RPP Studio HOW TO: Address Your Invites
So you’ve spent weeks on Pinterest, searching beautiful images of stationery that suit your theme, considering every detail from font choice to envelope colour. You’ve finally made your choice, found the designer and placed your order. Then you realise…hang on…who is going to write them all?! Perhaps your to-do list is already spiralling out of control. Or maybe you’re worried your unruly handwriting just won’t do them justice.
There is so much to think about when planning your wedding, and addressing invites is something that often gets overlooked. So I’ve put together this guide on all the options available, with tips for getting a great DIY result too.
Seek a professional
If you are really not feeling confident about addressing your invites yourself, due to lack of time or expertise, then perhaps the best option is to bring in some professional help.
There are a couple of ways you can do this; firstly, finding a stationery designer (like myself) who offers customisable designs and addressing services would be the most cost effective way. All of my designs can come either with a space for names to be written (and I offer a handwritten addressing service for 75p per card), or they can be digitally added prior to printing.
Alternatively, if you want a truly beautiful result, once you have your invites you can find a professional calligrapher who will take this on as a commission – a quick google search will bring up plenty of results in your area.
Ask a friend
If budgets are tight, but you’re worried your handwriting just won’t cut the mustard, take a look around you and see if you have a friend or family member with creative flair and a good eye for detail. I say this time and time again – people LOVE to help out with weddings, as long as your requests are fair and you offer a little something in exchange (cook them a nice meal, or buy a nice bottle of red).
Just make sure you give them clear instructions and have double checked all the spellings before you hand over the (neatly printed) list. And don’t forget to over order on your invites to ensure they don’t stress if they make the odd mistake (do this anyway, just in case!).
This may seem scary to some, but it’s what most couples do and with a little prep you can get a wonderful result.
Decide who, out of you and your partner, has the best handwriting – they get the job. The other person gets to do the bundling and envelope stuffing – between you it shouldn’t take long and will make for a lovely evening in with a glass of something and some good music (don’t do it in front of the TV: distraction = disaster when it comes to addressing invites).
Get the right tools – what pen you use will make a HUGE difference to the final result. Firstly think about what colour would suit the invite – if it’s pale, you want to keep with that and avoid black. Perhaps a fine metallic or even white if it will go over a coloured background (all of my block colour invites come complete with a white fineliner for addressing). If the text of your invite is dark, then dark grey or black will be a great choice.
Next, find a good quality pen in your chosen colour – there is no point using any old biro you have hanging around at home. No matter how beautiful your handwriting, it just won’t give a good finish that matches up to the quality of your invite. Visit a local art shop for the best selection, good advice and the opportunity to try them out. It’s always a good idea to take along one of your invites to test it on – different card stock takes up ink in different ways, so some might smudge, others might bleed – it’s always worth the cost of one invite to see if it gives the right finish.
My personal preference for black on most types of card is a fountain pen as this gives beautiful, smooth, inky lines. It won’t work well on coated papers though.
Practise – once you’ve found the right pen, spend some time practising various names and letters until you get the right look. I find I get the best result when I write quickly as it gives a smoother, more artistic look. I always have a few goes on some waste paper before starting on the invites, just to get in the flow.
Or if you’re relishing the opportunity to do the job and want your invites to have a really professional look, why not invest in a modern calligraphy workshop where you can learn some basics of calligraphy ready to start addressing with style? Quill London, for example offer these, and it could also be a really fun experience to share with your bridesmaids?
Or how about…not naming them at all?
It is becoming more and more common for couples to order invites that don’t feature individual guest names at all – I have several styles in the 2020 collection that are designed this way (and as text is customisable, any of our current styles can be ordered this way too). Not only is this a good, cost effective way of printing your invites, but it gives a lovely clean finish too.
Just don’t forget to be really clear when addressing the envelope on exactly who is invited. And if you are sending to an address where more than the invitees are living (extended family perhaps, multi-generational households, people with kids if your wedding is kid free?), perhaps consider including a handwritten note addressing those you want to invite, just to avoid any confusion.
As with all-things-wedding, there are options to suit all budgets and aesthetics so it is worth considering what is most important to you and planning from there. I am always happy to talk through options with couples in more detail, so don’t be afraid to drop me a line at email@example.com