Published October 19th, 2016
French’s Point Estate is thrilled to continue our series of blog posts spotlighting amazing Maine wedding vendors that help to make weddings at our waterfront wedding venue not only successful but truly the embodiment of the experience our clients strive to craft for their family and friends. This series will showcase some of the best providers from our vibrant, talented, dedicated wedding industry community we are so proud to be a part of here in Maine and New England. This group of professional wedding vendors understands and adheres to our guiding principles for the service we endeavor to provide our clients: Be Responsive, Be Kind, Provide Excellent Customer Service, Provide the Very Best Product/Service. Because of these wonderful people, the celebrations here are French’s Point Estate is the stuff of which dreams are made!
I met El from El’s Cards very recently in person, but we have had clients in common for a few years now. Upon meeting her, I immediately knew why our couples adore her. Her work is exceptional, and she is a sweet, kind soul.
El is an artist and calligrapher. She is inspired by color and the beauty of nature, as you can clearly see in her work. Her signature watercolor regional maps are unique to her in style and loved by couples seeking destination weddings in New England. These beautiful, custom maps are often the first clue to the adventure ahead for guests attending a destination wedding in Maine, and they really set a beautiful tone. El even has her own font that mimics her personal calligraphy style: ElScript. She also has a full line of greeting cards, gift tags, and specialty invitations that can be both customized or semi-customized. If you need wedding stationery, talk to my friend El.
How long have you been operating your business?
We have been operating since 1999-so 17 years. I started in Boston and then met my husband and moved to New Hampshire in 2004. We have been growing ever since. Bob came on board here full time in April of 2015 and we are now a wife and husband team!
How would you describe your products and services?
El’s Cards is an original watercolor and calligraphy design company. We create wedding invitations, save the dates, and all the “day of” wedding paper goods one could need. We also offer hand calligraphy on guest envelopes, and a complimentary assembly and mailing service when people order invitations and calligraphy from us. We have a few special signature items. We will create custom maps as part of the invitation suite….very popular! Our couples love to use this as an insert in the invitation, or as a unique envelope liner. We also often offer artwork on the envelope. Receiving an envelope with artwork and calligraphy feels like getting a gift in the mail! But my very favorite custom item is the hand-painted seating chart with calligraphy. These are a true memento for the couple to enjoy for their lifetime together. These are totally unique. Each one is created especially for the couple and tailored to exactly what they would like. It’s beautiful…and practical! All the seating assignments for the wedding are first written by hand in calligraphy, then it is painted for the lucky couple to keep forever.
Describe your range of design style.
The invitation designs are a wide range…from very simple to completely custom. We have beautiful invitations with a single shell, flower, anchor, lobster, and so many more! We also will design something original and unique from start to finish with many of our couples. There are many options in between. We even recently created a special French’s Point invitation suite called Bay View! We have a wide range of choices and love to customize our existing designs.
What makes your work unique?
I create all of the artwork by hand and also create all the calligraphy fonts that we offer on our invitation suites. The fonts we use are exclusive to our invitations alone because they come from my own calligraphy styles! All of our designs are originally painted in watercolor and then printed in house on the highest quality cotton papers. We offer a truly unique experience, in that all of our invitations are customized in varying degrees. None of our watercolor designs are available anywhere else and everything is original to El’s Cards.
What is the average cost per suite?
$11 per suite-including what is listed below. Our mid-range existing suites for 100 invitations cost $485 (invitation/envelope, reply/envelope) and our couples often add on an enclosure card ($1.50 each additional), hand calligraphy addressing service ($3 each additional), and often one of our unique envelope liners ($1.75 additional each). To add a custom map, the cost for those start at $495 for invitation clients.
Do you recommend hand addressing invitations? If so, can you provide this service?
I absolutely do! This is a super impactful way to show your guests that they are important to you. The extra time it takes (in this age of everything computer generated) will definitely make your wedding guests feel special. And yes…we do offer this service! Wedding envelope addressing is a wonderful way to make your invitation stand out! There is nothing like receiving a beautiful handwritten envelope with calligraphy in the mail.
What sage advice would you offer our couples?
When selecting your invitation, remember that it is the first glimpse that your guests will have of your wedding. It should be special, and most importantly, it should be truly an expression of you. Look for high-quality papers, and a design that will reflect the tone you want to set for the day. If you are having something custom-designed, be sure to allow enough time in case there is any back and forth with your designer. Communication with your designer is key! Ask questions and be clear about what you have in mind.
What’s your favorite day trip in Maine?
We love coming up the coast for drives and finding some place to have lunch. We will head up early, and enjoy driving without a plan…but always cruise near the shore. We’ll stop for a coffee or ice cream here or there. Last time we got a dozen fresh eggs from an unattended stand on the side of the road near Tenants Harbor! It’s always an adventure! Sometimes it’s more than a day…we often stay over somewhere!