Envelope Addressing Etiquette

Many couples have questions on appropriate traditional envelope etiquette. The following guidelines give examples from the most common situations. Keep in mind that these are formal guidelines. Many couples are less formal in their approach to addressing. For example, they use first names on the inner envelopes (Ex: John and Mary). 

Our suggestion is that you enter your guests' names the way you feel most comfortable. My policy is that we write the addresses exactly as our clients submit their lists, so feel free to apply these notes as desired.

Outer Envelopes
  • Use full names, including the first names. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jackson
  • Do not write "and Family" if children are to be included on the invitation. Write their first names on the inner envelope beneath their parents' names. (See "Inner Envelopes" below)
  • Write out the words "Street," "Boulevard," "Avenue," "Road," etc.
  • Do not use symbols. Spell out the word "and".
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes. Example: 225 Third Street
  • Spell out state names.
Inner Envelopes
  • Exclude the first names of the guests. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Jackson
  • Write the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ names in age order. Example:
    Mr. and Mrs. Jackson
    Susie, Jane and Thomas
  • Children over the age of 16 should receive their own invitation.

  • Omit names of children if you are planning an adult-only celebration.

  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your friend's name followed by "and Guest." Example Miss Jones and Guest
If you do not have inner envelopes, it's perfectly acceptable to include "and guest," guest's names, and children's names on the outer envelope.

For more information and situations, please visit our website and do not hesitate to contact me if you have specific questions regarding etiquette.

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