We often get asked about calligraphy for invitations and other wedding details, and I always encourage this when possible. It adds a level of detailed elegance to the event that is truly customized for your wedding. We chatted with Leah Moss, our “go-to” calligrapher about the process, and what you need to know before booking your calligrapher!
How did you get your start in the industry? I had dabbled in lettering and other art forms as a hobby since high school. In 2012, I started working as the executive assistant to the CEO of a venture capital firm – it was stressful. Calligraphy became my way to decompress after long days at work. Knowing it was relaxing to me, one of my close friends asked if I’d help address her wedding invitation envelopes. I said “of course,” but then other people who had been invited to that wedding asked who her calligrapher was. Inquiries began popping up… It’s grown as a business from there!
How do you ensure your templates are so precise? Do you use any helpful equipment? For envelopes and other small paper goods, I use a light box with a guide-sheet under my piece or a Slider Writer (it’s a laser!). For large signage work, it’s a good ole’ fashioned yard stick and a healthy dose of patience. The adage “measure twice, cut once” is definitely applicable – I always double check my measurements before writing anything.
How far in advance should couples book for your service? I take clients on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you know custom stationery or calligraphy services are something you’re interested in, get on my production calendar early! For custom design services, plan on a couple of months of working together on getting your design ready, plus another month for the printing process and envelope addressing. Add in another week for assembly, and all of that needs to get done in time to mail those beautiful invitations to your loved ones eight weeks prior to the wedding date.
What calligraphy services do you offer? 1. Custom design – I start from scratch with you to come up with the paper items of your dreams. I incorporate calligraphy, drawings, paintings, and digital elements to create a fully custom, totally unique stationery set for your big day. Illustrated maps, custom crests, floral tidbits, venue illustrations – you name it, we can make it happen! 2. Envelopes and other paper details – the “typical”… addressing envelopes, writing out escort cards, transcribing vows, lyrics, poems, and personalizing gift items on paper. 3. Signage – Mirrors, chalkboards, wooden boards – you name it, I’ll write on it! Hand-lettered signs are great for welcoming guests, reminding them of an unplugged ceremony, alerting them to sign the guest book, describing your signature drink, serving as seating charts, or giving a rundown of your menu. Lots of options for these and they’re always a beautiful addition.
What is the average cost for calligraphy wedding services? For individualized pieces (envelopes, escort cards, etc.), the estimates are priced per unit. So, the price would be very different for 50 envelopes versus 250 envelopes. For an order of 100 envelopes, plan to spend a few hundred dollars on addressing. The investment for custom design services/printing for invitation packages begins at $1,000.
Is there anything couples should know before booking your services? Your invitation is the first impression you give your loved ones about your wedding. Bringing that to life on your behalf is an honor, and it’s one I don’t take lightly. Customer service is of the utmost importance to me and I go out of my way to ensure that every detail is 100% perfect. As it should be.