Outer and Inner Envelopes
- The outer envelope is the one that the Post Office will see. Address it with the full names and address of the recipients. Use only the names of the couple or person you are inviting, not children or other guests. Don't abbreviate first names, cities or states.
Print the return address on the flap. The return address should be the address of those who are hosting the wedding. Do not add a name with the return address on a formal invitation.
The inner envelope is addressed as if it were being hand-delivered. No address is necessary, and you can list the names of the invited guests on this envelope. Write "and guest" to indicate if the invitee is welcome to bring a date. List the names of children, only if you wish to invite them, in order of age from oldest to youngest.
When there is no inner envelope, list the names of all intended guests on the outer envelope or write them in on the response card.
- For formal invitations, use the abbreviated titles "Mr.," "Mrs. "Ms.," and "Dr." and address a single woman as "Miss." Write out a husband and wife as "Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harris" or "Mr. and Mrs. Susan and Robert Harris," as the husband's first name must always be placed next to the last name. If the wife has kept her maiden name address her first ("Ms. Susan Andrews and Mr. Robert Harris.") Don't use "Mrs." even though she is married.
Place a doctor's name before the spouse, regardless of gender. Follow the rule of the husband's name next to the surname if both spouses are doctors ("Drs. Susan and Robert Harris"). Another option is to address the envelope to "The Doctors Harris."
Spell out "The Reverend" and "The Honorable" when addressing clergy and judges. Follow the same rules for spouses as when addressing doctors.
Place a comma before "Jr. or Sr.," but not before a roman numeral that follows a last name.
Don't use "esq." when addressing an invitation to a lawyer as this is used for business and not for formal invitations.
Write out the titles of military personnel or government officials.
The Response Card Envelope
- Response cards get the same personal touch as the invitation. They should be handwritten. Print the full name and address of the person who will be receiving these cards and creating the final list of guests to attend.
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