Unless you are a seasoned calligrapher or just practice the Palmer Method in your spare time, addressing wedding invitations by hand can be a daunting task. First there is the question of time. Yes, it is going to take hours. Second, you may not have written anything by hand since your last essay exam. Third, you want your invitations to arrive like:
Here are 5 steps to make the process easier and more legible.
STEP 1. INVEST IN A GOOD PEN
If I could write everything with a Sharpie, I probably would. However, I suggest you head to your local craft or art store and pick out a few pens that you like. You are often able to test them in the store, but I recommend getting a couple of different styles and testing them out on one or two of your envelopes to see which achieves the desired look.
STEP 2. PRACTICE YOUR PENMANSHIP
Remember getting that ever-so-easy-to-tear, lined paper in school and having to practice your upper and lower case letters? Ok, so maybe I am dating myself. Does everyone just get IPAD now? Regardless, practice makes perfect, or at least takes the edge off. Do some trial runs with your fancy new pens and just get comfortable writing again.
STEP 3. CHEAT. CHEAT. CHEAT.
I am a big advocate of technology. Though ridiculously beautiful, not all of us have the time, energy or talent to master calligraphy and you don’t have to. There are a few ways to achieve beautiful envelopes:
Be A Copy Cat!: Download a font that you like. If you follow me on Pinterest, I have a whole board dedicated to typeface including free wedding fonts.
Using a mail merge function in the program of your choice, I like the old standard Office Word. Then, print the addresses on your envelopes in a slightly darker color. You want it to almost look like a shadow. If you aren’t sure about mail merge, here is a tutorial:
Once your envelopes are printed, simply use your pen to trace the letters. It really works! (How do you think I addressed the pretty envelope at the beginning of this blog?)
Sign on the Line – Dotted or Otherwise: If tracing feels like too much work or mom still doesn’t approve, print artistic lines on your envelopes or apply decorative labels with lines. It makes it much easier to keep your writing level and your scale and spacing consistent.
But, I don’t want lines: OK. You think lines are lame. That’s fine. There is actually a tool for you – meet the Lettermate! This nifty little gadget will keep you in line, pun obviously intended. Sorry.
STEP 4. THINK BIG. START SMALL. BE PATIENT.
This is my mantra. I use it for everything and it applies here also. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT sit down and try to address 150 envelopes. Break your list down into manageable sections. An easy way to determine how many per section is to sit down, start addressing and then stop while you are still comfortable. More specifically, you should quit long before your hand is cramped and your eyes are crossed. This means that you should not procrastinate. Give yourself at least 2 weeks before your mail date, and set some daily goals. Also, you should allow more time if you are experimenting with any of the methods listed above.
STEP 5. FINALLY, EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES
You are going to screw up a few times – maybe more. I will admit that I always throw away at least two or three envelopes from every sitting, even when I’m tracing, but I am OCD. You may find that you do not care that your address numbers are perfectly spaced. Whatever your level of perfection, invest in extra envelopes and liners accordingly.
Now get to work! Cheers!