Mastering Calligraphy: Flourishing for Wedding Invites
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Choose calligraphy styles for wedding invites
  2. Gather calligraphy materials
  3. Practice basic strokes
  4. Learn how to flourish
  5. Apply flourishing to letters
  6. Create calligraphy on wedding invites
  7. Troubleshoot common calligraphy mistakes
  8. Get inspiration from flourishing examples
  9. Enhance your calligraphy with design elements

Getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations can seem like a daunting task. But, with the right steps and a bit of practice, it's a goal well within your reach. This guide will walk you through the process of mastering calligraphy and achieving those beautiful flourishes that can turn your wedding invites into personalized pieces of art.

Choose calligraphy styles for wedding invites

Before you start practicing your strokes or buying your materials, the first thing you need to do is decide on a calligraphy style. The style you choose will set the tone for your wedding invites and help guide you in your practice. Here are a few popular styles you might want to consider:

  • Copperplate: Known for its beautiful, flowing lines, Copperplate is a classic choice for wedding invitations. This style is characterized by thick downward strokes and thin upward strokes.
  • Italic: If you prefer a more modern look, you might want to try Italic. It's less formal than Copperplate but still elegant. Italic features slanted letters and sharp, clean lines.
  • Spencerian: For those who really want to show off their flourishing skills, Spencerian is the way to go. This script is all about the flourish, with curves and twirls galore.

Once you've chosen your style, it's time to start working on getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. But don't worry, we'll guide you through it step by step.

Gather calligraphy materials

You've got your chosen style in mind, now it's time to gather the tools of the trade. Here's what you'll need:

  • Calligraphy pens: These are not your ordinary pens. Calligraphy pens have a special nib that allows you to create thick and thin lines, which is essential for flourishing. There are two main types: Dip pens and fountain pens. Dip pens give you more flexibility and control, but they can be messy. Fountain pens are easier to use, but they offer less control.
  • Ink: You can find calligraphy ink in a variety of colors. Just make sure it's specifically designed for calligraphy to ensure it flows well and doesn't clog your pen.
  • Paper: Smooth, high-quality paper is a must for calligraphy. Rough paper can cause your pen to snag, ruining your lines and flourishes.
  • Practice sheets: These pre-lined sheets can be a big help when you're first starting out. They guide your strokes and help you keep your lettering consistent.

Now, with your materials at hand, you're one step closer to getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. It's time to get down to the nitty-gritty and start practicing your strokes.

Practice basic strokes

Before you start flourishing, you need to get your basic strokes down. Calligraphy is all about control, and that starts with understanding how to create different lines with your pen. Let's take a look at the basic strokes you'll use:

  • Upstroke: This is a light, thin stroke that goes upward. You'll use a gentle touch and minimal pressure for this one.
  • Downstroke: Here, you'll apply more pressure to create a thicker line as you move downward.
  • Overturn and underturn: These are curved strokes that you'll use to form letters. An overturn goes up and then curves down, while an underturn does the opposite.
  • Oval: This stroke forms the basis of many letters. Practice making ovals in both directions.

Practice these strokes until you can create them consistently. It may feel like you're back in grade school, but trust me, it's worth it! By mastering these basics, you'll be well on your way to getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. And remember, practice makes perfect—or at least, a lot better!

Learn how to flourish

Once you've got the basic strokes down, it's time to add some flair to your calligraphy. That's where flourishing comes in. But what exactly is flourishing? In a nutshell, it's the art of adding decorative swirls and curls to your letters to make them more attractive and dynamic. It's like the cherry on top of your calligraphy sundae!

Start by adding flourishes to the ascenders and descenders of your letters — that's the parts of the letters that extend above the midline (like the top of an 'h') and below the baseline (like the tail of a 'y'). You can also add flourishes inside of letters, like the loop of a 'b' or 'd'.

Just keep in mind that flourishing is all about balance. Too much, and your work will look cluttered. Too little, and it might look too plain. A good rule of thumb is to start small and add more as you see fit. It's easier to add more flourishes later than to take them away!

With some practice, you'll be well on your way to getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. Remember, just like any other skill, flourishing takes time and practice to master. So be patient with yourself and enjoy the process!

Apply flourishing to letters

Now that you understand the basics of flourishing, let's apply it to your letters. This is where the magic happens and your calligraphy starts to come alive!

Start with the letters that naturally lend themselves to flourishing, like the lowercase 'h', 'l', 'b', 'd', 'g', 'p', 'y', and 'z'. These letters have ascenders and descenders that you can easily extend into beautiful flourishes. But remember, the key is balance. A well-placed flourish can make a letter pop, but too many can make your work look cluttered.

You can also experiment with flourishing on uppercase letters. For example, the uppercase 'A', 'B', 'D', 'H', 'K', 'L', 'R', and 'T' have great potential for flourishing. Go ahead and try adding some decorative swirls and curls to these letters — you might be surprised at how much they can transform your calligraphy!

As you continue to practice, you'll get a feel for where to place your flourishes to create the most impact. And remember, the more you practice, the closer you get to mastering the art of calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. Keep going and you'll soon be creating wedding invitations that are truly a work of art!

Create calligraphy on wedding invites

With your flourished letters ready, it's time to put them to use on actual wedding invitations. There's nothing quite as thrilling as seeing your calligraphy flourish on a tangible product!

First, sketch out your design on a piece of practice paper. This allows you to play around with different layouts, see how your words and flourishes fit together, and make any necessary adjustments before committing to the final piece. This sketch will act as your blueprint when you start working on your actual wedding invitation.

Once you're happy with your design, place your invitation card on a flat surface. Make sure you're comfortable and have good lighting — you want to see every stroke clearly. Using a lightbox can be incredibly helpful, especially if your design is complex.

Now, let's start with the header – usually, this is the names of the bride and groom. Remember to use your flourishes sparingly and strategically to maintain legibility while adding visual interest. After completing the header, move on to the details of the wedding – the date, time, and location, typically written in a simpler, more streamlined style to ensure clarity.

As you work, always remember to take breaks and relax your hand and wrist. Calligraphy is a labor of love, and rushing through it won't do your work justice. Remember, the goal is getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations, not just getting it done quickly.

Once you've finished the calligraphy, give it some time to dry completely to avoid smudging. After it's dry, step back and admire your handiwork. And there you have it — a beautifully hand-lettered, flourished wedding invitation!

Troubleshoot common calligraphy mistakes

Even the most experienced calligraphers run into hurdles. It's part of the process of getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations. Let's address some common mistakes and how to overcome them.

Smudging: If your letters are smudging, it might be because your hand is touching the ink before it dries. Try to be mindful of where your hand is in relation to your fresh ink. If you're left-handed, consider using a smudge guard to help prevent accidental smudging.

Inconsistent letters: Practice, practice, and more practice is necessary for consistency. Keep a reference sheet close by to remind you of the right form and proportions of each letter as you work. If you find that your strokes are shakier than you'd like, try adjusting your grip on the pen or the angle at which you're holding it.

Flourishes that overpower the letters: Flourishes should enhance your letters, not overpower them. If your flourishes are taking over, try simplifying them or using them more sparingly. Remember, the key is balance.

Ink bleeding: If your ink is bleeding, it could be due to the quality of your paper or your ink. Make sure you're using calligraphy-grade paper and ink. If you're still experiencing bleeding, try using less ink on your nib.

Letters not flowing well together: Your letters should flow together naturally. If they aren't, it could be that your letter spacing needs adjustment. Experiment with different spacing until you find what works for your style.

Remember, every mistake is a learning opportunity. Don't be discouraged if your calligraphy isn't perfect right away. With patience, persistence, and a little troubleshooting, you'll be on your way to mastering calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations.

Get inspiration from flourishing examples

One of the best ways to improve your calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations is to gather inspiration from experts in the field. After all, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But remember, the goal is not to copy, but to absorb, adapt and create your own unique style.

Books: There are several books written by renowned calligraphers that can serve as your guide. "Mastering Modern Calligraphy" by Molly Suber Thorpe and "The Art of Calligraphy" by David Harris are two such books that come packed with a variety of flourishing examples.

Social media: Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are treasure troves of calligraphy inspiration. Just type in "calligraphy flourishing" or "wedding invitation calligraphy" and you'll be greeted by a myriad of styles and flourishes.

Online tutorials: Websites like Skillshare and YouTube host numerous tutorials by professional calligraphers. These can be particularly useful as they often break down complex flourishes into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

Local Calligraphy Guilds: Joining a local guild or community can provide a wealth of inspiration. Not only will you be able to learn from other people's work, but you can also share your own and receive valuable feedback.

Remember, becoming proficient in anything involves a process of continuous learning and exploration. So, dive into the ocean of calligraphy flourishing, absorb the beauty, and let it inspire you to create stunning wedding invitations.

Enhance your calligraphy with design elements

After you've spent some time getting better at calligraphy flourishing on wedding invitations, you might want to consider adding some design elements to further enhance your work. These elements can bring a layer of sophistication and uniqueness to your wedding invites, setting them apart from the rest.

Color: Experimenting with color can dramatically alter the look and feel of your calligraphy. Try using colored inks, or even metallic ones, for a dash of elegance. You could also consider using watercolors to add a beautiful, dreamy effect to your flourishes.

Layout: Play around with the arrangement of your text. Perhaps you could position the couple's names centrally and surround them with flourishes, or you could align the text to the left or right for a more modern look.

Illustrations: Adding illustrations can make your wedding invitations truly one-of-a-kind. You could incorporate elements that are significant to the couple, like a sketch of their wedding venue or their favorite flowers.

Paper: Consider the paper you're using for your wedding invitations. Textured or colored paper can add an extra level of interest. Do remember, the type of paper can affect how your ink flows, so always test it out first.

Adding design elements to your calligraphy can be a fun and creative process. Don't be afraid to experiment - you never know what beautiful creations you might come up with!

If you enjoyed this blog post on mastering calligraphy for wedding invites and want to expand your skills even further, consider checking out the workshop 'Using Watercolours to Create Colourful Calligraphy' by BlinkLettering. This workshop will teach you how to add a splash of color to your calligraphy, making your wedding invites even more unique and eye-catching.