musings from the ladies of a day in may events



Stationery Spotlight: Boho Chic Wedding

Image via Liz Banfield

The stationery design process often sparks the inspiration for the aesthetic of our clients’ celebrations. Save the Dates and invitations are some of the first pieces in the design process and they truly set the tone for an event. After all, they are the first design elements guests will see in relation to your wedding day. Missi & Brian wanted to create a glamorous, boho inspired celebration for their lakeside nuptials (be sure to check out their feature on Martha Stewart Weddings!). During the stationery design process, we were inspired by geometric patterns, watercolor elements and cerulean blue, fuschia and metallic gold accents. We are excited to share a sneak peek of our stationery mood boards that helped our graphic designer extraordinaire create the gorgeous letter-pressed suite pictured above.BohoChic_DesignInspiration1


Inspiration Images via Pinterest

Be sure to visit the gallery for additional images from Missi & Brian’s Boho Chic Celebration!

Stationery Spotlight: Surprise Fiftieth Celebration!


Jonathan’s Stationery Suite was designed with a sense of masculinity, deep color tones and layered textural elements. Beginning with the Save the Dates, a color scope of kraft, black and chocolate brown with pops of Hermès orange was established to be the perfect teaser of the look and feel of the weekend. Various versions of custom JW logos helped to add a detailed complexity and playful nature to the branding of the weekend, as well. A plastisol ink was screen printed over the kraft paper to add a slight sheen and raised texture to the Save the Date. Faux leather photo corners held in place a childhood photo of the birthday boy for guests to reminisce with.



A digital, interactive Invitation was created for the final mailing and was received by guests in a kraft mailing tube, filled will Hermès orange crinkle paper. A custom, wood burned tag was paired with a JW logo’d flash drive and attached to a beautiful black goat leather keychain as a keepsake for each of the guests. The digital invitation took the guests through the weekend of events and ended with a personal video created by Jonathon’s children inviting each guest to join them in celebrating Jonathon’s 50th!

Be sure to visit the gallery to see more details from this special birthday celebration!

Graphic Design by A Day in May Events; Images by Jen Kroll Photography

Watercolor Calligraphy


Image via Chelsea Petaja

There is nothing more beautiful than a calligraphed invitation or escort card at an event. It is these small touches and personalized details that will keep guests talking for years to come about your unforgettable event. While we adore beautiful calligraphy in gilded, metallic tones and delicate colored swashes of ink, lately we have been admiring watercolor calligraphy that allows you to see the variations of color in each letterform. The print above was created by the incredibly talented Chelsea Petaja. (If you don’t follow her already on Instagram you must – her work and life in Nashville looks like a dream!) She has a lovely style of hand lettering and offers fantastic prints and paper goods in her Etsy shop, Oh my Deer! This piece uses a single hue of watercolor paint, but we love the transition of the pink tones within the lettering design.

Watercolor Calligraphy2

Image via A Fabulous Fete

How lovely are the invitations and place cards above?! We are big fans of greenery and love how the natural tones are incorporated into this design. Lauren, from A Fabulous Fete, has mastered her unique hand lettering and calligraphy style. Her blog is a fantastic resource for aspiring calligraphers.  This post on her favorite tools is especially helpful if you are looking to get started! There are an assortment of waterbrush pens available also, which are a great way to experiment with watercolor calligraphy and artwork. Be sure to also check out Lauren’s  videos showcasing her watercolor lettering techniques (001, 002, 003)! Calligraphy workshops (or Skillshare classes!) are also a great way to get more thorough instruction.


Image via Design House of Moira

Watercolor also allows you to transition between various colors within a word or letter of your calligraphy. This brush lettering in berry tones with blue-green accents by Victoria Rothwell at Design House of Moira is truly breathtaking!

Incorporating watercolor into your branding and printed pieces is sure to wow your guests and provide for beautiful keepsakes for years to come!

The Perfect Type

Selecting a Typeface

As we mentioned in last week’s “Stationery Spotlight,” your stationery is one of the first strong design elements for your wedding and special events. Fonts are a great place to start in the stationery design process. The typefaces you select, combined with your color palette, the paper weight, texture and any additional embellishments all work together to convey the style of your event. The resurgence of handlettering and calligraphy has all of us in love, but we’ll save those two beauties for another post!

Before you begin selecting fonts for your invitation suite and branding elements at your event, it is important that you have an understanding of the style and feeling you want to evoke at your wedding. Are you classic or contemporary? Rustic or coastal? Casual or whimsical? The wording on your invitation conveys information to your guests, but the style of that text communicates just as strongly. If you choose a traditional, calligraphic typeface, your guests can gather that your event will be quite formal. A looser, hand lettered style provides a more casual, intimate feeling.

An elegant, timeless typeface will convey a classic, formal style. If you are hosting a modern fete, a sleek, minimal font with clean lines will do the trick. Old world font styles that hint at a different era can capture your vintage style perfectly!

The fonts you select of course should be beautiful to the eye, but it is essential that they are readable. You wouldn’t want your guests struggling to read their program or dinner menu because the type was small or difficult to read. Think about your guests and the function of the pieces you are using the typeface for.

We usually recommend mixing 2-3 different fonts to add interest to your invitation suite and branding elements. There are 3 basic types of typefaces: serif, sans serif, and script. To create contrast, it is common to combine a script typeface style with a sans serif typeface. Use the beautiful script typeface for your names or larger headings so you can see the details and unique qualities of the letters, and designate a more simple, sans serif font for smaller text and body copy.

Selecting your wedding fonts can seem like a daunting task. Here are an assortment of our favorite resources to find fonts and lettering inspiration to get you started- Happy Font-ing!!

We love this tool to discover new fonts and typeface designers. You can easily search by style (ie: vintage, modern, rustic). The site provides a great overview about the typeface and a gallery that lets you view various applications where the typeface was used. Our favorite feature is that you can enter your own text to see how it will look in that particular typeface. WhatTheFont is another fun feature – you can upload in image of a font and they will provide you with the actual name of the typeface or other similar results!


This site is awesome. It provides an assortment of free fonts that you can easily download and incorporate in your designs. You can sort by what’s new, what’s popular, the type classification or the style tags. Plus if you are a graphic designer, the fonts are 100% free for commercial use.

The Daily Type

We love following this Instagram feed for daily type and hand lettering inspiration. Their colorful feed featuring themes talented designers is sure to excite! The Daily Type’s website has great tools for the aspiring designer – check our their lettering kit and online workshop!


Stationery Spotlight: Lakeside Love Story


Stationery design is one of our favorite parts of the event design process, particularly weddings. It’s one of the first strong design elements for your wedding, as it allows you to play with color, texture and tone. Your save the date cards and invitation suite will set the tone for your guests, allowing them to envision the style and feeling of your wedding day. The beautiful printed pieces should evoke excitement and anticipation for the arrival of your nuptials, while also providing useful information that will help your friends and family plan for your big day.

Our beloved clients, Lizzy and Bucky, (to see more from this wedding visit our website!) entrusted us to design their invitation suite for their wedding on the shores of Lake Leelanau. The invitations were letterpressed with a single copper foil on a billowy, double thick stock. The custom handlettering Emily created, paired with the delicate typefaces, truly made the design the perfect canvas for embellishment. Steve Fritz, a local watercolor artist (who also happens to be Alicia’s dad!) handpainted each piece to bring depth to the simplicity of the foil, while also providing a dash of color. Each printed piece was a work of art and represented the sweet, sweet soul of our bride and groom. And without missing a beat, Mother Nature gave us the most perfect cotton candy sunset painted across the sky the evening they said “I do.”  It mirrored the watercolor design beautifully!


Emily’s sketching process is pictured above. It took many iterations to develop a hand lettering style that accurately represented the personality of our couple. Some designs felt too “sketchy,” and some felt too calligraphic in nature.


This is our watercolor work station! The center image depicts the single foil invitations before the artwork. The layout created a defined space so the artistic elements could shine through. The watercolor embellishments and the edge painting process of the Save the Dates took four artists many, many hours to complete!  ‘Abstract floral’ was a large theme throughout the stationery design. We wanted to ‘hint’ that there were flowers in the design without being too literal. Our groom loves fly fishing, so within the Save the Dates, we chose to include green and blue tonalities to softly represent the river bed from his favorite fishing spots. We also opted for orange hues in the watercolors, rather than pinks and yellows, to acknowledge the changing of the seasons for this September wedding. The end result was perfect – each Save the Date card was a piece or art and had its own eccentricities within its design.


The edge painting detail is pictured above.  If there is a color in your palette that is quite bold and packs some punch, Edge Painting is a great way to incorporate vivid hues. Calligraphing your guest’s names in a vibrant color is another fun touch that will add personality to your mailing envelopes. Don’t forget a beautiful stamp!


The final stationery pieces are shown above. We were completely thrilled with the end result, as we felt they were a true reflection of Lizzy & Bucky. The Bride’s favorite piece was the custom map!

As you can see from the detail shots below, Lizzy and Bucky’s stationery pieces truly set the tone for the event. The invitations gave guests a sneak peek into the world they were going to enter at the couple’s wedding.


Keep in mind, your stationery design will also help you create the additional branded elements at your wedding (programs, menus, custom cocktail napkins, place cards and drink stirrers.) Be sure to spend some time on your invitations to ensure they are a true reflection of you and the vision you have for your wedding day!


To see more of Lizzy & Bucky’s wedding, be sure to visit their feature on Martha Stewart Weddings! Also, don’t forget to check out our behind the scenes video of the stationery design process below.

Event Photos by Harwell Photography. Behind the Scenes photos provided by A Day in May Events.