While choosing the wording for the invitations may be the more challenging, you should still use care when addressing the invitation envelopes. After all, the way the envelopes are addressed is going to give your potential guests important information about specifically who is being asked to attend. Before we look at some examples of how to address the envelopes, let’s talk about some basic guidelines you need to keep in mind.
First, if you use formal invitations then you’ll probably be using inner and outer envelopes for your wedding invitations. The outer envelope is meant to protect the invitation from being damaged. Both envelopes need to be addressed, and they are addressed in slightly different ways as you’ll see in our examples.
Contemporary, less formal invitations may only come with an outer envelope. In which case, you’d follow only the guidelines for outer envelopes.
Second, the same person should address all of the envelopes. Some couples try to split the task up between one another or between them and other family members. However, this is not appropriate. You want all of the envelopes to look similar.
One option is to hire a professional calligrapher to address your envelopes for you. This can be expensive, but at least your hand won’t be sore and your envelopes will look beautiful.
Some couples consider using pre-printed labels to address their envelopes. This may be more cost- and time-effective than hiring a calligrapher or doing it yourself, but it is also very impersonal and is not appropriate.
Finally, you should use a high-quality pen with black ink that writes well without clumping. Have plenty of extra ink or pens on hand because you may end up going through more of them. Try to use the same type of pen for all of the envelopes so they will look consistent.
Addressing Envelopes – Examples
Outer envelopes should be addressed for mailing. That means they need to include the recipient’s full name, street address, city, state, and zip code. In the examples below, we’ll be looking only at how to write the recipient’s name on the outer envelope since the rest of the information should be presented in the same format you would use for any other card.
|Type of Recipient||Recipient’s Name|
|Married Couple||Mr. and Mrs. Blake Russell|
|Unmarried Couple Living Together||Mr. Henry Kim and Ms. Julia Roth|
|Same Gender Couples||Mr. Andrew Jones and Mr. Tyler Smith|
|Children Over 18 Years of Age Who Live at Home with Invited Parents||Miss Charlotte Russell|
|Unmarried Woman||Ms. Morgan Hughes|
|Unmarried or Divorced Man||Mr. Alex Williams|
|Divorced Woman||Mrs. Brianna James|
|Clergy||The Reverend Terry Michaels|
Inner envelopes, if used, should also be addressed. However, these envelopes should not include any address information. Only the recipients’ names should be written on the front of these envelopes. You can also use this envelope to specify who is included on the invitation. Examples of how to address the inner envelopes are below.
|Type of Recipient||Recipient’s Name|
|Married Couple||Mr. and Mrs. Russell|
|Unmarried Couple Living Together||Mr. Kim and Ms. Roth|
|Same Gender Couples||Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith|
|Children Over 18 Years of Age Who Live at Home with Invited Parents||Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith|
|Unmarried Woman||Miss Russell and Guest|
|Unmarried or Divorced Man||Mr. Williams and Guest|
|Divorced Woman||Mrs. James and Guest|
|Clergy||The Reverend Michaels|
If you do not want any of your guests to bring dates, simply omit the “and Guest” portion after their names on the inner envelope. Additionally, if you do not want the couple to bring their children, do not include their children’s names on the inner envelope.
Other Addressing Tips
You will also need to address the response cards by hand. While you are addressing them, consider numbering each of them and keeping track of which numbers are associated with which guests. That way you can use the numbers to help you identify who sent back the response card in case you can’t read their hand writing.
Also, you may want to use index cards to help you stay organized. Each index card should have the name and address of each guest. Then on the back of the card you can jot down notes when you receive their response cards, when you mail their thank you cards, etc. The index cards can also be easily separated into groups who receive wedding invitations, who are invited only to the reception, and who are receiving announcements to make your life simpler.