Hand addressing your wedding invitation envelopes has been a long standing etiquette tradition. For many years, Calligraphers have been a standard wedding vendor for this among many other services. However, for many couples, when the budget is tight, Calligraphy is one of the first things to get cut, if it’s even considered at all. I’d like to address some common problems and show you how your Calligrapher can be your best ally in all of the wedding planning madness.
#1 Calligraphers Save You Time
There are many budget options online for envelope addressing alternatives from printing labels for your envelopes, to printing the addresses in grey scale and writing over them. However, I will say that while some of these methods can save you money, none of them will save you time. Time is such a valuable resource especially when planning your wedding, as you have so many things to tackle. When you are yelling at your printer because it keeps eating your envelopes, or you crumple up another envelope and toss it in the trash because your addressing is all askew, you might end up needing to hire a professional after all, and now you have a headache to deal with on top of that. When it comes to Calligraphy, you just send your Calligrapher your envelopes and address list and they can stress about centering the lettering for you. It also may be less expensive than you may think. Many Calligraphers are willing to work within various budgets, and can make little adjustments with their tools and layouts to help you keep the cost lower.
#2 They’ve Got the Good Stuff
When it comes to resources, you cannot beat a professional who creates lettering as a living. Many Calligraphers use dip pens with a flexible nib to create beautiful letters with those gorgeous thick and thin lines. While you can create a similar look with faux calligraphy, you cannot compensate for the vast options in regards to inks that the dip pen provides. Ink may seem like something simple, but if you have ever seen a black envelope with shimmering gold Calligraphy, you know the impact an ink can make. They may also use a light box, guide lines and so forth to make sure that the addresses are centered and straight. They have a variety of nibs for different paper surfaces and can troubleshoot problems, like if the ink bleeds into the paper and so forth. You will get one of a kind lettering to compliment your suite in a way you wouldn’t be able to do yourself.
#3 Uniquely Crafted Designs
Another great thing about working with a Calligrapher is their eye for design. Many Calligraphers have great insights into typography and design, as well as the Calligraphy itself. You can send them a copy of your invitation or tell them what style of event you are putting on and they will customize the lettering just for you! That's right, you don't have to pick a font, they’ll design it for you. This may depend on the Calligrapher you choose. Some only offer a list of predesigned fonts for you to choose from, but others offer to tailor their script to compliment the designs for your event so you have a cohesive look from start to finish. Many Calligraphers also have experience with color theory and mixing. Because of this, they can create near exact matching of ink colors with your other wedding details. Whether you need a shimmery rose gold or sheer mint green watercolor, they can do it! You can completely customize your Calligraphy so you have something refined, hand made and completely personal.
#4 Your Guests Are Worth It
When was the last time you received a hand addressed envelope in the mail? It's pretty exciting right? As you riffle through bills and junk mail, you find something special that catches your eye. When you are putting your guest list together you put so much effort into making sure all of the most important people in your life will be able to attend. Why not show them just how special they are? Calligraphy is a very intimate service, passed from hand to hand. This is one of the services that affect your guests in a personal way. One example for this is place cards at a wedding reception. When your guests finds their seat, there is a delicate little tag with their name on it. When you guests sees their own name hand written in a whimsical shimmery script, it really touches them. Many guests will keep these little tags to remember your day. Some couples will have calligraphy thank you notes with their wedding favors. These hand written notes add a personal touch that shows you care. I have seen people complain on different forums that guests should not expect hand done calligraphy, and that hand addressing and labeled envelopes should be good enough. I will be totally honest, as a Calligrapher and former bride, most guests will not be disappointed if they do not receive a calligraphed envelope, place card, or menu. But to me, a wedding is as much about giving back to those who have supported you throughout your relationship as it is about the couple. This is your opportunity to give back. Isn’t that why we have receptions? Sure, it is to welcome the newly married couple. But it’s also an opportunity for the couple and their families to thank those who have made the effort to be there on such a special day. Calligraphy is a perfect way to show your guests just how special they are in a unique and personal way that will be remembered.
#5 Because Calligraphers Are Awesome
Ok, so I just want to take this opportunity to reiterate that Calligraphers are great people. They have a love for their craft and work hard to offer a service as uniquely beautiful as their clients. Because of this love for their craft and for people, many Calligraphers are willing to work with different budgets and materials. They love unique projects that let them put their design skills to use. If you want a wood sign, a chalkboard menu, or oyster place cards, they will be so over the moon. They will be happy to suggest script styles and ink colors to coordinate a perfect look for your event. They are not scary, and many of the calligraphers I have met have gotten into the business after experimenting with Calligraphy for their own wedding. Therefore, they have a special place in their heart for all of the brides they have a privilege to work with. With such a rise in the popularity of Modern Calligraphy, there is a really cool blend between classy script and stylish trends. Calligraphy is no longer what is was when your mom got married. You can find a Calligrapher who offers styles as fresh and current as you are, and who knows, maybe they will be your new best friend!
Did You Know:
Most Calligraphers offer to ship worldwide, so if you find one whose style speaks to you, don't let the distance scare you away.
Many Calligraphers also have the graphic design skills to create digital files for you to use on your stationary or for special products. They can design a wedding monogram, return address stamp, or wax seal.
If you plan to have your paper goods hand Calligraphed, most Calligraphers require 15-20% extra stationary to account for samples, ink testing, additional addresses, and so forth.
Most Calligraphers will send you a sample of their work for you to approve so there are no surprises with your finished products.
I am Ciarra Rouwhorst of Silver Fox Finery, Calligraphy and Design. If you would like a quote on Calligraphy services or would like more information, you can contact me HERE!
Have a Calligraphy question? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.