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Quaker Marriage Certificates

by Mackenzie

Colors

Paper

I use an Italian-imported imitation parchment. It comes in white or antique, shown below. Please specify which you’d prefer.

image of two pieces of paper, one white and one french vanilla

Ink

I work only with lightfast inks, so your certificate will last as long as you do.

Do you want the entire text done in black? Or would you rather have the main text in black but your names in another color?

I have red, blue, and purple inks in stock, and for short stretches like names, I can use thinned paints.

Layout

Size

I typically do 16x20 for weddings with 150+ guests. A 16x20 certificate plus mat will fit a 20x24 frame. All told, expect a 16x20 certificate to take up somewhere around 25x28 of wall space.

For smaller weddings, one standard artwork size step down to 12x16 might be appropriate.

It’s better to overestimate the number of guests than to underestimate, especially with Quaker weddings being open to the community. One bride told me “250. Wait, just in case, let’s say 300.” There were 307 signatures when all was said and done.

Alignment

doodle of a certificate with all text left-aligned
Left-aligned – This is the fastest & easiest layout
doodle of a certificate with most text left-aligned, except the names are centered
Centered Names – This takes a little more time, perhaps an extra hour
doodle of a certificate with fully centered text
Fully Centered – This is the most time-consuming layout option.

Calligraphy

example of uncial text
Uncial (straight)
example of uncial text where n has a curved bowl and t has a curved stem
Uncial (curved)
example of insular/Irish text
Irish
example of carolingian writing
Carolingian
example of gothic or blackletter writing
Gothic

Illustration & Borders

  1. Do you want a border across the top and down the sides of the text? Just across the top? Corner swags only?
  2. What motif would you prefer? Plants are popular, and knotwork is fun. If you have another preference, let's chat.

Placement

doodle of a certificate with a small swag of greenery drawn at center top
Decoration centered at top
doodle of a certificate with swags of greenery in the top corners
Corner swags
doodle of a certificate with a border around left, top, and right sides
Border (can go all the way around or be partial, as shown)
doodle of a certificate with a swag of greenery centered over the signature block
Additional decorations can go above and/or below the guest signature block

Motifs

14th-century style acanthus leaf illumination
Medieval-style acanthus leaves
ivy leaves
Intertwining vines of ivy
purple clemetis blossoms
Vines of clematis
Celtic knotwork example
Celtic knot work
a border made of rowan and hazel branches, with rowan berries
Leaves & berries border (these are rowan leaves & berries with hazel leaves)