Monday, July 20, 2009


First Things First!
Congratulations on your upcoming special event. I am honored that you are in interested in allowing me to be a part of your planning process. Calligraphy is such a beautiful way to make each announcement and/or invitation extra special. Receiving an envelope addressed in hand calligraphy is just one way of making your friends and guests feel important.

Would you like to add a touch of tradition to your special event? "Calligraphy for You" is a hand lettering service that I am offering to help do just that! "Calligraphy for You" specializes in addressing announcements and invitations. This would include birthday, shower, tea, wedding, and other special event stationery.

Calligraphy Style
Below is an example of my calligraphy. The traditional color is black. I do offer other color options.

Tissue Paper
Most companies that sell announcements and/or invitations include with the invitations and envelopes pieces of tissue paper. You may ask yourself, "Why is tissue enclosed with my stationery?" Long ago, the invitations for elegant events like weddings and balls were hand written with pen tips dipped in ink. In order to keep the ink from running or bleeding through the envelope, a single sheet of tissue paper was placed on top of the invitation between the wording and the envelope. Today, as many traditions are passed down, so is the use of tissue paper over the wording. Using the tissue paper is simply a matter of choice. It is just a way to keep your event details traditional.

Stuff, Stamp & Mail Service
This is great for out of town clients. You ship your invitation order and address list to me and I address the envelopes according to your custom order. Last, I stuff, stamp and mail for you!
This service is also excellent for clients who want to keep it simple for themselves! I will ask you to proof the envelopes before this is done. Upon beginning your order, I will complete one sample envelope and mail it back to you for you to approve.

Also, due to my location, I am able to have your stationery postmarked in PARADISE, PA . . . what a perfect location for wedding stationery! You will also be able to choose what type of stamp is used. Visit Click on the tab at the top of the page labeled "Buy Stamps and Shop."

On the left hand side of that page, point to "Stamps by Rate" and then choose "39-Cent First Class." There you can choose the stamp you like and let me know the title of the one you choose. I will purchase them for you closer to the finishing date when we have a definite number of invitations.

Another option for your stationery stamp is a PhotoStamp! Whether you have a wedding to announce, a new baby in the family or a photogenic birthday person, PhotoStamps are a fun and easy way to add a personal touch to your stationery! Each sheet contains 20 PhotoStamps postage labels, and the minimum order is one sheet. Please visit to learn more. If you would like to utilize this stamping option, we can discuss it further.
The price for the Stuff, Stamp & Mail Service pays for the stamps and for the job of stuffing, stamping and mailing. The rate is per envelope. If you are sending Reply Cards with your invitations, that will be an extra charge, as those will need to be stamped and stuffed as well. Please see the price list.

If you do not wish to take advantage of this option, and prefer to have all the envelopes shipped back to you, a shipping and handling charge will be added to your Invoice total.

Closing Date
The most important date is your upcoming special event! The next important, for me, is the closing date for your order. Your closing date should be one week before you would like your stationery back to you.This date will be the latest date I will ship your order. Remember to allow yourself time to stuff and stamp if you are not using the Stuff, Stamp, & Mail Service!

If you are using the Stuff, Stamp, & Mail Service, your closing date will be the date that you want your invitations mailed. Most often a safe mailing date is six weeks before the event date, particularly for wedding stationery.

However, if you are planning to invite guests that are truly long distance(such as out of the country), or if you are planning a destination wedding, you may want to extend the time a week or two. Birthday, shower, and tea invitations could be mailed two to four weeks before the event date.

If you are not using the Stuff, Stamp, & Mail Service, your closing date should be one week before you would like the envelopes back to you. This will ensure appropriate shipping time. If you are local, we can set up a drop-off and pick-up date for your stationery!

With either option, the time frame and dates will also be affected by how soon your order is placed and how soon it can be completed. I will be more than happy to help you determine your closing date. Please know that I will contact you immediately once the order form is received and evaluated.

Turn-around time: Turn-around time is the time it takes to receive, complete, and ship your order. My turn-around-time depends on the quantity of the order, and my workload at the time. Deadlines must be discussed with each client. Once a deadline is decided upon, I am reliable to meet it!

Number of Invitations
On your order form, I will need at least an approximate number of invitations you will be sending, as well as which envelopes you will be using (Outer, Inner, Reply). You can always add addresses to your list as I am working on your order, however, keep your closing date in mind. That date will be the latest date I will ship all envelopes back to you.

Services I Do and Do Not Provide . . .
I do not pen return addresses for the outer envelope or for the reply card envelopes. Sorry! Most stationery companies provide the option to print the return address using the same font as the announcement or invitation.

Also, I do not do transparent or dark colored stationery. If in question, I can always do a sample for you using your stationery. If you like the end result, I’ll be glad to pen your stationery. There are also certain textures of paper that do not "grab" ink very well. Again, if in question, I can provide a sample using your stationery.

I prefer that the envelopes not be lined as this requires extra time. I will do lined envelopes, but there is a fee.

Extra Envelopes
In case of mistakes, I’ll need extra envelopes for all orders. Please provide all of the extra envelopes included with your stationery. About 10% of the quantity of your order is usually sufficient. So, if you have 100 addresses, you should include about 10 extra outer and inner envelopes (if inner envelopes are part of your kit).

Creating and Organizing Your Address List
Your list should be in a straightforward, block style format with information exactly as you want it to appear on the envelope. Common abbreviations (except for Mr., Mrs., and Ms.) should not be used; all words should be spelled out completely (example: Road, Street, Apartment, Post Office Box, etc., as well as state names).

It is recommended that you consult a wedding guide for specific instructions regarding use of titles and names on both the outer and inner envelopes. Information may vary slightly from guide to guide concerning the finer points of etiquette.

However, most would agree that the outer envelope should have the person’s complete name and proper title (i.e. "Mr. and Mrs. Ed Carr," or "Doctor Jeff Saylor," or "Mrs. Mary Wilson "). The use of middle names is permissible but not necessary; however, the use of middle initials is discouraged. For example, the inner envelope should only say "Mr. and Mrs. Baker,"dropping the first name.

You should not use "and family" on the outer envelope if you have an inner envelope also. Otherwise it is fine to use it, but it will constitute an extra line charge (see price list). Children’s names should be listed on the second line of the inner envelope. Sometimes informal names are used on the inner envelopes for those closest to the bride and groom (i.e. "Nan," "Uncle John," or "Mom and Dad").

Be sure to remember when addressing the inner envelopes who the invitation is actually coming from : the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, a combination, or the bride and groom themselves. This will make a difference as to the informal names used on the inner envelopes.

Example: You would not want to write "Uncle John and Aunt Janie" on the Inner Envelope for an invitation going to the groom’s uncle and aunt when the invitation is actually from the bride’s parents. They would address them as "Mr. and Mrs. Last Name". Occasionally, some will choose an informal approach for many or all of their guests, using names such as "Larry and Barbara" on the inner envelope, even though the wedding guide may not recommend that form.
It is ultimately your wedding and your decision as to the level of formality and form you wish to adhere to.

Please make sure you proofread your list carefully The information you provide for me on your list will be exactly what I will write. If you abbreviate, I will as well. Upon completion of each envelope, it is carefully proofread by me in accordance with the information supplied. Typed lists are preferred, but your list may be handwritten if your writing is clear. Also, I do not like to work with lists that are in a "spread sheet format," as it is much more difficult to follow a clear "flow" of the relevant information. "Spread sheets" do just that---they spread the information out in a way that is less straightforward to work with when trying to concentrate on quality calligraphy and accuracy. The single-lined, tight spacing of a spread sheet also makes it difficult to glance back and forth with ease, as I must take just one word at a time to ensure accuracy. Please avoid spread sheets if at all possible and provide your list to me in a straightforward, block style format as shown.

*Note: If you have your address list saved in a format that can be easily
e-mailed, I will preview this list and let you know if it is acceptable. Below you will find a sample of block-style formatted list with formal inner envelopes.

Sample of block-style formatted list with formal inner envelopes:
1. Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wheeler 1. [Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler]
460 Bavarian Circle
Huntington, Arkansas 54321

2. Mrs. Edward Green 2. [Mrs. Green and Guest]
685 Foxtrot Court
Allentown, Colorado 98765

3. Doctor and Mrs. Brett Coker 3. [Doctor and Mrs. Coker]
522 Evergreen Lane Elizabeth and Tristan
Faulkville, Indiana 76543

Getting Your Order Started
First, look at the order form and make the decisions necessary to fill it out based on the information provided in the packet. E-Mail this form to me as soon as it is completed. If you do not have e-mail, you can mail back to me the hard copy that I send you.

The easiest way to communicate about your order is via e-mail: or via phone: 717-393-6235. I will respond with any questions I have or clarifications I need and accept your order. After the order is accepted, you will receive an order confirmation via e-mail or over the phone. You are responsible for shipping all necessary items to me. The first items that you will ship to me are:
* A copy of the completed order form (sent via e-mail or postal mail)
* Your complete address list in block style format!
* A sample of your outer envelope
After I preview/accept your order and your address list, I can then create the initial invoice. At the time that I mail your initial invoice, I will also mail back to you the sample invitation so that you can proof my work on your particular stationary.
Please know that if you add names after I receive your address list, your final invoice will change as will the total of your bill. Adding names is not a problem, but there is an extra fee. Once you receive your first invoice and approve the sample invitation, you will ship the second set of items:
* Partial payment (This payment option works best if you think you will be adding
more names to your address list)
* Full payment (This payment option works best if you will not be adding more
names to your address list. This payment option is
mandatory for orders less than $75.00)
* The invitations (if using Stuff, Stamp & Mail service)
* The outer envelopes
* The inner envelopes (if used)
* The reply cards/envelopes also (if using Stuff, Stamp, & Mail service)
* The tissue paper (if you want to use it and if you’ll be using Stuff, Stamp, Mail)

Rush Orders
Rush orders are dependent upon my current work load. Please contact me for availability.
Shipping and Handling
Your shipping and handling rate is figured according to your specific order. Weight, time frame and service available in your area are all determining factors. You can request a Shipping and Handling Rate Quote by sending an email to with "Shipping Rate Quote" as the subject line.

Please include in the email the zip code to which the package will be sent, if the address is residential or business, the weight of the item to be shipped and the items that will be shipped back to you. For example: "35016 residential - 150 outer and 150 inner envelopes"
--The rate given will cover shipping and handling with a secure shipping service of FedEx or USPS. Your package will be carefully handled and shipped in packaging to prevent any damage to the artwork.
--The rate given applies to regular shipping time frames (about 3 days).
--Shipping rates for any order needing expedited shipping services will be applied accordingly.

I accept payments through money order or personal check.
Payment requirements are as follows:
Order Total
Less than $75.00
Total due up-front upon receipt of Invoice*

More than $75.01
50% of the total due up-front upon receipt of Invoice*
You may pay more than 50% or the balance in full up-front
if you prefer.

I will send a Statement to you upon receipt of partial payments until BALANCE is paid.
*I will not begin working on your order until the up front payment is received. I will not ship the completed order back to you until your balance is paid.

Thank you again for your interest in my Calligraphy Services!
Stacey Wilson