Have ever been fortunate to receive an elegant envelope like this in your mailbox?
If so, you no doubt opened it with great anticipation, wondering which soiré was requesting the pleasure of your company. In this case it was a wedding with nuptials to be exchanged at Westover Plantation between bJm’s son and his lovely fiancé, cCl.
As bJm began plan the wedding events with cCl and her family, she asked me to recommend a calligrapher. Without hesitation I said, Ginny Rogan. Don’t look any further. For years I had worked with Ginny at the stationery store I once co-owned, admiring her skill, style and professionalism.
Our shop was thrilled to design and produce the highly customized invitation for one of RVA’s premier fundraisers, the Children’s Hospital Ball, when Alison co-chaired it in 2008.
To achieve the Silk Road look, we asked Ginny to draw the invitation and the envelope text. She put us in touch with an artist to create the colorful border. Ginny’s skill allowed her to adapt her script to produce the elaborate Silk Road font.
When my girls graduated from high school, we turned to Ginny to create monogrammed ornaments as a memento from their Senior Banquet. The ornaments doubled as place cards for each girl at her family’s table. The tradition continues at St. Catherine’s School to this day.
Possibilities are Endless
Ginny’s bread and butter is addressing envelopes in beautiful calligraphy. When she came to my home last week I was giddy at the prospect of seeing all of her fabulous samples.
As real works of art, I was impressed with the various layouts, fonts, ink colors and embellishments she uses to create one-of-a-kind envelopes. If I received one of these, it would never land in the recycling bin.
What I did not know was that in the intervening years since I had last worked with Ginny, she has expanded her business to include other elements demanded by an elegant event. Like our Silk Road invitation, she has produced numerous wedding invitations and other pieces of the stationery suite, from menus and escort cards
to guest signature boards. It’s the modern-day take on the guest book
that she personalizes with her pen-and-ink rendering of the venue. After the event the board can be framed as a keepsake for the bridal couple. I love the thought of preserving the moment, especially in the form of signatures, kind of like displaying the Declaration of Independence (a declaration of non-independence if you will.)
She’s a Rock Star
Ginny has connected with numerous event planners who have stretched her application of lettering on to almost anything with a smooth surface. One of her most unusual jobs was for a rustic yet elegant wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Lynn Easton of Easton Events left no stone unturned to create the charming vibe and used river rocks, personalized by Ginny, as place cards at the table. Larger rocks displayed the table numbers.
At another Easton event, Ginny wrote the guests’ names at the place setting on mirrors running the length of the table.
The glass and mirror effect was complete with Ginny’s menu card printed on clear velum. The whole glamorous look takes my breath away.
The Crowning Touch
Ginny had the distinct pleasure to be asked by Virginia Governor Kaine’s administration to create the invitation to the reception for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the Commonwealth in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.
Working with the Executive Mansions’s event planner, Ginny revised the text and layout several times to get the wording and etiquette just so and fit for the Queen. Notice the personalization of the guests’ names in the middle of the text. This old world etiquette was accomplished by modern-day method: the line for the name(s) was left blank when the invitation went to print. After printing, Ginny came behind and added each guest’s name in the same font that she used to create the invitation. Holy monarchy what clever artistry!
As Alison and I caught up with Ginny, she reflected on how she unintentionally began her business after college when she offered to help her posse address their wedding invitations. This delightful self-taught artist is now in such demand that her husband switched his career to help her run Ginny Rogan Calligraphy. While technology has had such an adverse impact on the average American’s handwriting skills, Ginny is keeping the art and skill of calligraphy alive and ready when a life event or royal soiré demands only the most beautiful stationery.
August 11, 2015