Part of prepping for the wedding (less than four weeks!!! Yikes!) was to get the invitations out. I was being thrifty and used an online stationary company for the actual invitations but I wanted to jazz them up somehow – of course preferably low cost, high impact! Pretty envelope addressing to the rescue! Mind you I always had B- in penmanship (yup, you get grades for that in German elementary school) so this was a challenge – that luckily turned out being fun and looking chic!
These are the pens I used. The Elegant Writer fake calligraphy felt pen came from Michaels and has a rectangular, flat tip. Target also has fairly inexpensive calligraphy pens. They come in various sizes so pick your favorite. Then you’ll need a gel pen or round tip felt pen. Obviously I seem to have a thing for my pilot so I used a black Pilot G-2 gel pen for the address.
Next up you want to practice! If you google “calligraphy alphabet” you’ll find a boatload of inspiration for lettering. To keep it nice and easy I found that staying away from double lines helps – snorkles and the differing widths that the calligraphy pen automatically writes in should be pretty enough for the novice writer. I have found that both printing and scripting look really pretty and are EASY. So hopefully your generation still learned writing script in elementary school and you can access it somewhere in the back of your head. Best advice: practice, practice, practice and see what looks good to you and what doesn’t (–> the importance of ordering a few extra envelopes with your invitations). I also cut or folded lots of paper in the actual size of the envelopes to get a feel for the dimensions and size letters that work best.
As for the address, stay consistent and focus on every single letter and number you write. Yes, it will take ages. Yes, it will be worth it.
2. The Last Name
I started by writing the recipients’ last names diagonally on the envelope using the calligraphy felt pen. Short names I wrote bigger, long names were smaller in letter size. When I had guests with different last names I wrote both of them – smaller of course – on two different lines. I usually tried to connect some of their letters – say the line of a t to the tail of a p or the last names. Sometimes the ampersand worked as a great connector. If I hadn’t added any swirls as I initially drew the letters, I would try to carefully add some now. Be careful not to overdo that though – it can easily start to look really funny. Again, google particular letters or write out a name in a script or handwriting font on your computer for inspiration.
3. The Address
My envelopes were white, which gave me a chance to insert a piece of paper with black sharpie lines into them to use as guides. You can also draw lines with a pencil – I however was too lazy to do that and erase them all afterwards. Isn’t that such a pain especially when you can see where you erased?! So use a ruler, draw some black lines that will shine through your envelope on it and just move it from one envelope to the next.
Write the guests’ names with proper salutations (unless they have really really long names). Take a look at the 3 in the second line. My normal handwritten 3 looks more like half of an 8. Yup, little effort, big difference though.
Try to keep the line length consistent. Yeah sounds easy, it’s harder in person. I’ve used a separate notebook to spell out the address and see how far I have to stretch the letters to make it work. If you have the chance, write out the state. If there’s a long town name, abbreviate the state.
Finally, the zip code! To get that nice and neat look, start with the first and last digit and place them at the front and end of the block. Then add the middle digit to the center of the line and the missing two in the center of the gaps. Lastly I added little dots that looked like tiny squares between the numbers thanks to the awesome fake calligraphy felt pen.
EASY! LOOKS FANCY! ALMOST FREE!
Boom goes the dynamite, you’ve got yourself some kick-ass wedding invitation envelopes! If I can do it, so can you!