So, you’ve pinned some gorgeous calligraphy ideas on Pinterest and you’ve been obsessively researching envelope etiquette. Now how do you find a calligrapher who can take your wedding to the next level?
Whether you’re drawn to whimsical, modern styles or want a simple, classic look, you can find a calligrapher to fit your aesthetic, time frame and budget. Here Kristara Schnippert shares with us five things you may not know about working with a calligrapher.
There are a lot of different styles of calligraphy—modern, classic or casual brushed lettering. Take a look at your calligrapher’s portfolio of past work or ask for some samples to see if they’re a good fit for you.
More than just beautiful writing, calligraphy is a skilled art that can never be replicated with a font or a printer. Each letter is written carefully and precisely. Each envelope must be prepped, dried and proofed. Every once in a while, the ink splatters or something smears. Because of this, calligraphy is a slow process. Calligraphers have several projects going at once, so expect your order to take a couple of weeks (or you’ll be considered a rush job and be charged accordingly).
With calligraphy, you really do get what you pay for. An experienced calligrapher has worked with a wide range of papers, surfaces, inks, nibs and paints, so they’ll make fewer mistakes. Calligraphers can also customize letter styles, join letters in unique ways, add gorgeous flourishing, custom match inks and more. In general, the more experienced a calligrapher is, the more options you’ll have. The best calligraphers are booked weeks – if not months – in advance, so it’s good to be proactive.
A lot of calligraphers charge extra for dark envelopes, lined envelopes, metallic ink or extra lines. That’s because all of those things take more time. Dark envelopes require penciled guidelines to ensure straight writing. Metallic inks are more time-consuming to write with. And four-line addresses take more time to write out than just three.
Beyond envelopes, you can incorporate calligraphy elements into your invitations themselves, develop a monogram or even create one-of-a-kind wedding signage. Most calligraphers ask that you send the paper or mediums (think fun mediums like leaves, rocks, driftwood, ribbon) you want to use. And remember, this is all done by hand, so don’t forget to include extras (usually 10-15%) depending on the project.