Important Advice on Envelope Addressing

In a world where everything seems to be digital, the written word is still “a thing”. Every now and again I hear someone comment that hand written notes and envelopes are a thing of the past. Well, I say… NO WAY! Even though it can be easier to print out an address from the computer, it’s just not very personable. I love receiving hand calligraphy in the mail! Often times my students will send me a note with a beautiful calligraphied address which makes me so happy to see how far they have come! And YES, I keep every single one of them!

If you have the task of getting envelopes addressed for an upcoming wedding or event, there are a few things to think about when choosing whether or not to hire a calligrapher.

  1. First, check your budget. Calligraphers range in price depending on their skill level. If you have a tight budget, consider hiring a new calligrapher or maybe even learning calligraphy yourself! You can even purchase my new addressing guide ( in a variety of sizes ) for those difficult envelopes. You know, the ones that you can’t see your guide sheet through! Expect to pay anywhere from $8-$20 per envelope set for master calligraphers, $4-$6 per envelope set for intermediate calligraphers and $1.00-$3.00 per set for beginner calligraphers. Envelope calligraphy pricing is based on color of ink, number of lines, opaque envelopes, timing, and lettering style. Remember: the more elaborate your envelopes, the more it will cost.

  2. Lettering Styles DO MATTER! Be careful! You want your envelopes to get to their destinations. Keep addressing simple, so that the post office can read the addresses. If the post office can’t read an address, it will get lost and that means double the cost for you to send that invitation. Keep the zip code simple. Avoid adding fancy flourishing or dots between the numbers. That can only cause more money and headache for you when your guests don’t receive their invitations.

  3. Etiquette still counts. Always use Emily Post for guidance when addressing your envelopes. In our modern world, there are some new rules to consider, so if Emily Post doesn’t answer your question, always ask your invitation company or calligrapher. If your event is modern or informal, then you have the flexibility of breaking the rules.

  4. Be sure to get a sample from your potential calligrapher. Never let someone take your expensive envelopes before you see what they are going to do to them! Even if the calligrapher is good, you might have a different idea in mind and a sample just clears up any possible miscommunication. A PDF sample is a fine option if you do not have time for them to send you a hard copy. When I address envelopes, I always send a PDF and verify the color ink.

  5. Allow enough time for envelope addressing! I can’t stress that enough. A good calligrapher should be given 1 week per 100 envelopes. If you can give them a little longer that is always best. You really don’t want to have someone ( or yourself ) rush through the addressing process. There will be more mistakes and no time for corrections.

  6. Setting up your address list correctly is important. If you are using a calligrapher, ask him or her how they prefer the list to be set up. When I address envelopes, I ask that the list be set up in label format with everything spelled out. The reason I like the list in this format is because I know exactly where each letter falls on the envelope. For example, if I am centering the address, I can tell where to start the line underneath. Thus, allows me to go a little quicker with no mistakes. But some calligraphers might prefer a spreadsheet or another format. We are all different and what works for me might not work for someone else. One last thing… be sure to review your list before sending it to the calligrapher. Human error is inevitable, but reviewing the list can save you money in the end. Calligraphers write what they see and often times won’t know that you made a mistake on a street name. If it is an obvious mistake, most calligraphers will make the change.

Good luck with your envelopes!