Luckily, I have an aunt who is a calligrapher and has done many of my cousin's invitations and escort cards over the years. Shortly after getting engaged, Aunt P told my mom she'd love to do the calligraphy for our wedding invites. I was thrilled!
We decided to drop off the envelopes to her a couple weeks before the date we set for the invitations to go out. I stamped the return address on all the envelops and packaged them up, excited to drop them off. When I gave her the invites, she looked at me and explained she has never done colored envelopes before. She felt extremely bad and felt she couldn't do them, since she knows how important the invitations are. I completely understood. But where was I to get another calligrapher at this point?
Well, I also had another offer from a family friend who had done the calligraphy on the Boston shower invites, escort cards and table names. I absolutely love her works as well. We had already asked her to do some of the invitations, since we procrastinated the invites so long and didn't want to stress out Aunt P. So we went from asking her to do about 50 to doing over 100 in less than two weeks. She sweetly said "yes, it would be an honor".
Bottom two by David Bibeault
I love calligraphy, but at this point I had no clue what goes into it. She sent me a list and told me to go online to dafont.com and a few other sites to choose a font that I like. Then gave tips for choosing the right pens. She prefers gelly pens when addressing on colored envelopes. I took her tips and went to Michaels to find the perfect pen.
I found a few choices and brought them home to test out. I figured, if I'm testing, I might as well start addressing the invites. So I got to work. I tried a few pens and the gelly pens were a clear winner. During the testing phase, I also realized how incredibly long this process is. I felt bad asking our family friend to do over 100 of these in less than two weeks, as I know how busy she is. I know she would do it, but I just didn't want to take advantage of her, so I continued on addressing invites. They weren't half bad! When I showed them to a few family memebers they asked me why I was having our friend do them at all. But with the time crunch, I was too stressed as well to get that many done in a short amount of time. So friend S saved the day and worked her magic.
I don't really have any diy tips for do it yourself calligraphy, other than to look up fonts and try and copy them (I'm so helpful, I'm sure you couldn't have thought that one up yourself).
The main tip I took away when "working" with a calligrapher? Make sure you show samples of the invitation envelope to the calligrapher before you hire them, to make sure it is a color and material s/he is comfortable working with. For more tips on working with a calligrapher, check out Laura Hooper's post on "Working with a Calligrapher".
Did you hire a calligrapher to address your invites, or did you go the diy route?