Today I'm so excited to introduce you to Alex Estes from the Prairie Letter Shop! I've been following Alex's business for quite some time, and adore her fresh and modern hand-lettering styles, and her down-to-earth approach to her business. Go check out her Instagram feed, but grab a cup of coffee first - I promise you'll be scrolling for hours, admiring her amazing calligraphy skills and bright photography!
1 | DON'T WAIT UNTIL AFTER YOU'VE PURCHASED YOUR SUITE
I meet many of my clients through referrals and Etsy, and at that point in the process, envelopes are selected and on the way, or even already in the hands of the couple. While this isn’t a huge dilemma, it’s helpful to check in with your calligrapher to see if he/she has any preferences for paper, liners, and so forth. Your calligrapher may also have advice for making the process smooth, so it’s great to have that person on board early on!
2 | DEVOTE TIME TO PROOFREADING YOUR GUEST LIST
...and set a firm deadline with your family members! The address list tends to be one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning for many brides. I hear many worries about timelines and potential errors on guest lists. If you have family members on both sides contributing, communicate a clearfinal deadline for additions and changes, and do your best to get the list proofread by multiple people who can help spot errors.
3 | ORDER EXTRA ENVELOPES
Extra envelopes are important to have on hand. Most calligraphers request 10-20% extra for human error, address changes, and last-minute additions. For most weddings I work on, guest lists grow by about 5 envelopes from the beginning of an order to the end--and depending on the invitation suite, envelopes can be very difficult or expensive to reprint. Ordering a surplus on the front end will save you potential heartache later--and it will also ensure that you have plenty left for keepsakes.
4 | INCLUDE A NAME AND ADDRESS FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SUITE
Don’t forget to ask your calligrapher to address an envelope for your wedding photographer. Remember that this envelope may show up on blogs or social media, so be mindful of sharing your real address. Some couples ask for their real names and a church address, some couples ask for just their married name without an address, and some ask for a fake name and address.
5 | SAVE TIME FOR STUFFING AND STAMPING
Many couples underestimate the amount of time it takes to stuff, seal, and stamp envelopes. Be sure to communicate your preferred mailing date with your calligrapher from the front end (‘July 15’ is much better than ‘mid-July’!) and factor in several hours to stamp and stuff. Consider asking your stationer or calligrapher about stuffing/stamping services that can relieve some of the stress.
How great is that? I'll admit, after getting Alex's post and reading it myself, I told her it never occurred to me that Brides & Grooms may want a fake address for the suites that will be shot by their photographer! Thank you so much Alex, for such a thoughtful and informative post!