Frequently asked questions

Ok…I want my envelopes to look beautiful, and since nobody has time for hours and hours of addressing, I want to hire a calligrapher. Where do I start?

Decide on your guest list and your budget. (see Pricing)
Meanwhile, gather the help of friends and family to—-

Make your guest list and gather addresses. For guidance on current addressing etiquette, this is a great resource: https://www.theknot.com/content/addressing-wedding-invitations

Unlike most calligraphers, I do accept lists in a spreadsheet format, but I’d prefer to work from what I call a mailing label format, for example:

Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas
46 County Road 45400
Paris, Texas 75462
—leave a space here and then on the next line, type what you want on the inner envelope,
such as:—
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
Samuel and Elizabeth

A list alphabetized by last name makes it much easier for both of us to refer to an address during the process, in case an address needs to be checked or changed.

You don’t have to bother to type out the names of the states or words like Boulevard, Apartment, Highway, etc. Just abbreviate, and I will write them out fully. If something in your address list looks odd, I will look it up on usps.com or contact you with a quick question. I want to make this process as easy as possible for you! You can email the list to me or enclose a hard copy with your envelopes. Most people just email it to me at sharon@heartstringsdesigns.com

Choose your invitations and contract with the calligrapher. It is ideal to order your invitations and contract with your calligrapher three to four months before the wedding. There are lots of good invitation sites online. When ordering, plan to order 15-20% more invitations than your list requires…more guests are sure to be added, and your calligrapher will need some extras for those inevitable ink splatters, last-minute address changes, and inadvertent misspellings. It’s a headache to have to order more envelopes at the last minute, plus it’s costly!

If you wish, you can have your stationer ship your envelopes directly to me. If you want me to match font and ink color, please have them include an invitation in the box for me to have in hand. You also should request a set of envelopes to be included in YOUR box of invitation components. Why?

Because you want to compile all the invitation parts,
insert them in the envelope(s) as if they are ready to
mail, and take them to the post office to be weighed.
Make sure you know how much postage will be needed.
Here’s a great resource about preparing your invitations
for mailing:

https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-invitation-postage-pointers

And here’s one of the best parts of hiring me to address your invitations—-

Leave the addressing in my hands….just breathe… and work on the other myriad of things on your to-do list!

How long before the wedding should I mail my invitations?

Invitations should be addressed, stuffed, sealed and stamped and ready to mail 6-8 weeks before the wedding. If you have overseas addresses, think of mailing them at least 8 weeks before. I require 5-6 days (one work week) for each 100 invitation sets (outer and inner envelope). I require an extra day for double or triple checking for accuracy and packing for shipping.

So, for example, if you have 200 invitations to be addressed, I would need them in hand to begin about 2 1/2 months prior to your wedding.…that gives time for shipping, too.

Leave yourself time to stuff, seal, and stamp your envelopes…have a stuffing party/assembly line to speed up the process and make it fun!

Once your address list is in my hands, I assure you that you will be relieved, and even more so when you see how beautiful your envelopes are!

I want something uniquely my own. How do I go about having my invitation suite designed in calligraphy?

If you want me a truly unique, one-of-a-kind invitation suite, ask me to design it for you.
Contact me as soon as you can so I will have time in my calendar. It makes me sad to say no!

What I do is design each part of your invitation
and take the masters to the printer. The printer
will then print my lettering and design on your
stationery/card stock. Alternatively, I can send
a high-resolution digital file of my designs to a
printer of your choosing.

The calligraphy and design can be flat-printed, printed in thermography, engraved, or letter-pressed.

I can design and letter each component of the whole invitation suite, or I can design just the bride’s and groom’s names to be inserted into the printed text of the invitation. I will do as much or as little as you would like.

Decide what components you would like, such as the invitation itself, return address for the outer envelope, possibly a reception card, response card and envelope.

Think about incorporating extra design elements such as flourishes, painted rosebuds, or monograms. A hand-designed monogram can be used on the invitation suite as well as lovely personal note cards or thank you notes; it can be printed on the favors, the napkins, whatever you can think of. The possibilities for your personally-designed invitation suite are endless!

If you plan for me to have the suite printed and then mail everything all finished to you, choose your stationery and have it shipped to me. After chatting with you to find out what you like and what you have in mind for your special day, I will design them and email layouts to you until it is just what you want. Then I will have them printed for you on your card stock.

If you would rather use your own printer or stationer, keep your card stock. All I will need to know is the size of each component, and I will send a high-resolution digital file of my calligraphy masters to your printing company.

Do you provide day-of services?

Yes, most definitely! I provide day-of services….I will design and letter those items you will need for the actual day of the wedding, such as:

place cards…and think outside the box…they don’t have to be on paper!
escort cards
table cards
menus
seating charts
lettering for favors
monograms for napkins, etc.
banners
all sorts of wedding signage, chalkboards, etc.

Just contact me. I’ll ask you a few pertinent questions, price your project(s), and you can relax! I’ll take care of it beautifully for you.

I’m excited to work with you to make your day everything you’ve dreamed about!