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This Party Tip submitted by cmolino - Apr 13th, 2009


    • Invitation Etiquette

    • Proper Etiquette when Addressing Wedding Invitations
      By: Ciarla Molino

       

      The first thing your wedding guests see when they receive your beautiful, hand selected wedding invitation is the outside of the envelope. Therefore, it is of utter importance that, before sending out your invitations, you do plenty of research so you execute proper invitation etiquette when addressing wedding invitations.  After all, that envelope is the first impression your guests will get of your wedding.

       

      The first thing to know is that properly addressing your wedding invitations is equally as important as the wording for the invitation itself. Traditional wedding invitations are mailed in two envelopes which may be written in either your own handwriting (preferably black ink) or that of a calligrapher. The outer envelope, which is the mailing envelope which will have the stamp on it, should have the recipients name and address on it, either staggered or centered (I prefer staggered).  On the back side of the mailing envelope, you should have your return address only, with no name (note: while the USPS prefers return addresses to be placed on the front, top left hand corner of an envelope, the proper placement for a wedding invitation is on the back flap of the envelope). As for the inner envelope (the second envelope), the only text that should appear on this envelope is the recipient’s last name, preceded by a title.

       

      Now, before you continue reading the examples of properly addressed wedding invitations, there are a few additional important etiquette rules you should know when you are addressing your wedding invitations. For one, abbreviations should never appear on envelopes with the only exception being the case of a title (ie. Dr., Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Jr.). Second, using the terms “and guest” and “and escort” (ie. Miss Fairfield and escort” or “Mr. Washington and guest” should never be used on wedding envelopes. The proper thing to do is to send a separate invitation to the guest as it is much more personal. Likewise, “and family” should also never appear on an envelopes as it too, is quite impersonal (see suggested wording for addressing invitations to families), and children over the age of 18 who are living at home with their parents should always receive separate invitations.



      A few examples of how to address Wedding Invitations.

       

      Married Couple Invitation Etiquette

      Outer Envelope
          Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dale Sinclair
              123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair

       

      Married Couple with Children Under 18 Living at Home

      Outer Envelope
          Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dale Sinclair
              123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair
              Lisa and Laura

       

      …Children Over 18 Living at Home

      Outer Envelope
          The Misses (or Messrs.) Sinclair
            123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          The Misses (or Messrs.) Sinclair

       

      Married Couple—Woman Kept Maiden Name

      Outer Envelope  
      Ms. Lucinda Elizabeth Adams
          Mr. Edward Dale Sinclair
      123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Ms. Adams
          Mr. Sinclair

       

      Married Couple—Both are Doctors

      Outer Envelope
          The Doctors Sinclair
         123 Habersham Road, N.W. 
          Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          The Doctors Sinclair

       

      Married Couple—Woman is a Doctor

      Outer Envelope
          Dr. Lucinda Elizabeth Adams
          Mr. Edward Dale Sinclair
      123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Dr. Adams
          Mr. Sinclair

       

      Divorced Woman Invitation Etiquette

      Outer Envelope
          Mrs. (Ms.) Lucinda Adams Sinclair
         123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Mrs. (Ms.) Sinclair

      Widow Invitation Etiquette

      Outer Envelope
          Mrs. Edward Dale Sinclair
      123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Mrs. Sinclair

       

      Man and Woman Living Together

      Outer Envelope
          Ms. Lucinda Elizabeth Adams
          Mr. Edward Dale Sinclair
      123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Ms. Adams
          Mr. Sinclair

       

      Single Man Invitation Etiquette

      Outer Envelope
          Mr. Edward Dale Sinclair
      123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Mr. Sinclair

       

      Single Woman Invitation Etiquette

      Outer Envelope
          Miss (Ms.) Lucinda Elizabeth Adams
          123 Habersham Road, N.W.
                  Atlanta, Georgia 30305
      Inner Envelope
          Miss (Ms.) Adams

       

      Sources

      Crane’s Blue Book of Stationery
      Photo by Daftgirly on flickr


    • Tags: invitation invitationetiquette etiquette
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