Bridal Guide: Give wedding day a personal touch with calligraphy

Loose and elegant style with graceful lines best describes Pretty Mail Calligraphy. Ashley Miller/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Annie Lloyd, owner of Pretty Mail Calligraphy, creates her calligraphy with an unparalleled sense of timelessness.

Over the years calligraphy has gained popularity in the wedding industry. Funky fonts, beautiful envelopes and snail mail have become the trendy way to let family and friends know that those upcoming nuptials will not only be tasteful but elegant.

Describing her clients as “traditional with a twist,” Lloyd often finds herself complimenting her customer’s selections more often than not.

“Calligraphy is beautiful,” Lloyd said. “People love beauty and so I think they want to honor their event with it. I do love how everything always comes full circle and that the most traditional methods of writing are still honored.”

With a background and degree in graphic design, Lloyd began developing her calligraphy style while working for a wedding consultant in New York City.

Annie Lloyd creates beautiful finishing touches for each invitation and envelope. Ashley Miller/Daily

“It started as a fun job at a stationary store,” she said. “And it’s come full circle to where I am today.” Lloyd credits serendipity to her success.

After relocating to Northern Virginia, Lloyd found a world of creative freedom that worked best with her life. As a mom of seven, Lloyd finds a balance between her creative arc and home life.

“I have enjoyed having this business alongside of my full family life because it fills my creative up,” she said. “It challenges me.”

According to the 2018 National Stationary Show in New York City, stationary trends included dark and metallic, marble and watercolor. For Lloyd, she said she’s seen it all.

“What I love is that while all wedding stationary trends are fun to track for their ingenuity, they always seem to harken back to the subtle beauty of the traditional, no matter the color or patterns in Vogue,” she said. “And I love noticing how stationary trends link up so well with interior design trends.”

Annie Lloyd, owner of Pretty Mail Calligraphy, offers traditional to modern styles of invitations. Ashley Miller/Daily

When asked if Lloyd feels like her clients are following wedding or stationary trends, she said she works with brides who equally love traditional and trendy trends. “I can offer something that is fitting for each customer.”

“I do everything from lettering with a regular pen to pointed pen calligraphy [nib dipped in ink] and all sorts of lettering in between.” She offers traditional script, modern script and architectural block lettering.

The trend of calligraphy seems to be swinging back to more traditional lettering after a few years of modern calligraphy. Lloyd’s noticed brides are incorporating calligraphy more and more into wedding décor such a signage on chalkboards and mirrors

Inspiration comes from all around her, including interior design, stationary trends, calligraphy and home décor because they genuinely peak her interest. She also draws inspiration from the vision of her clients, wedding planners and other stationary designers.

“Sometimes a few key words will launch an idea for an illustration or a mood the lettering should take on,” she said. “I always aim to show my confidence in being able to deliver a professional product because this is a luxury to most people.”

At the end of the day, Lloyd is thankful for the special people in her life but will admit she wishes she had more time to grow the business side. “But I have to recognize there is a season in life for everything,” she said. “Calligraphy has proven to be a total gift in my life in many ways. So I make it happen and after it to anyone who inquires.”

Lloyd is a Washingtonian Bride & Groom Best Wedding Vendor for the years 2013 through 2017, and a Wedding Wire Couples Choice Award winner for the years 2015 through 2017.

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