Calligraphy poems

Wedding readings, special poems and favourite song lyrics in calligraphy make the loveliest once-in-a-lifetime gifts.

Whatever your occasion, however crazy your request might be… please get in touch. I will be delighted to hear from you!

People have hired me to write love letters, marriage proposals, classic poems and verses they’ve written themselves.

On this page I will tell you a little more about the process – but it’s really super simple to order a calligraphy poem or commission from me!

romantic modern calligraphy poem in dove grey ink on white paper
Elegant modern calligraphy in a romantic style for a wedding editorial. Photographer: Susan Arnold

On this web page (tap a title to jump to that section) –

What a calligraphy poem costs

How to order calligraphy

How long does a calligrapher take?

What about illustrations?

Are there different calligraphy styles?

How do I choose ink colours and paper?

Advice and customer friendliness first!

welcome to our world baby certificate in calligraphy, with floral border in pastel colours and hand calligraphy in the centre
Illustration: Amy Swann // calligraphy: Claire Gould // Photography: Jessica Reeve

My calligraphy pens have been put to work on retirement poems, family recipes and favourite song lyrics from Beyonce to Pantera. (And if you’re interested, the latter was playing on Spotify while I wrote the former!)

One of my first ever calligraphy commissions was for a personalised poem in vibrant turquoise ink. I loved it: these kinds of commissions are wonderfully creative, and a chance for me to close all the doors, pop some music on and disappear into the heart of a beautiful piece of writing.

White paper on a white background, with shadows of leaves across the paper. There's a little calligraphy on the page which says "Your favourite poem, wedding reading, song lyrics or any words of your choice here."
You can order a calligraphy commission in this style quickly and easily in my online shop

What a calligraphy poem costs

Pricing for calligraphy poems depends mostly on the time they take for me to write.

My starting price is £45 for a poem of up to 75 words, without a frame.

Little extras can be added if you have a little more in your budget: gold leaf for example, or a floral border illustration.

Longer poems will cost more, because they take more time to write. Here’s a little breakdown of my current prices for calligraphy only, unframed (but I would always encourage those extra little touches like gilding and illustrations to add interest and colour!)

41 – 75 words in calligraphy £75
76 – 100 words in calligraphy £120
101 – 150 words in calligraphy £180
151 – 200 words in calligraphy £250

I can frame your calligraphy commission, and I’m happy to chat with you about framing options and styles. The price for this depends on the frame you choose, and the size of your calligraphy!

Payment in full is taken at the time of booking, so I can reserve time in my calendar to write your commission.


How to order calligraphy

At the heart of my business is helpfulness. I want it to be easy for you to order, and I’m always happy to answer your questions.

The first step is to get in touch. You can email me at hello@bymoonandtide.co.uk or call me on 07722405537 or 01229 465 064.

I’ll explain how it works. Usually I’ll ask how many words are in your poem, so I can give you a price.

Then I’ll ask you if you’d like an illustration, or any gilding or framing. The choice is entirely up to you!

I’ll explain how soon your calligraphy commission is likely to take, and if you need it for a certain date (a wedding or anniversary is a common deadline!) I will make sure I can do this for you.


How long does a calligrapher take?

I often have availability in my calendar during quieter times of year – sometimes during the summer months as well!

It’s always worth asking if I can fit you in.

When my calligraphy studio is quiet, I’ll often be able to write a poem or wedding reading within the week. Delivery will then take a couple more days.

At busy times, and for longer or more complex poems, it may be 3 weeks or so until I can begin work on your calligraphy commission. Again, do let me know if you need it quickly, and I’ll do my best!

Specialist papers and framing can add to the timing for having your calligraphy piece ready. I will always let you know of any delays before we confirm the details of your order.


What about illustrations?

I have often worked with a wonderful Welsh artist on calligraphy commissions (and floral wedding invitations). Her name is Amy Swann, and she specialises in charming and beautifully painted floral borders. Her style is wonderfully romantic with a dash of nostalgia.

A calligraphy certificate welcoming a new baby, with floral illustrations by Amy Swann.
Illustration: Amy Swann // calligraphy: Claire Gould // Photography: Jessica Reeve

If you would like to commission a piece of calligraphy art from myself and Amy, please get in touch with your ideas, and I will reach out to Amy for pricing and availability. Amy’s minimum price for artwork is £125.

I can also add watercolour and ink floral illustrations to your calligraphy commission myself. Please scroll through the images on this web page to see my calligraphy illustrations and borders.

Calligraphic art adds a timeless look to your bespoke gift. A nice touch is to add an initial letter in 23 carat gold leaf, with swirls or floral designs spreading from the initial letter.

Please ask to see examples!


Are there different calligraphy styles?

I write in a modern calligraphy style, with a few simple but effective variations.

wedding reading gifts handmade in the UK. Image shows a framed piece of calligraphy next to a succulent in a concrete pot.
My modern calligraphy style

It’s helpful if you pick a couple of examples from the images on this page, to let me know the styles you prefer.

Some are very easy to read; others have lots of swirly flourishes.

I can write in a style which leans over to the right, or a more upright lettering style – this can be more legible.

For art commissions and wedding editorials for magazines and blogs I’ve occasionally written in a very modern style, which is really impactful and organic, but much harder to read!

romantic alternative calligraphy love letter UK
Modern organic calligraphy (love letter for a wedding blog editorial)

One of the most popular poems I’m asked for is Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’. A few years ago I wrote this out by hand in a classic gothic style.

This style of calligraphy is much more time consuming than the modern lettering I usually write – it takes a similar time to write one letter in gothic as it does to write a word in modern!

A bespoke calligraphy commission in this style would cost upwards of £200 as a starting price. However, if you’re looking to give ‘If’ as a graduation, birthday or retirement gift, I sell copies of my original artwork, hand finished in gold leaf, in my calligraphy shop. These are available unframed for £85.

Section of a calligraphy piece showing the title If... and the beginning of the Rudyard Kipling poem
Gothic calligraphy is more expensive as it takes much longer to write!

As a general rule, I would write poems in a modern copperplate style, with a handful of flourishes at key points in the piece.

Political calligraphy UK
Choose Life (interpretation) – Very flourished, swirly modern calligraphy
Calligraphy flourishes
Very flourished, swirly modern calligraphy (side view)
Gold upright modern calligraphy on a navy blue background - Apache Wedding Blessing
An Apache Blessing: Simple, upright modern calligraphy in gold ink on a navy background
robert frost the road not taken
The Road Not Taken: Classic copperplate calligraphy style
a slender hand holds a torn edge love letter against layers of tulle in black and white
Informal modern calligraphy – love letter for a wedding editorial. Photography: Kathryn Hopkins
messy modern calligraphy on a desk with ink-stained pens and a few autumn flower stems
This artistic and creative modern calligraphy was used in The Calligraphy Ideas Book published by Lyndsey at Wild Sea Calligraphy

 


How do I choose ink colours and paper?

Paper and ink colour choices are everything! They can make a huge difference to the finished look of your calligraphy commission.

Image credit: Zehra Photographer

Song lyrics look amazing on black paper in white, silver or gold ink. (They make amazing gifts for men’s birthdays, or anniversary presents!)

Song lyrics alternative gift for heavy rock metal fans
Cowboys from Hell by Pantera – swirly calligraphy on black

People often ask me to write wedding readings in softer tones, so perhaps consider a charcoal or dove grey. The style can be more romantic.

Paper colours can be limited, because the paper I use for a calligraphy commission has to be smooth and free of loose fibres for the nib to create the beautiful letter shapes.

I work with FSC certified papers from leading UK manufacturers and can source recycled papers in some lovely colours – if you have something in mind, do ask!

An easy rule to follow is that contrast is king! Choose a darker ink on pale papers, or a vibrant, light or metallic ink on darker papers.


Advice and customer friendliness first!

Most people have never hired a calligrapher before.

I welcome all enquiries and I’m always happy to help, advise and answer any questions.

Ask for as much or as little guidance as you need.

Part of the process of having a bespoke piece of calligraphy written is communication of your ideas and my solutions.
I want you to enjoy this process. I want for it to be exciting and easy – and I hope all of my customers feel comfortable and happy ordering from By Moon & Tide.

I Like You wedding reading
I Like You – print with only the title in calligraphy – the rest is computer printed

wedding postponement calligraphy card


From my calligraphy archives

The following images are of calligraphy poems and commissions written a decade or so ago! I usually write in a different style these days (more copperplate, swirly!) but I’ve included them here to show you some of the illustration styles I’ve created for people in the past!