Nov 23

Digital Addressing vs. Traditional Calligraphy

When considering how to address your wedding envelopes, you have two choices: digital addressing or traditional calligraphy. Each choice has both pros and cons, so while digital addressing may be the better option for one bride, traditional calligraphy may be preferable for another. Read on to find out which you ought to choose as you prepare your invitation suite!


How to choose between Digital Addressing and Traditional Calligraphy


Digital Addressing

If you are planning on a short engagement, it may be best to choose digital addressing. With this option, your guests’ addresses can be printed with your invitation suite, saving time. When choosing between digital addressing and traditional calligraphy, you should also factor in the wedding budget that you and your partner have decided upon. Pricing for digitally printed envelopes has a wide range—typically anywhere from $150 to $275—so always do your homework before committing to your choice. Still, it is usually less expensive than hiring a calligrapher.

In general, a pro of digital addressing is that it will provide your invitation suite with a uniform look, matching the rest of the elements you have chosen to include. In addition, digital addressing ensures that each and every envelope will be printed with a legible address. The post office will thank you!

There are, however, some cons to digital addressing. Some traditionalist guests may not like that you have chosen to digitally address your envelopes, as it doesn’t accord with traditional etiquette and lacks a personal touch. This option also requires much less time than traditional calligraphy, thus cutting artistry out of the process and leaving you with stacks of envelopes collecting dust until it’s time to send them out six to eight weeks before your wedding.


How to choose between Digital Addressing and Traditional Calligraphy


Traditional Calligraphy

When hiring a professional calligrapher, it is less easy to predict when your envelopes will be ready, as this largely depends on the size and type of the project you have given them, as well as their availability. That being said, a typical turnaround time is two weeks. If you think you want to go this route, keep in mind that really good calligraphers book up quickly. Therefore, you should make it a priority to get on the schedule of your calligrapher of choice as soon as you can! As for pricing, professional calligraphers usually charge anywhere from $3 to $5+ per envelope.  The price of their work is a reflection of many factors, including style, turnaround time, and the use of special materials such as custom ink shades or metallics.

One pro of choosing traditional calligraphy is that it is a staple of wedding tradition and etiquette. What could be more classic and romantic than receiving a hand-lettered envelope in the mail? And, because each envelope has been handwritten, each exudes a personal touch that is simply lacking with the use of digital addressing. Each stroke of the pen is unique because each has been produced by a human, rather than a machine. This lends elegance to your entire invitation suite that cannot be matched.

Despite these pros, there are cons to choosing traditional calligraphy. If your dream is to have a large wedding with all of your family, friends, and acquaintances present, then this option can get very pricy very fast. Also, the particular style that a calligrapher uses can sometimes be difficult to read. This may be problematic for the post office, resulting in your invitations taking longer to reach your prospective guests.

Whether you choose digital addressing or traditional calligraphy, we always recommend ordering extra envelopes just in case! You don’t want any of your invitees to miss out on a beautiful envelope addressed to them. In addition, if you are leaning toward traditional calligraphy, know that Turnage and Watts works with a wonderful calligrapher, Caitlyn Jane! Caitlyn offers envelope addressing, escort cards, table numbers, and event signage. You can find her here.

We love helping to answer your questions on all things wedding stationery! For advice on how many wedding invitations you should order, head over here.


How to print addresses for your wedding invitations


Flatlay and photography by @thestyledstockshop and @socialsquares