Sponsor Introduction: Neither Snow (Mail Matters)

I’ve never quite been able to wrap my head around wedding calligraphy (please excuse this strange, but true sponsor introduction). I love calligraphy – I love almost all of the old world arts that are making a come back – but wedding calligraphy always seemed like “OhMyGod, this is one more thing I need to do, one more thing I have to live up too.” And so I felt unease with it.

And then. Then I got an email from a reader, a practical bride. She had done particularly beautiful calligraphy on her own wedding invitations, and she was tentatively looking to parlay that love into a small business. (I love small businesses! I love when practical brides turn their love into art that they share with the world! I love calligraphy!) But I was still unsure. And then she sent me her business mission statement, and I *GOT* it. I had that little tingle down to my soul. “Ahhhhhh…..” I said to myself, “Yesssssssss…..”

So now, I’m so pleased to share with you a brand new business being launched by a member of Team Practical: Neither Snow (Mail Matters). Here is their beautiful, beautiful, soul tingling mission statement:

To me, handwriting is one of the most lovely ways of conveying the “hande-made-ness” of a wedding. There’s something very endearing about a modest envelope, thoughtfully and deliberately addressed by hand, making the journey miles and miles to someone you love. I even get teary eyed when I read the Postal Service motto (“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”). Having studied Copperplate calligraphy I decided to create my own script for our wedding’s paper goods. I really enjoyed the experience and would love to do the same for other couples who are in search of affordable calligraphy. So I’m extending an offer to Practical Wedding readers– $2 per outer envelope (with similarly reasonable prices for inner and reply envelopes, return addresses, menus, place cards, etc.). Special considerations can be made for couples in extraordinary financial straits. (Kimi and Muir are absolutely right: Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.)So, my lovely ladies (and a few gents), I extend to you the invitation of beautiful calligraphy. Neither Snow is doing her fantastic-calligraphy-with-SOUL for $2 a envelope, and other wise reasonable rates for name cards, menus, place cards, other matters. So if calligraphy tugs at you, makes you dream of beauty, Neither Snow is for you. Go look, go look, one of our own is starting something new and lovely. And we all need more beauty.

Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Please allow me to don my ignorant/bitchy hat, but in what world is spending $2 PER ENVELOPE for someone to hand write names and addresses “practical?”

    it’s definitely lovely, and it *might* be thoughtful (though it’s probably MORE thoughtful and “personal” to handwrite your OWN envelopes to your OWN guests rather than paying a stranger to do so), but practical?

    No way.

    I know that “practical” means different things to different people and that there is no hard and fast rule for where to draw the line, but on this particular topic, I’ve gotta draw it far in advance of spending $2 for fancy handwriting on each and every envelope (which are on a one way trip to someone’s garbage can, by the way).


  • Its practical because you don’t have to do it! And it’s GORGEOUS! Practical means many things to many people :)

  • Meg

    Ok, I’m not deleting your comment, though I normally take down stuff like this right away, but I will respond.

    Here is the deal: $2 per envelope is clearly not practical for you. Fine, don’t do it. That said, I have said 100 times before, and I will say 100 times again, I DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU SPEND. It’s not the point, at all. I do care *how* you spend your money, and that you spend it in ways that matter to you, and that you are not pressured to spend more than you want on things that you don’t care about. For some people, beautiful paper goods is meaningful and authentic and important to them. Neither Snow makes that case in a really thoughtful non-judgmental way. For some people paper goods are not important. But the bottom line is, it’s not for you or for me to judge what other couples find meaningful, period.

    Like I said in the post, this is an invitation not an obligation. This gives people a chance to have someone kind and like minded do an old world art form for them for, frankly, less than the going rate. We’re not doing calligraphy because it wasn’t right for us (cost not even being the issue). But you know what? We’re spending PLENTY on stuff that really really matters to us, and that’s our prerogative. Further, it’s something I feel good about. And you know what? If I broke out my budget for you – there are parts you might not like. But that’s fine, because its *our* budget, it’s not *your* budget.

    Now, in general, everyone needs to stay kind in the comments, or they will be deleted. Comments that are not respectful of other points of view are not ok.


      Your handwriting is fabulous. I also love the feeling of a fountain pen on good paper (or, truthfully, any kind of paper) but I do have an alarming return rate for my letters. Do you have this problem? My friends decided it might be where I like to position the zipcode (bottom right, just where the PO marks its mail for sorting, so…) so I have sadly moved the zipcode up. Haven’t had any kind of mass mailing to test this properly.

  • I respect where you’re coming from, Michele.

    I started Neither Snow because 1) I knew people who wanted nicely addressed envelopes but didn’t like their handwriting enough to do it themselves; 2) when they investigated professional calligraphy it started at ~$3.75 per envelope (so mine are almost 50% more affordable); and 3) the feedback that I received from my own invitations ran the spectrum from “I never get mail anymore” to “it made my day” to “I have framed the envelope.”

    In my experience few things about a wedding are inherently practical. I would argue that almost all costs lead to the garbage can, to the back of our closets or down someone’s stomach. We just want to make our guests feel good, feel welcome, and feel loved. We all prioritize differently how we choose to do that.

  • Good for you for launching a business! I think your script is stunning. I would’ve framed the envelope myself!

  • That script is spectacular! In fact, moments after reading this post I went to Amazon and searched for a calligraphy book…I had a set when I was a teen and forgot how much I loved it!

  • Neither Snow – what a lovely, well thought-out, and professional response to Michele’s comment. Michele, I totally get where the price tag turns you off but I second the comments of others that everyone spends money on a wedding and prioritizes where and how to spend that money differently (actually, this applies to life in general, not just weddings).

  • Stellar!

    These beautiful envelopes reminded me of how much I used to enjoy calligraphy, and encouraged me to dig out my pen. Another bride and I are going to have an addressing party.

    I don’t know that calligraphy is ‘practical’ per se – but getting someone else to address envelopes if you’re pressed for time certainly is!

    I’m not doing many handmade projects for my wedding, as I’m not as crafty as some of the talented brides out there… but I do love lettering and writing, so will try to revive my calligraphy skills and have fun at it.

    To each her own, right? I’m grateful to Neither Snow for reminding me of my fondness for this lost art.

  • Ladies, thanks so much for the great discussion. I honestly, truly did not mean to offend or demean the work that Neither Snow does, because it is indeed beautiful. I love that one can have a visceral, knee-jerk reaction to something that s/he personally does not consider practical without the conversation devolving into a back and forth of bitchiness (especially considering I was pretty bitchy in my original comment!)

    I am admittedly ignorant of and about calligraphy and have NO idea whatsoever what the going rate is, so it’s entirely possible that $2 per envelope is a steal.

    It’s $2 that I would never spend, but I’m sure there are a dozen things that every bride would never dream of spending money on that are must haves for others.

  • Meg

    Thanks Michele :)
    S’ok. I’ve noticed lately that I have bridal obsessions (AKA things I really enjoy) that most brides would consider pretty odd. (Readings, quote to use at the beginning of the program, etc. Ie, writing stuff.) So, the fact that some weird thing is really fun to me, means that some other thing I think is weird is probably really fun for someone else, right?

    As long as we’re not being pressured to do things we don’t want to do, we’re cool. And I guess, in the end, I figured out I don’t find Calligraphy objectionable (I like it!) I find the fact that it gets shoved at us as MANDATORY objectionable. Because, plllleeeeeaaaasssseeee.

    Look Neither Snow! You gave us pretty and you made us think! Well done.

  • I’m with Michele on this one – the idea of spending upwards of $150 on addressing just doesn’t work for me. When I saw that the WIC puts calligraphy as a line item on the budgets, it was the first thing I axed as not necessary.

    I’m sure calligraphy is completely necessary for some couples, and I’m sure Neither Snow it’s a steal compared to those fancy-lady vendors who are all “ooh, I can make it in 9th century Egyptian authentic script for $12 an envelope” but practical is sort of in the eye of the beholder.

    Is this MORE practical than the other calligraphy options? Sure. It’s not for me, and that’s fine – but I don’t think it’s okay to bash someone’s decision NOT to have calligraphy as part of her wedding or to deem it impractical for her.

  • Meg

    No one is bashing any decisions to not have calligraphy. I’m not having calligraphy, I don’t want it. What I am saying is that this is not an acceptable forum to judge people for the way their wedding choices vary from your wedding choices… especally when people use the word “Practical” as a judgement. The point of this site is to empower people to make their own choices in a smart way. If they are different then the choices you would make, that’s fine. That might even be a good thing.

    I was very clear in the post that calligraphy isn’t something you have to have, or that most of you even want to have. But if you do want it, I think Neither Snow is a awesome option.


  • i LOVE this handwriting. if it were something I could afford to hire out I totally would. luckily, my mom has lovely handwriting and offered to do it. yay!

    I wish her the best in her new business!

  • what lovely calligraphy!

  • Lizzie

    Neither Snow — what a beautiful name and lovely work! Good luck!

    Right now, practical for me means cutting out things in my life that I don’t need and can’t afford, and trying my best to put the little money toward small or local businesses.

    BUT, in 10 or 20 years when I am extremely well off (of course), practical will mean something different. I’ll still have the same principles, but I’ll have a little extra for spoiling the people I love with thoughtful details. I will jot down the Neither Snow business name for the day when I have more money:).

  • Those Oregon stamps are the. best. stamps. ever.

    We used them on our invites (along with minerals and birds).

    I suddenly feel nostalgic. And enamored. Yes.

    I love you. I love your blog. G’night.

  • This makes me happy. Plain and simple.

  • I actually am having calligraphy, BUT I could give a rat’s behind about the invitations themselves. I had no interest in letterpress or specially designed invitations. My invites were one piece with a small insert..that’s it. I think the point Meg is trying to make is: “Hey look! There’s a home based business we can support.” That’s all.

    Luckily what’s practical to you isn’t what’s going to be practical to me.