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CostHelper > Weddings  > Calligraphy

Calligraphy Cost


How Much Does Calligraphy Cost?

 
low costPlace Cards: 75 cents to $2 eachaverage costWedding Invitations: $2 to $4 eachhigh costCustom Program: $150+

Calligraphy, an elaborate form of lettering, is often seen on wedding invitations, program booklets, place cards and table seating cards. Wedding calligraphers are artisans who produce elegant script on envelopes and other stationery by hand, and fees typically go up with experience.

Typical costs:

  • Wedding calligraphy typically ranges from $2 to $4 per invitation, which includes addressing the inner (1 line of text) and outer envelopes (3 lines of text). Most companies allow consumers to hand-pick services, such as outer envelopes only, for a cost savings of about 25%.
  • In general, more elaborate script styles will incur a higher fee by 25% to 30%. Ask about the different tiers of calligraphy available.
  • In addition to invitations, wedding calligraphy on place cards and table seating cards (or escort cards) typically ranges from 75 cents to $2 each (the consumer supplies the stationery).
  • Custom-designed with calligraphy, a wedding program can cost $150 and up. For custom calligraphy design or artwork, which typically combines calligraphy with images or special characters, expect to pay $50 to $75 per hour. These designs usually appear on the program or invitation as a logo of sorts; an example of custom design would be the couples' names in Arabic script or a floral design intertwined with the words.
Related articles: Wedding Invitations, Save The Date Cards

What should be included:
  • A professional calligrapher has samples of his or her work and should be able to produce a variety of different types of script. He or she may even belong to a professional trade group or society, and will have references available.
  • Before signing a contract with the calligrapher, discuss what will be included in the order (inner and outer envelopes, or just outer), as well as a quality guarantee. Know when the invitations, names and addresses need to be provided, and the date the calligraphy will be completed.
Additional costs:
  • Extra lines of text typically cost 75 cents to $1. If addressing an invitation with two complete names (Bob Smith and Jeannette Fisher), this typically requires purchasing an extra line. A return address on the outer envelope usually falls in the extras category.
  • An additional flourish such as a flower or symbol typically costs 50 cents to $1.50 per envelope.
  • Custom or metallic ink colors often add 10% to the total order cost. Some companies charge a flat fee of 50 cents per invitation when using anything other than black ink.
  • If the envelopes must be treated before calligraphy can be applied (the paper is shiny or difficult to write on), add a minimum of 50 cents per envelope.
  • Some calligraphers will seal, stamp, and mail wedding invitations for an additional fee. Expect to pay 50 cents extra per invitation, not including the cost of the stamp. Keep in mind that it won't be possible to proofread the envelopes before they are mailed.
  • Expect to pay standard shipping of $10 to $20 for the batch to be sent back to you if you are mailing the invitations yourself.
Discounts:
  • Lettering Elegance offers free standard shipping for orders over $100, and an additional 12% discount for providing invitations to the calligrapher three weeks in advance.
Shopping for calligraphy:
  • The Knot[1] explains the seven basic types of calligraphy script and recommends choosing one that will reflect the style of wedding. When shopping for a calligrapher, view their style sheets to confirm they can adequately produce script in the style preferred.
  • Martha Stewart Weddings[2] suggests looking for a calligrapher up to six months before invitations need to be mailed, and booking at least four months in advance.
  • When looking for a local calligrapher, Cynscribe[3] lists calligraphy guilds by state. Try contacting a local guild for a referral.
  • Using Word or Excel, type out a list of names and addresses (with street names and states spelled out) to avoid misspellings. Make sure to provide the calligrapher with at least 10% more envelopes than invitations, in case there are mistakes.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Why calligraphy costs so much...
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Cora Taylor, Calligraphy Studio in Irvine, CA.Posted: November 29th, 2021 01:11PM
Number of Invitations: 100Number of Other Cards: 100
As a veteran calligrapher, my rates fall in this range.
The rates may seem outside the budget but the skills and time required take many years to learn, not something that can be learned over a weekend or a YouTube video. I specialize in Spencerian Script and Copperplate forms (not "modern calligraphy" or "bouncy calligraphy"). I can address no more than about 6 or 7 envelopes per hour so I'm not getting rich from this. I am passionate about my work, though. They're breathtaking, showstopping works of art that the addressee is surprised and delighted to receive -- and not likely to ever throw away. Absolutely worth the expense if the budget allows for this.
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Or learn simple DIY calligraphy to save $$$!
Amount: $23.00
Posted by: Harriet in London, Other.Posted: August 20th, 2010 04:08AM
Number of Invitations: 72Number of Other Cards: -
Other Items: envelopes
Bought an italic calligraphy fountain pen, ink, cream 100gsm paper and matching envelopes. Taught myself a cursive calligraphy script, a kind of italic, which looked elegant and legible, and wrote all the envelopes myself. Wrote the invitation leaving a space for the name, then borrowed a scanner, scanned it and printed 72 of them, then added the individual names. This only works if you've got a few evenings spare to learn the calligraphy and then it took me another two evenings to write the envelopes. And of course I had a friend with a scanner, and my own printer. (Though you could write the invitations by hand too.) So, it's not exactly light on time. However comparing with the price estimates above (which are lower than my local calligrapher was offering) I still saved the equivalent of about 150 AT LEAST and also all the writing on my invitations matched -- recipients were impressed with the fact that the whole invitation was handwritten in the same style.
There are some online calligraphy tutorials at http://www.calligraphy-skills.com where new pages get added pretty regularly; or try cynscribe (linked above) for other DIY calligraphy sites.
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External Resources:
  1.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-invitations/articles/wedding-calligra...
  2.  www.marthastewartweddings.com/225469/calligraphy
  3.  www.cynscribe.com/usaguilds.html
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