We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the talented calligrapher Nicole Hance, who also happens to be the owner of West Sheridan. (Find her on Etsy!) This mom and wedding expert has some great advice to share about how calligraphy can take your nuptials up a notch. Read on for some awesome insight!

We recently chatted with the talented calligrapher Nicole Hance.
We recently chatted with the talented calligrapher Nicole Hance.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in the wedding industry?

I live in the Washington, D.C., suburbs with my husband, Brent, and 2-year-old daughter, Ava. Before Ava was born, I planned some weddings here and there and had a wedding inspiration blog for fun. One of the weddings was even featured on Style Me Pretty and I considered that the peak of my hobby-career.

When Ava came along, it was too much to keep up with so I just settled into corporate America and parenthood. Now that I’m lettering, I have the pleasure of working with brides again, helping them create the perfect paper goods for their weddings.

Calligraphy is a popular choice for addressing wedding invitations. What makes hand-calligraphed envelopes stand out? Is there a level of formality associated with calligraphy?

I think there used to be a level of formality associated with calligraphy, but not so much anymore.  There are so many calligraphers now and each brings their own style to the art, from formal to casual to modern. Hand-calligraphed envelopes will always stand out, no matter the design, because the recipient feels like you put in extra time and special attention.

How did you teach yourself calligraphy?

Practice, practice, practice. It’s not a very glamorous or detailed answer, but I can’t say it enough. I used a lot of paper and different pens and just kept practicing.

What is the most important thing to note when attempting to learn calligraphy? Would you recommend brides teach themselves how to do so?

If a bride – or anyone – has the time, patience and desire to do so, then I would absolutely recommend they try to learn calligraphy. Calligraphy doesn’t require a nib and an ink pot but rather pretty hand lettering according to your style.

I think the most important thing to note when learning is to draw inspiration from other calligraphers or fonts, but don’t try to copy. Let your own style emerge and develop.

Where (other than invites) can brides incorporate calligraphy into their wedding?

Almost anything – programs, place cards, menus, bar signs, banners, favor tags. And it’s not just for paper anymore! Hand-lettered chalkboards, wooden pallets and stones are just a few things I’ve seen done or been approached to create recently.

Calligraphy is often associated with vintage or classic wedding aesthetics. Is there a place for calligraphy in a minimalist or contemporary-style wedding?

Yes! One of the great things about calligraphy is there’s no one set way to do it.  There is a calligrapher out there to match any type of wedding style and offer personalized details.