Hand-writing invitation addresses

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XYZ1 Posts : 367 Registered: 1/7/08
Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 3:10 PM

I have a question for the etiquette-savvy among the forum posters (AOTB, Myra, Chad -- if any of you are reading this I'd love your input!). I've been planning on hand-addressing my invitations. I thought this was the correct thing to do from an etiquette perspective. I also really prefer the aesthetic look of a hand-addressed envelope -- my heart always beats a little faster when I see something in the mail addressed by hand instead of by a computer, it tells me that there's something nice inside from someone I care about.

But lately I've been seeing a lot of posts on wedding blogs from brides who say they're computer-printing their addresses because they can't afford calligraphy and they don't have nice handwriting. They seem to think that unless you have gorgeous, perfect handwriting, it's not OK to address your own envelopes. Incidentally, FH agrees with this line of thinking -- he's said several times that our envelopes would actually look
nicer if we addressed them with labels printed in a script font instead of writing the addresses by hand.

So my question is this: is it really a faux pas for me to hand-address the invitations in my regular handwriting? My handwriting is neat and legible, but I'm definitely not a calligrapher. Would writing the addresses by hand really ruin the "look" of the envelope? Advice would be much appreciated!

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 4:18 PM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

I'm far from an etiquette guru, but I think I asked (or lurked on) the same question when I was doing my STDs. It's absolutely not necessary to use calligraphy and it's absolutely acceptable to use regular handwriting on your invitations. (And I'm pretty sure it "etiquettely correct.") As long as your handwriting is legible, it's great.

I would caution you to give yourself plenty of time and extra envelopes to do it. When writing the return address on my STD envelopes, I possibly mispelled my own name a couple times toward the end when I was trying to rush.

Also, I HIGHLY recommend making a spreadsheet with exactly what you want to write on each envelope. We had one with the following columns (to be ready for outer and inner envelopes): Title (Dr/Mr/Ms); Man's First Name; Woman's First Name; Last Name; Inner Envelope; Street Address; Phone; Email. Other than a couple more complicated ones (hyphenated last names, same sex couples). This let us pretty much go straight across the spreadsheet-although I don't remember if a man or woman's name comes first on invitations though I know I have it correct at home- when we were writing so we didn't have to think about each one...making the spreadsheet took forever, but it was worth it).

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 4:21 PM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

I'd say handwrite them. My mom, sister and I handwrote mine as well as the inside envelopes and it took all of 20 mins or something.

Although Im not a huge etiquette follower, I do notice when I get an invitation that is pre-printed or labeled.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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mrspinky Posts : 3,773 Registered: 3/14/08
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 4:35 PM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

We hand wrote all of our stuff. Wedding shower invites, bridal shower invites, bach party invites, and wedding invites. I don't have the best hand writing either but what I did was get a bunch of my BM together and we had an "envelope stuffing party" lol.

Mrs. Pinky


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My mom: "Xanax does make you sleepy. it has a sedative effect. sometimes I will take a half and it really eases tension and keeps me from being less of raving bitch."

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 5:59 PM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

Dear Claire,

I'd say hand write them.

This has, in the past, been a hot topic here. Some are fervently in favor of machine-addressing for reasons of speed and legibility.

The actual etiquette rule is that machine-generated addressing is for business correspondence and hand written addressing is for social correspondence. Your wedding is social correspondence.

You need not go to the extent of expensive calligraphy. Nor need the handwriting be that of the bride herself, especially if the bride has horrible writing like mine. The handwriting should be clear and legible. If you have a friend with nice handwriting, offer to swap babysitting or an oil change in return. Or buy pizza for a group of friends all get those invitations addressed all at once, then watch some chick flick on TV.

Some say that you can get some kind of handwriting computer font that simulates handwriting.

Nope.

I can spot computer font simulated handwriting at 10 feet. In fact, I see that all the time as we get a lot of time share invitations that are designed to look like social correspondence so the recipient will open them up and not toss them in the trash right away. I can certainly tell the difference between some kind of handwriting font and real handwriting immediately. Last year, I actually opened a wedding invitation and shredded the envelope with our address thinking it was a time share ad, since it had hand writing font on the outside.

Don't even think about clear address labels. They fool no one.

Finally, to those who say they easily get writer's cramp, or they don't have time, or whatever, I ask them to remember they will have to write AND address thank you notes in their own sweet hand after the wedding. If your guest list is so huge that you can't handle handwriting the invitations, then I'd hate to think of what it will be like at thank you note time.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 11:23 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Aunt is absolutely right on the etiquette. since you have neat, legible handwriting, it's perfectly fine to address them yourself.

BUT, I must admit, I have lousy handwriting and, if I could not afford a calligrapher, I would seriously consider using a computer with a nice, handwriting font (NOT labels). I would guess that, just as handwritten invitations no longer are the standard and printed ones are totally acceptable, in this age of computers, a nicely printed invite would not offend most people.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 11:27 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Dear Myra,

I don't think it's a question of offending people. I think it's a question of getting your outside envelope mistaken for a time share ad or other business / advertising correspondence.

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 9, 2008 11:28 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Well, maybe. But the nice paper and big, bright stamp with the heart on it should take care of that LOL!

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MrsJunebug Posts : 333 Registered: 1/11/07
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 8:33 AM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

I "cheated" and sent the envelopes through my printer. We used the same font as on the invitations. At the time of getting the invites out I was seriously pressed for time between work and school and trying to wrap up other wedding details. I think Myra is right - if a thick envelope with a lovey stamp arrives, I am not likely to toss it in the recycle bin without opening it. If you have the time and legible handwriting, I see no reason to pay for a calligrapher. I don't think our guests judge our weddings as harshly as the bridal industry wants us to believe.

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XYZ1 Posts : 367 Registered: 1/7/08
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 10:43 AM Go to message in response to: MrsJunebug

Thanks for the input, everyone! I feel much less crazy for wanting to hand-address my envelopes now. :-) (Really, I just want an excuse to buy exotic colors of ink for my fountain pen. I'm a nerd, what can I say!)

MrsJunebug, I might consider letting FH have his way if we could print directly onto our envelopes like you did, but it looks like feeding the envelopes directly through our printer isn't an option -- my fiance tried this with the sample envelope, but the paper was too thick and the printer jammed :-/ (Our printer jams easily. On humid summer days it's pointless to even try printing!)

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MrsMcCain Posts : 580 Registered: 10/24/07
Re: Hand-writing invitation addresses
Posted: Dec 10, 2008 10:47 AM Go to message in response to: XYZ1

I remember responding to a post like this..... I ran mine through a printer, not because I didn't want to address them myself but they DID look a lot nicer then my own hand writing. We spent a lot of money on invitations, I designed them myself and I wanted everything to look nice. I personally felt that hand writing them would have made them look tacky.

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