Lets Address it – Calligraphy vs. Printed Wedding Invitation Envelopes

You’re engaged, your busy. You want a full service wedding invitation studio that can do it all, right?  Design your invitations, print your invitations, ADDRESS your wedding invitation envelopes, assemble and send. Boom. Done. Like anything else wedding related there are so many options for wedding invitations.  You may also be surprised to find out there are also a lot of options for addressing your wedding invitation envelopes.  And the method you choose will affect the overall tone of your wedding invitation, envelope options, timeline, and budget. Here is a short primer on envelope addressing before you go to your next wedding invitation appointment.

Calligraphy/Hand lettering wedding invitation envelopes

 Calligraphy and hand-lettering of invitation envelopes is typically offered by artists who hand write you wedding invitation envelope guest addresses. They literally paint or draw each and every letter using a broad tip instrument, usually a calligraphy pen or brush.  Done with care and talent, calligraphy is a show stopper, and it is my favorite way to address a wedding invitation envelope.  Think about it…it the FIRST thing guests see, before the invitation, before the dress, before your flower wall or four tier wedding cake. And best of all its very much custom.  Most calligraphers offer a variety of fonts and styles of writing. Their font will never “match” the font of your invitation but will typically compliment it. Calligraphers offer a variety of ink colors that cannot be printed by machine  may be necessary and if you are looking to use a colored envelope and would like white or metallic guest addressing).

Photos courtesy of www.caitlinjanecalligraphy.com.  Calligraphy is going to be more expensive than digitally printed guest addresses. First, its artwork and in addition to materials it involves the calligrapher’s time.   Calligraphy is typically somewhere between $4 and $10 per envelope depending upon your region and the calligrapher’s experience.  Also consider that most calligraphers require an additional 25 envelopes.  Calligraphy also involves additional shipping fees between your stationer and the calligrapher. Calligraphy also requires additional time, so factor that in when ordering your wedding invitations.  Tack an additional four to six weeks onto your timeline so your calligrapher has time to complete your envelopes carefully and without rush.

Printed Guest Addressing wedding invitation envelopes

You can also have your guest addresses printed on your envelopes using a digital printer.  By a professional.  Don’t try this at home kids its NOT easy!

If the company printing your wedding invitations offers digital guest addressing they will likely be able to use the fonts on your wedding invitation for your guest addressing, as well as the same ink colors.  The lines are straight and perfect, and every letter is the same and uniform throughout.  Ink colors are a little tricky, its tough to print digitally on a dark envelope because the ink has to be LIGHTER than the envelope color.  With colored envelopes all the rage these past few years, we are seeing a lot of white and metallic guest addressing.  Some printers do offer lighter digital colors, and the technology is always evolving.  That said, the end result is a bit less desirable than using a calligrapher to use a more opaque white or light ink.

The price is not less desirable!  Pricing is considerably less.  Usually no more than $2 per envelope, and extra envelopes are not typically necessary. If the company printing your wedding invitations offers digital guest addressing they will likely be able to print with your wedding invitations, and ship at the same time, hence no additional shipping fees or time for wedding invitation envelopes.  You do, however, have to painstakingly complete an excel template with every name and address in a specific format, and that can take some additional time.

Calligraphy is going to be your number one choice, but digital guest addressing comes in a close second.  It comes down to personal preference, time and expense.