A cheap girl's guide to addressing your wedding invitations without hiring a calligrapher

Weddings are cr-azy expensive. You can spend your future retirement fund and then some before you even say "I Do." Some of us just don't have $4 per invitation to add a cute looking address. I get it. While nothing can truly replace the artistry of true calligraphy, there has to be some kind of option between true artisan calligraphy and a chicken scratch handwriting. I'm not crazy, right? So I set out to find out the solution for the not-Beyoncé-rich among us. 

Let me start by saying this post is intended for regular, normal, non-artistic people. I enlisted my wonderfully regular, normal, non-artistic friend Kelly to prove that anyone can make a few simple changes to seriously upgrade your wedding invites without relearning how to write, taking a calligraphy class, or sacrificing months of your life to do it. (Because honestly, how fair would it be for ME to show you how to upgrade your handwriting? That's like asking a gymnast how to do a backflip. SURE, IT'S EASY FOR YOU, but what about the rest of us?) So I did a pre-test to show you Kelly's real handwriting. 

Kelly handwriting sample.jpg

Not bad, right? Just regular handwriting. When I asked her to address a sample envelope without coaching her on what to do, it looked like this: 

Her samples weren't bad. They certainly don't belong on a list of the worst handwriting ever. But they're just not... exciting. If I got that in the mail, I wouldn't think much of anything. Luckily, it's easy to make a few changes. So, without further ado:

5 simple strategies you can use to seriously upgrade your wedding invitations without hiring a calligrapher. 


My instructions to Kelly were:

  • write in lowercase letters
  • write small
  • leave spaces between each letter

The result is simple and sweet, and OH-SO-EASY, my friends. She didn't have to change her handwriting at all. That's it. I told you this tutorial was for regular people. 

Strategy #2: Go Tall

My instructions to Kelly were: 

  • use a skinny pen, not a marker
  • write in ALL CAPS
  • make your letters narrow and tall
  • when you cross an H, or an E, or an A (etc.), keep the cross mark high 

The results are quirky, fun, and cute. This one takes a second to get used to-- you might find yourself crossing letters in the wrong place, or writing your letters too short. Practice once or twice before you dive in; the results are fantastic! 

Strategy #3: Square it off

For this envelope: 

  • Write in ALL CAPS
  • Turn the left side of each letter into a skinny rectangle
  • Keep the address small
  • Keep the address to the right side of the envelope


Strategy #4: Split it up

For this style, I told Kelly: 

  • GO BIG OR GO HOME. we're trying to fill the whole envelope
  • draw a line slightly off to the left side of the envelope
  • on the left of the line, write the first names of the recipients in large cursive letters
  • on the right side of the line, write the last names of the recipients and their address in ALL CAPS

Strategy #5: Mix it up

Easy Lettering for wedding invitations

I told Kelly to MIX IT UP! Use a different style on every line: 

  • Names: all caps
  • Street address: lowercase, all spaced out
  • City/State: lowercase cursive letters
  • Zip: spaced out with dots in between each letter


Didn't I tell you? Anyone can do it. Lettering is not just for the pros. You can easily dress up your wedding invitations with a few tricks. Give it a shot. Try something new. See where it takes you, and pocket the extra $400 you saved for that beachy honeymoon bliss...