Aislinn of Blush & Faire has graced the maritime wedding world with her uniquely styled hand calligraphy in the form of Custom Wedding Invitations, Semi-Custom Wedding Invitations, and Personalized Stationary (just to name a few things she offers!). What began as a hobby, and a therapeutic creative outlet, now allows her to bring joy to other people.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you became interested in calligraphy. Were you artistic growing up and what other kinds of art do you find interesting?
I became interested in calligraphy at first as a hobby. My best friend was getting married and it was something I found an interest in and wanted to help her by making signage for her wedding. I was working in an office at the time, and spent almost all my spare time teaching myself. It was at a time where I was a bit lost & unhappy with what I was doing, so it really gave me the creative outlet I needed. That same friend encouraged me to start sharing my work & selling it and I did. It started quite small with just my instagram account & word of mouth, and my growth was never all at once.
I started to realize I loved doing things for weddings so widened my services & started networking in the wedding industry here and met so many amazing people, many who are now good friends. From there my services evolved even more, to where I am now, offering wedding invitations. I still do other wedding details such as signage and day-of stationery (place cards, menus, programs etc.) but I truly love designing unique invitations for couples and seeing them come to life.
Growing up I was always a bit ‘artsy’, I never really stuck with anything but I took a lot of creative summer camps like pottery & art as a kid, and into high school I always chose fine art classes over drama. I even continued to stay in touch with it during university. Although I graduated with a finance degree, I actually was just shy of a minor in fine arts, which I find hilarious to look back on. I love anything creative, from painting, pottery, stained glass.. I will try anything!
Besides invitations, how can couples incorporate the art of calligraphy into their wedding décor?
The two main ways I see couples include calligraphy right now is through signage such as welcome signs, seating charts, day of schedules and other smaller table signage (think guestbook, cake table, cards & gifts etc), and day-of stationery which would include things like place cards, menus, programs, thank you notes & favor tags.
Within each of those categories there are so many ways to make it unique to you and that is really where my heart lies in day-of items. Incorporating couples personalities and individual style into the signage & stationery is what I love to do. I also love when couples are open to, or have themselves, really unique ideas. Whether it’s something like a keepsake like a custom jacket for the bridal party, having calligraphy written on an object that holds meaning to them (guitar, canoe paddle, record – anything!), or just making their regular signage stand out with unique touches like fabric or using an unusual surface – that’s my favorite!
What advice would you give to a couple that is in the midst of choosing their wedding invitations? What should they consider regarding font/handwritten scripts, style aesthetic, and overall design?
The first thing I would say to keep in mind is that invitations (also save the dates if you are doing that) are the FIRST thing your guests receive, and they help set the tone & excitement for your day! I think for a lot of people invitations can be overwhelming. There are so many pretty invitation designs that are available at people’s fingertips right now. I think it depends on the couple but my biggest piece of advice would be to infuse YOUR personality into invitations. If you are into camping & hiking, you don’t have to pick a watercolor floral invitation just ‘because it’s pretty’. With custom (or even semi-custom) invitations there are so many ways to make them you.
Some people know exactly what they want – and that is great. Others don’t really know all of the different options & would rather choose a ready to print design than have to make all the decisions themselves.
What is the price range for custom calligraphy?
This is a hard one to answer because everything can vary so much depending on style & quantity. I would say a minimum spend for day-of items (whether it’s signage or stationery) would be an average of $250. Doing multiple different items can range as well but again with an average of $600. Invitations are hard because semi custom and custom vary, and there are so many different embellishments like wax seals etc, but I would say average ranging from around $800-1200.
That being said, I wouldn’t cross calligraphy off your list just because of what you see above. Prices differ so much depending on the specific client (the joys of custom work!) and it is always best to reach out to your calligrapher / stationer.
What are the advantages of working with a local calligrapher instead of finding something online from a site like Etsy?
We all know budget is a huge factor when it comes to everything to do with your wedding. An independent designer, like myself, is of course going to be more expensive than something you choose & edit online. Etsy is a bit hard to compare because there are a lot of independent designers who create their own designs and sell them as semi custom through etsy, and each would have their own process. The one benefit I would say is that most of those semi custom choices there are no options to change, you get what you order. That being said, with Etsy having so many different vendors, I am sure there are some in there that provide a great client experience. It is just tough to say without interacting with them first!
An easier one to compare is ready made designs like Vistaprint. The main differences there are experience & quality. When I design invitations with clients, they are one of a kind. I walk through the experience with my clients & we are in contact through the entire process to make sure you get exactly what you want. It is an entirely different customer experience. When it comes to quality – there is no comparison. From the invitation cards, to the print quality, to the envelopes, there is a visible difference to anyone who would hold both in their hands. Now, does this matter to everyone? No, and that’s fine too! It is up to you & your partner to decide what matters & what you want to allocate your budget to.
Do you find websites like Pinterest or Etsy to be helpful when brides are looking for inspiration for what they want their wedding details to look like? Or do you prefer to provide brides with a full experience of designing their suites and signage?
When someone has a really strong vision in their head of what they want, I prefer to get inspiration photos from them. This helps me determine pricing & if it is a service I offer. That being said, I love when clients come to me with a loose idea of what they need and are open to me designing based on their style & personality. For invitations, inspiration is always welcome but I am upfront with my clients that I do not recreate exact designs of other designers.
Do you have a favorite script?
I have mostly used my own calligraphy script in the past but now offer the option of script fonts. I don’t have a favorite but I would say the style I love most is modern & whimsical. I do not have a very traditional design style.
How do you stay creatively inspired?
I keep alot of things I love around my house & express my style in my decor. I am a plant lover (close to 40 house plants now!) and I take a lot of inspiration from nature. I think this is why my style is more modern & loose than it is traditional & perfect. I love spending time in nature and also listening to music, and reading books on mindset & mindfulness. When I really need a boost I love to sit down and play with paint – with no plans of what it will end up like.
What advice can you give to Nova Scotia brides?
Right now is such a weird and stressful time for all couples planning to get married with Covid-19 happending. My advice right now has a different tone than what it normally would, unfortunately. I can imagine it can be really upsetting to have the possibility of having to move the day you’ve been dreaming of and planning for so long. The best advice I have for right now is focus on the good. Stay positive and remember your love is not defined by the date of your wedding. We have no control over what is going to happen right now, and that can be very upsetting. But focus on what you can control to remove stress from your life. If that means making the decision to postpone your day so you can stop worrying about the next few months, and enjoy it when the time comes – just do whatever is best for YOU.
When it comes to your day when this is all over (because it will be over!), stay focusing on the most important thing – you and your partner! Don’t make decisions for others, but if doing something that a family member wants will reduce your stress and not affect your day – go for it. The only thing that will matter that day will be you both getting to celebrate. Lastly – don’t forget to take a few minutes to sneak off by yourselves to take it all in.
Where can brides find you?
My website is www.blushandfaire.com
Instagram / Facebook: @blushandfaire
Email is always best to get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org