• HELPFUL HINTS: Etiquette Guide to Addressing Envelopes

    Posted on March 21, 2012 by in Helpful Hints

    I am often asked the same questions about envelope etiquette, so I’ve compelled a list of the most common things to appear on envelopes will be sharing them in this blog entry.  If you have any questions I didn’t answer, please feel free to contact me directly: kreativees@me.com

    Abbreviations

    • There should be no abbreviations on names or street addresses.  St, Ave, Rd, should all be spelled out.
    • It is ok to abbreviate states, the post office prefers this.

    Numbers

    • Numerals are generally used for house number, although it is appropriate to write out any number one through twenty.
    • Numbered streets may be written whichever way you find most aesthetically pleasing.
    • Numerals are always used for zip codes

    Names

    • Given names, not nicknames, should be used when addressing an envelope.   For example, Mr. Joe Smith should be addressed as Mr. Joseph Smith
    • If the guest is a junior, senior or I, II, III, etc. this should be included on the outer envelope.  It is not necessary to include it on the inner envelope unless for example, a junior and a senior both live at the same address.
    • Below is a guide for how to address your guests.  Traditionally there were always two envelopes included with a wedding invitation.  If your invitation has two envelopes, you would follow the Outer and Inner guides.  Most modern invitations are forgoing the inner envelope in an effort to reduce costs and to be environmentally conscience; if you only have one envelope follow the outer only guide.

    Single Guest

    Unmarried female

    Outer                     Miss Jane Jones

    Inner                     Miss Jones and Guest

    Outer Only          Miss Jane Jones and Guest

    Unmarried Male

    Outer                     Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                     Mr. Davis and Guest

    Outer Only           Mr. Carl Davis and Guest

    Divorced female kept married name

    Outer                     Ms. Jane Smith

    Inner                     Ms. Smith and Guest

    Outer Only           Ms. Jane Smith and Guest

    Widowed Female     

    Outer                     Ms. Jane Smith or Mrs. John Smith

    Inner                     Ms. Jane Smith and Guest

    *Never use ‘and guest’ for recently widowed female

    Unmarried Couples

    Unmarried couples that do not live together

    Outer                      Miss Jane Jones  *Address to person living at mailing address

    Inner                      Miss Jones and Mr. Davis

    Outer Only            Miss Jane Jones and Mr. Carl Davis

    Unmarried couples that live together

    *The women’s name is always listed first

    Outer                    Miss Jane Jones and Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                    Miss Jones and Mr. Davis

    Outer Only          Miss Jane Jones and Mr. Carl Davis

    Married Couples

    Traditional

    Outer                      Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                      Mr. and Mrs. Davis

    Outer Only            Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    wife kept maiden name

    Outer                      Ms. Jane Jones and Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                      Ms. Jones and Mr. Davis

    Outer Only            Ms. Jane Jones and Mr. Carl Davis

    wife has hyphenated last name

    Outer                       Ms. Jane Jones-Davis and Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                       Ms. Jones-Davis and Mr. Davis

    Outer Only            Ms. Jane Jones-Davis and Mr. Carl Davis

    The wife has a professional title, the husband does not

    Outer                      Doctor Jane and Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                      Doctor Davis and Mr. Davis

    Outer only             Doctor Jane and Mr. Carl Davis

    both have professional titles

    Outer                       Doctor Jane and Doctor Carl Davis

    Inner                       The Doctors Davis

    Outer Only             Doctor Jane and Doctor Carl Davis

    Both Doctors, Different last names

    Outer                        Doctor Jane Jones and Doctor Carl Davis

    Inner                        Doctor Jones and Doctor Davis

    Outer Only              Doctor Jane Jones and Doctor Carl Davis

    Same sex couples

    *Listed in alphabetical order by last name

    Outer                         Mr. Fred Smith and Mr. Mark Jones

    Inner                         Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones

    Outer only               Mr. Fred Smith and Mr. Mark Jones

    Families

    Outer                         Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                         Mr. and Mrs. Davis

    Miss Kayla and Master Michael Davis

    Outer Only               Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Miss Kayla and Master Michael Davis

    *Children should be listed in chronological order, oldest first

    *Proper etiquette is to list children’s names, not ‘and family’

    *All “children” over the 18 should receive their own invitation.

    Military

    Husband is a commissioned officer

    Outer                          Colonel and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                          Colonel and Mrs. Davis

    Outer Only               Colonel and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Husband is a non-commissioned officer or enlisted man

    Outer                         Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                         Mr. and Mrs. Davis

    Outer Only              Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Husband is a retired commissioned officer

     

    Outer                        Colonel and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                        Mr. and Mrs. Davis

    Wife is a commissioned officer, husband is not

    Outer                         Mr. and Mrs. Carl Davis or Captain Jane Davis and Mr. Carl Davis

    Inner                         Mr. and Mrs. Davis or Captain Davis and Mr. Davis

    Judge

    Outer                         The Honorable and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                         Judge and Mrs. Davis

    Outer Only              The Honorable and Mrs. Carl Davis

    *If it is the wife that is the judge follow the wife has professional title format above, using The Honorable as the professional title.

    Reverend

    Outer                         Reverend and Mrs. Carl Davis

    Inner                         Reverend and Mrs. Davis

    Outer Only              Reverend and Mrs. Carl Davis

    *If it is the wife that is the Reverend follow the wife has professional title format above, using Reverend as the professional title.

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