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How To Address Wedding Invitations

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.

Return Address Etiquette

There are just a few things to remember when it comes to writing your return address on the wedding invitation envelopes.

  • The return address can be placed on the front of the envelope in the upper left corner or it can be centered on the back flap. Invitations by Dawn will print your return address on the flap of your invitation envelopes for free if indicated during the ordering process.
  • Proper etiquette states that envelopes should be completely hand addressed. However, we feel it's perfectly fine to use address labels or custom address stamps. We highly recommend placing address labels or stamps on the back flap rather than on the front so as not to interfere with the aesthetic of the guest's handwritten address.
  • Proper etiquette states that the bride should not use her new last name on any stationery until after the official ceremony. This means the bride would not use her new last name anywhere on the save the dates, wedding invitations, ceremony programs, etc. She can use her new last name on reception stationery and thank you cards. However, we believe this rule is a little outdated and that if a couple lives together and is handling their own RSVPs, it's fine to use address labels or custom address stamps for the sake of practicality. In the end, it comes down to what the couple is most comfortable with.
  • These same rules apply to the response card envelopes. Click here to Learn How to Word Your RSVP Cards.
  • You don't have to lick every envelope! Get an envelope moistener and make the assembly process so much easier.

Need help assembling your invitations?

Check out our handy guide to answer all your assembly questions. learn more

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