The Wedding Crest
Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 7:05AM
Louise in Color, Family, Invitations, Name Change

That thing that I thought was a hang-over yesterday? Not so much. I went from feeling a little oogy in the early morning to feeling like total crap by 9am. Let’s just say that I think something from the July 4th BBQ did NOT agree with me. At. All. I spent the better part of the day on the couch recuperating and hydrating. It was actually kind of nice in a way because it gave me some non-computer time to catch up on the magazines accumulating on my night stand and to pay bills and pretend to balance my checkbook.

I was thumbing through the May issue of Brides and came across a one-page planning article regarding family crests, or more specifically, The Wedding Crest. The magazine described it as a “modern day coat of arms – or a wedding emblem.” The example in the magazine was nice. It was $750 for the design and $678 for 100 thank-you cards so it wasn’t THAT nice. What I thought was super cool was the idea of it.

My maiden family name goes way back in time. I have a copy of our genealogy and to tell you the truth, it’s effing exhausting. I just get completely confused by all the Earls and Dukes and Sussex this and Farthinghamshires that. We’re old. We’re English and we’re a bit royal. But royal is totally misleading because seriously, up until a few weeks ago, our girl Kate was a simple girl from the English countryside. Now she’s destined to be Queen. Keep that in mind.

Now, on my mother’s side of the family, we’re Scots. We know our family tartan, which is kind of cool. My mom and her sisters recently found out that we’re directly related to John C. Calhoun, who was vice-president under John Quincy Adams. This recent finding also places me as one of the decedents of the First Families of Charleston, South Carolina, on both sides of my family. Supposedly, this factoid is important to somebody somewhere. I have yet to reap any benefits from this, so if you know of any stakes or claims that I have there, please let me know.

So back to crests. My maiden family name coat of arms is pretty cool. It’s got four lions and is somewhat regal in nature. My brother has the lions tattooed on his back, that’s how much he likes it. Now, my married family name? I’m not sure of that crest. According to my husband, his family is simply a bunch of European vagabonds. I did a little research though and the family name first shows up in 1269 from Northumberland, wherever the hell that is! The crest is questionable. This does not surprise me in the least!

I went online to check out more of this wedding crest deal. The artist in the magazine is crazy-good invitation guru, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York. Check out how she did these invites that include a crest:




Of course this is crazy amazing, holy gorgeousness, right? But I don’t think you have to pay a gazillion dollars to have a coat of arms done up right!

There are plenty of on-line sites that offer up a myriad of gift-items to adorn with a crest. They’ve got everything from hand-painted parchment to engraved flasks (Groom gift! Groomsmen gifts! Father of the groom gift!). You can even combine two family crests together. Here some examples of that:




I thought these were pretty stiff looking. Fancy and regal and all that and as a stand alone, I like. But would anyone seriously incorporate these kinds of colors into a wedding scheme? Let’s see an inspiration board for that! What I did find was some cool folks on Etsy who might be able to whip up something pretty hip. Check this guy out:


Etsy shop Inkandar will tailor make your own coat of arms based on a series of questions he asks about who you are, your likes and hobbies and such. This is only $100!  This, I thought was super-fly.

And all those Etsy designers who do wedding monograms? Check out some of their work as you might be able to request a custom piece based on your families history! Search under Handmade and Family Crests and you’ll find all sorts of goodies!

So based on The Candyman’s um, questionable heritage, I think a new design might be in order! What about you? Are you into the family name thing (whether taking his or keeping your own)? Do tell.

Article originally appeared on The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog (
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