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Handy DIY Skills That Go Way Beyond the Wedding

Caitlin Crees

Last month I was lucky enough to attend a calligraphy workshop offered by the talented Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye. The class was held at the beautiful Minneapolis workspace of Megan Gonzalez (of Mae Mae Co. fame). I have always been enamored of all things wedding, and working on a bridal site has only amplified my awareness of the vast amount of detail in this aesthetic realm. My obsession goes way beyond the pretty dresses; from floral designs to letterpress and everything in between.

My love for stationery and typography is what drew me to the workshop in the first place. And really, who wouldn't want to sip champagne and make pretty letters all day? The class was a perfect introduction to the art of calligraphy. Not too fast, not too slow, and there were donuts. Perhaps most helpful, a starter kit of supplies with a detailed list for where they can be found. At the end of the night I felt that I had improved 100 percent on the limited skills I had started off with.

This class is a good example of the blossoming high-quality craftsmanship surrounding the wedding industry. For the past few years we have been seeing hand-drawn chalk signage, locally sourced/handmade favors and other personal handcrafted details, often done by local talent. Not to say that these types of artisans haven't been around for years, but they have definitely taken center stage in a new and exciting way.

One of the greatest attributes that these passionate makers have in common is the love of their craft, and their willingness to share it. Many of them have begun offering classes and workshops in order to demonstrate what they do, and teach others. These classes go way beyond the wedding—not only will I use my new skills to address the invitation envelopes for my sister's upcoming nuptials, but you can bet that everyone at my next dinner party will have a pretty, personalized place card. If you have the opportunity, seek out a class like this one and see for yourself!

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