Bridechilla™ Interview with Renée Calder Design

hello hello

Our guess is that you’ve seen the magnificent chalk masterpieces, or “chalk photo booths” as our friend, Renée Calder of Renée Calder Design & Creatives names them. We instantly fell in love with these hand-lettered beauties and only wanted to explore more in to one of the chill creators behind this beautiful art. Many couples have been using these gigantic chalk drawn photo booths at their wedding, as they create an extra-ordinary backdrop for photos while sharing a beautiful message. Not only does Renee specialize in these pieces, but she also carries talent in wedding stationary and other types of custom typography. Find out more about her creative process and inspiration below.


Describe your artistic style.
I absolutely LOVE hand lettered typography, so most of my work is hand made. I’m probably most commonly seen with either chalk or an ink pen in hand, I get so much enjoyment out of working with these basics! And that’s what’s so great about my job – being titled a graphic designer doesn’t necessarily mean I am restricted to only crafting pieces on the computer. I certainly like working with both mediums, but it’s the really beautiful techniques from the past that I am most passionate about, and is is not how we designers got here in the first place? By putting pen to paper? Why not continue to embrace these styles!

We fell in love with the gigantic chalkboard piece you did for a wedding. How long did it take you to create this beautiful chalk work?
My large chalk board photo booth was a piece I spent about 30 odd hours working on, created using a combination of cheap regular chalk, and chalk pastels. I managed to complete only with good coffee and good tunes!

take a moment


What inspires you?
My inspiration definitely comes from personal experiences. I have kept hand written journals for many years, and I find looking back upon them is always such a great place to start. I carry one with me everywhere, and I record anything and everything that comes to mind. I also find a great deal of creative thought comes from getting out and about with my camera. You can get so much out of one pure moment.

couple menu stationary
What is your favorite part about weddings?
Gosh, my favourite part about weddings! That’s so hard as I love everything about them. Its such a creative process, and so many talented designers are involved in this ‘one day’. It’s awesome to see all of them working together to make something so completely unique and beautiful. Most importantly though, I think its seeing two people who are so incredibly happy to be together, that is what makes it all
worth while.

If you were a Bridechilla-to-be, what would be your must-have Bridechilla™ wear?
If I was a bridechilla-to-be, I would most definietly be the proud owner of ‘The Ryan’. You can never have too many comfy hoodies!

What do you do to chill when there seems to be just too much going on?
When I’m a little bit stressed, (and I must admit I often am) I find writing lists really helpful. I like to leave a notebook beside my bed, so I can record all my thoughts before sleep. It shuts the mind down quite effectively, and then when I wake up I have an awesome list of creativeness to get on with for the day. My other method for ‘chilling’ is exercising, I love getting outside for a run or heading to the gym. Works a charm every time.
just breathe
Do you have any more chalk inspired art pieces coming out soon?
Yes! I have a few pieces on the cards in the near future, but I am currently REALLY excited about a photoshoot I am styling with a really talented photographer/good friend of mine from ‘The Love Collective’ There’s going to be plenty of chalk board and hand lettered goodness, plus lots of fabulous wedding inspiration! Watch
this space:)
what we seek


Renee Calder Design & Creatives is a boutique graphic design studio based in the beautiful Nelson, New Zealand. Renee Calder specializes in hand-lettering and custom typography for weddings, editorial, food and lifestyle design. Please visit her Facebook & Website to see more of her talent.



Memorial Day Weekend


Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

“Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well.” -Jennifer M. Granholm

MEMORIAL DAY IDEASThis weekend, we remember our fallen soldiers, honor their families, and show our appreciation and patriotism for the country we live in. There are many activities going on around Napa Valley this weekend, but if you are in another region, we encourage gathering family and friends for a backyard picnic or BBQ. Enjoy the sunshine, good food, friends, family and remember to wear your red, white and blue.

Cheers to our patriotic heroes and Happy Memorial Day Weekend from all of us at Bridechilla™!


Burger photo from What Katie Ate | Berries from Better Homes & Gardens
Bike photo Jennifer Dery


Bridechilla™ Tip #27

Tip #27 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Keep calm and hire a planner.


Here are  f i v e  solid reasons to hire a wedding planner and minimize your stress and maximize your chill on your big day.

Reason #1 – You’re newly engaged! At this point of your life you could be finishing up grad school, juggling two jobs, just starting a new one, or you might just have way too much on your plate to even think about taking on planning a wedding. Becoming engaged can come when you least expect it, so it might be hard to prepare for the wedding down the road while trying to maintain your current day-to-day life. But don’t let that be a detriment to your big day! Hire a planner and leave the vendor meetings, invitations, florals, and all that jazz up to them.

Reason #2 – Wedding planners more than likely have great connections with wedding vendors. This can benefit your budget tremendously. Instead of searching through hundreds of centerpieces and wasting hours of your own time, hire a planner to work around your budget and you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.

Reason #3 – Planning a wedding comes with a lot of decision making. From colors to food, to the order of events to what kind of cake to have. Say you and your groom are butting heads trying to make a decision; having a third opinion (and a knowledgeable one) can save you and your future husband a quarrel and a big conversation. Hire a planner you can trust to help you with these decisions, so that you can both enjoy each other on your chill day.

Reason #4 – Of course wedding planners have TONS of experience with wedding etiquette and how to go about who to invite, who to leave off the guest list, where to seat that crazy uncle, and how to ensure every detail about your chill day goes smoothly and everyone has a great time. Hire a planner to ensure that every thing is done with careful consideration and thoughtfulness.

Reason #5 – Less stress, more fun. Wouldn’t you want some peace of mind on your chill day knowing that everything is being taken care of? Planning an entire wedding on your own might just be the perfect trick to becoming a “bridezilla”. And believe us, no one wants that. Hire a planner to be sure you can focus on being happy and being married.



A big THANK YOU to all of our new readers & followers, we are so grateful for each of you! Please don’t forget to stop by our shop sometime and see how you can wear the chill.

Chill Etsy Finds: Bridesmaid Gifts #2

Since we had so much great feedback on our first round of Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts, we thought it was time to share round TWO of favorite Etsy finds for your chill gals, which we like to refer to as your Bridechilla™ Team. So, we’ve gathered a few more chill gift ideas for the girls in orange. Of course they will be sporting their Team Shirt, but we have some alternative gift ideas for the group of gals that help hold down the chill.  From monogram necklaces and iPhone cases to hair accessories and t-shirts, this Bridechilla™ Team will be fashionably chill with any of these choices.

vintage clutch

Rustic Pleated Clutch Purse by Lolo Sinclair of lolos


Monogrammed iPhone Case by ToGildTheLily


Personalized Initial Necklace by Lana at Lana0Crystal


Charm Bracelet by Michelle at Nutmegjewelrydesigns


Funny Bridesmaid Gift by Erin Duncan at wrenbirdarts (admit it, this one is hilarious!)


Pearl Earrings in Monogrammed Box by Astrid by dutchpearl (Sweet packaging on this one!)


Rose Hair Comb Becca at apocketofposies

And we absolutely love these handmade wallets (can also be coin purses) made by Kristina, shop owner of The Elegant Duck on Etsy. They can come in a variety of colors and are personalized with a letter for each bridesmaid. You can even add a little chill bedazzling with a jewel design.

What are some chill gifts you’ve thought about giving or have given to your bridesmaids?  Always remember that a Bridechilla™ Team Shirt would be a great gift that will remind your bridesmaids that there is no such thing as a bridezilla when it comes to your wedding. What better way to bring the gals together that to unite them with a fab piece of Bridechilla™ wear?


P.S. If you are an Etsy Shop owner and would love to have your item featured on our Chill Etsy Finds, let us know and we will be happy to share it with our readers!

Bridechilla™ Tip #26

Tip #26 – How to be a BRIDECHILLA™ – Remember to capture a special moment with your mother!

bbcb6727766d7ed4ac7d163cb028185a  Photo by Solace Weddings

Hopefully our Bridechillas have remembered that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, (May 12th, for those of you who forgot! 😉 ) and have found a special way to show your mother how much she is appreciated. And even if you haven’t gotten your mom a gift yet, we really do love these ideas on Little Inspiration as well as this necklace we came across on Lisa Leonard Designs. Even just a lunch date would probably make for a memorable Mother’s Day.


Since we’re celebrating our mothers we just had to share some of these photo ideas for your chill day. If you’re looking to have a special photo with Mom, these are the perfect combination of sweet and fun.  And speaking of gift ideas, take one of your photos with mom to be framed and give it to her this Mother’s Day!


Photo by Taylor Lord Photography 


Photo by Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography

A great mama-daughter photo.. this one deserves to be in a frame for sure!


Photo by Edison Photography

And isn’t this just a dream? This is from a must see post on Style Me Pretty Canada. Perfect if you’re planning a Mother’s Day tea party or even a picnic!


Photo by Rebekah Hoyt

Love this shot of the bride and her mother! What a great perspective, and so precious.
We’re sharing Bridechilla™ Tip #26 in honor of all the great moms out there. Don’t let a special photo with Mom slip your mind amidst all the other photos on your wedding day.. remember she will love to have a photo like this too! From all of us at Bridechilla, we wish you and your moms, grandmothers, and even mothers-to-be a very chill Mother’s Day!

“A mother is she who can take the place of all others but
whose place no one can take”


Thank you to all of our new readers & don’t forget to stop by our shop sometime! P.S. Check out the Bridechilla Team tee, could be a great gift to the Mother-of-the-Bridechilla!

The Ultimate Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Recipe


This Sunday you can count on this cocktail to add a bit of spice to your celebration. This holiday honors the victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862 by the Mexican Army, but here in the United States we toast our glasses simply to the victorious heritage and pride of Mexico. So, what better way to celebrate Cinco De Mayo than to toast with a drink that just shouts celebration?


We hand-picked this cocktail recipe for your enjoyment this weekend; infused with spices and intense flavor, the Herradura Vesuvio Cocktail is the perfect way to say Happy Cinco de Mayo!


  • 2 ounces Herradura Silver
  • ¾ ounce red pepper juice
  • ½ ounce Lime Juice
  • ¼ ounce Cholula hot sauce
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar

And then..

  • Rim a coupe glass with cayenne pepper and salt mix.
  • Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  • Shake hard and pour into the chilled coupe glass.

Recipe courtesy of

CHILL TIP: Instead of pepper and salt mix, some recipes suggest rimming the glass with sugar. You can add more festivity to this recipe by rimming the glass with dyed sugar in colors that symbolize the Mexican flag.3


8 Must-Have Chalkboard Details For Your Wedding

We’re just going to state the obvious right now: we love chalkboards. But who doesn’t? If you didn’t know this signature Off The Beaten Path Wedding detail, well, be prepared to start loving them just as much as us by the end of this post. Chalkboards can be found at any craft store and personalized to fit almost any wedding theme. Use them as a welcome sign at your guest table, as a “here comes the bride” sign for your ring bearers/flower girls, as a prop for your photo booth, as a table number sign, as a menu… the possibilities are limitless.

chalkboard details


Just check out this Off The Beaten Path Wedding on Style Me Pretty and see all the ways chalkboards can be used. Don’t you love how versatile they are? Check out some of our favorite chalkboard ideas below to get just as inspired as we are about this fun wedding detail.

Chalk globe

1. Once Wed brought this awesome chalkboard globe DIY to our attention last week. This would be great for a couple who loves to travel or wants a destination wedding. See how they can go with tons of themes?

chalkboard details

PHOTO BY Erika Nicole Photography

2. What an easy way to have chair signs at the head table for the newlyweds. Could also say, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” or “I love him –>” and “<— I love her”. What will yours say?

photo booth prop

3. Photo booth props! Let your guests write a chill saying of their own to make your photo booth a lot more memorable.


4. Chalkboards can also make great bar & beverage signs.

Photo by Paper Antler


5. Talk about hassle-free signage to point your guests in the right direction!


6. Absolutely love this chalk-styled map for a save-the-date. Very fun and artistic!

Map by Yours, Roxanne


7. Touches of chalk can also be used for thank you favors. Aren’t these match boxes cute?

Photo by Lia Griffith


PHOTO BY Jenny Jimenez

8. Now this Chalkboard detail takes DIY to a whole new level. What a great photo backdrop this is and a beautiful piece of artwork to have on your wedding day. If you plan on sending thank you cards to your guests, this would be a great image for them to receive from your big day!

Enough chalk talk, now that you’ve had a look at our favorite ideas and uses for chalkboards, you can explore the possibilities for yourself! You can even make your very own chalkboard using chalk paint! We recommend going to for all of your supplies, and there is even a step by step on A Beautiful Mess that shows how to make your own chalk paint (all you really need is a piece of wood!). Be sure to purchase the chalk-paint (this stuff looks amazing on vintage windows!) because regular chalk does not work. Another great place to go next? Etsy. You can start finding labels and frames, and other ways to personalize this chill wedding detail. Happy chalking!