Most people who contact me to design their wedding invitations and/or address their invitation envelopes do so because they wish to create a memorable first impression of their wedding for their guests.  Over the years, my clients have included police officers, fashion designers, pilots, event planners, chefs, stock brokers, bankers, construction workers, doctors, members of the military, farmers, lawyers, film makers, architects, actors, singers, journalists, teachers, politicians, hairdressers, athletes, scientists, psychologists, musicians, and social workers.  Each of my clients understands that receiving a beautiful, hand lettered envelope creates a unique experience for the recipient.  Without exception, clients call me after mailing their wedding invitations to share the enthusiastic responses of their family and friends.  Most of my business these days comes from client referral or from stationery stores in New York City, San Francisco, and Omaha.  Even with the most modest weddings it is still feasible to hire a professional calligrapher to hand address some of your envelopes.  The rest you can do yourself or ask a close friend or relative with good handwriting to address.  If you are pressed for


time, you can also use a computer, although the hand addressed envelope for wedding invitations is still traditional.   

Professional calligraphers spend years, even decades, perfecting their skills and technique as well as familiarizing themselves with wedding protocol and etiquette.  For instance, it takes years to begin to acquire the techniques used in the more ornate scripts. For the client, itís also a great relief to have someone on your team who understands and can lend assistance to the many questions that can arise with weddings.  In my case, I have always loved both the study and practice of calligraphy and graphic design and have been a professional artist for over twenty years.  Iíve also always enjoyed working on weddings.  Two years ago I studied illustration and gilding techniques in London with one of the Heraldry Artists to the Crown and spent several weeks sketching Celtic crosses and Heraldry symbols throughout Great Britain to add to my design portfolio.  A few times a year, I still travel to various locations to continue my calligraphy studies with Master Teachers.  I also attend the annual IAMPETH Convention (International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting) and review any new trends in event planning and weddings by attending the National Stationery Show each year in NYC. 

Itís important for clients to realize that some envelopes can take as long as 15 minutes to do, depending on the lettering style chosen. A custom one-of-a-kind guest book usually takes me over 15 hours to finish.  A custom Heirloom piece or a Ketubah can take months to complete.  When hiring a calligrapher to address envelopes, itís always a good idea to request a sample envelope.  When you receive the envelope in the mail you will have the same experience your guests will have.

Anne Sheedy
Wedding Scribe

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