Wedding planning can take over your life. Up until recently I thought we were doing quite well; we seemed to spend a small proportion of our time planning the big day and had a good balance of other activities. However, with our impending nuptials just around the corner, it’s now part of pretty much every weekend. It’s also all we talk about to our friends: I didn’t want to be that person but it’s happened.
You can’t help it though. When it’s taking up so much of your time, it’d be a lie to answer ‘What have you been up to?’, without mentioning our wedding.
The good thing is it’s not particularly stressful. We’re just ironing out some of the finer details and finally starting to enjoy the more creative tasks that we’ve set ourselves.
One of the tasks I’ve set myself is creating signs and schedules to be dotted around the venue so our guests know the order of the day, along with timings. After all, we can’t have anyone getting lost on the way to the bar can we!
Last week I was very kindly invited along to a beginner’s workshop in calligraphy by Natasha, owner of Away with Words Calligraphy. Having wanted to try my hand at calligraphy for ages and failing with YouTube tutorials, I jumped at the chance!
Our session was held at Wayland’s Yard, the perfect Instagrammable coffee shop in the centre of Worcester. Whilst the locals sipped on coffee and worked away on laptops, we headed upstairs to the private event space. The table had been laid out with flowers and pastries (essential for any workshop!) in the centre and envelopes with our names on, handwritten in beautiful calligraphy. There was eight of us in total, including Natasha, which was a nice intimate group size.
There are different types of calligraphy; the more traditional and then the modern version. Natasha showed us examples of both but specialises in modern calligraphy.
Our first task was learning to hold the pen holder correctly and attaching the nib.
Now armed and ready we set about learning how to create the basic practice strokes.
Now knowing how to achieve the strokes we moved onto writing out lower and uppercase letters. Some were harder than others but you soon realise that everyone has their own unique style and it can take a lot of practise to finally get the desired outcome you want.
What was a chatty group at the beginning, fell quieter and quieter as we all got more engrossed in our new found skill. I was so surprised at how relaxing it was and there was no pressure to get it right every time. I think we all went into our own little world as we enjoyed honing our calligraphy alphabet.
Once we all felt confident with following the letters, Natasha did a little demonstration of how we join up the letters to form words. You could have a bit of fun with this and add more swirls to the ends of your letters or extend the crosses on ‘t’s. We were provided with a sheet of words to either copy or take inspiration from.
I couldn’t believe it when our workshop came to an end. I initially thought two and a half hours seemed like a long time, but it flew by; I could have easily sat for another 2 hours writing words over and over again.
Even though I don’t have children I could somewhat relate to the mums of the group when they said it was a great opportunity to do something for themselves (I have the benefit of getting a lot more sleep I imagine) but it was nice to spend time learning a new skill that I can easily continue to do at home. At the end of the workshop you can take home everything you’ve used, including the pen holder, nib, calligraphy paper and ink.
And it’s so useful! Not just for the wedding; I’ve always disliked my handwriting but I love making things like homemade cards or gift tags. I can now use calligraphy (once I’ve practiced some more) for both of these things and more I’m sure.
I often forget how much I enjoy learning, once you leave school or university it’s quite rare to take time out for yourself and learn something new. I would highly recommend booking one of Natasha’s Workshops and discovering the pretty art of calligraphy.
Find a Workshop near you here.