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Should we hire a calligrapher for our Wedding?

There are so many details to consider when planning your wedding day. Hiring a calligrapher to address your guest envelopes may be something that doesn't even initially cross your mind. There are many good reasons to consider this possibility!

The invitation sets the tone for your wedding day.
Think about how it feels to open the mailbox and pull out a bill, a bill, a flyer, a flyer....and what's this??!! A beautifully hand written envelope!!! In calligraphy no less...addressed to you! Whenever I receive anything that is written by hand in the mail, it makes me feel very special. Someone took the time and care to write an envelope by hand. In this day and age of electronics and computer generated correspondence, having your envelopes addressed by hand really sets the perfect tone for your wedding day. It tells your guests that they are important.

gold on plum calligraphy

You are busy, and addressing your envelopes takes time.
From a practical standpoint, people these days are busy. I am truly a believer in delegating the work to those who are more capable than I.  A couple of winters ago, we hired a plow guy to take care of our driveway.  Instead of Bob logging hours after work on this chore (and that winter it WAS a chore), we cheerfully handed this job over to a professional. Could Bob have just used his snowblower as he has every year? Of course. But our life was simplified tenfold by getting a pro to do it for us. Wedding calligraphy may be considered a luxury item, but having beautifully addressed envelopes will just enhance the well as removing this task from your long "to do" list.

An experienced calligrapher knows the etiquette for addressing your envelopes.
How hard can it be to address your envelopes?  A professional calligrapher will know the answer to that question in every case. They can help you put the finishing touches on your list when you have questions. Whether it is how to address a dignitary, the policy for non-family members who live in one house, or guests whom you know will not be coming...a professional will know how to handle each situation without insulting your guests. 

I have been doing this a very long time, so have these rules by heart.  But if I ever have a question, I refer to the etiquette pro of all time...Emily Post.  Her etiquette advice is timeless.

Other things to consider when deciding whether or not to hire a calligrapher:
Several times I have had clients who purchase invitations from me, then say "I don't need the calligraphy on the envelope...Aunt Betty, or my friend Suzy, or my sister knows calligraphy and is addressing them for me." That is a great offer, but I would be sure to ask them to see their work.  Good calligraphy takes literally years of practice to develop...and if they are new to the art form, your envelopes may not end up looking as you had hoped. I have been doing calligraphy professionally for over 20 years now, and I still feel like I am constantly improving because of the hours I spend with a pen in my hand.

Above all else, this is the most important part of this blog post!  

Please DO NOT under any circumstance, use labels on your wedding invitations.This is not a coupon from a local retailer...this is your wedding invitation. Whether you spend a lot of money on a special invitation, keep it simple by ordering on line or create your own invitation, you should not even consider using a label. If hand addressing or hiring a calligrapher is out of the question because of your messy handwriting or a tight budget, you could use a fancy font on your computer to run the envelopes through individually to print the addresses. 

El's Tip:  Whether you hire a pro to address your invitations or your are addressing them yourself, be sure to order extra envelopes.  Most calligraphers will ask for some extras (we require 15-20% extra) in case of errors, unexpected drops of ink, last minute additions, changes of address, etc.  It is much less costly to do this on the initial invitation order than to add it on later in the process.

Thank you for the beautiful photos Melissa Mullen Photography and Brea McDonald Photography.