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1. Invitations should be mailed out 6-8 weeks prior to your event.
2. The further in advance you reserve the calligrapher the better. This is particularly important for summer and fall events when demand is high.
3. Ideally, you should get your list and envelopes to the calligrapher 3 weeks before the mailing. If that point has already passed, don't fret, I can almost always find a way to get it done.

address list

1. Give the calligrapher the exact wording for both the inner and outer envelope.
2. Spreadsheets are difficult for the calligrapher to read. If the names and addresses are in a spreadsheet simply merge them into a Word document and list each invitee as you want it to appear on the envelope. For example:
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Smith
317 North Wedding Avenue
Chapel Bell, North Carolina 12345

inner envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Mary and Thomas
(children are listed on the inner envelope)

If you don't know how to merge it into a Word document, don't panic, 90% of the time I can take your information and create a working list.
3. Don't use fancy fonts. The more legible the better. A serif font like Times New Roman is great. Don't italicize.
4. Avoid faxing if possible. Faxes often shrink the original and blend letters. If you must fax, uses a serif font such as Times New Roman and a 12 or 14 point size.
5. Don't forget to invite: Officiant (rabbi, priest, reverent, judge, etc), Bride and Groom/Guest of Honor, Bridal Party members, Close family. Don't laugh! All of these have been forgotten at some point.

zip codes

The US Postal Service website www.usps.com is a great resource for finding and checking zip codes.

mailing your invitation

1. Use commemorative stamps. The love stamp is nice but predictable. Stamps change regularly. Usually the full current selection can be seen and ordered from the USPS website. www.usps.com
2. OR the Postal Service has developed a way to design your own stamp with your image. That's a fun way to personalize your invitation. www.photo.stamps.com
2. Don't just drop your invitations into a mailbox or into a bin at the post office. The thickness of the invitations can result in them being torn up in the highly automated postal service. Take the envelopes to the counter at your postal office and request hand-cancelling. Some offices may do it for you, and others may give you the rubber stamp and allow you to postmark the envelopes yourself. Once completed, return the envelopes to the counter.


Despite the best of plans, due to late responses, changes, etc, most often, the guest list & seating is not finalized until the weekend prior to the event. As a result, placecards need to be turned around very quickly which is easy to do if I know they are coming and can schedule well in advance the time needed to complete them. So informing me ahead of time about placecards is key.

Just a reminder on format. Traditionally, placecards do not include first names. For example, the cards would read:

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson
not Mr. and Mrs. Tim Johnson
The exception is when there are more than one Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. In that case, add the initial T. Or, if that is also in conflict, list the whole name.

Children receive their own placecard.