration, and people want to join.

If you have a large contingent of guests in one area, who will likely be unable to attend your wedding, it is appropriate to consider having a second reception or party after you return from your honeymoon. Examples of when this may be appropriate: you or your spouse are involved in a leadership position in an organization but do not want everyone at your wedding; you or your spouse have a pocket of family far away; you or your spouse have a large number of colleagues and business acquaintances who are on the fence for the invite list.

Q: How do you convey a formal occasion for an afternoon event?

A: One of the best indicators that a wedding is formal or informal is the invitation itself. To covey that an event is formal, skip the DIY invitations and rely on the traditional, possibly oversized, invitation. As you flip though invitation ideas, it will become apparent which ones are formal, and which are not. Your guests should pick up on this subtlety. If you are still concerned that a sundress will be donned, make note that your nuptials are a formal occasion on your wedding website, and ask your bridal party to spread the word.

Q: Do all of the invitations have to be mailed? Is it appropriate to hand out invitations or to convey the invitation via phone or e-mail?

A: There is a very different feel to receiving an invitation in the mail instead of having it handed to you or conveyed over the phone. Your wedding is a special event that you have put thought and effort into, especially in terms of the people you invite. Taking the time and effort to compose and mail an invitation to each guest lets them know that their presence is important to you. Why else would you invite them to such a significant and personal event? Barring extreme circumstances, (your close friend who was thought lost at sea is rescued and returns home hours before your wedding) all invitations should be sent through the mail. Even if your wedding is an informal barbeque and you want to keep things casual, it’s still different from a Fourth of July weekend bash. It’s your wedding. Take this opportunity to acknowledge its importance.

Q: Can the outside envelope addresses be printed by a desktop printer as long as you use a fancy font?

A: You should never print addresses with a computer. No matter the excuse, addresses should always be handwritten. This rule applies to all items that you mail regarding your wedding from the very first engagement announcement to the very last thank you note. Remember, a wedding is a once in a life time event, and your invitation should suggest this. (Still considering the printer option? Just think about how many pieces of junk mail you or your employer receives with “pretty” printed addresses.)

If it's a matter of not enough time or poor handwriting, hire a professional. If hiring a professional is not in your budget, enlist the help of family who have handwriting you admire. A wedding invitation is the most formal and proper piece of mail that your guests likely receive

Q: Do you put a return address on the wedding invitations?

A: You don't necessarily have to have the return address printed on the envelope when you order your invitations, (as this will likely increase the cost of your invitations) but a return address should be included on the back flap. This can either be handwritten, or you can purchase an embosser or return address stamp (only if it is formal) to use.

FYI: The return address should be that of the person whom you've designated to receive response cards. The response card envelope or postcard should be printed with this address. (P.S. Don’t forget the postage stamp)
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Fall Flowers

Here are some of the incredible flowers that are in season {read: less expensive} for the fall season. They come in a variety of colors that can meet your needs if you are planning traditional fall colors, or even if you are using your favorite (not so fall) colors.

Asters – these flowers resemble a daisy , available in: white and pink and other colors

Calla Lily – these are a traditional wedding flower, available in: white, cream, yellow, burgundy, green, bronze

Chrysanthemum – available in: white, yellow, orange, pink, and many other colors, shapes will vary based on variety

Dahlia – available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. This is a beautiful picture but hardly does this flower justice because of the large variety available. I would encourage you to look at more dahlia pictures if you are considering this flower.

Daisy – the gerbera variety is particularly bountiful in the fall, available in a wide range of colors

Gloriosa Lily – available in a striking red. These are a very unique flower and can create a modern elegant arrangement.

Hydrangeas – available in yellow, orange, red, burgundy, and many other colors. These flowers are easy to work with and many florists are familiar with the ins and outs of hydrangeas. These flowers make stunning arrangements on their own and also profile good filler around a focus flower such as sunflowers or lilies.

Marigold – available in: yellow, orange, red. This is a very affordable

Oriental Lily – available in white, cream, yellow, burgundy. One variety is the stargazer which is a mix of pink and magenta with flecks of white and black.

Rose – available in a wide range of colors and can be custom dyed quite easily. Radiant Roses are available in: golden apricot, tomato-red, deep yellow, red-orange, tangerine, dark burgundy, coral-orange, burnt-orange, and chocolate brown looking fabulous in fall bouquets.

Slipper Orchids – available in: brownish red, green, and yellow

Statice – available in a brilliant purple

Sunflower – available in: your garden variety yellow and many warm shades of red and burgundy

Zinnia – available in: red, orange, pink

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