Creating a custom ketubah unique to you

June 13, 2016

-------------------- F E E D B A C K --------------------
We can not stop smiling and exclaiming how much we love it! It is truly incredible. Every detail is simply beautiful. We really can not thank you enough, we are ecstatic and so grateful to have our hopes and aspirations for our marriage encased in your gorgeous artwork. And thank you again for your kindness and patience throughout the entire process.
~ Laura Rubin & Rita.

In my previous post on the subject titled ORDERING A CUSTOM DESIGN KETUBAH I gave general guidelines on how to approach a ketubah artist for a custom design. Today I'll be going more in depth describing the design process I go through with my clients and an example of a past order.

Custom orders with me take between three to six weeks to complete. They are booked in advance (there's usually a two to four weeks waitlist) and the process is always split into two: first the DESIGN, then the PRODUCTION. You can read more about the timeline and cost of a custom order in my FAQ page.

So first thing first, before you order we start with a CONSULTATION to evaluate what custom design ketubah is within your budget, if we can meet your deadline, what text you want, and what design are you actually envisioning, to see if I can meet your needs.

Every consultation starts with questions. We work together to flesh out what you are envisioning, to get an idea of your aesthetic and if we're a good fit. Your budget and chosen text are big practical factors in the decision process of course, but to help you narrow down your design choices I ask questions such as:
What size and shape ketubah are you thinking of?
What do you want to see featured in your design?
What do you definitely don't want to see?
Which of my past work did you like, and why?

Detailed descriptions and reference photos are welcome. The better I understand your wishes, the smoother the design process will go. While I can't replicate what's in your mind's eye, it's my intention to surpass it!

If we find common ground and you're confident in my abilities, I then bill you the design fee. By paying you confirm your order and are added to the order queue. It's only after you confirm your order that I start working on your ketubah.

My second step with every custom order is always the TEXT. It is the one central element to every ketubah, around which the entire design revolves. It's in that wait period between the purchase date and the reserved start date that we work together on the text you've chosen, personalising it to you and getting approval from your officiant (if relevant). I usually have your text completed and approved before I even start drawing, but I've also used sample text in a pinch.

Before you know it, the sun has risen on your reserved start date. This is when I move forward with the third step, which is of course the DRAWING stage. I take the week to draw the design I came up with based on your instructions and ideas, at the end of which I send you a digital preview of your completed ketubah, papercut, text, colors and all.

Most times, the process is smooth-sailing, and we go from consult, to text, to drawing, to cutting. Still, the design process is organic, and no matter how long and detailed the consult beforehand is, sometimes after seeing the design preview you'll want to make changes to it. It could be something small like changing the colors or replacing an element... If I've done my job right during the consultation, it won't be something as big as wanting to scrap the original idea all together.

Clear communication, detailed discussion, and concise feedback will result in the best designed ketubot. Which is why my design fee includes a revision round! (Revisions add between 4 to 10 more days to the order, which is why the turnaround can stretch up to six weeks.)  I do always aim to avoid the need for revisions and get the design right on the first try, but it's important not to get discouraged if the first preview fell (a tiny bit) short of what you wanted. I put a limit of one revision round so you will be decisive and picky with your ideas.

Take Stephanie & Phil for example. They ordered a custom ketubah from me last year. Once we started the consultation it was clear they liked my TWIN TREES and LACEY FAUNA & FLORA ketubot and wanted something in that size, shape and style.

After a thorough discussion we decided on a concept: The original idea was to represent Stephanie & Phil in fabric as Stephanie is a fashion designer, add in Maryland animals as Phil is a vet, and include references to their wedding from the bride's bouquet to table settings to venue. They were kind enough to supply plenty of photos of everything they wanted included, and left the decision on what to use and how up to me.

Following the design preview, they asked to replace the plaid with more lace, as it looked too graphic to them. After I sent in the revision, they approved! And this is what we ended up with:
18X18 inches big | Polvere & Blush & Ivory
(click photo for best resolution)
For more photos of custom papercut ketubot go 
If you have further questions on custom orders, check out my 
To Order Your Own 
H E I R L O O M  P A P E R C U T  K E T U B AH
Contact me HERE for a consultation

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