The inner envelope
The inner envelope bears the title and last names of the specific people invited. This allows the host to be very clear about who is invited, and by omission, who is not invited. It’s also fine to write familiar names for close family: Aunt Martha and Uncle Bill. For example, the inner envelope for Mr. and Mrs. James Darling and the two Darling children Sarah and Johnathan would be:
Mr. and Mrs. Darling
The outer envelope
The outer envelope is addressed conventionally using titles, first, (middle), and last names. While titles are abbreviated (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr.) all other words such as “Street,” or “Boulevard” are spelled out. State names may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation. Middle initials aren’t used, so either write out the middle name or omit it. Generally, an invitation to parents and children is addressed to the parents:
Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Darling
Listed here are some common forms of address.
For a complete guide, click here
Single envelope guide: click here
To a married couple
Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple, even though the bride may know only one or knows that only one will attend.
To an unmarried couple living together
Invitations to an established couple who are unmarried but live at the same address are addressed to “Ms. Nancy Fellows and Mr. Scott Dunn,” on one line.
To a married woman doctor or two married doctors
If the woman uses her husband’s name socially, the address is “Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner.” If she uses her maiden name both professionally and socially, it is “Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner.” If the husband is also a doctor, the address is either “The Drs. Werner” or “Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.”
How to add “and Guest”
If you wish to encourage a single friend to invite a guest, find out the guest’s name, especially if the couple is engaged, living in the same house, or seeing each other on an exclusive basis. If they live at different addresses, it is considerate to send an invitation to the guest directly. In this modern day many people still use double wedding envelopes, but an increasing number do not. So the question of how to add “and guest” often comes up.
Outer envelope to “Mr. James Smith”
Inner envelope to “Mr. James Smith and guest.”
It’s always nice if you can put the actual guests’ name on the envelope instead of the impersonal “and guest”. But I know that’s not always possible. It is definitely okay to write “Mr. James Smith and guest.” on the envelope.
However, if you do not want to use “and guest” on the envelope you can include a short note with your invitation: “Dear James, “We hope you can come! If you’d like to bring a guest, you’re certainly welcome to.” Best, Laura.”
How to Stuff the Envelopes
- When two envelopes are used, insert the invitation (folded edge first for a folded invitation, left edge for a single card invitation) , so that when the envelope flap is opened, you see the printed side of the invitation.
- When there are enclosure–reply card and envelope, map, printed directions–they are placed on top of the invitation, printed sides up, in size order with the smallest on top. Again, when the flap is opened, the printed side should be visible. If the invitation is folded, insertions are stacked in size order – smallest on top – but within the fold.
- The inner envelope is then placed in the outer envelope, so when the outer envelope flap is lifted, the name(s) of the guest(s) is visible.
Before you buy stamps, take an assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed. It’s likely that the inserts, or even an unusually shaped envelope, will call for extra postage.
Remember that maps and other directional inserts sent to out-of-town guests will make the invitation heavier than those sent to local guests and may require a postage adjustment. In that case, be sure to assemble two sets and have both weighed.