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Helpful Tips: Addressing your Envelopes

The invites are in! They are just as beautiful as you thought they'd be. Now just to hand address all 150 of them.

So how exactly do you address your wedding envelopes? The following guidelines should help you with the most common situations and even with a few etiquette hurdles, but do keep in mind that these are formal guidelines. For less formal couples and less formal situations, using first names on inner envelopes or no titles on engagement or shower envelopes is perfectly acceptable.

While 2Bsquared Designs does not offer hand calligraphy we do offer envelope addressing. Envelopes are individually addressed using historical fonts, providing a wonderful hand calligraphied look at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional hand calligraphy.  But whether you are using my services of those of the many extremely talented hand calligraphers available be sure you understand the rules of your calligrapher before submitting your lists.

Outer Envelopes
  • Use full names, including the first names. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fitzhugh
  • Abbreviations such as "St." or "Ave" are never used. However you may use abbreviated titles such as "Mr.", "Mrs." and "Dr."
  • In the unique situtation where both guests are doctors. Use the following example:  "Dr and Mrs. Peter Fitzhugh" or "The Doctors Fitzhugh"
  • Initials should not be used for middle names; either spell them out or leave them. However, if a guest never uses his/her given name, do not use it on their invitation; in this instance, an initial is acceptable.
  • Roomates, siblings and or adults living in the same household who are not romantically involved, should each receive their own invitation. 
  • Couples living together but who are not married, will share an invitation. However, the womans name should always appear on the first line followed by his name on the second line.
  • Children over the age of eighteen but still living at home should recieve their own invitation.
  • If you are allowing your guests to bring dates and know who your guest is bringing as a date, include his/her name on the outer envelope.
  • Guests should not be included on the outer envelope, unless you are only using outer envelopes. If you do not have inner envelopes, you may address your guest dates by name or as "and guest" on the outer envelope. For example: Mr. Peter Fitzhugh and guest
  • Children also should not be included on the outer envelope, unless you are only using outer envelopes. If you do not have inner envelopes, you may address the envelopes including the childrens surnames. For example: Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fitzhugh                                                                                Marvin and Heather
  • Do not use symbols. Always spell out # as "Number" and & as "and".
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes. Example: 1401 West Fourth Street
  • Spell out state names - Illinois, not IL
Inner Envelopes
  • Only surnames and titles are used. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Fitzhugh
  • If children are allowed. Write the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ names in order of age.
  • Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, even if they are still living at home.
  • Omit names of children if children are not invited.
  • If allowing your single guests to bring dates, address the inner envelope with your friend's name followed by "and guest." Example Mr. Fitzhugh and guest
For more information and situations not covered here, please visit feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.

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