Wedding calligraphy is so beautiful, don’t you think?
It’s always so lovely to have something arrive through your letterbox, and know that the sender put so much effort into making it really special.
And while it may be an ancient art form, we love that a whole new collection of scribes have made it cool again, by pairing classic techniques, with modern swirling styles.
And one such penwoman is the fabulously talented, Ashley Lurcott.
You may remember Ashley from her post last year on DIY calligraphy.
Not only does she create beautiful calligraphy herself, but she’s has also made it her mission to equip couples with the skills to learn the craft themselves, with her DIY starter kit, The Lettered Bride.
But if you’re someone who’d rather outsource this painstaking task, (or like me, you’re left handed, and no matter how hard you try, there are smudges everywhere!) Ashley has kindly shared her top tips for choosing a wedding calligrapher.
Take it away Ashley…
How To Choose a Calligrapher for your Wedding
The beauty, detail, and personal touch of hand-written calligraphy has seen a resurgence in the past few years, and for good reason: calligraphy makes your wedding invitations shine like a hidden gem amongst the lifeless bills and ads usually received in the mail.
It’s literally the first experience your guests will have of your wedding, and it is sure to delight and impress. Follow the steps below to find and hire the right calligrapher for you!
1. Examine Your Budget
Because it is an intricate and and slow process, calligraphy isn’t cheap.
However, it will likely be one of the least expensive items in your wedding budget. Envelope calligraphy ranges in price from $3 to $5 per envelope, depending on the experience of the calligrapher and the style of writing. <
Smaller items like calligraphy for escort cards (names and table numbers) or place cards (names only) range from $1 to $3 per piece. (Can’t afford to hire a pro? Learn how to do it yourself with my DIY calligraphy kit, The Lettered Bride.)
2. Start Early
You’ll be sending your invitations out approximately two months prior to your wedding date, and most calligraphers have a two to three-week turnaround time for completing 100 envelopes.
You’ll also want to allow a small time cushion for any corrections or last-minute additions. Calligraphers can book up months in advance, so make sure to inquire early and pay a deposit to hold your place in their calendar.
3. Find Calligraphers Whose Styles You Like
Pinterest and wedding blogs are your best friend (however, if you prefer a formal, traditional style, you can also search the web for a local calligraphers’ guild).
Pinterest and wedding blogs are full of amazing photographs of beautiful modern calligraphy. Use Pinterest to trace your favorite style back to its original penwoman, or check that wedding blog post to find a reference to the stationer or calligrapher who was used (often times it’s listed at the bottom of the post).
4. Look Beyond Your City Limits
Envelopes and other wedding paper, such as place cards, are lightweight and inexpensive to ship.
Thanks to email, it’s quite common to work with a calligrapher you love who happens to be across the country or the world.
5. Source Your Stationery (and Get Extra!)
Most calligraphers do not include the cost of materials in their pricing (see #1 above) and require you to ship them the materials you want calligraphed.
They also typically require 15% to 20% extra materials for corrections and additions. So if you need 100 invitations, be sure to order 120 envelopes from your stationer.
6. Prepare Your List
Calligraphers will write exactly what you send them, so proofread and triple-check your guest list before sending it.
Research wedding addressing etiquette to make sure you’re addressing your envelopes properly, or throw tradition out the window and opt for a fun and modern style.
Most calligraphers will ask for your list in Microsoft Excel format, though some prefer Microsoft Word or Google Spreadsheets. Ask them for their preference or for a template.
Hiring a calligrapher for your wedding can relieve you of a time-consuming and tedious task, while at the same time honoring your guests with your attention to detail.
Beautiful hand lettering has been around for hundreds of years and will certainly never go out of style!
Such great tips, don’t you think? Hiring vendors can be daunting, so it’s so nice to hear advice from an expert.