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Printed invites often need to strike a balance between formal and fun and entice recipients to attend an event. They also need to impart information in a creative and alluring way. You should carefully consider your design because all stylistic components of an invitation, from card stock to flourishes, can convey important details, including your event's tone and mood.

An invitation set can be a major expense for any event planning. According to the The Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a set of invitations and reply cards is $659, though it's not uncommon for a planner to spend as much as 10 percent of a budget on them.

A large percentage of these costs are allotted to materials, such quality inks and card stock. Typical wedding invites are created using 110-pound card stock, but you may be able to save money by choosing weights of 80 or even 65 pounds. Matte options are generally considered fine quality, while the smooth varieties can be made from recycled materials.

The ink colors you choose for an invitation can say as much about an event as the text. Blacks and greys suggest formality and sophistication, gold can convey warmth and luxury, and silver may help recipients envision festive proceedings. Light-colored inks, such as pinks and reds, are the hues of love and can announce a romantic pairing.

Unique invitation ideas

Confetti is often incorporated into wedding and party invitations to impart a sense of fun and excitement. You can place loose confetti inside the envelope along with the official correspondence for a fluid effect. If you want the confetti to be used at the event, you can affix small packets onto the invitation for easy access.

Glitter can also be an inexpensive way to add sparkle and shine to an invitation. Instantly upgrade your envelopes' aesthetic by applying glitter onto liner paper and then affixing the liner paper onto the envelope.

You can add ribbon to your invitations for extra layering, texture and depth. Use it as a border or tie it into a knot to create a bow-like effect. The simple elegance of ribbon does a grand job of suggesting gifts and hinting at femininity.

Engraving invites is an extravagant flourish in both style and cost. For the budget-conscious, thermography (a printing technique that produces raised letters) can provide a comparable stylistic feel at a fraction of the cost.

If you want to save as much money as you can while placing invitation orders, consider adding inserts. You can combine an insert with a standard invitation to provide more information about an event, provide special privileges to guests or serve as thank-you notes.

You can illicit the help of designers who can help create a unique and memorable invitation style, but customization may incur additional fees. It can also require extra planning time.

Printing invitations

When looking for professional printing services, you should visit businesses in person to become familiar with their selection of materials, including stationary. A good business will have a portfolio of sample invites and calligraphy fonts ready to be viewed. Staff should be able to answer any questions about the intricacies of invitation-making and should be ready to consult and come up with ideas that complement an event's theme.

If you want a particular style, find a printing service that specializes in its production because individual shops can use equipment with different capabilities. In addition, home-based and professional printing machines will handle card stock in their own unique ways, which can make for significant style variations.

If you're interested in saving money, consider opting for an invitation package. These typically include solutions for all mailed correspondence regarding a wedding. Save the date, ceremony, reception and response card invitations can be mixed and matched in these packages.

What is calligraphy?

Calligraphy, a form of handwriting considered an art, includes lettering with specialty pens or brushes. It's used for important invitations, official documents and artwork.

Calligraphy tools include cartridge pens, felt pens and dip pens. There are myriad techniques to work with, and a cartridge pen allows the artist to change out the nib for different letter styles.

The ink should flow smoothly, so you shouldn't change nibs or colors in the middle of a word on a calligraphy paper. Elegance is key. 

Like all forms of art, there are many techniques and styles. 

Calligraphy services

While calligraphy isn't thought of as an everyday service, there are a number of projects in which a calligrapher's services are valued. Here are some of the most popular.

Wedding invitations

One of the first things that comes to mind when people think calligraphy is wedding invitations. Hiring a calligrapher for your wedding invitations adds a wow factor and takes the invitation stress out of the bride or groom's hands. Calligraphy can also be used for the programs, place cards and table seating cards to make the event uniform.


This beautiful artform makes a lovely gift. A framed piece of calligraphy can spruce up a nursery, bedroom or even common area of your home.


Calligraphy remains an important art for graphic design and adveristing firms. 

How much does calligraphy cost?

According to, wedding calligraphy ranges from $2 to $4 per invitation, which includes addressing the inner and outer envelopes. More elaborate scripts incur higher fees.

Calligraphy on the place cards can range from 75 cents to $2 per card. A custom designed program with calligraphy can cost $150 or higher.

How to hire a calligrapher

With a range of calligraphy styles, don't be afraid to ask a calligrapher if you can see some of their work before hiring. If you've seen calligraphy fonts you like, ask if they can write similarly.

When looking into different calligraphers, think about what you've seen in the past. Did you love the look of a friend's wedding invitations? Wedding planners can typically recommend the services of a calligrapher with whom they work. 

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