Addressing the invitation
When you’re ready to address your outer envelopes, sticking to the following conventions announces your upcoming celebration with grace and style:
Traditional Outer envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. John Francis Smith, II (Outer Envelope Line 1)
101 Example Street (Address 1)
Apartment 101 (Address 2)
Beverly Hills, California, 02159 (City, State, Zip)
Traditional Inner Envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Inner Envelope Line 1)
Billy and Jane (Inner Envelope Line 2 – additional guests/children’s names)
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Whitney
Married couples with different last names
Mr. Robert Whitney and Mrs. Elaine Allen
Married couples with one doctor (the Dr. title precedes a Mr. or Mrs.)
Doctor and Mrs. Robert Whitney or Doctor Elaine and Mr. Robert Whitney
Married couples with two doctors
The Doctors Robert and Elaine Whitney
Married couples with a judge
The Honorable Robert and Mrs. Elaine Whitney
The Honorable Robert Whitney and Mrs. Elaine Whitney
Unmarried couples living together
Mr. Robert Whitney
Ms. Elaine Allen
Addressing Dos and Don’ts
Do rely on inner envelopes to tactfully invite only certain members of a family
Children under 18 should have their first names only listed.
Children over 18 should receive their own invitation.
Don’t use abbreviations.
Spell out state names, landmarks (Street | Avenue | Northwest) and other words like "Post Office Box."
Spell out titles for judges, clergy, military & doctors as well as generational suffixes like “junior”
The return address indicates where guests should send replies and gifts when a specified RSVP address does not appear inside the invitation.
Traditionally, guests mail responses to the parents of the bride, or the host(s) of the wedding. Today, many brides prefer to handle the responses themselves. In that case, use only the bride’s address, even if the bride and groom live together (trust me, it will make your ultra conservative auntie or grandmother happy).
If the groom insists on having his name appear in the return address, proper etiquette is to present the couples’ names on separate lines:
123 Main Street
San Diego, California
Assembly and Mailing
Assembling your invitation stationery
When your guests open your wedding invitation, they should see the enclosed cards arranged in order of size, with the smallest piece on top and the largest – the invitation – on the bottom.
The invitation always arrives on the bottom with its printed side facing up. If your invitation is double-sided, arrange it so the ceremony details are faced down.
Additional pieces should be stacked on top of the invitation according to size. If you have more than one card of the same size, place the more important card closest to the invitation.
In general, the ordering of the pieces usually looks like this:
RSVP set (RSVP card should be placed under the flap of the RSVP envelope)
Assembly Dos and Don’ts:
Do write a number lightly in pencil on the back of every RSVP card. Assign each number to a guest on your list. When a guest inevitably forgets to write his or her name on the RSVP card, this backup system will allow you to keep track of who’s coming.
Stuffing the envelopes – Dos and don’ts
Do assemble one complete invitation set and weigh it at the post office before stamping your envelopes. Improper postage, which will result in returned invitations, can be disastrous.
Do set aside invitation sets that have international addresses. This will help remind you to add extra postage.
Do double, triple, quadruple check each invitation set before sealing the outer envelope. If you’re including inner envelopes, make sure the names on the outer and inner envelopes match.
Don’t use a sponge to seal the envelopes. It may not taste great, but the lick-and-stick method guarantees a tight seal.