Calligraphy: McKenzie and Andrew Wedding


I’ve promised myself to not take on anything until February of next year, but somehow this project was too interesting for me to pass up.

A local wedding planner approached me with the idea that her bride wanted some kind of timeline of the couple’s courtship to display at the wedding along with watercolored signage for the event.


She had found an example of what she wanted on etsy, a simple sans serif print in colorful blocks (can’t seem to find the link), but it didn’t go with her wedding’s decor, so I went a little more whimsical and romantic with the design.


I used watercolor for their names and gold ink for the rest of the information. It’s a very subtle warm gold which plays well with the slight changes in color the watercolor offers.


This piece is 11 x 14. The tricky part was laying out the large field of text in an interesting, whimsical way while still keeping style, scale and composition consistent. I ended up laying it out on a separate sheet of paper before transferring it to the watercolor paper.


At each of the 18 tables for the event, there are little question/answer cards. The bride’s response on one side and the groom’s on the other. Another fun little design element that helps you get to know the couple in addition to the courtship timeline.


They had four food stations that needed signage, so I made 8×10 artwork for that. Again, mixing the watercolor and gold ink for more dimension.


Then I labeled the food with small table tents, mixing script and caps print for easy readability and composition.

It was a fun project, but I have to admit, I underbid the amount of time it took me to do this. The small signage came in just as predicted, but the timeline took at least three times as long to make. Lesson learned!

Part of me wants to take on more of this kind of work, but there’s just not enough time for it. And honestly, I’d much rather teach a bride how to do it herself. Feed a man a fish. . . right?

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    1. I blame you, Melissa, for the number of packages that have come to my door from Paper & Ink Arts over the last month. I signed up for your course (I need to log back in before it expires – I had to make a trip to FL to visit my grandmother) and I’ve fallen back in love with the art! :) This is gorgeous!!

      • Melissa says:

        Oh this is music to my ears! I love passing along the love for calligraphy. It’s so addicting, meditative and rewarding. I can’t imagine my life without it!

    2. Julia says:

      These people are in my ward!!! I can’t wait to see how it turns out tomorrow. It’s going to be fabulous. You are so gifted.

    3. Heather Smith says:

      Great pics. This really did add a beautiful and elegant touch to the wedding last night. The bride and groom loved it! Thanks for all the hard work.

    4. Caryn Dahm says:

      Hi Melissa. I love this post and your work is so fabulous! I plan to take your course over the Summer I’m hoping. I had a question. I just worked on a project (my art camp flyer) that I layer out on regular sketch paper and needed to transfer to my watercolor paper. I used carbon paper to do the job but the lines were so heavy on the final artwork and difficult to lift off. I feel like there has to be a better way. Do you have any suggestions?

      • Melissa says:


        I found the same thing to be true when I was working on this project! It kind of freaked me out when I tested the carbon paper and the markings didn’t erase.

        I ended up creating my own carbon paper with a soft-lead pencil. I have a 4b pencil lead (Koh-I-Noor has woodless graphite pencils, my favorite) that I rubbed along the back side of the layout paper. I rubbed it on pretty thoroughly, then traced my composition over the watercolor paper. The graphite was much easier to remove than the carbon.

        Hope that helps!

    5. marissa says:

      So beautiful! You are an inspiration. :)

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