Your Guide to Wedding Calligraphy

Wedding invitations are one of those things that often seem like one of the easier parts of wedding organization. We’ve all invited someone to a party before, right? It’s just a card with some information on it, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not.

These invites are an important first look at the style, tone and mood of your wedding from your guests’ perspective. There are a lot of little decisions that go into creating a wedding invitation and designing anything that has to do with wedding stationery or calligraphy.

Need a helping hand through the wonderful world of wedding calligraphy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this complete guide to wedding calligraphy.

Where should I use wedding calligraphy?

The obvious place to use wedding calligraphy is in your wedding invitations. That being said, if you’re using beautifully artistic calligraphy, it can be difficult to read, especially if it’s in a smaller font size.

So, with this being the case, you might want to have headings or main information in your wedding calligraphy style and use something more readable for the time, location and logistical details. Similarly, the menu cards and other information such as whether the occasion is an outdoor event, and the numbers of local hotels and taxi firms should be clear and easy to read, so calligraphy might not be the best choice.

Another great place to use your wedding calligraphy is on your place cards, table plans, and any signage that’s around your wedding ceremony venue or reception venue. Not only does this add a touch of elegance to your big day, but it ties the separate elements of your wedding together in a cohesive way.

Working out your budget

Honestly, calligraphy is not cheap. After all, it’s a genuine skill that takes a lot of time to learn to do well. The cost for calligraphy is anywhere from $2 to $5 per envelope and can be even more for special requests. Like any creative endeavor, rates depend on quantity, style, and how quickly you’re looking to need them. The earlier you get your calligraphy request in, the more reasonable your price is likely to be.

Another way to save money on your wedding calligraphy is to opt for print rather than handwritten calligraphy. Handwritten is a lovely touch, but due to the sheer amount of time that it takes to complete, it’s a lot more expensive than the printed alternatives. You can opt to mix and match printed and handwritten calligraphy styles, which can be a good balance between cost and style.

Picking your wedding calligrapher

When you choose your wedding stationery company, there is a good chance that they’ll either have an in-house calligrapher or they’ll have a list of reliable freelancers that they frequently work with. This is the best place to start when picking out your wedding calligrapher. The benefit here is that as well as having reliable recommendations, you might be able to get a preferable rate on in-house packages or through a referral.

Again, calligraphers, much like any other creative professional, will have extensive portfolios of work that they can show you before you make your final selection. Similarly to graphic designers or tattoo artists, they will likely have a preferred style when it comes to fonts, motifs and ink style. Depending on your reference points and overarching wedding theme, some calligraphers may be more suitable than others.

Leave enough time

We cannot stress this enough. Leave enough time to fulfill your wedding calligraphy request. Especially if you have a bigger order and want handwritten artwork, you need to give enough time for your artist to work their magic. Not only is this a respectful thing to do, but it’ll also help avoid any rush fees and give them the breathing room to take their time and ensure perfection for your beautiful wedding calligraphy order.

The other reason that you should leave plenty of time for your wedding calligraphy order is that you have the opportunity to review your order and get any necessary changes sorted out. If you don’t budget for this contingency time, you might end up with an end product that doesn’t quite line up with your vision and no time for alterations.

Organize your lists

When you’re sorting out wedding invitations, there is a lot of information that needs to be shared between you and your wedding calligrapher. Separate from stylistic choices, logistical details about the big day, and any dietary cards, there are a lot of names and addresses to deal with.

Ask your calligrapher ahead of time about what format they’d like to receive the addresses and names. The most common way is in an Excel spreadsheet or similar digital database, but everyone is different. Get your list in order so that no one gets missed off and so the right invite goes to the right person!

Doing it yourself?

If you’re planning on doing your wedding calligraphy yourself, wow, good for you! It’s a great way to save some of your wedding budget while learning a cool new skill. A couple of things to note:

  • Leave yourself even more time. Unless you happen to be a professional, it’s going to take you much, much longer to do all of these cards and envelopes. Not only that, but you’ll have a lot of other duties and things going on, so allow for life to get in the way.
  • Perhaps half write, half print your invites. Give yourself a fighting chance by combining printed information and handwritten elements. Maybe just hand write the envelopes and the recipient’s name? This way it adds that personal, artistic touch without giving you carpal tunnel syndrome before your big day.
  • Be patient. It takes time and space to be a great calligrapher. We say space because finding enough room to dry out all your invitations is no small feat. Do them in batches to save your hands and your sanity! You’ve got to let the ink dry and let your eyes have a rest anyway!

Dreaming in Calligraphy – a Wedding Editorial

Everyone loves a touch of calligraphy at his or her wedding – it’s a beautiful way to bring artistry to your big day. Today’s inspiration shoot from Mary Claire Photography features gorgeous calligraphy details from Wildfield Paper Co. Look for it on the ribbons, signs, and of course – wedding invitations!

Calligraphy wedding sign | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Braided crown | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Calligraphy ribbon | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Rock table | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Calligraphy ribbon | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Gossamer Vintage wedding dress | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Calligraphy wedding invitations | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Floral tabletop details | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Tablescape | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Hand-tied bridal bouquet | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Calligraphy ribbon | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Ribbon with calligraphy | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Wedding dress from Gossamer | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:
Ribbon with calligraphy | Mary Claire Photography | see more on:

From Rachael Ellen Events – “We were inspired by the transition from fall to winter… the time when the fallen leaves are frosted by the first bits of snow and cold. The mix of warm golden hues with the icy tones of the colder months created visual interest and mood.

The table set up on the rock gave us a natural, organic feel and the bare rock provided the perfect background to make the details pop. We love the idea of utilizing calligraphy to personalize a bride’s wedding day, whether it is a beautiful ribbon with a favorite quote or a handwritten print it creates a personal touch that is both sweet and visually appealing.

Ultimately, this shoot is meant to represent and inspire a bride with a love for the organic and the literary, who appreciates neutral tones and wild, loosely arranged florals.”

Credits: Photography: Mary Claire Photography // Floral Design: Soil and Stem // Styling: Rachael Ellen Events // Hair & Makeup: Katie Livingston // Calligraphy: Wildfield Paper Co. // Dress: Gossamer.