Frequently Asked Questions
We consider it an absolute privilege whenever clients choose to allow us to lend our pen to their special occasions. We want to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible for those who elect to work with us. So we’ve gathered together this list of frequently asked questions in hopes that we might be able to anticipate some of the questions you might have as you go about your decision making process. If your question is not answered here, please don’t hesitate to send us a note via our contact page and we will respond as quickly as possible!
How much do you charge for envelope addressing (or Day Of Calligraphy, special projects, logo design work, Quaker Style Marriage Certificates, etc.)?
How long does it take for you to write out a set of envelopes?
Generally we require two to three weeks to complete a set of 100 outer envelopes. That may vary depending on the amount of work involved in any given project. Please contact us to see if we have availability during your desired timeframe.
How long does it take for you to write out a set of escort cards and/or place cards?
Generally we require 5-7 business days to write out Day Of materials for clients. As with envelope addressing, that timing estimate may vary depending on the amount of work required for your specific project. Please contact us to see if we have availabilty in the week or so leading up to your wedding or event.
Do you offer “rush” service?
No, we don’t offer rush service at present.
LETTERING STYLES AND INK COLORS
What sort of lettering styles do you offer? Can I see samples of your work?
We offer a wide range of lettering styles, ranging from classic and elegant to modern and fun. You can see a sample of each on the styles section of our website. You can also see examples of our past work on our home page, snippets of our work in process on our blog and places around the web where our work has been showcased our features page. Should you decide that you would definitely like to work with us, we will be happy to take a look at your invitations and give you our thoughts on which of our lettering styles might be the best complement.
Do you charge different rates depending on the lettering style I choose?
No! The pricing remains the same regardless of the lettering style you select.
Do you offer computer-generated calligraphy?
All of our calligraphy is created by hand, by Michele, using fine inks and pen nibs. We do not offer computer-generated calligraphy.
Can you replicate the typographical font used on the invitations we purchased from our stationer?
No, we are unable to copy specific fonts. We are hopeful, however, that by offering such a large variety of lettering styles that we will be able to point you towards one that will be a lovely complement to your invitations.
We would love to use charcoal gray (or green or orange or brown or gold…) ink on our envelopes. Do you charge extra for that?
We are happy to use an ink color other than traditional black at no additional charge. We have written out projects in every color you can imagine, from hot pink to grass green to metallic gold and everything in between.
Do you use waterproof ink?
Yes! We would hate for you to have even the slightest worry about sending your freshly-inked envelopes out during less-than-ideal weather, so we use waterproof ink on all of our envelope projects.
Do you have the ability to write on shiny metallic paper?
Yes, we have written out many sets of “shiny envelopes.”
Has any of your calligraphy been featured in print in wedding magazines and/or online in wedding blogs?
We are thrilled to say that our work has been featured in a myriad of places, from print publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Southern Living, Southern Weddings, Southern Living Weddings, Weddings Unveiled, Destination I Do, Washington Post Express, Washingtonian, Washingtonian Mom and Washingtonian Bride & Groom (the latter of which named us “One to Watch” in 2012 and “Top Vote Getter” in 2014 in its elite Washington’s Best Vendor Guide) to blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Ruffled, Oh So Beautiful Paper, 100 Layer Cake and many more. Our work also appeared in Abby Larson’s gorgeous book, Style Me Pretty Weddings, and a book called I [Heart] Stationery, by UK-based author Charlotte Rivers. You can find links to many of the places where our work has been shown on our featured page.
Do you have examples of how your calligraphy has been used in real weddings and parties?
Yes! Happily, many of our clients have had their weddings and events featured in magazines and wedding blogs such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Washingtonian Bride & Groom, Style Me Pretty, Oh So Beautiful Paper and elsewhere. You can find links to features on many of our clients’ weddings (and parties!) on our Real Weddings page.
Can we read reviews from some of your past clients?
We have reviewed your lettering styles and pricing structure and we would really like to work with you! How do we go about booking your services?
That’s wonderful news! The next step is to see if we have availability within your desired timeframe. We book our calendar up to nine months in advance, filling it on a first-come, first-served basis, so please contact us to see if we will be able to ink you into our calendar. (We hope we can!!)
Assuming you have availability on your calendar, how shall we get our envelopes (or seating cards, etc.) to you?
Thanks for asking! Once you have a confirmed spot on our calendar, we can set a time for you to drop your envelopes or seating cards off at Meant To Be Calligraphy’s design studio, which is located near the Del Ray area of Alexandria. Alternately, you can ship your envelopes or paper stock to us (we will provide the shipping address once you have a confirmed spot on our calendar). Once your project is complete, you may either pick it up in person or we can ship it back to you at your cost via courier (for those local to the Washington, D.C. area), USPS, Fed-Ex or UPS. Please note that tracking and insurance will need to be added to any packages that we ship to you.
Do we need to include extra blank envelopes (or seating cards) beyond the number that need to be written out?
Yes! We always ask our clients to include additional blank paper stock, ideally 20 percent, beyond the number that need to be written out. These extra envelopes/seating cards/table markers, etc. act as a buffer against ink smudging and splattering, which is an unfortunate (and regular) occurrence when real ink is used.
In what format should we send you our address list?
Great question! Here are some thoughts to keep in mind as you are pulling together the address list:
We will need to receive the addresses electronically, as two separate Microsoft Word documents, one for the inner envelopes and one for the outer envelopes (assuming you have both).
Please format the list(s) the way you’ll want the envelopes to be written out. For example, if you would like for us to use an ampersand instead of “and” between Mr. & Mrs., please use an ampersand on your list. If you would like Apartment 504 to be written out completely (versus abbreviating it to Apt. and keeping it on the same line as the street address), please spell it out that way and give it its own line on your list. If you would like for us to spell out the names of the states, please spell them out on your list, etc.
The reasons we ask to have the list(s) prepared this way are fourfold: first, it’s really difficult for us to read across a spreadsheet as we work, so we much prefer for the outer envelope list to be stacked, i.e.:
City, State Zip
Second, we will write everything out exactly as you have it on your list so that the finished envelopes appear just as you want then to look.
Third, we will write out the outer envelopes first and then the inner envelopes, hence our request for separate lists (but we will keep each set in order, so you can just set each stack side by side and it should make for easy stuffing).
And finally, since our rate is by the line, we want to be sure that the end cost is exactly what you expect it will be (we won’t add any lines unless absolutely necessary for space reasons and will ask you before we do, should it become necessary).
In what format should we send you our seating card list?
For name-and-seating assignment escort cards, please send the list electronically as a Microsoft Excel file. Please put the name of the guest in a single cell in Column A and the seating assignment adjacent in Column B. This will help us be certain what exactly is to go on each card.
For name-only place cards, we also prefer a Microsoft Excel file, sent electronically. Please put each name in a single cell in Column A, just as you wish each to read.
As with envelope addressing, we will write everything out exactly as you have it on your list, so please be sure to proof your list prior to sending so that every name is spelled correctly. Thanks!
After our order is complete, we may need to have additional envelopes or seating cards written out. How does that work?
As long as our schedule allows, we are more than happy to accommodate stragglers and changes after your order is complete. Please note that such requests will be subject to a $25 set up fee plus the cost of the actual work. You will also be responsible for postage/packaging costs if the stragglers need to be shipped back to you.
Do you require a deposit?
At present, we do not require a deposit, but we do appreciate and require payment in full upon completion of the finished work.
What sort of payment do you accept?
We can accept cash or a check, made out to Meant To Be Calligraphy. At present we do not accept credit cards for custom work.
CUSTOM DESIGN WORK
I’d like to discuss my project with you. Can we chat by phone or meet in person?
Certainly! Please use our contact form to give us a general sense of what you have in mind and we will be in touch shortly thereafter to set up an appointment for a phone consultation or, if needed, an in-person meeting.
Can you create a custom return address stamp for me?
Yes! We offer custom calligraphy return address stamps, custom calligraphy stationery letterhead stamps, custom gift tag stamps and more via our etsy site. Typically it takes about two weeks to complete each stamp once the order has been placed. At that point it is sent to you via US mail.
Can you to create a stamp in one of the lettering styles shown on your site other than just the three shown on Etsy?
Yes! Place an order for one of the stamps listed and just let us know in the “Notes” section which of other lettering styles you actually prefer.
Can you create a custom monogram/complete invitation suite/write out just our names for use on our soon-to-be-letterpressed invitation, etc.?
Yes! Please see our pricing page for our rates for those types of design projects and then share the details of your project with us via our contact form. We will let you know if we have availability and, if so, will be thrilled to create gorgeous calligraphy suitable for mass reproduction. We are also always delighted to collaborate with stationery designers and printers and to have our lettering incorporated into their designs.
Do you offer custom chalk work for signage, seating charts, etc.?
Yes! We love working with chalk and chalk ink. Please use our contact form to tell us what you have in mind and we get back to you with our availability and an estimate. Please note that you must provide the chalkboard(s).
Do you offer logo design and branding work?
Yes! We absolutely love helping clients with branding. Our package includes an initial consultation, followed by ten pencil sketches and three inkings, plus any revisions, with the final design inked and delivered electronically as a high-resolution PDF. Please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you with our availability.
Can you create artwork for a tattoo/write out our wedding vows/create artwork for a child’s room/write out my favorite poem, etc.?
Yes! We love to tackle special projects and our work extends well beyond just addressing envelopes. Please tell us more about what you have in mind via the contact us form and we will let you know if we are available to assist as well as give you a cost estimate for your special project.
Can you inscribe the guest book for our wedding/write a message inside an ancient super-valuable book/write on this one-of-a-kind photograph, etc.?
Possibly. We do not, as a rule, take our pen to original source material because we can not always know how real ink will react to a given piece of paper and we live in fear of ruining precious belongings with ink gone wild. So we would not feel comfortable writing directly on one of the pages of your guest book or writing a message directly inside of that ancient tome or writing directly on that very special, irreplaceable photograph. But we would be very willing to chat with you about alternatives, such as writing on a book plate which could then be affixed to the book or writing on the mat of a photograph versus the photograph itself.
Can you create a family tree for us?
Possibly. Family trees can be fairly complicated, so we would need to know the exact information you would want to include as well as what size paper, etc. and desired deadline before we could assess our availability and/or send along an accurate estimate of pricing.
Can you create a Katuba for us?
Unfortunately, we are not versed in Hebrew, so we do not offer Katubas.
Can you create a super formal certificate of appreciation or achievement for our association or agency or thinktank?
No. We’re so sorry, but we do not offer certificate design services and we take on certificate fill-in work on a very limited basis.
CLASSES AND ON-SITE EVENTS
I really want to learn calligraphy! Do you offer classes?
Yes! As featured in Southern Living magazine, Washingtonian Magazine and Washington Post Express, we are pleased to share that we teach monthly workshops in the Washington, DC area (as well as occasionally elsewhere in such places as Charlottesville, Chicago, Middleburg and Baltimore) and we would love to have you join us! You can find out information on and register for the classes we teach here: Introduction to Contemporary Pointed Pen Calligraphy. For returning students, we offer both our Continuing with Pointed Pen Calligraphy workshop quarterly as well as our less formal, monthly Calligraphy Study Table sessions.
We are having an event and we think it would be fantastic to have a calligrapher on site to create custom note cards (or write our custom valentines or New Year’s resolutions or something similar) for our guests as takeaway favors. Do you ever do on-site calligraphy?
Yes! We are able to appear at select events with pen and ink in hand to surprise and delight party-goers with a live demonstration of our craft. Please contact us to let us know more about what you have in mind.