Frequently Asked Questions

Whenever I get asked a question more than a handful of times, I post them up here for clients new and yet to come.  But if you don't see your question answered here, please ask away! I am an open book.

How does this all work?

Pretty, neatly, and orderly! We discuss your event and the type of product you'd like me to create. In most cases, you send me your blank materials (I can make recommendations if you'd like) and I send you back your finished product. You'll have the coolest, most lovely, personal touch to your event that will be a keepsake for a lifetime.

 

How far out do I need to book you?

The sooner the better! I generally book up for the month ahead in the month before. For envelope addressing, I ask for a 1-2 week turnaround from the time I get your envelopes and list, to when they are proofread and completed. I try to go as quickly as possible generally finish ahead of schedule, but to manage expectations in some of the busier months of year, 1-2 weeks is a safe plan. 

 

How do I send you my addresses?

Once we move forward, I will send you my ideal format for your addresses! I can work with Word, Pages, Excel, Google Docs, but I do ask for the addresses to be written vertically as opposed to horizontally across the page in columns. This makes for faster and more accurate reading, and protects me making errors. I love the smell of Scotch Tape but cutting pages to fit together takes forever.  International addresses always need to be written out EXACTLY how they should appear on the front of the envelope. (Different regions within countries, different types of housing: it all varies too much for me to be able to guess or even get one correct answer online. Since you know the guest, much safer for you to go straight to the source! Google Docs work for me, but I print out the list the first time you send it, and that’s the list I use going forward. If someone changes addresses, breaks up, or you realized you misspelled a name: totally fine! Stuff happens. Just let me know so I don't miss it! 

 

Do you design custom invitations?

Heck yes. I love designing invitations! I work with you to suss out what you want, and then I take it to my trusty sidekick and graphic designer, Tiffany, and we create the proof.  Tiffany is also an incredible artist.  She can do custom illustration as well (@tiffwilley on Insta!) We design for foil stamping, letterpress, digital, thermo, and engraving.

 

Do you print the invitations?

I wish I had the space! I have three recommended print shops (2 in NYC and 1 in LA) where they will print the files you give them, or design with you and use my lettering for the script.  All three of these places do exceptional jobs, their pricing is not over the top, and we have a great working relationship. For an additional fee, I’m happy to go with you to the shops here in NYC or coordinate in your place, but most of the choices you make at the shop are fun and easy (feel the paper and see the foil color you want to use).  Our design files give a very detailed road map for the printer to follow, so all you really have to do is approve their printed proof and give them the green light! OH, and I'll love you forever if you save me one. :)

 

Can you copy my computer font that I used for my invitations?

I completely understand why I get asked this question from time to time. Short answer is: not really. I never think it ends up looking enough like a computer, that it's arguably a better idea to not try to hard. I offer a lot of writing styles and am confident in selecting a style that will go hand in hand with your invitation style, and that will be organic to me, special to the look of your invitation suite, and live in the same desired aesthetic.  When the addressed envelope is the opener for the entire invite to follow within, the important thing is that it presents the entire package in the best way possible, and dictates what kind of wedding your guests will be coming to!  All of this having been said, when applicable and natural in my handwriting, I can certainly look at the computer font you choose and ‘lean in to it' a bit. Maybe it's changing how I do certain letters, or add more of a slant to the style I am doing, etc. But nothing handwritten will ever look entirely like a computer generated font.

 

Why do you need extra envelopes/place cards?

Alas, I am a mere mortal. I make mistakes! Sometimes it’s my brain, sometimes the ink has a mind of it's own, sometimes my dog decides to bark at the doorbell and my hand flies up in the air. And other times, I just wish that letter was a little more to the right and this way I can feel like I'm giving you the best work I can do.  Spacing on surfaces both larger than usual or smaller, all have a bit of a learning curve. The additional materials allow me to get it just right. Separate from errors on my end, there can be mistakes discovered later on the list given to me, and we need to be sure we have spares to cover those errors as well!  And if all of that wasn't TMI: when I feel as though I have room to make errors, I can go a lot faster, which gets you your pretty products even quicker!

 

 

Timing?

I work pretty quickly once you have decided on your materials and your content. I offer a turnaround of 1-2 weeks once I have received your material, depending on the project. If your event is in the months of April-August, you might want to reach out ahead of time to assure your spot.  Giving as much notice as possible is always the sure way to get everything you want, when you want it! 

 

 

Can you write on this?

A calligrapher can usually write on just about anything. I've written on everything from wood to sea glass to champagne bottles to mirrors to pumpkins to hangers to rocks. Certain materials, paper, and card stock lend itself to different kinds of ink and writing utensils. I often advise my clients to think about their ideal finished product in terms of color and style, and I can advise the proper materials to make that happen! If I am doing your invitations, envelopes, escort cards, or anything else in large quantity where mistakes could not be wiped away, make sure you order at least 20% of the total quantity in extras material to account for error, last minute additions, and changes.

 

 

Can the post office read that?

They can. Most mortals can, with no trouble. Machines can not always pick up letters, either because they are in cursive, or even because of the color they are written in. When this happens, the envelope is put aside for a human to read. This is when 99% of your envelopes will make it to their destination! However if the person has trouble reading something, this is when they will refer to your return address on the back (why I always advise that address to be in printed, easy to read, letters) and get it back to you. When this happens, we use the spares left over and make a new one! I may use a different style this time around so we can be sure it arrives. You can plan for 1%-2% to be returned to you, if any. Triple-checking your address list you send to me can also cut back on any addresses that are incorrect, which would be another reason the envelope would be returned to sender.

I always advise my clients to take their invitations to the post office and give them to an employee at the counter and ask for them to be hand cancelled. This means they will mark the envelopes with their stamp one by one (it takes very little time, and you can leave after they take them from you) rather than the envelopes getting thrown in to a big machine where they will tumble around and get a little more beat up than they would otherwise.

 

How do you price this?

Most of my pricing is the labor, and a small percent for the materials. My prices are derived from the time it takes to do one address, in a few different types of ink, paint, or pens. 

 

Can I use your handwriting for my invitations?

Of course! I can work with any stationer who designs custom invitations! I can give them my writing in the names and words you want (which I call "spot calligraphy") and they can take it from there! I love doing this.  It makes the entire invitation suite feel like they are matching accessories!