If you don't already know this about us, we take invitation etiquette seriously!!
When it comes to addressing formal wedding invitations, understanding the appropriate titles and abbreviations for the mailing envelopes can be nothing short of a headache. And because of that, our couples have been coming to us in search of the proper way to address an envelope for a formal (or not so formal) wedding invitation. Addressing envelopes, (for any occasion) comes with some etiquette rules and should never be an afterthought. Here are some tips on how to properly address your envelopes.
Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash
Decide the formality of your event. Is it black tie? Is it a backyard BBQ? There are rules for both casual & formal occasions. More formal addressing consists of spelling out the address instead of using abbreviations (i.e. Street vs. St., Apartment vs. Apt., etc). Formal addressing would also include titles before your guest’s name (i.e. Mr., Mrs., Doctor, etc). Below are some examples of formal vs. informal addressing.
Know who you are inviting. Since more and more couples are choosing to be more eco-conscience with their wedding stationery, there’s no longer a need for TWO envelopes (an outer & inner envelope) indicating who’s invited to your event. This means addressing the envelope properly will be key for your guests to know who’s allowed to attend. Below are some examples of addressing for families and guests.
Make sure your envelopes are legible. Whether you choose printing or hand calligraphy, your envelopes need to be legible at arm’s length. Yes, we know, you’ve already fallen in love with a photo on Pinterest that has perfect modern calligraphy scribbled all over a designer envelope. Keep in mind that most US mail is sorted through postal machines, not by humans who can interpret through those fancy flourishy fonts. The Postal machines have trouble reading messy, crooked or slanted text. Is the latest trend worth having your invitations returned to sender because they got rejected by the post office?
Are you ready to get addressing? Here are some standard guidelines to addressing to get you started.
Do not spell out the state. U.S. Postal Service prefers two letter abbreviations.
Send a separate invitation to any children over 18, even if they live at the same address as another family member who will also receive an invitation.
Use full names not nicknames.
Add “and guest” if you are allowing your family member or friend to bring a guest. Better yet, find out that guest’s name to really make them feel welcome!
Write out professional titles such as, “Doctor” or “Professor”.
Write family member or close friend’s name before their guest’s name.
Write apartment or unit number on the same line as street address (see below)