Wedding Invitation Do’s and Do Not’s

Hand-calligraphy for wedding invitation addresses sets the stage for your guests to expect an extra touch of class at the wedding.  As you prepare to finally say “I Do”, take a moment to learn how to properly organize your invitation list to make this part of the planning go smoothly for you, your new spouse, your future in-law’s and your calligrapher.
Follow the tips below and plan ahead to communicate the necessary information to make sure everyone involved understands what will be needed when they submit a guest’s name and address.

Calligraphy by Gloria has been addressing wedding invitations “by hand” for more than twenty years and will be your coach for any etiquette questions.  In today’s modern families, it sometimes is necessary to creatively adapt the rules of etiquette.  Inner envelopes also have specific style rules.

Wedding Invitation Guidelines for Hand-Calligraphy Invitations

1.   Allow at least two weeks for the calligrapher to complete addressing your envelopes.

2.   Order 15% extra envelopes to allow for mistakes and last minute additions as calligraphy is an art it is natural for a few mistakes to occur.

3.   The woman’s name should appear first on the envelope if she has kept her maiden name or if the couple is not married.

4.   Children’s names under the age of 18 should be listed by seniority.

5.   Children’s names over the age of 18, living at the same residence, should be listed by seniority.  They should also have an envelope separate from their parents.

6.   If friends are inviting a guest, obtain their name, if possible.

7.   Avoid the use of “and family” if possible.

8.   He term “Ms.” is commonly used for a single woman over the age of 21, or a professional, when marital status is unknown.

9.    If two envelopes are used the “and guest”, or name of the guest and children’s names only go on the inner envelope.

10.    The inner envelope always carries the last names only, with no address, for example: Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

11.   Organize all the names and addresses for the invitation address list exactly as you wish them to appear on the envelope (Excel Spreadsheets are popular but Word Documents also work fine).

12.    A larger envelope will showcase the fine art of calligraphy, so do keep this in mind when choosing invitations.

13.    Calligraphy fonts take up much more space than typed letters and small envelopes may not offer enough space.


14. Invitations should be mailed out 6-8 weeks in advance of the wedding, unless “Save the Date” cards were mailed, then 4-6 weeks is sufficient.

15.  Keep your sense of humor  - as long as you have extra envelopes, any name or address can be modified.

Invitations sent with beautiful hand-written calligraphy will make even guests who cannot attend your wedding wish they were there.

E-mail Gloria anytime for answers to your etiquette questions.


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Member of Chicago Calligraphy Collective -

An organization actively engaging in the study, pursuit and enjoyment of this dynamic art of letterforms!