Things to Consider When Hiring a Calligrapher For Your Wedding
The word "calligraphy" literally means "beautiful writing" and is commonly know as "the art of the written word". It traditionally has been used in the holy scriptures, royal correspondence, works of art and many other significant events. It only makes sense for the discerning bride to consider using a calligrapher to help with her overall wedding scheme and design.
"Why choose a calligrapher?" you might ask. Your wedding invitation is the first thing your guests will see about your wedding. It sets the tone for your whole day. Many calligraphers can help you achieve the impressive look you desire by writing is a style that can fit in with any theme, from modern to traditional. As the bride, you decide what is the impression you want to make and then you go from there. The calligraphy on the envelope helps set the mood for your wedding. A beautifully addressed envelope or handwritten calligraphy placecards tells your guests "I thought about you today". They know the extra work went into making a special impression and many keep the artwork as a souvenir of the time they had at your wedding.
When choosing a calligrapher, it is important to keep in mind several things. The first of these is cost. It may be more economical to hire a calligrapher to design one copy of your invitation or menus to be printed rather than having each handwritten. Or you may choose a calligrapher to do just your placecards while you handwrite the addresses on your invitations yourself (or have a friend help out!). Your budget will dictate how much you are able to do. The cost is only the first thing to take into consideration.
The second thing to keep in mind if you are interested in using a calligrapher is the time involved in completing your project whether it be invitations, placecards, menus or everything for your wedding day; as with any art form, calligraphy takes time so it is important to take that into consideration when choosing your invitations or even earlier. Wedding invitations should be mailed at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding and the calligraphy itself may take anywhere from 1 week per 100 invitations or more (especially from January to May and again from July to September, in particular) depending on the calligrapher. Many calligraphers may be booked up and unable to accommodate you if you wait until the last minute to book them (or charge rush fees that will increase all of your overall costs!). The best advice is to start to look for a calligrapher at least as early as you start to look at invitations (not waiting until you actually order them!).
The third thing to keep in mind when choosing a calligrapher is to know what you want and be sure to ask for samples from everyone. It is tragic when you hire someone to address the envelopes that you so carefully chose to set the tone for your whole day only to realize once they were complete that they were not anything at all like you expected! This, in part, goes back to the cost. A cheaper calligrapher who does not have pretty handwriting or uses pens other that what you expected may end up costing you more in the long run if you have to re-order all new envelopes because the writing was not at all what you expected! Look at their portfolio, ask how they got started in the business, how long they have been doing calligraphy and discuss your vision and be sure the person is on the same page as you. Some calligraphers may only be proficient in a few styles, none of which fit your specific needs while others may be able to scribe in a wide enough variety of styles to design a custom style for your whole wedding.
How do you find the calligrapher that is right for you? Ask from referrals from your wedding consultant, paper and invitation retailers, or from other brides who have used calligraphers. In addition to this, many bridal websites have links pages which will take you directly to calligrapher websites. It is important to make informed decisions and get the calligrapher that is right for you. When talking about adding the special touches that make your day memorable, not only to you but to all of your guests, the calligrapher you choose is someone you want to be able to trust to make your dream day a dream come true!
- Maren Nicholas is with Dreamweaver Calligraphy in Dallas, GA, and has been a WedPlan Member since Jan 2005.