Laura Hooper-Leader is the founder and owner of Laura Hooper Calligraphy, an invitation and wedding stationery business that specializes in hand-lettered calligraphy. Laura, who founded the company in 2002, also creates hand-drawn maps, letterpress invitations, out-of-town bags and favors, and all manner of wedding signage. Learn a bit more about this talented woman in our Q&A, followed by photographs of some of her beautiful work.
How old were you when you began your profession? I began lettering at the age of 12 when I worked in a swap meet writing names on "Cowboy Chuck" cartoon prints. I calligraphed my first set of wedding envelopes at 21 when my best friend got married, and word spread from there!
What’s the most eccentric request you have ever received from a bride? I once got a call from a bride around 2PM who wanted 300 envelopes to be completed by the following morning. Even if I had stayed up all night, this would not have been possible and they certainly would not have looked very nice! I think sometimes people forget that everything is done by hand, by one individual. I don't have assistant calligraphers -- it's all me.
What’s your favorite aspect of a wedding? My favorite aspect of a wedding is seeing how all of the pieces come together. A couple (and their planner and family and friends) work so hard on many different aspects of one day (or weekend), and it's just beautiful to see the full vision come together. I, of course, especially love seeing the printed materials used throughout the reception. When you go beyond the basics of menus and placecards, it truly does tie everything together for a lovely, cohesive look.
What other industry would you be in if not this one? If I wasn't a calligrapher/stationer, I would like to be in interior design. Decorating my office and home is one of my favorite things!
What famous wedding in history would you have most liked to work on and why? I would rather be a guest at a famous couple's wedding than a vendor. As a calligrapher, I generally work with the event planners/designers for famous people's weddings, so they all blend together with the rest of us "common folk!"