Wedding calligraphy and the postal system – will your envelopes make it to your guests’ doors?

Hello everyone! I have a little calligraphy post for you this morning, which I thought I’d share after reading some comments on (my top favourite!) Oh So Beautiful Paper blog. Whether you’re writing your own envelopes in a quirky script, using a calligraphy font or hiring a calligrapher (I’m available!) you should consider how easy your addresses are to read.
handwritten calligraphy address example (2)

Two things to watch out for if anyone’s thinking of hiring a calligrapher or learning:

1. The house name or number must be crystal clear. Watch for 1s that look like 7s and if you’re not sure, don’t embellish simple numbers. Clarity is more important than a fancy flourish.

2. The post code should be the most legible thing on the envelope. Again make sure the numbers and letters aren’t overly flourished here.

In the UK envelopes are sent through the Royal Mail sorting depots and usually go through machine readers. If the machine can’t read the address they’re sorted by hand.

To my knowledge this will be the route most calligraphied envelopes take. So you’re relying on a human being – imagine it’s your post man – to read the calligraphy. This person will be very used to reading all kinds of lettering, but they see thousands of letters… so as long as they can read everything on your envelope, you’ll be fine!

handwritten calligraphy address example (1)

See more of my calligraphy at

I hope this helps someone! claire gould calligrapher signature

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



  • Nathan @ Artemis Stationery
    7 years ago

    Hadn’t considered readability before but that is definitely a worry if you go all scripty. Sometimes I think if you’re going for more elaborate invites you need to just make sure the outer layer is sturdy and can survive the post – which can be quite brutal. Then start the amazing presentation inside. Going for computer printed labels is also a good idea if you’re pushed for time.

    • Claire Gould
      7 years ago

      Hi Nathan,
      It’s a good point; contrasting styles can work well and I think a simple envelope works well with calligraphy; a decorative envelope can look nice printed. The key thing is to make sure it gets there!
      Oh, and you’ve reminded me: writing envelopes by hand can take a very, very long time! Worth bearing in mind for DIY brides and grooms!

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