Addressing the Envelopes

Wedding invitations were once delivered by hand. If you were a bride back in those days, your footman delivered your invitations to your guests' homes. Their servants received the invitations and removed them from their mailing envelope, an envelope much too pedestrian for your guests to handle themselves. The servants, then, presented the invitation to your guests in its pristine inside envelope. Because the invitations were already at their destination, the inside envelopes had only the names of your guests written on them. The address was no longer needed. They just had to be directed to the appropriate members of the household.

Wedding invitations are still sent in two envelopes. The outside envelope is the mailing envelope. No abbreviations are used. "Rural Route" and "Post Office Box" are always written out.

Your guests' names and addresses are written on its face. The copy may be centered or staggered. Staggered copy was much more popular years ago before there was such a thing as zip codes and before it was necessary to include the state on invitations sent in-state. Now, the addition of states and zip codes has, in most cases, made the last line too long to be staggered.

Your guests' names are repeated on the inside envelope. This time, however, only their titles and surnames are used. If children under the age of eighteen are invited, their first names would appear on the line beneath their parents' names.

If you have nice handwriting, you may address the envelopes yourself, if not, you may hire a calligrapher instead. Calligraphy is a centuries-old art that was practiced in monasteries by monks who copied bibles and other important documents by hand. Copying books and documents by hand eventually all but ceased as printing and engraving replaced the scribe. Indeed, many of the lettering styles available in engraving can be traced back to old calligraphic styles. Calligraphy is still practiced today and gives your wedding envelopes a charming Old World look. Wedding envelopes are addressed using the same etiquette that is used on wedding invitations. Because they are seen only by their recipients, less traditional etiquette is occasionally used, especially with women's names and titles. "Ms.," for example, may be used when addressing envelopes even though it is not properly used on invitations.

Wedding envelopes are addressed to match the invitations.

 

Guide to Addressing

SINGLE WOMAN

Outside Envelope
Miss Page Beacham or Ms. Page Beacham

Inside Envelope
Miss Beacham or Ms. Beacham

SINGLE WOMAN & DATE

Outside Envelope
Miss Carolina Estevez or Ms. Carolina Estevez

Inside Envelope
Miss Estevez and escort or Miss Estevez and guest

OR

Ms. Estevez and escort or Ms. Estevez and guest

SINGLE MAN

Outside Envelope
Mr. Brent Habitz

Inside Envelope
Mr. Habitz

SINGLE MAN & DATE

Outside Envelope
Mr. Brent Habitz

Inside Envelope
Mr. Habitz and guest

UNMARRIED COUPLE LIVINGTOGETHER

Outside Envelope
Miss Brooke Siegel
Mr. Daniel Murphy
OR
Ms. Brooke Siegel
Mr. Daniel Murphy

Inside Envelope
Ms. Siegel
Mr. Murphy

DIPLOMATIC LEADERS

Outside Envelope
The President and Mrs. Freeman

Inside Envelope
The President and Mrs. Freeman

MARRIED COUPLES

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Edgell

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Edgell

WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 LIVING AT HOME (and invited)

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Tietig

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Tietig
Oliver and Violet

WITH TWO DAUGHTERS OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope
The Misses Randall
OR
Miss Charlotte Randall
Miss Olivia Randall

Inside Envelope
The Misses Randall

WITH TWO SONS OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope
The Messrs. Brady
OR
Mr. Maxwell Brady
Mr. Errol Brady

Inside Envelope
The Messrs. Brady

WITH A SON & DAUGHTER OVER 18 LIVING AT HOME (separate invitation)

Outside Envelope
Miss Eva Wilde
Mr. Theodor Wilde

Inside Envelope
Miss Wilde
Mr. Wilde

IN WHICH WIFE KEPT MAIDEN NAME

Outside Envelope
Ms. Maria Barros
and Mr. Peter Dempsey

Inside Envelope
Ms. Barros
and Mr. Dempsey

IN WHICH WIFE IS A DOCTOR

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Victor Newell
OR
Doctor Christina Newell
and Mr. Victor Newell

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Newell
OR
Doctor Newell
and Mr. Newell

IN WHICH HUSBAND IS A DOCTOR

Outside Envelope
Doctor and Mrs. James Lafferty

Inside Envelope
Doctor and Mrs. Lafferty

IN WHICH BOTH ARE DOCTORS

Outside Envelope
Doctor and Mrs. James Hudson
OR
The Doctors Hudson
OR
Doctor James Hudson
and Doctor Meredith Hudson

Inside Envelope
The Doctors Hudson
OR
Doctor and Mrs. Hudson

IN WHICH HUSBAND IS A JUDGE

Outside Envelope
The Honorable and Mrs. Charles Attwell

Inside Envelope
Judge and Mrs. Attwell

IN WHICH WIFE IS A JUDGE

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Sally Jacobs
OR
The Honorable Sally Jacobs
and Mr. Ted Jacobs

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Ted Jacobs
OR
Judge Jacobs
and Mr. Jacobs

IN WHICH ONE OR BOTH ARE LAWYERS

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Barrett Van Clief

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Van Clief

DIVORCED OR WIDOWED WOMAN

Divorced Woman

Outside Envelope
Mrs. Juliette Connors
OR
Ms. Juliette Connors

Inside Envelope
Mrs. Connors
OR
Ms. Connors

Who Has Resumed Using Maiden Name

Outside Envelope
Ms. Juliette Tenenbaum

Inside Envelope
Ms. Tenenbaum

Widow

Outside Envelope
Mrs.  Juliette Connors

Inside Envelope
Mrs. Connors

 

MILITARY TITLES

In Which Man is an Officer

Outside Envelope
Colonel and Mrs. Robert Powell

Inside Envelope
Colonel and Mrs. Powell

In Which Man is a Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Man

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Levy

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Levy

In which Man is a Retired Officer

Outside Envelope
Colonel and Mrs. Brian Doyle

Inside Envelope
Colonel and Mrs. Doyle

In Which Woman is an Officer

Outside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Liam Allen
OR
Captain Charlotte Allen,
U.S. Air Force
and Mr. Liam Allen

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Allen
OR
Captain Allen
and Mr. Liam Allen

In Which Both are Officers

Outside Envelope

Colonel and Mrs. John Nolan
OR
Captain Christina Nolan,
U.S. Army
and Colonel John Nolan,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Nolan
OR
Captain Christina Nolan
and Colonel Nolan

Single Female Officer

Outside Envelope
Captain Danielle McAdams,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope
Captain McAdams

Single Female Junior Officer

Outside Envelope
Lieutenant Arianna Keys,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope
Lieutenant Keys

Singe Female Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Woman

Outside Envelope
Miss Emily Rawlins
OR
Ms. Emily Rawlins

Outside Envelope
Miss Rawlins
OR
Ms. Rawlins

Single Male Officer

Outside Envelope
Colonel Luis Vazquez,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope
Colonel Vazquez

Single Male Junior Officer

Outside Envelope
Lieutenant Brandon Grant,
U.S. Army

Inside Envelope
Lieutenant Grant

Single Male Noncommissioned Officer or Enlisted Man

Outside Envelope
Mr. David Gutierrez

Inside Envelope
Mr. Gutierrez

IN WHICH A MAN IS A JUNIOR

Outside Envelope
Mr. Jackson Foster, Jr.
OR
Mr. Jackson Foster, Junior

Inside Envelope
Mr. Foster
OR
Mr. Foster, Jr. (if Junior & Senior are living at the same address)