As with every other aspect of a wedding, there is a certain tradition on how your wedding envelopes (and save the dates) should be addressed. Make sure you do not overlook a thing by reviewing our top ten tips for addressing wedding envelopes!
1) All abbreviations should be completely written out. For example, instead of “St.”, use “Street”. Instead of “Blvd.”, “Boulevard”. The same goes for the state (it is not “WA”, but “Washington”) and “Apartment” or “#” should be used in lieu of “Apt.”
2) Use your guests’ proper titles (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc. – FYI, widows still use “Mrs.”). The rules of abbreviation can be bent slightly here. It is up to you! Those with a title related to their job (such as “Dr.” or “Gen.”) should be listed first, regardless of sex.
If you are like me, and cannot remember when you should use “Miss” or “Ms.”, here are some pointers:
- “Ms.” should be used when you do not know someone’s marital status or to refer to a married woman who has kept her maiden name.
- “Miss”, although previously used to indicate any woman who has never been married, is usually reserved today for younger women (still not married).
3) The outer envelope should be addressed generally, for example:
Mr. James Brown and Ms. Whitney Houston
While the inner envelope will specifically name who is invited:
Mr. Brown and Ms. Houston
Stacey and Jenny
(with Stacey and Jenny being their children)
The etiquette trend these days is to stay away from using two envelopes in order to save the environment (and your budget!).
4) If you would like the person you are inviting to bring a guest, use:
Outer envelope: Mr. Paul Jones
Inner envelope: Mr. Jones and Guest
5) If you are inviting a married couple, it is:
Mr. and Mrs. Billy Squire
6) If you are inviting a couple (not married), you should use (listing the name of the person you know best first, regardless of sex):
Ms. Tina Turner and Mr. Elton John
7) For same sex couples (if they are married with the same last names, please use:
Messrs. John and Billy Jean
Mesdames Susan and Alicia Smith
If they are not married, the same rules above apply.
8) Not a single invitation should be hand delivered, even if it is going to your roommate!
9) Every guest over 18 should get their own invitation.
10) Do not forget the return address – the post office is not under any obligation to deliver your mail without it! The bride’s address should go on the back flap of the envelope and traditionally, no names are mentioned. However, if the bride and groom are living together already, using the bride’s name is acceptable.
Tip: Save yourself some time (and your wrist some exertion) by using a printer to print the addresses. Print them directly on the envelope, though, as using labels looks a bit tacky.
For tips on actually stuffing your envelopes, please check out: Top 10 Tips for Stuffing Wedding Envelopes Properly
Photo: flickr/Erik Abderhalden