Guess what arrived?
I’ll give you a hint: the package came from CatPrint, and the contents are printed on yummy 118lb cotton cardstock. As soon as I saw Miss Panther’s save the dates, I bookmarked CatPrint, and made a note that they carried cotton paper, like the stuff used for letterpress.
Three separate cards, all cellophaned together! That’s all you get to see right now, because this parcel arriving gave me a good kick in the pants to get going on our envelopes. Now, ye olde etiquette books (and some of ye newe etiquette books) recommend you address your wedding invites by hand. No, thank you, I say to that! My writing isn’t the nicest, plus I’d end up with a hand cramp. That isn’t to say I don’t love the look of calligraphy—I just didn’t want to do it myself. I decided that the next best option was to send the envelopes through our printer, and get the printer to print directly on them with a calligraphed font. People could choose to believe (or not) that my writing is just that pretty.
The first thing we had to do was choose a font, which was an exercise in itself! I went to DaFont.com and checked out their calligraphy and handwritten sections, opening each one I liked in a new tab. I soon noticed a trend: all but one of the fonts I loved was by the designer Jellyka Nerevan. I guess we’re just on the same wavelength? I downloaded my favourites (14 or so) then typed our address up in each font, 7 to a page, and printed 2 pages for Cinnamon Buns and I to look at together. We went over those sheets with a pen, crossing out the bad choices, make notes (bold? Bigger?) then I went back and printed out the ones that made the cut, played with sizes and bolding, etc. We got it down to two: Jellyka St Andrew’s Queen and Jellyka Estrya’s Handwriting. We checked with both our parents to see what they thought, and if they thought St Andrew’s Queen was legible enough for the post office. St Andrew’s Queen was my favourite, and everyone thought it would be fine for the postal system! Here is a sample (speaking of Queens”¦) :
Swirly, but not too crazy! The part I loved about this font was that it has a heart character. DaFont shows you all the characters included, and what you need to type to get them. To get the cute heart, you have to type |. Our return address is in the top left corner, we put “First Name <3 First Name” in St Andrew’s Queen, using the heart shape, and then we put our actual address in a ”˜regular’ font, as the return address was so small it was a little hard to read with all the swirls.
I printed a few envelopes, and realised that the toner was rubbing off! I tried changing some printer settings (we have a Samsung laser printer) and did you know printers can have altitude settings? I tried everything I could, but the toner still rubbed off easily when I swiped a finger over it. I hopped on my bicycle (first bike ride of the year, it was awesome and warm, now we’ve had another dump of snow. Sad face.) and rode over to a local art supply store not seven blocks from here and one block from our venue. I bought some fixative—artists use this type of thing when they’ve done something in charcoal, which will just continue to rub off if you touch it. I even found a low-odour, for-indoor-use can of the stuff!
I printed a few envelopes at the time and ran them out to the paper-covered coffee table without touching the fronts until I had a full coffee table. Then I gave it all a good spray.
Printing the envelopes was fairly easy. I used Excel and Word and mail merged the envelope document. If your addresses are in an Excel spreadsheet, you’re good to go! Mail merges are one of those really handy things I’ve picked up while temping—I think I picked up most of my love for Excel and Word while temping! As long as the Excel file with your addresses has nicely labeled columns (Name, Address, City, Province, Postal Code, Country, etc) a mail merge will allow you to put those ”˜fields’ wherever you want them, and when you press the ”˜merge’ button, you get one page/label/envelope per line of your Excel document with the fields filled in just as they are in Excel. If the idea baffles you, try Googling ”˜mail merge’ and your version of Word.
I printed the envelopes one by one through the bypass tray of the printer. I’d just click on the page/envelope I wanted to print (the mail merge created a 60+ page document where each page was a new envelope), click print, and select ”˜current page.’ I found this was the best way to prevent paper jams. Clicking on each envelope individually also gave me a chance to check the address and make and tweaks I needed to—I did find with the font we chose that it helped to space out postal codes: A 8 A 8 A 8 was way clearer than A8A 8A8.
I gave Cinnamon Buns the task of printing our address on the RSVP envelopes. This was less easy because the envelopes were smaller, and the printer wasn’t such a huge fan of the A2 size, but he persevered and got them done. I’m very happy that he was the one wrestling with the printer for that task, after doing all the big envelopes myself!
Printing ”˜calligraphed’ envelopes: etiquette no-no, or fine in the computer age?