Calligraphy, the art of writing beautifully, has been practiced in many cultures since those cultures first began to form.
Nowadays with all of the technology that we have available, calligraphy has become an art form that is seldom thought about, until you get married. Suddenly you are faced with the prospect of using all kinds of stationary, save-the-dates, invitations, RSVPs, and so on, not all of which will be printed!
Wedding tradition dictates that all of your invitation envelopes are hand-addressed, to show your guests that you have taken the time to personally send them the invite. This is easier said than done. Depending on how many guests you are inviting you could be writing anywhere from 10 to 400 addresses! So what are your options when you get to this part of the wedding planning process?
Option 1 is to take the time, sit down, and write out each address. While this is certainly time-consuming, your guests will appreciate the effort you put into inviting them. But what if your handwriting more resembles that of a second-grader than a sophisticated bride-to-be? Depending on how determined you are, you could try getting a calligraphy set and practicing on your own, or taking a few lessons. You could also use this trick:
Download a calligraphy font online, there are many that are free as long as they aren’t being used for commercial purposes! Print directly on the envelopes using the lightest grey font you can find, then trace over the writing with a calligraphy pen. Nobody will be able to tell the difference!
Of course, if you go this route you will need to make sure you have the numerous hours it will take to complete. If you don’t, you may want to explore the option of hiring a calligrapher.
A calligrapher is a professional whom you hire to write for you. They can write anything from just the names and addresses on your envelopes, to your escort cards, to your Save the Dates. When you hire a calligrapher, you can be sure that all of your invitations will be addressed beautifully and you won’t need to spend the time to do them! The only downside may be the price. A traditional calligrapher may charge anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars per envelope, so make sure you review their portfolio before hiring them.
Their portfolio will show you not only how good of a calligrapher they are, but also what styles they are able to use. Although some of the more ornate styles of calligraphy may be beautiful, make sure they are still readable by some of your older guests. Not to mention the mailman!
And what about those busy brides that don’t have the time to address the envelopes themselves, or room in the budget to hire somebody else?
Printing off the addresses is definitely a victimless crime, but you should make sure that you are printing directly on the envelopes. Don’t use labels, because they are more obvious and sometimes they tend to peel off. Also, take advantage of those calligraphic fonts I mentioned earlier!