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envelope addressing explained

 

When addressing your invitation envelopes use your most elegant penmanship, or try hiring a professional calligrapher to pen the names of your invited guests. If you're trying your own hand at the task, know the proper procedure. Address your envelopes according to the following etiquette.

 

O U T E R  E N V E L O P E
This is where you write the recipients' full names, official titles, first names, and the rest. It's where tradition is upheld, decorum celebrated that means no cutting corners with abbreviations like Dr., NY, or St. (Mrs., Mr., Ms., and Jr. are the only acceptable shorthands). Here's a complete set of rules:

  • Titles such as Doctor, Reverend, Captain, etc. are not abbreviated unless lack of space necessitates it
  • Mister and  Misses  should be abbreviated (Mr. and Mrs.)
  • Do not use initials or nicknames use full names
  • If an unmarried couple is living in the same house their names should be on separate lines, woman are always listed first
  • Do not add " and family" children's names are listed on the inner envelope
  • Write out the word " and" do not use symbols
  • Suffixes are all properly proceeded by a comma, including Roman numerals
  • Junior and senior  can be spelled out (junior or senior - not capitalized) or abbreviated (Jr. or Sr. - capitalized) use whichever style you prefer
  • When addressing the outer envelope write out Street, Avenue, or Boulevard
  • Completely spell out the state name
  • North and South is  written in full if it proceeds the street name (123 South Main Street) a comma is added after the street name and an abbreviation is used if it comes after the address (123 Cherry Street, N.W.)

I N N E R  E N V E L O P E
Formal invitations are slipped into an unsealed inner envelope to be placed inside the outer envelope. They are addressed in a more informal fashion -- typically only title abbreviations and last name -- and include the names of all invitees at the address including children.   Here are some guidelines:

  • Exclude the first names of the recipients
  • Write the first names of children to be invited below in order of age, oldest first
  • Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation
  • Omit children's names if they are not on the guest list
  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your friend's name followed by " and guest" (guest should not be capitalized, it is not a proper noun)

 

Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of having to address all your envelopes?   Reference the following formats to guide you through the process with ease.

    MARRIED COUPLE

Outer  Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Davis

      3511 South Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      MARRIED COUPLE

      (with children under 18 living at home)

Outer Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Davis

3511 Burton Lane, S.E.

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Davis

Abby and Joseph

----------------------------------------------------------

      SISTERS

      (same residence over 18 years)

Outer Envelope:

Misses Abby and Anne Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

The Misses Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      MARRIED COUPLE (both are doctors)

 

Outer Envelope:

The Doctors Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

The Doctors Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      UNMARRIED COUPLE  (same household)

Outer Envelope:

Ms. Michele Janson

Mr. Steven Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Ms. Janson

Mr. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      DIVORCED WOMAN

      (maiden name or first name followed by

      married name)

Outer Envelope:

Mrs. Janson Davis

or

Ms. Michelle Davis

 

Inner Envelope:

Mrs. Davis

or

Ms. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

 

      CATHOLIC PRIEST

 

Outer Envelope:

The Reverend Father Joel Schevers

 

 

Inner Envelope:

Father Schevers

   

      MARRIED COUPLE

      (with children under 18,  outer envelope only)

 

Single  Envelope:

Mr. and Mrs. Steven Davis

Abby and Joseph

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

----------------------------------------------------------

      OVER 18 LIVING WITH PARENTS

Outer Envelope:

  Miss (or Ms.) Abby Davis

Mr. Joseph   Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

  Inner Envelope:

Miss (or Ms.) Davis

Mr. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      BROTHERS

      (same residence over 18 years)

Outer Envelope:

Messrs. Joseph and Steven  Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

The Messrs. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      MARRIED COUPLE (woman is a doctor)

Outer Envelope:

Doctor Michele Janson Davis

Mr. Steven Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Doctor and Mr. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      SINGLE PERSON (with unknown guest)

 

Outer Envelope:

Ms. Michele Janson

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Ms. Janson and guest

 

----------------------------------------------------------

      WIDOW

  Outer Envelope:

Mrs. Steven Davis

3511 Burton Lane

Fairlawn, Ohio 44333

 

Inner Envelope:

Mrs. Davis

----------------------------------------------------------

      RABBI

Outer Envelope:

Rabbi David Mark Feldman

 

Inner Envelope:

Rabbi Feldman

----------------------------------------------------------

    PROTESTANT MINISTER

Outer Envelope:

The Reverend Lucinda Laird

 

Inner Envelope:

Reverend Laird

Find more wedding invitation information and local wedding invitation businesses >>

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