The Art of Addressing Invitations

A couple weeks ago, we talked to you about the etiquette of invitations, so you now know everything about timing and who to invite and how. Then, we featured the lovely ladies from A Day In May Design in our Vendor Spotlight, as they shared their beautiful work. And earlier this week, our friends over at Wedding Paper Divas offered our readers a very special deal. So maybe you’ve just chosen your invitations, or perhaps you’re about to get them back from the printers and are ready to send those suckers out. But wait! What about addressing the envelopes? Gotta make sure you get that part right, and we’re here to show you how.

One common question we always get is, “Do we have to hand-write every single one of those addresses??” The short answer is yes, although the “rules” have become more relaxed, if you’re going to follow proper etiquette, the envelope that your invitation arrives in should be hand-addressed (plus, that’s more personal!) Brides often breathe a sigh of relief when we tell them that they don’t actually have to do it themselves. You can hire a calligrapher who will do a beautiful job making the outside of your envelope look just as lovely as what’s inside! (Michele Papineau Calligraphy graciously shared the samples in this post with us.)

You’d have to provide your calligrapher with a well-organized list of names with proper titles and full addresses.

Proper titles?? Yes, you read that right. If you’re inviting a single guest, write “and Guest” after the person’s name. Our recommendation is if you know who they will be bringing, actually write their full name, on a separate line. What do you do if guests have professional titles, like Dr.? What about when a married couple has different last names? And what if you’re inviting children? Check out these, and other, nuances here.

If you’re going to include inner envelopes and outer envelopes, here’s a good guide to help you address each appropriately.

What about the return address? Well, for this, since the address will always be the same, we say it would be fine if you gave your hand a break and used either a stamp or printed on the envelope.

And we know we already covered this in a previous post, but when you’re ready to assemble that invitation, make sure you do it right. 

For those of you that are still at the invitations step and need some help with wording, see these tips from Martha, or this wording wizard.

We understand that this part of the wedding planning process might be frustrating/tedious/perplexing/[insert lip-biting emotion here], so we’re here to answer any of your questions. Please ask away- we’re here to help! And if you’re so excited by how your invitations/envelopes came out, please do share them with us- we’d love to see!!

{All images above from Gertrude and Mabel Photography. Envelopes addressed by Michele Papineau Calligraphy.}