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                 by Catharine Hoffmaster
 Frequently Asked Questions
about addressing envelopes
How do I place an order?
1) Submit the "Get a Quote" form to check Catharine's availability to complete your 
envelopes and receive an estimate within 24 hours (excluding holidays).
2) Then inform Catharine you would like to proceed with reserving a time slot.
Details about submitting your online deposit (usually $50) to reserve a time slot will
will be provided promptly.
3) Receipt of your deposit and your reserved time slot will be verified the same day. 
You will be emailed all the information about shipping envelopes to Catharine,
submitting your guest list and a detailed schedule for completing your envelopes.

How many extra envelopes should I order?
A minimum of 10 extra envelopes is recommended (for 50 to 100 adresses).  For 100+ to 300 addresses, 25 extra evelopes is recommended.  Extra envelopes are needed for "casualaties", address changes and additions to your guest list.  Remaining envelopes will be returned to you.

Can I make a change to the lettering style &/or color after I have received the estimate?
Yes.  Changes may affect the price, so an updated estimate will be provided.

When do I make the final payment?
After receiving your final changes to your guest list (prior to your completion date), an invoice will be emailed to your for the remaining balance with details about mailing a check (preferred).
Rush service may require an online payment through PayPal.
Your received payment will be verified and your shipping date will be confirmed by email.

How and when are my completed envelopes shipped?
After confirming receipt of your final payment, your shipping date is confirmed.
Your completed envelopes will be carefully packaged and shipped Priority Mail (unless otherwise arranged).  A tracking number for your shipment will be provided.

Do you use "computer calligraphy"?
No.   Everything is hand lettered by Catharine using a dip pen.  All samples shown are images of actual hand lettering by Catharine.

What is the difference between "outside" and "inside" envelopes?
Outside envelopes - are to be addressed with the guest(s)' full name(s) and address  
Some invitations have only outside envelopes (no inside envelopes)
Inside envelopes - are used to designate exactly who is invited 
("and Family" can be misinterpreted by guests). 
e.g. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
John and Susan (children)see Envelope Etiquette 
Miss Smith and guest
Outside & Inside envelopes - are referred to as a "set" for estimates

What are "lined" envelopes?
Envelopes that are lined inside with a decorative paper
Some "outside only" envelopes are lined.
Some inside envelopes are lined when  a set of "outside & inside envelopes" are used.

Do you letter return addresses &/or RSVP envelopes?
Most customers have these printed with their invitations.
However, there are certain occasions when I will provide this service.
separate estimate can be provided when all details are known.

How long does it take to address envelopes?
All calligraphy services require a time slot to be reserved with a deposit.
(well in advance is recommended for the lowest pricing)
To calculate your "completion date", allow at least 2 to 3 weeks (varies depending on number of envelopes) prior to the date you plan to mail your invitations.
By submitting the "Get a Quote" form you can check Catharine's availability to complete your envelopes and receive an estimate.
Availability and pricing are only guaranteed with a deposit.
Rush service may be available.

How much is the deposit and how is it paid?
Most deposits are $50 and are paid online using a PayPal (see payment details).  Details are provided when you contact Catharine to reserve a time slot.  The deposit is subtracted from your remaining balance.

Are some script more expensive than others?
Yes.  Prices are based on the complexity of the lettering style since each stroke is done by hand using a dip pen.  See Envelope Samples.  No computer calligraphy is used.

What are custom scripts?
Custom scripts are those lettering styles not shown in the Envelope Samples.  To receive an estimate on a desired &/or custom script, please email an actual sample of the letters 
(e.g. "jpg file", ".pdf file" or a copy of your invitation proof) when submitting your 
Get a quote form.
There are thousands of fonts with similar names by different companies so font names can be misinterpreted.
Not all fonts that have been designed for printing can be easily hand lettered.

Can lettering be any color?
Yes.  Your color can be matched.  All custom colors are hand mixed using gouache, an opaque watercolor, which provides a rich, velvety, solid appearance.  Colored inks are not used since they can appear "watery" and colors are limited.

Can you letter on black or colored envelopes (or thick, heavy, textured, pearlized)? 
Yes.  The following type of envelopes require a more complex set up and may be more challenging to hand letter.  Pricing reflects this.
Black or any dark-colored envelopes
Colored envelopes that are opaque (not translucent) and/or are lined
White or cream envelopes that are lined 
Heavy, textured &/or pearlized envelopes
You can submit a sample envelope to confirm that hand lettering is possible.

Where do I send my envelopes?
All shipping information will be provided after a deposit is received to reserve your time slot.

How do I prepare my guest list?
After receiving your deposit to reserve a time slot, you will b emailed all the details (even a sample page) for preparing your guest list in the requested label format.

Can I use abbreviations on my guest list?
Yes, abbreviations can be used.  Catharine will automatically use formal etiquette and spell out any abbreviations.  Envelopes less than 6 inches wide may require abbreviations.

How do I send my guest list?
Your guest list can be emailed.  After receiving your deposit to reserve a time slot, you will receive the details about submitting your guest list.

Can I make changes to my guest list?
Yes.  There is a "one time for final changes" that is scheduled prior to you receiving your
balance due invoice.  This may not be available for one-week time slots or rush service.
After receiving your deposit to reserve a time slot, a detailed schedule is provided listing how to make changes and avoid extra charges.

Do you accept guest lists prepared as spreadsheets?
Sorry, no.  However, for a nominal fee per address, Catharine can change (retype) your spreadsheet to the label format that is requested.
Spreadsheets are much more difficult (and less efficient) to work from than the requested label format.