As a wedding calligrapher, it can be a real time saver to be sure your clients are formatting their mailing address lists in a way that you are best able to use it while you’re working on their order. It also helps your clients, too, because it’s possible that they didn’t really have an idea on how to do this anyway. So your template is a win-win situation in taking out the guesswork for your client, and making the process more streamlined for yourself.

We have found that it’s easiest to work through an envelope order with the list printed in address block format which means as it would appear on an envelope, so for example:

Mr. & Mrs. John Smith
12345 Apple Road
Alexandria, VA 22314

To easily accomplish this, we ask our clients to submit their lists either in a Word document laid out in address block format {numbered so we can easily count the total} or, more commonly, in an Excel file with each line in its own column. This component is vital. If the list has street address, city, state and zip all in one column, you won’t be able to use the Mail Merge feature in Word to easily merge it into the address block format listed above. It’s even more helpful if the zip code is in its own column, so that if your client is requested that the zip code be on its own line, you can easily drop it down a line in your Mail Merge.

All of these elements will help you with your overall spacing as well. How? Once we have the addresses merged, we simply “Select All” in the Word document and then Center everything, so now I have all of the addresses laid out exactly as they should appear on the envelope, centered and all.

So how do we get our clients to submit their list this way? We ask them to! We have our mailing list template shared on the page where they book their order, and we link to it again when we are confirming their order and sending details regarding shipping, dates, etc for their order.

If you don’t tell them how you want their list formatting, you are much more likely to end up with something that simply won’t work well for your process.

Other things to mention to your clients in regards to their mailing list…

  • Be sure to list all names and words exactly as they should appear on the envelope – for example, if you’d like states spelled out, write Virginia not VA on the mailing list. If you’d like “Street” or “Boulevard” spelled out, include it as such on the list.
  • If there are foreign addresses, confirm with them that the way you’ve formatted them is correct; better to do this before you write the envelope than after.
  • Ask that they submit only one final list and to not send the file until it is completely finished. Multiple lists can lead to more mistakes and errors – let them know this, it will help give a reason as to why you only want one final list.

Overall, clear communication is key, and that should start with you as the calligrapher. If you have questions…ask. You can’t read your clients’ minds and they can’t read yours 🙂

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