Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Address Wedding Invitation Envelopes

The etiquette of addressing formal invitation envelopes can leave the first impression of your wedding. It sets the tone for one of the most formal days of your life. By using formal etiquette your guests know this is not an everyday event. It is time to get dressed up and celebrate with you. Your wedding guests are familiar with this tradition.

outer envelope

Wedding invitations have an...

Outer Envelope

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)."

Inner Envelope

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.

Etiquette is all about showing consideration and respect for others. Here are some suggestions for addressing your wedding envelopes:

When addressing a woman who uses her maiden name, refer to her as Ms. Miss is normally used for guests under 18 but Ms. is always the default for women if you aren't completely sure if they wish to be refered to as Mrs.

Address the envelope of the invitation to a married couple using the same last name with "Mr. and Mrs." in front of the first and last name of the husband. and if the children are invited, too, follow it with "and family".

For a married couple where the wife kept her maiden name, can be addressed to Mr. Michael Martin and Ms. Michelle Moore or the reverse. It is acceptable to list the lady before her husband unless he is outranked in one way or another.

If a couple is unmarried but living together, means you address the invitation to both as single people, but you would do so alphabetically by last name. So, in the case of Sally and Bobby, it would be "Ms. Sally Brown & Mr. Bobby Rose."

If a woman outranks her husband she should be listed first with her formal title, such as, The Honorable or Dr.

wedding invitation envelope

If both are doctors, address to The Doctors Martin or Drs. Michelle and Michael Martin or the reverse. You can also address to Dr. Michael Martin and Dr. Michelle Martin or the reverse.

Use Mr. in front of an unmarried male guest's first and last name. For example, "Mr. Charvi Patel."

Titles - Doctor, Judge, Clergy, Military - The person with the special title (whether married or unmarried) is listed first.

Normally, middle initials and middle names are not included. It becomes a space problem, also. An exception is when a person always uses their middle initial or middle name (even for social correspondence).

Master - This title is used for young boys under 7 years old. No title is used for boys between 7 and 13.

Guest is mostly used because it provides flexibility to the invitee. Escort is less common and is used for females only.

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