After posting photos our Save The Dates, a lot of people commented on my “amazing penmanship” or “beautiful calligraphy”, well guess what? I faked it. Are you totally disappointed now? There are a lot of ladies out there with incredible everyday handwriting or mad calligraphy skills. I for one, am not one of those ladies. My everyday handwriting is okay, it’s sort of a mixture between cursive and print which allows me to be a note taking fool. Thanks college! My parents both make fun of my handwriting saying I can only get three words to a line of paper. Which is probably true.
My handwriting is definitely not handwritten invitation worthy, so I thought, “why don’t I just find a cool scripty
font typeface and print them all out? It would save time and hand cramps! But after reading my Emily Post’s guide to wedding etiquette book cover to cover I knew this wasn’t an option. As I mentioned here, all formal invitations or announcements must be handwritten. It makes them more personal. And I’m all about making things feel personal, so I had to come up with something! Derek’s poor mother tried to teach me how to use caligraphy pens, but I was seriously calligraphy challenged. It felt like I was learning to write all over again. I should also mention that I hold a pen like a toddler, and that calligraphy doesn’t allow for such cave man-esque behavior. So I gave up.
After scrolling through all of my downloaded typefaces, I had an idea! What if I print out the address very lightly and trace it with a fancy pen? My years of art classes and model building reminded me that I have a very steady hand. Perfect! So I typed up everyone’s addresses into a Pages document using their #10 envelope template.
I chose HaloHandletter as my main typeface, and because I don’t like the way scripted numbers look I decided to use Futura Std Light for a more modern number. I think they ended up balancing each other out quite nicely, if I do say so myself! I also made the executive decision to place all apartments, townhomes, and condos on a separate line, while also putting all zip codes on their own line and spacing out each number. Because names and street addresses can be very “wide” on an envelope, I thought that this helped it look a little more uniform.
I printed them out using a medium grey text rather than black so that I could barely see them to trace over. I initially used a light grey which looked dark on screen, but once I printed it out it was completely invisible! So medium grey worked best for me, but it honestly just depends on your printer. After running all of the envelopes through I flipped them around in order to print the return address on the back of each envelope flap. I thought about handwriting this part too, but I decided that printing it would make the envelopes look more custom.
Once that was all said and done it was time to start tracing. I was so nervous about this part, that I tested it out on a few scrap envelopes first. I actually tried out several different pens to see which flowed better, was smoother, didn’t bleed, looked nicest, etc. I ended up settling on an old favorite #05 Micron pen from my early mornings in Architectural Delineation class. It was definitely a challange at first, and I had to really take my time on each letter.
At first I had planned on maybe doing 20 or so envelopes a night until I was done, but as I got used to the way each letter was shaped and connected to the next letter, I was zipping through these like it was my real handwriting! I even stopped to see if maybe my handwriting had morphed into this new beautiful version, and tested it out without a template to trace. It was close but no cigar. I still badly needed the template as a guide. Darn!
Within a couple of hours my hand was numb and all 75 of my envelopes were complete! I had such fun with this method that I can’t wait to try it out on our formal wedding invitations too!