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.

Wedding Photos in the Snow

The more winter weather we face across the US, the more I think of brides who are braving the cold to take their wedding photos in the snow. I guess it is your only option when your wedding day is blessed with graceful flakes. Check out these incredible photos of Merisa and Sam by Heather Waraksa:

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It's Snowing in DC...

...only a little bit, and it hasn't been sticking. Even still, it puts me in the mood for a tremendous snow storm, and time at home to be bundled up with hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. Wishful thinking on my part, but we can enjoy the winter season through pictures. Check out these great engagement shots of Becky and Jason in the snow!

Becky and Jason look like they planned to have their engagement shots taken in the snow all along. Rather then cancle their photo shoot, they had fun with it and worked the camera!

Photography couple Tony and Amy Hoffer always take fantastic photos. One of the things I love best about their work is their creative ring shots. This give the word "ice" a whole new meaning!

To see more of Tony and Amy's work, visit their blog or website.

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Vera Wang Gown Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!

Hurry...this contest ends tomorrow:

Photo: InStyleWeddings.com

Vera Wang is hosting an incredible giveaway - this gown! All you have to do is write up your proposal story and send it to InStyle by Friday, January 23rd - TOMORROW!

For more details, go to: InStyle Weddings: Gown Giveaway or visit the Official Rules.

Proposal story must be 250 words or less and be sent to weddings {at} instylemag {dot} com, along with your full name, wedding date, email address and telephone number.

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Ultimate Giveaway for Followers

As you may know, blogger has enabled us to "follow" blogs. With this new feature, I will be running a promo from now until the end of February. I am not sure exactly what the details of the prize will be, but it will fit the title, "Ultimate Wedding Gift Box." Let me tell you, it will be jam packed with everything you need to prepare for your big day! (plus: this gift box will be filled with items that are wonderful for any woman, wedding or no wedding!)

Here is the scoop:

1. Between now and February 28th, become a public follower of my blog. (You can follow anonymously, but then I won't know who you are so you can't win the prize) Click here for more information about following and how to follow.

2. Feel free to comment between now and February 15th if you have a good suggestion for what should be part of the giveaway

3. Let me know via comment or e-mail if you have a product you would like to donate to the giveaway. If you donate a product for this giveaway, you will get a shout out and a sponsor button linking to your site or blog on my sidebar.

That is it, it is that easy! Just become a follower between now and February 28th!

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Sneak Peak: Sara and Caleb

Coming up this week: Sara and Caleb

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Etiquette: Addressing Wedding Invitations

When preparing your guest list, many questions are likely to arise regarding formal salutations and address etiquette. Here is a guideline of common addressing situations.

Married couple with no children invited
Outer: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith
Inner: Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Married couple with children ages 12-17 invited
Outer: Dr. and Mrs. George Peterson
Inner: Dr. and Mrs. Peterson and Miss Jane Peterson

~ Note: Children over the age of 18, but still living with their parents should receive a separate invitation. Also, the phrase “and family” should not be used in formal addresses. ~

Married couple with children under 12 invited
Outer: Mr. and Mrs. David Schwartz
Inner: Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz and
Master Schwartz
Miss Schwartz

~ Note: Children under 12 should not be mentioned on the outer envelope ~

Unmarried Couple
Outer: Ms. Susan Cunningham
Mr. Richard Vient
Inner: Ms. Cunningham
Mr. Vient

~ Note: The woman should be listed first. ~

Single man with guest
Outer: Mr. Stephen Hart
Inner: Mr. Hart and Guest

Single woman with guest
Outer: Ms. Lauren Anderson
Inner: Ms. Anderson and Escort

~Note: The word escort may be replaced with the word “guest” if desired. The word guest/escort should never appear on an outer envelope. If you are certain you know who the guest will be, include their name on the inner envelope rather than referring to them as "guest." ~

Married doctors with the same last name
Outer: Doctor Jane Eckhart and Doctor Thomas Eckhart
The Doctors Eckhart

~ Note: The woman should be addressed first, and Doctor is spelled out, not abbreviated ~

Married couple where both use different last names
Outer: Mrs. Beth Hermann
Dr. Bradley Jones
Inner: Mrs. Hermann
Dr. Jones

~ Note: Both names appear on both envelopes on separate lines – the woman should always be the first line ~

Outer: Mrs. William Edwards
Inner: Mrs. Edwards

Male Judge
Outer: The Honorable and Mrs. John Baker
Inner: Judge and Mrs. Baker

Female Judge
Outer: The Honorable Chelsea Dennis and Mr. Charles Dennis
Inner: Judge Dennis and Mr. Dennis

You can also Download this information for your convenience.

These etiquette "rules" apply for formal correspondences and are more subjective when sending informal invitations or when only using one envelope/outer envelope only. Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

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New Name :: New Stationary

To truly embrace your new married self, indulge in new stationary sporting your new monogram, new last name, or even both of your names together! Check out Sarah & Abraham. Their line of Grown-Up cards are too cute to pass up. Here are just a few of their cheeky designs:

I personally love the Jill & Todd...hmmm...maybe I will just have to get some myself!

Also, check out the Sarah & Abraham Blog!

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Black Ink vs. Blue Black Ink

When skimming through etiquette books and wedding websites, one will find countless references to ink color. black ink...no, blue black ink...black ink is preferable...blue black ink is warmer (can ink actually be warmer!?!)

Needless to say, the verdict is up in the air on what color your official correspondences should be in. In this day and age with official correspondences being few and far between and with style matters reigning more than ever, the choice is yours.

Here are the general rules I tend to follow:

Formal wedding and your invitations are black and/or white = Black Ink
Formal wedding and colored invitations = Blue Black Ink or dark ink in a coordinating color
Informal Wedding = Blue Black Ink or choose an ink color to match your invitations

Here are some samples of the Black Ink and Blue Black Ink side by side:

Do you see the difference? The Blue Black Ink is on the left. Here is a close up:

If you have any ink color questions, please feel free to comment or email me.

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Weding Gown Givaway: Vera Wang

There is still time to get the ultimate wedding gown...for free!

Photo: InStyleWeddings.com

Vera Wang is hosting an incredible giveaway - this gown! All you have to do is write up your proposal story and send it to InStyle by Friday, January 23rd.

For more details, go to: InStyle Weddings: Gown Giveaway or visit the Official Rules.

Proposal story must be 250 words or less and be sent to weddings {at} instylemag {dot} com, along with your full name, wedding date, email address and telephone number.

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Untraditional Wedding Dresses

Did you like the gowns you see on the red carpets? Allen B. Schwartz of ABS is known for replicating some of the seasons hottests red carpet fashions for a price you can afford to walk down the aisle in. This year the Golden Globes brought some beautiful wedding worthy gowns to center stage.

It seemed like everywhere you turned, the stars were wearing beautiful shades of white and cream. This spring, you can get your hands on some of these looks. ABS dresses, replicating the Golden Globe fashions will be available ranging between $250-300. With dresses like these, you can strut like a star on your wedding day. For a sneak peek, watch the Allen B. Schwartz feature on Entertainment Tonight here and catch a glimse of his latest looks.

There were also many not so white dresses that could be inspiration for an unconventional twist on the classic wedding gown. Take a look at these and see what you think:

Olivia Wilde and America Ferrara might be making wedding statements without even getting married! After looking at all these dresses, I am excited to see new bridal collections...

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Let me introduce... Jen and AJ

AJ proposed to Jen in October 2008. They are planning a summer wedding as we are lucky enough to get to follow them through their planning process all the way to their big day. Here is their story so far:


Jen and AJ were sey up on a blind date through a mutual friend. They decided to go out for ice cream and explore the the wonderful ocean side town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. The two ate ice-cream and walked the beach and town for two hours. (I would say the date was going well!). Jen says she AJ confirmed he was fabulous when Jen dripped her ice cream on her sun dress, "AJ instantly pulled out his undershirt from his button down so that he could wipe it off my dress for me..."

It was love at first "drip"...Jen knew when she left him that day that she had just met either her best friend or husband to be... luckily it's both!


On Friday, October 17 AJ took Jen for more ice cream at their favorite spot before it closed for the season. Eating their ice cream, they walked to the beach and played the game..."if you could change one thing about this house what would it be?" Disctracted by thinking about the mansions that line the rocky beach, Jen stumbled upon a blanket surrounded with candles! (which AJ's roommate, had been dutifully keeping the Cub Scouts and dogs away from until their arrival)

AJ presented a dozen long stem red roses and proposed! Of course Jen said yes! And to top it all off, AJ arranged a photographer to capture the engagement as it happened!

Here are just a few of their wondeful proposal photos:

As he pops the question...

The embrace! (and YES!)

Realizing their photographer was catching every moment!

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...with Sarah Hubbell of
"The Wedding Hub"

Sarah, first off, how did you get started blogging?

Well I've certainly always loved reading other blogs! I suppose with the economic and environmental crises, I wanted a place to post eco-chic and budget friendly ideas for brides.

What have you learned the most since you started blogging?
Hmm...I've learned what an incredible sense of community there is. I think a lot of people rag on new technology, because it separates us from actual relationships, but I think with the sheer amount of attention and funds raised for the Nie Nie Recovery for example, is evidence of the blog community proving there's real substance to these relationships.

I couldn't agree more. I have found the blogging community is incredibly warm and open - making it an ideal venue to share intimate details about weddings and inspirations. But now back to you...

What is your favorite wedding accessory?
In my non-wedding life, my hands-down answer would be SHOES, but you hardly see those on your wedding day, SO....hmm...well I really love bird cage veils or feather hair accessories like the one we've given away on our blog recently. More than any other accessory, I think hair accessories make a really dramatic statement.

Where do you go for inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere! Blogs, home decorating stores, flea markets, antique stores, literally everywhere. I'll see a vintage tea pot, and I'll start planning an entire event around it. I love the creative process!

What is the best lesson you learned from your own wedding?
Well, whether you have 20 guests or 300, intimacy is key, so that is something we really worked to create at my own wedding. I'm not really sure if this is a lesson per se, but I'm so so glad we wrote our own vows. I feel like it made every guest feel closer to us, and more importantly I felt like every word I said held meaning and really made me feel connected to my new husband in a way I had not yet experienced. Vowing to spend the rest of your life with someone is so powerful, and even more moving if it you make it personal.

How did you and your hubby meet?
We were both speech and debate nerds (and both state champions, I might add!), so I met him while he was volunteering to coach at my high school, and then we started dating when we were both in college. We've been together ever since.

How did he propose?
I think I'm in the minority, because I know a lot of people love big elaborate proposals in front of a lot of people. For us, it was super intimate, and I sort of like keeping it that way. We actually ended up having our reception at the same place he proposed, so that was really special.

What is the biggest wedding goof you have ever experienced?
Oooh, so many! Let's see, at one wedding, they had the girl who had caught the bouquet sit down for the whole garter bit. They had blindfolded the gentleman who had caught the garter (a pretty burly man) and told him he had to put it on this poor girl with his teeth! The girl was mortified, but they had a plan! They switched her out for the groom at the last second, so we got to watch this big guy use his teeth to get a garter around the groom's leg. Very memorable.

What are three things every bride should remember before her big day?
Eat, breathe, and have a ball. Oh, and a fourth, don't sweat the small stuff!

Sarah, thank you for being our very first Q&A! To learn more about Sarah, check out her blog: The Wedding Hub.

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Q & A Preview: The Wedding Hub

One of the changes for the new year is adding Q&A's from fellow bloggers and experts in the wedding industry. It is exciting to announce that our very first one will be featured next week.! Be sure to keep you eyes peeled for the fabulous Q&A with wedding planner extraordinaire, Sarah Hubbell from The Wedding Hub.

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Recently I cam across this great new blog called 44 Forks. Here, Nick Cernis, a writer in the UK, explors questions of etiquette in our lives today. This is hilariously funny and topics range from forks to facebook. Swing over and check out his latest etiquette posting!

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Eco-Friendly Wedding Rings

(all photos from Brilliant Earth)

When planning an Eco-friendly wedding there are obvious things like paper and flowers and food that stand out, but something as small and meaningful as your rings can have a big impact on the environment. Rings (often made with gold and diamonds) often are the result of a large scale mining. There are many environmental and humanitarian issues associated with gold and diamond mines. However, hope is not lost. With the growing awareness many alternative options are now available. Here are a few you might consider:

1. Check out Eco-friendly online retailers like greenKarat and Brilliant Earth.

2. Explore resale options like I Do Now I Don't to find pre-used rings. Sounds a little odd, but at the end of the day a diamond is still a diamond no matter where you get it from.
(disclaimer - I have never worked with this site - I have only read positive reviews)

3. Heirlooms: Find out if anyone in your family has a ring, or other jewelry just waiting to be passed down. Odds are you have some great stones sitting somewhere. You can take earings and make them into a ring, or wear your heirloom as is, full of history and love.

4. Non-traditional: These days diamonds aren't for everyone. There are increasing alternatives to the traditional engagement ring and wedding bands. Check out some of Earth Friendly Wedding's directory of top Eco-Friendly Vendors.

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Engagement Shoot: Jen and Jared

Is it snowing or raining where you are today? The weather is gross here in DC, wintry mix. I cannot wait for the warm spring sun and outdoor wedding season to return. In the mean time, I will be bringing you warm and sunny pics from beaches all over the US. First up is an engagement photo shoot from West Palm Beach, Florida. Here are my favorite pictures of Jen and Jared:

Jen and Jared took some great shots on the beach, but it started to get dark, so they went back for another fun filled day of photos, an outfit change, and quite the adventure.

Jen and Jared's photographer kept on shooting as they sat on these rocks...

...and as the wave crashed over them!
It made for some wonderful pictures, and certainly lots of laughs.

Clearly Jen and Jared embraced the waves!

To see more of Jen and Jared's photo shoot (including the non-beach shots) go to: DB Images Blog.
To learn more about the photographer visit: DB Images.

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Happy New Year!

I hope that you all had a wonderful time ringing in 2009! I certainly did. It is a new year and with that brings new ideas. In anticipation, I have been thinking of how to better serve you, my loyal blog readers and calligraphy clients. There will be some changes taking place, a few worth noting:

1. As you can see already, the blog will be getting a bit of a face lift. I am working on better "branding" in hopes of launching a website sometime in the future. Please comment and let me know what you think of the new look as it evolves.

2. More weddings! I am working on parterning with photographers I know and love to bring you more photos of real weddings. Hold you breath, some fabulous photos are coming your way soon!

3. I really enjoyed having "themed" posts in December and hope to carry this into several months in '09. For January I will be feturing beaches...because we all need some warm thoughts to carry us until spring.

4. In life I have been becoming increasingly aware of my impact on the environment. This will inevitably spill over to this blog where I will share more eco-friendly and green ideas!

5. Along with my green ideas, I will also be featuring fellow bloggers in Q&A's this year. (many from eco-friendly and green wedding blogs). If you are interested in being featured in a Q&A drop me a line!

I hope you enjoy the new and improved Calligraphy by Shannon for 2009! Please feel free to comment and provide suggestions.
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12th Day of Christmas

Now that the holidays are over, and you are thinking about returning to work on Monday, it is also time to think about taking down and storing your decorations for another year. Here are some very useful storage boxes that might help your process (and most of these sites have other fabulous storage solutions for all your holiday gear from trees to wreaths to wrapping paper!)

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