PART THREE: Envelope Addressing & Etiquette
Probably equally importantly as the stationery itself, you have your envelope addressing. Without this step, those pretty envelopes will go nowhere. Plan ahead if you wish for your envelopes addressed by hand by a calligrapher. Calligraphers often need several weeks, at least, to complete certain types of calligraphy, but more time is always better.
CLOSE FAMILY & FRIENDS. Outer envelopes are always addressed with full names. Inner envelopes are addressed with familiar names and titles for close family members and good friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Scott Landry Miss Carrie Faye Landry
Uncle Michael and Aunt Norah Cousin Carrie
MARRIED COUPLES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. If you know the children personally, you can address the inner envelope with first names only. Otherwise, you would use the children’s full names without titles. You generally would not include the children’s name on the outer envelope.
Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Lee Cliburn
Mr. and Mrs. Cliburn Benjamin and Lisa
* If there are several siblings in the home, you can address the inner envelope to “The Misses Cliburn” (for two more more sisters) or ”The Messrs. Cliburn (for two or more brothers); or both
TEENAGERS IN THE HOME. Children aged 13+ should really receive individual invitations. If this isn’t possible, include them in their parents’ invitation with courtesy titles. Teenage girls are “Miss,” but the title “Mr.” is reserved for young men 18 years old and older.
COUPLES WHO LIVE TOGETHER. As long as you know that two people at the same address live together as a couple, you can address one invitation to both.
Mr. Colin Lane McGee Miss Cara Emily Holmes
Mr. Colin and Mrs. Cara
AN INVITEE & GUEST. If you are using an inner envelope, do not include “and guest” on the outer envelope. If you use a single envelope, address as followed:
OUTER ENVELOPE (no inner envelope)
Mr. Matthew Dean Henson and guesT
Mr. Matthew Dean Henson
Mr. Henson and Guest
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PROFESSIONAL TITLES. Professional titles are written out in full on both the wedding wording and on the envelope addressing. “Doctor and Mrs. Tyler Grant Howard.” If both the husband and the wife both carry professional titles, you would address the envelope as followed: “The Doctors Kleinpeter” -or- “Doctors Timothy and Emily Kleinpeter.”
MILITARY TITLES. When the bride and/or groom or the parents of the bride or groom are members of the military services or serving active duty, their military titles are used. All military titles are spelled out and not abbreviated on the invitation, mailing addresses, or any other stationery.
ABBREVIATIONS. You should not abbreviate "Doctor" as you would on other phrases (Mr., Mrs., Ms.). You can abbreviate Sr. and Jr. if wished. You should spell out any other words, like the state, road, street, etc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO INVITE CHILDREN?
If you wish to have an adults only ceremony and reception, you simply would not include the children's names on the inner envelope.
WHAT IF I DO WANT TO INVITE CHILDREN?
If you wish to invite children to your ceremony and reception, you would include the children's name on the inner envelopes following the etiquette above. Teenage children living in the home should receive their own invitation.
DO I INCLUDE THE LAST NAMES FOR CHILDREN?
For young children, you do not need to include the last name on the inner envelope.
HOW INFORMAL SHOULD THE INNER ENVELOPE BE?
The inner envelope should dictate the more casual version of the outer envelope; however, there are several acceptable options:
Let's say your outer envelope reads "Mr. and Mrs. Michael Dean Johnson," here are some inner envelope variations:
"Mr. and Mrs. Johnson" (formal)
"Mr. Michael and Mrs. Hope" (formal)
"Michael and Hope" (semi-formal)
"Uncle Mike and Aunt Hope (personable)
Have a specific question? ASK AWAY:
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Stay tuned for part three in this four part “Building Your Wedding Suite Series”
part three | postage & assembly
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