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Inner and Outer Envelopes Explanation and Etiquette


Traditional wedding invitations often come with an inner envelope and an outer envelope. You might be wondering what each envelope is for. Here we've explained the purpose of each envelope and a few examples of how to address them.


Inner and Outer Envelope Etiquette

Your wedding guest list will be filled with many different people in many different living and family situations. The guide above is designed to give you examples of various scenarios you will come across when addressing your wedding envelopes. We've included a column with examples for addressing both inner envelopes and outer envelopes since most traditional wedding invitations still come with both.

If your wedding invitation did not come with an inner envelope, you will follow the outer envelope examples but you will want to clearly state who is invited to the wedding. For example, if you're inviting a family of five, write the parents' names as shown above and then write all three of the children's first names like mentioned in the inner envelope column (or write "and family" for a more informal approach). If you are encouraging single friends and family members to bring a guest, be sure to write "and guest" on the outer envelope.

Here are some other helpful tips for addressing your outer envelopes:
  • Do not abbreviate except for Mr., Mrs. or Ms.
  • Do not use symbols.
  • Spell out the word "and."
  • Do not use initials.
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes.
  • Write out the words "Street," "Boulevard," "Avenue," etc.
  • Do not abbreviate state names.

You will also find a list of titles at the end and how to address envelopes using proper titles. Our guide will be very helpful in these sometimes-tricky circumstances.
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