Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Invitation Etiquette: Addressing & Sending

We know that our brides always have lots of questions about invitations, so we thought we'd share some invitation etiquette with all of you. Here are a list of our brides most frequently asked questions and our answers that will hopefully help you!

{via Sixpence Press}

Q: When do I send out my invitations?
A: Six to Eight weeks before the wedding. Although that's the timeline, prepare your invitations at least a month before these deadlines. You want to make sure you have time for proofing and ordering. If you're having your envelopes sent to a calligrapher, give them plenty of time to get the project done. We suggest at least 3 weeks before you need them. Every calligrapher is different, but rushing a calligraphy project is never a good idea!

Q: How many extra envelopes should I order for my calligrapher?
A: This varies depending on your calligrapher. However, usually it is around 10% of the total amount ordered.

 {via Hardink Calligraphy}

Q: How should the names and titles appear on my outer envelope?
We stole this answer from Martha Stewart Weddings. We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Here is what they had to say.."Your guests' names should be written in full on outer envelopes -- no nicknames or initials. Use the appropriate social titles as well, such as addressing married couples as "Mr. and Mrs." If a man's name has a suffix, write "Mr. Joseph Morales, Jr.," or "Mr. Joseph Morales IV"; "Junior" can be spelled out on a more formal invitation. It gets a little tricky when husband, wife, or both have different professional titles. If the husband is a doctor, for example, the titles will appear as "Doctor and Mrs."; if the wife is a doctor, her full name would come first, as in "Doctor Sally Carter and Mr. John Carter." If both are doctors, write "The Doctors Carter." If they have different professional titles, list the wife first: "The Honorable Pamela Patel and Lieutenant Jonathan Patel, U.S. Navy." If a wife has kept her maiden name, her name should appear first and be joined with her husband's using "and."

Q: Can I used abbreviations for street names and states?
A: No. You will want to spell out such words as "Street," "Apartment," "Road" etc. This also goes for cities and states. Same goes for return addresses!

Q: What if a couple that is married has different last names?
A: When a husband and wife have different last names, the wife's name is traditionally written first. If you connect the couple's names by the word "and,"  it implies marriage. If there is a couple that lives together, their names should be written on separate lines without the word "and." On the inner envelope, both are addressed by their titles and respective last names.

Q: Do I include the children's name on the outer envelope?
A: No. You will only include the children's names on the inner envelope. If your invitation is formal, you will have any boy under the age of 13 listed as "Master" and girls under the age of 18 listed as "Miss." If the invitation is informal, skip the titles.

Q: Do I include "and guest" on the outer envelope?
A: No. If you want to give a single friend the opportunity to bring a guest, include the line "and guest" on the inner envelope. On the outer envelope, you will only list your single friends name. If the friend is a single female, it's appropriate to list her as Miss or Ms.

Q: How do I determine if someone should get to bring a guest?
A: General rule of thumb here is that if the person has been dating someone for 2 years or more, they should receive an invitation that has the option for them to bring a guest. If your invitee co-habitats with a significant other, they should have the option to bring them in that case, as well.

A few more tips...

  • When you're stuffing your envelopes, remember to put the invitations print side up. The response card should be slipped under the envelope flap, and then all tucked into the inner envelope. Remeber, don't seal your inner envelope and make sure the side that has the writing is face side up when guests open the outer envelope.

  • Browse different stamp options after you have decided on the shape and size of your invitation. Different shapes will call for different amounts of postage. You can order fun stamps from places like or you can browse on for more traditional options. 

  • Last but not least, remember when you choose your invitations that they are what sets the tone for your wedding weekend. They should be indicative of the type of event that you are planning on hosting, and should match the style of your event. 

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