The MoBster Diaries

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Should Wedding Invitations Be Hand-addressed?

Simple answer? Yes.

I’ve heard all the arguments against hand-addressing and for pre-printed labels: nobody pays attention to the envelope, handwriting etiquette comes out of a pre-typewriter/computer age, anyone who cares about a label stuck on an envelope is petty. Well, the list goes on and on. Just follow some of the online discussion groups. It’s enough to sadden the heart of a lover of pens, inks, and fine paper. Sigh.

But let’s put this to a simple test.

You go to your mailbox, pull out a stack of mail, and start flipping through it. Bill, bill, flyer, ad, flyer, hand-addressed envelope, bill, ad, bill. Which one comes to the top? Which one do you open first, even if you don’t recognize the handwriting? I guaran-damn-tee you that hand-addressed envelope gladdens your heart in a way that no pre-printed label (even if from a friend) does. 

Why is that? Because it’s personal. It’s warm. Real ink on real paper. Someone took the time to address a card, letter, or invitation to you. Even if the script is hard to read, that’s the envelope that gets your attention. And isn’t that the feeling you want from your friends and family as they pull your wedding invitation from their mailboxes? “Oh, boy! Something wonderful!”

kate baptism addressing 4Your wedding invitation is the most important invitation you’ll ever send. You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on just the right paper, printing, design, and shape of these invites. It takes a wizard to assemble all the pieces correctly, tucking those darned thin tissue separators in-between the various response cards, directions, reception meal preferences, etc.

And you’re going to slap a pre-printed label on this work of art? Well, you may as well run off a few hundred “Come to Our Wedding” flyers on the old Xerox machine. All the expense for lovely paper and printing is for nought.

Elegant Scribbles Variety (v)If you have lousy handwriting, don’t want to bother, or are short of time, you have several options:

Call in your friends! Or family. You must know someone with lovely, readable handwriting. Ask a friend or two, a cousin, even friends’ mothers, to hand-address your invitations. Folks are always asking you “How can I help” in the run-up to your wedding, so take ‘em up on it. Have an invitation-addressing party (no wine until everything’s addressed!). This is your least expensive option. However, I suggest a gift card or bottle of wine as payment for this valuable service.

Call in a calligrapher. This is the most expensive and time-consuming route, but there is some beautiful, interesting calligraphy out there. Check online for a calligrapher near you. Most have websites with samples of their work.

Call in a hand-addressing service. I say this not in my own self-interest as partner in a handwriting/addressing service called Elegant Scribbles. Hand-addressing services are available in most places, or, like Elegant Scribbles, can serve clients in other locations. A hand-addressing service is sort of the best of both worlds – you get lovely hand-addressed invitations at a fraction of the cost of a calligrapher, plus a quick turn-around time.

Square LogoOf course, Elegant Scribbles would love to help with your invitations, but even if you opt for a friend, a calligrapher, or a local hand-addressing service, I beg you to hand-address those glorious wedding invitations of yours.

People will notice. Whether they admit it or not.

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posted by MaryB at

1 Comments:

  • This is so true -- yesterday we received a wedding invitation that just had labels stuck on for both from and to addresses (plain white) I didn't realize at first that it was even a wedding invitation - definitely made a poor first impression of the event!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM  

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