Melissa Gullatte’s calligraphy and watercolor designs pair beautifully in her custom-made wedding suites.
One look at the Instagram feed for Gracefully Made Art, and it becomes immediately clear that owner and artist Melissa Gullatte has an eye for great design. Each post is crafted with a swoon-worthy palette and style, and her attention to aesthetic detail provides an ideal backdrop for her work in calligraphy and watercolors.
Through her business, Melissa—an Auburn University graduate who majored in business and studio art—creates breathtaking designs for wedding stationery, serving more than 100 brides per year. And those brides aren’t all local, either. Melissa’s work has been commissioned around the country and around the world, as far as England, Norway and Australia. “I have always loved drawing and art, and knew I would do something creative with my life,” Melissa says.
As a native of Hoover and a graduate of Spain Park High School, Melissa’s local roots run deep. She met her husband, Daniel, in their high school church choir, and the couple has settled down in Hoover with their dogs, Ellie and Penny. Her parents, older sister and younger brother all live in Hoover as well.
When Daniel proposed, Melissa knew she wanted to do a lot of the creative aspects of the wedding herself. She taught herself calligraphy for the invitation addressing and wedding signs—and did such a good job that friends and family began asking her to help with their creative projects, too.
The requests poured in. Ultimately, Melissa became so busy that she opened an official business shortly before graduating from Auburn University—and Gracefully Made Art was born. While Melissa offers gorgeous watercolors and custom signs on her website, it’s the calligraphy that really steals the show. “I love getting to play a part in a bride’s special day,” Melissa says of her wedding stationery collection. “The invitation is the very first impression their guests will get of the wedding, and I love getting to provide something unique and beautiful for them!”
Melissa’s invitation designs include something for every style. From the floral Haylie suite to the simple yet regal Madison suite, Melissa’s collection boasts 15 unique designs in a variety of shades and patterns.
Brides can also commission custom gifts for their wedding party or spouse-to-be, like wooden hangers lettered with a bridesmaid’s name, a custom return address stamp, and beautifully framed vows. A selection of watercolor offerings provides more options for gift-givers, who can choose from custom paintings of a home, wedding venue, bouquet and more.
Aside from the joy of being part of someone’s wedding day, Melissa loves the variety that her job brings—but, of course, that unpredictability can also be a challenge. “No day is the same as the next, so I hop around to a lot of different tasks throughout the day, from computer design, to watercolors, to meeting with brides,” Melissa says. “Time management is definitely a crucial part of my business.”
Being a one-woman show certainly does require the ability to be flexible, make the most of every hour, and produce high-quality work. Melissa wears many hats while running her business, from doing the creative work to handling customer service and keeping up with the books. But her ambition isn’t limited to her thriving business; she also teaches classes at a local baton studio called Struttin’ Show-offs. Melissa grew up a competitive baton twirler and was a majorette at Auburn University for five years, serving as captain for two of those years. Now, she coaches the competitive teams at the studio she grew up going to.
It makes sense that someone as talented as Melissa Gullatte would catch attention, both locally and beyond. Her work has been featured on Engaged Birmingham, Chancey Charm Wedding Planning & Design and in Southern Bride magazine, among many others.
But of course, her biggest fans are the brides she creates for, and Melissa works hard to make sure that her designs exceed their expectations. Her customer reviews glow with words like “wedding guardian angel,” “the best in the business” and “the best part of my wedding planning.”
So it seems that any bride who commissions Melissa to design her invitations, programs and more will come away with designs as unforgettable as the occasions for which they were created.
Follow @gracefullymadeart on Instagram or visit gracefullymadeart.com for more information or updates from Melissa.