Frequently Asked Questions

Why Calligraphy?

Why not?  You spend a great deal of time choosing that perfect invitation.  One that will match your style and personality.  You pour over huge books and web sites.  You work on the perfect wording and colors.  Who can blame you?  This is the first impression that your guests receive about your wedding and you want to make sure it’s a great one!  Your invitation sets the tone for your special day.  You even pick out the perfect stamp.  Why have less than impressive addresses?  Brides are finding that the beautifully hand written address on the front of the envelope help to put that special, finishing touch on their invitation and their guests are RAVING about this gorgeous invitation they received in the mail.   So, again I ask, why not?

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But isn’t it expensive?

Not really.  If you definitely know that you want to have Calligraphy for your wedding, it can easily be added to your invitation budget early in the planning stages.  Just like your other vendors, most Calligraphers require a scheduling fee which is worked into the total cost.  This helps you budget and break up the payments.  It also gets your wedding scheduled early.  Prices do vary from each artist depending on skill and years of experience.  Make sure to find out about any additional fees for specialty envelopes or inks if this is required for your wedding.

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When should I call a Calligrapher to schedule my wedding?

Remember that your invitations need to be in the mail 6 – 8 weeks prior to the wedding.  The Calligrapher needs to be working on your envelopes at least 10 weeks out.  This way, any errors or additions can be taken care of before your mailing deadline and you and your artist are not stressed to get them out.  This being said, start making inquiries with Calligraphers 5 – 6 months before the wedding.  Waiting until your invitations come back from the printer to call and schedule Calligraphy is not always wise.  Remember each piece is done by hand and takes time.   If you have waited too long to book your artist, you may be out of luck.

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What’s the turn around time?

This can vary from artist to artist so be sure and ask this question so there is not a misunderstanding on when your project will be complete.  Some Calligraphers don’t really “schedule” a job.  They just put your order next in line and work on each project as a first come, first served basis.  So you could be waiting up to 2 weeks or more to have your project completed.  Other artists actually book a date on their calendar and are able to return it in a few days.  In both cases, the earlier you book, the better.  When scheduling your wedding, make sure you let your artist know what type of envelopes you have.

  • Do you have just a single envelope?
  • Do you have the formal inner/outer envelope set?
  • What color are your envelopes?
  • What size are they?
  • Do you need the return address hand penned on the back flap or was that done by your printer
  • Do you need your response card envelopes addressed?
  • Do you want a special ink color?

These things will affect how long your project will take as well as the cost.  All of these should be talked about as you are booking your wedding.  If you do not know this information when you book your wedding, let your Calligrapher know when your decisions are finalized so they can make adjustments to their schedule.

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How do you want my address list?

The proper wedding etiquette is left up to you although most Calligraphers know the rules and would be happy to help you as you put your list together.  Some Calligraphers have guides on their web sites.  Please keep in mind that they are being paid to copy your list letter for letter and word for word.  They do not know your guests and therefore cannot make corrections.  You want to make sure your list is correct the first time so you are not taking unnecessary time from your artist and he/she is not using up all of your envelopes.  Most Calligraphers have a specific format that they want their list in as well.  Make sure to ask them about it when making your guest list.  Then you are not scrambling to re-do it before you give it to them.

Also, please remember that your artist is talented, yes – but not perfect.  Giving them 100 envelopes and 97 names is not fair.  They will make mistakes.  Sometimes the calligraphy pen will catch on the envelopes and splatter ink.  Sometimes a line didn’t fit like they expected.  They are artists and want to give you quality work.  Make sure to order at least 10 – 15% extra envelopes so your Calligrapher isn’t stressed while doing their work, and you are not in a panic needing to order extra envelopes.

Calligraphy can be used many different ways throughout your wedding.  It’s not just for your envelopes.  Be sure and browse through your Calligraphers web site and/or blog to see all that they have to offer.  Get ideas from their previous work or challenge them with something new. Many times you can find custom, personalized work as well.  Calligraphy is a final detail that can add an elegant yet personal touch to your entire wedding.