My Story Behind the Script: Our Accidental Octopus Themed Wedding

When I started planning our wedding, I knew there were a few things I definitely wanted and one of those things was that I wanted our wedding to capture our personalities. I wanted our guests to walk into the space and not only feel welcomed, but almost feel like they were walking into our home. Like absolutely 100% yes this is Michelle and Ory.

And while I had a pretty good sense of how to get there, I also wanted to be sure that when it came down to it, Ory had some say in the planning process too and it wasn’t me just living out my own wedding fantasies.

So a few weeks into selecting our most important vendors, I asked Ory, “What’s the one thing you want to be sure we incorporate into our wedding?”

And y’all, I just didn’t see this one coming. “Octopi.”

I’ll be honest. These out of left field responses are definitely one of the reasons I fell for Ory. To this day, it still keeps our marriage interesting. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a small part of me started to panic. How the heck was I going to incorporate octopi into what I otherwise wanted to be a fairly classic and feminine wedding?

We immediately starting googling octopus weddings and I’ll be honest, the results weren’t really inspiring or comforting. But I couldn’t go back on my promise, so I set out to incorporate octopi into the wedding. And incorporate I did with the help of my mom, a few fabulous vendors including Alicia of A&P Designs and Laura of Ashton Events! Y’all, I was quite proud of the end result :)

And while initially octopi held no significant place in either of ours live at the time. They are now forever linked to the day we said I do.

Read on for some fabulous details (and the stories behind them!) from the best octopus themed wedding ever.

These octopi save the dates were the first place the octopus made an appearance. Alicia from  A&P Design Co  drew these vintage inspired octopi herself - incredible right? And the accompanying photo was a watercolor of our beachside reception venue. Photo by  A&P Design Co .

These octopi save the dates were the first place the octopus made an appearance. Alicia from A&P Design Co drew these vintage inspired octopi herself - incredible right? And the accompanying photo was a watercolor of our beachside reception venue. Photo by A&P Design Co.

When our guests arrived to  reception , they were greeted by this fun vintage beach sign. Lettered by me and built/painted by Ory.

When our guests arrived to reception, they were greeted by this fun vintage beach sign. Lettered by me and built/painted by Ory.

Ory comes from quite the handy family, so when we asked his dad and brother if they would build us some custom corn hole sets for the cocktail hour they were totally up for the challenge and made two different but perfectly complementary sets. And of course, one of them just had to feature the octopus :)

Ory comes from quite the handy family, so when we asked his dad and brother if they would build us some custom corn hole sets for the cocktail hour they were totally up for the challenge and made two different but perfectly complementary sets. And of course, one of them just had to feature the octopus :)

cocktail hour corn hole on the beach
My mom helped find some really cute furniture to decorate the bar area for our cocktail hour and this octopus pillow was one of my favorite subtle details.

My mom helped find some really cute furniture to decorate the bar area for our cocktail hour and this octopus pillow was one of my favorite subtle details.

wedding decor details vintage nautical
Family has always been important to both of us, so we wanted to be sure that family was a central theme in our wedding. This ode to our parents and grandparents weddings made for a great card table and guest book display and that vintage octopus plate? It was hand painted by Ory himself.

Family has always been important to both of us, so we wanted to be sure that family was a central theme in our wedding. This ode to our parents and grandparents weddings made for a great card table and guest book display and that vintage octopus plate? It was hand painted by Ory himself.

My mom found these super cute octopus paper weights which we used as place cards that I lettered. Our wedding was the very first wedding I ever did calligraphy for! I still to this day see these place cards in friends houses and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it made my heart so happy :)  A&P Design Co  also incorporated an octopus into the menus to subtly carry the theme over from our save the dates paper story.

My mom found these super cute octopus paper weights which we used as place cards that I lettered. Our wedding was the very first wedding I ever did calligraphy for! I still to this day see these place cards in friends houses and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it made my heart so happy :) A&P Design Co also incorporated an octopus into the menus to subtly carry the theme over from our save the dates paper story.

nautical organic wedding table setting

Y’all I seriously wish I could take you back to that day. But I hope these snippets gave you a sneak peak and a feel for how our octopus themed wedding was born. The biggest lesson learned during this process was that if you do want to have a theme to your wedding, it doesn’t have to be everywhere. A few well placed details can truly make all the difference.

bride and groom carlouel beach wedding

And if you’re currently in the midst of trying to incorporate what feels like apples and oranges into your big day. Know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you don’t quite yet know what that way is, a solid vendor team can help you make that dream a reality <3

Happy Planning!


Stories Behind the Script: Scott & Jennifer's Story

Jenny and I met in college during a chemistry class. She was actually my TA and we bonded over (wait for it…) subscribing to Cosmopolitan. Oh what a special time to be alive :)

And what started as a very special love of getting happy mail, turned into a friendship that has now spanned over a decade.

Since those college days, we’ve both gone on to get graduate degrees, stood by each other on our wedding days, and welcome some kiddos into the mix!

I was beyond thrilled when her husband, Scott, reached out about lettering their vows for them.

wedding calligraphy vows

Jenny and Scott met through a mutual friend while Jenny was at medical school and despite having very little free time, Jenny and Scott would frequently make the 1 hour plus trek back and forth between Richmond and Charlottesville to hang out. It was one of those things where when you saw them together, you just knew this was headed for a forever kind of love.

And sure enough years later they’re married with two kids! Jenny has finally finished her training as a maternal fetal medicine doctor and Scott is pursuing a career in commercial real estate.

And selfishly, I still have them within a day’s drive (which is obviously the thing that’s most important right?)

So so grateful to have friends that entrust me with these special moments of their life <3

Wedding Calligraphy On a Budget: Getting the Most Bang for your Buck

Ok, friends. I know.  Weddings are expensive no matter which way you slice it. And sometimes calligraphy just doesn't make the top of the list given that for most of us it's a want and not a need.

But just because you don't need something, doesn't mean it can't be part of your magical day and I'm hoping the next few paragraphs here will give you some tips and tricks on how to incorporate calligraphy into your wedding without breaking the bank.

So the biggest thing to know about calligraphy in weddings is that calligraphy can help set an aesthetic and feel for your guests. I don't know about y'all, but when we got married, we wanted our guests to feel special and loved and calligraphy was our way to add personalized touches because who doesn't love to see their name written prettily!? Even the men were taking home our personalized favors ;)

But in order to set the vibe that you're going for, it doesn't always have to be grandiose and a few well placed pieces can absolutely do the trick!

Here are a couple of ideas for incorporating calligraphy into your wedding at a few different price points:

$100 and under

  • Display a favorite print, quote, or scripture (or 2) on your gift table or cake table! These also make a great keepsake to display in your home after the wedding!

  • Add a pop of pretty with calligraphy on your table numbers.

  • Get small custom signs made for your gift table, cake table, bar menu, etc.

  • Ask a calligrapher to create a keepsake envelope for your invitation suite! Your photographer can then use this for your invitation photos and you can keep the pretty envelope to display in a shadow box or wedding display!

$200 and under

  • Display your personalized vows on your gift or cake table! These also make a great keepsake to display in your home after the wedding!

  • Wow guests with personalized place cards or escort cards!

Photo by  Soul Focus Media

$300 and under

  • Send happy mail to your guests with hand lettered wedding envelopes!

  • Add a statement piece with a customized seating chart on an elegant mirror.

  • Add a mirror welcome sign for a pretty entrance to your ceremony/reception!

Seriously, y'all. SO MANY OPTIONS! So before you throw in the towel on having calligraphy as part of your wedding decor, know that there are so many ways to do this. And all of them can add that personal touch and charm that calligraphy offers.

If you're still struggling on ways to incorporate calligraphy into your wedding and want a little help, use the form on the Let's Chat page to reach out! I'm happy to work within your budget to figure out what some affordable options might be for you and help make your wedding that much more special.

PS These prices are based on estimates and may vary based on the number of guests, the size of the project, the calligrapher you're using and how quickly you need a piece, but hopefully they make you realize that wedding calligraphy doesn't have to be a total pipe dream and that you can create that magical wedding you always hoped for without sacrificing your budget in the process. Happy wedding planning, friends!

Stories Behind the Script: Janelle and Roberto's Story

Last December my sweet cousin Janelle got married to her partner in crime, Roberto. The ceremony was in a beautiful church in downtown Tampa and the reception was perfectly rustic in an outdoor covered barn space. Simple and sweet - my favorite!

I was thrilled when Janelle reached out to me about addressing her wedding envelopes. Not only did the turquoise color go perfectly with the invitations she had picked out from Wedding Paper Divas, but Emily and Thomas from The Ganeys captured the suite beautifully!

Janelle and Roberto's Wedding Invitations
janelle and roberto bridesmaids
janelle and roberto church
janelle and roberto reception
Janelle and Roberto Bride and Groom

To top it all off, these two are expecting a little one for their one year anniversary!! Congratulations Janelle and Roberto! :) I couldn't be happier for you two!