The big day is fast approaching, everything is starting to come together, but there’s still a task on your list that you haven’t checked off – look for a wedding calligrapher!
Maybe you remember seeing some gorgeous lettering on a friend or family member’s wedding invitations in the past, and you thought how special it must have felt to see your name written as a beautiful and unique work of art.
Well, we’re here to help you get started! There are calligraphy options to suit every wedding (and every budget).
Table of Contents
- What is Wedding Calligraphy and When is it Used?
- Handwritten versus Digital Calligraphy
- Average Cost of Wedding Calligraphy
- What to Look for When Choosing a Calligrapher
- Wedding Calligraphy DIY
- Tips for the Perfect Wedding Calligraphy
1) What is Wedding Calligraphy and When is it Used?
The short answer is that calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting and it can be used on almost anything that you can think of!
Wedding calligraphy is traditionally found on invitation envelopes, but more and more couples are opting to adorn other items with calligraphy as well – including:
- Favor Tags
- Place Cards & Table Numbers
2) Handwritten versus Digital Calligraphy
Trying to decide between handwritten and digital calligraphy? It’s a tough decision, and there are pros and cons to both approaches. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Transforms each piece into its own work of art, adding elegance to invitations that is hard to beat.
- Might be the only option if you want calligraphy on items that are unable to be printed directly.
- Can be prohibitively expensive.
- Allows couples to pick from various calligraphy fonts for their wedding invitation envelopes.
- Is more affordable, and can be ready faster for those that need a quicker turnaround time.
- Errors are less likely and couples usually send in a spreadsheet with the information needed to address the invitations.
Etsy is a fantastic source for finding digital calligraphers!
3) Average Cost of Wedding Calligraphy
Professional hand-rendered wedding calligraphy ranges from approximately $2.00 – $5.00 per envelope. Wedding calligraphy prices vary depending on the paper, the style, and the ink used. Requesting a special ink or larger-than-average lettering will likely cost you more. Digital calligraphy is generally around $0.20 to $0.50 per envelope on top of the cost of the envelope.
4) What to Look for When Choosing a Calligrapher
Calligraphers can book up months in advance, so make sure to select your wedding calligrapher well ahead of time!
Just like the best photographers, bakers, and officiants, calligraphers are often in high-demand. They need to be able to put you on their schedule, and will likely need a couple of weeks to complete the project.
The average turnaround is a two weeks, but this can vary depending on the size of your guest list and whether you have other items in addition to the invitations that you would like to have calligraphy adorn.
How will you know if the calligrapher you find is the right one?
- They have an extensive portfolio highlighting their previous work.
- Their previous customers have great things to say! Look for starred reviews or testimonials on their site.
- Their style resonates with yours.
- They answer questions promptly and are easy to communicate with.
5) Wedding Calligraphy DIY
If hand-rendered calligraphy by a professional is not in the budget, and you or someone you know is crafty, why not give it a try yourself? Thankfully, we live in an age where learning a new skill is simply a click away!
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then with enough time and practice, you can be your own calligrapher. Though the items will likely not end up the same as if a professional had made them, they will be unique and charming nonetheless. You could always try craft a few, and if you aren’t happy with them, then digital might be a viable option.
6) Tips for the Perfect Wedding Calligraphy
Now that you know the basics of wedding calligraphy, read through these tips to help ensure that everything is perfect for your big day.
Tip #1 – Receive Quotes from Multiple Calligraphers
Once you’ve found a few calligraphers whose style you like, why not send them a quick email and ask for a quote? Make sure to include valuable information such as the number of guests, whether you would like calligraphy on items other than invitation envelopes, and any special requests that you might have. Also, include your wedding date and the date that you would like to have the invitations back in time to ship to your guests.
Tip #2 – Ask for Samples
Most calligraphers have more than one style. If the calligrapher ships samples, then take them up on it! It is hard to appreciate calligraphy through the computer screen, and the subtle differences in style will be more noticeable in person. Remember, if you are looking for that ‘ahhh’ factor from your guests, make sure they have an effect on you as well!
Tip #3 – Tell Them What You Like
When meeting or speaking with your calligrapher, let them know which styles you like, and also which styles you definitely do not like. This will help the calligrapher get a feel for what you’re looking for. They might have other recommendations that fit the bill.
Tip #4 – Stick to Your Wedding Calligraphy Budget
Make a budget and stick to it! Sometimes it helps to have a list of your ‘must-have‘ items and your ‘if-it-fits-in-the-budget‘ items. Are you willing to switch to digital if it means you can have calligraphy on all the items on your wishlist? Or, maybe the most important thing to you is that you have hand-rendered calligraphy on your invitations and you are flexible with everything else. Cementing your wedding size and theme may help with these decisions.
And last but not least, have a good time with it! Just like choosing the perfect wedding cake or the perfect wedding dress silhouette, selecting calligraphy wedding invitations and other items can be a fun experience!
While you decide if wedding calligraphy is the perfect fit for your ceremony, don’t miss our feature on Wedding Invitation Wording. Also, check us out on Twitter and Instagram for your daily dose of wedding inspo!