How to address an envelope

Hi everyone! We are so sorry for the delay in our posts--everything gets a little crazy when there's snow on the ground and then your 11 month old gets sick for the first time (overreaction city) and then gets you sick.  We're all better now, and ready to share some insight on addressing envelopes! Our last post focused on the dreaded guest list. We provided you with helpful tips to stay organized and as stress-free as possible. But what do you do once your invitations are supposed to be mailed? Today we wanted to focus on the proper way to address the envelope.

Envelope addressing can be a little finicky at times--should I address it to just our friend, is it okay to say "and guest", should I include both names if the couple is married? Regardless of your question, we are here to help! Today, we are going to go step-by-step through each possible option!

To a Married Couple

For a formal wedding invitation, most couples choose: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Want to include both couples? It is always okay to include the names of both individuals--it's kind of like formal meeting informal. To do this, you would want to address the couple as Mrs. Sarah and Mr. John Smith.

Want something a little more informal? Try going with Sarah and John Smith. If you want to go this route, you will want to include the name of the husband and the wife. Fun fact: the man will always go last because she should never be "removed" from his last name!

To a Married Couple that Uses Different Last Names

But what do you do when the couple is married but have separate last names? Easy: Mrs. Sarah Matthews and Mr. John Smith. Just like with a married couple, if you want to not use Mr. and Mrs., then simply say Sarah Matthews and John Smith.

To an Unmarried Couple Living Together

Just with married couples. both names should be written on the envelope. Here's the catch: the names should be on separate lines. Way back when, some etiquette guru (most likely Emily Post) developed the do's and don'ts of envelope addressing, and it was seen as improper for a married couple to be "tied" together by the word 'and'. So with this in mind, most couples write:

Mr. John Smith

Ms. Sarah Matthews

To a Married Woman Doctor or Two Married Doctors

If you are inviting a female doctor, you would want to make sure to include her title on the envelope. For example: Dr. Sarah Smith and Mr. John Smith. If she uses his last name then it simply would be Dr. Sarah and Mr. John Smith.

What if one of your guests are both doctors? It would be Doctors Sarah and John Smith.

You may be asking yourself, what about the other individuals with titles? If you know your guest prefers to go by their title, then use it for addressing (for example, you would want to say The Honorable _____ if one of your guests was a judge). Just like with doctors, if the woman has the distinguished title, then she goes first and you would write her name.

To Children and Families

Younger children can be included on the envelope. When you choose to do this, then you would put the children on the second line.

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Lucy, Parker and James

Have a family with a lot of kids or don't want to go this formal? You could always put The Smith Family.

To Children 18 and Older

Technically, children who are 18 or older should receive their own invitation. However, if they are still living at home save the money and include them on their parent's invitation. For individuals, you would write Ms. Lucy Smith or Mr. James Smith.

Got all of that? We know that we threw a lot at you, so here is a little cheat sheet for you :)


Didn't see an example for address that you are stuck on? Just ask us!

See you all next week with a brand new blog post!

The Dreaded Guest List

Your save the dates have been sent, and everyone is raving about how awesome your wedding is going to be; your wedding invitations are almost done, and you can't stop staring at them; there is just one thing that you are putting off...the dreaded guest list. Getting all of the addresses for your guests can be a little daunting--one of your guests moved between when you sent the save the date and your invitation, you accidentally typed the wrong zip code(those damn 0's keep disappearing), or a couple of your guests refuse to return your email/texts/calls with their complete address. For these reasons, and many more, we recommend that you get started on your guest addresses as soon as possible. Ultimately, you will have many of the addresses from your save the dates, but you may choose to be more formal on your wedding invitations. In our experience, we have seen many brides who don't know the "proper" etiquette for envelope addressing. To help you out, we've included a few tips for you :)

Inner/Outer Envelope vs. Just an Outer Envelope: Many brides choose to just have an outer envelope these days. While in the past it was more "traditional" and "proper" to have an inner/outer envelope, many brides have chosen to steer away from this option. Not only does it make formatting easier on you, it is also cheaper to just have an outer envelope(and less weight = less postage). Also, many couples use pocketfolds nowadays, so it acts as an inner envelope.  Many stationers will assume that you will only want outer envelopes, so if you choose to have inner/outer envelopes make sure to let your stationer know.

When you just have an outer envelope, the entire address goes on the front of the envelope. For example, if you had a single, female friend that you were extending a "plus one" to, then it would Ms. __insert name here __ and guest. (Note that guest is not capitalized on the outer envelope.) If you are inviting specific people from a large family, you can have the main couple on the first line, and the individuals listed below.  Children's names can be listed as first name only on the second line.

We also advise that you when begin collecting your addresses, go ahead and create an Excel sheet and separate everything into individual columns. When you send this file to us later, it'll make it mud easier for everyone! Oh, and those pesky little 0's that always disappear when you're trying to fill in a northerners zip code, can be saved my formatting that column as "text". Select the column, right click, select "format cells", select "text", then hit "ok"!  Your zeros are now there to stay ;)

RSVP Card: Many brides have also chosen to add a small line on the RSVP card asking the number of guest attending. This is super helpful to find out how many people will be attending, especially when your guest doesn't make it clear on their food selection. Technically, how you address your envelopes should clue your guests into who/how many people are invited. For example, addressing an envelope with "Ms. Lucy Smith" should tell Lucy that she is the only person invited and not extended a "plus one"; inevitably, you will have guests who try to invite a date that you were not expecting. Having "number attending" on the RSVP card will help you to know how many people to expect and to ultimately speak with certain guests if need be.

There's also the added option to include "We have reserved ______ seat(s) in your honor".  This is placed about the name line, and is intended for you, the bride and groom, to tell your guest exactly how many people they are allowed to bring. This is particularly helpful if you do not want kids at your wedding.

Printing Addresses: Unless you have a calligrapher or you plan to save money by handwriting the envelopes yourself, we highly recommend that you include printing the addresses onto the envelopes as one of your stationery costs. It not only saves you time, but it makes everything cohesive. You can arrange with your stationer to print directly onto the envelope or to create address labels. Printing directly onto the envelope can also be made to look like calligraphy, and is much more cost effective :)  Here are examples of both!



Typically, having it directly printed onto the envelope will cost a little more than if you were to choose address labels. Whichever option you choose, your invitations will turn out absolutely stunning!

I know all of this may seem daunting, but that is what you have us for! We are here to help you every step of the way in this highly stressful wedding planning process. If you have questions, please ask them!


Step Three: Wedding Invitations

It is no secret that wedding planning can be stressful. If wedding planning hasn't reached chaos mode yet, it may begin to get overwhelming when you start to think of ordering your wedding invitations.  I know what you may be much to do with so little time. Trust us, we have been there too. One wonderful thing about working with a custom stationer is that besides giving you one-of-a-kind invitations, we are also here to make your life less stressful. We take time to know the correct etiquette for the wedding invitation, the latest designs/trends, and we try to do anything we can to make your life easier. The wedding invitation process takes careful planning and can take a lot of time (unless you already know what you want). If you fall in love with your stationer that designed your save the dates, then it may be best for you to use them for your wedding invitations. It is every stationer's intention to help you through the initial step (save the dates) to the final step (day-of paper).

While four to five months seems like a long time before your wedding to order invitations, it surprisingly is not. You must make sure that you give your guests plenty of notice to make their travel arrangements and to RSVP. Don't forget: if you plan to have an 'A' list and a 'B' list (maybe a 'C' list), then you need to give yourself even more time so that your guests do not think that they are second thoughts.

The most fun part, for us, is to actually to design the invitations, but this can be somewhat stressful. Some couples choose to have all of their wedding stationary to be cohesive, while others choose whatever they like best. Here are a few invitations that just prove how diverse invitations can be--wedding invitations can truly be anything you want them to be.

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See?! We weren't kidding that there are so many different options. Whether you know exactly what you want or have no idea, it is our job to create the perfect invitation suite for your big day. There are only a few things that we need in order to start the drafting process. These are the necessary wedding details that go on your wedding invitation: names, location, wedding times, reception info, wedding website, etc.

Just like save the dates, some stationers will be able to design the perfect invitation suite closer to your wedding date if need be. Keep in mind, though, that it can take a little while to go through the drafting process (we recommend estimating a month for the drafting process) and the printing process, especially if you are using specialty paper that involves additional time to order.

Regardless, whatever you dream can typically be created (and hopefully it is in your budget)! We hope this was helpful! Next week, we will continue on with wedding invitations, but this time we will be focusing on mailing your invitations out and envelope addressing etiquette. As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to start planning your wedding stationary!

Step Two: Save the Dates

So now that you have a rough idea of your guest list and know how much to order--remember: for stationary, you want to think about the number of households and not the number of guests--it is time to begin thinking about your save the dates! Thanks to our helpful timeline in our previous blog post here, we recommend for you to order and mail out your save the dates 10-12 months prior to the big day. While we can certainly design save the dates in a time crunch, allowing yourself this time will cause for less stress and it is giving your guests enough time to plan for your big day--especially if they are travelling from out of town.

Before we get to the fun part--the design--it is also important to note that save the dates are not required. Many couples choose to send out a save the date because it is a fun way to show off those adorable engagement pictures and to of course announce your upcoming nuptials. However fun it is for both of us, etiquette technically does not state that you need to send out a save the date.

One of our favorite things about save the dates is that they can be a little more fun and informal than the actual wedding invitation. Save the dates come in so many different forms--from postcards, to magnets, to engagement photo cards, etc. You will also notice in the pictures below that it is important for the save the date to introduce the style and theme of your wedding.  That can be through your wedding colors or an "icon" that becomes a symbol/logo of your big day.  This theme is typically carried out to the day of paper goods, such as programs, menus, place cards, table numbers and even thank you cards.

In order to give you just an idea of the vast array of save the date styles, we wanted to share some of the save the dates we have done in the past. Hope you enjoy!

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This save the date was a photo from their engagement shoot. The beach backdrop tied in perfectly with their beach-themed wedding invitations! View More:

Or you can do something similar to this save the date. The couple was having a travel-themed wedding and chose to make a boarding pass as their save the date.View More: on your vision, adding a little humor to your save the date may lighten the mood and give your guests a good laugh ;)

3381_461938740520601_1940299663_nkatrina+bryanThe above save the dates are actually magnets!  Magnets are a great way to give you guests something to stick on their fridge in order to remind them of your date :)


There is also nothing wrong with something classic that will tie in perfectly to your special day.

Regardless of your style, vision, or theme, save the dates should include three things: your name, the wedding date, and the location (typically the city and state). Save the dates are also a great way to share your wedding website--if you have one--with your guests!

Next week, we will discuss how and when to order your wedding invitations! As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Step One: Create Your Guest List

Once the excitement of getting engaged to your best friend starts to wear off, it is almost inevitable that the feeling of creating millions upon millions of wedding to-do lists will occur. One part of our job as a wedding stationer is to help make the entire wedding process go smoothly for you. Let's look back at the timeline we shared with you last week:


Before you can begin to think about the design of your save the date (or wedding invitation), you will need to create your guest list. It's important for the guest list to be one of the first steps because it will help create a timeline for you. Even more importantly, your guest list determines the quantity for each piece that you will need(save the date, invitation, etc.).

After enjoying engagement bliss, we recommend that you sit down and make a rough list of everyone you and your fiance would like to invite. Make sure to consult with your immediate family members and close friends as well to see if you have left anyone out. This can ultimately lead to your first wedding meltdown(a great way to see how you and your future hubs handle stress) as your small, intimate wedding has grown into a a small, intimate wedding of 200+!  As much as you may not want to, this is the time to make the necessary cuts in order to create your perfect guest list.

If you find yourself not being able to cut anyone from your guest list, one option is to have an A and a B list. If this is an option for you, make sure to give yourself more time on the back end. You will not send your "B list" a save the date, but you will want to make sure that it is not noticeable that they were only going to be invited if individuals from your "A list" were unable to attend. For this instance, we recommend mailing out your first batch of invitations 8-10 weeks out, so that you can mail out your second (or third) batch out around the 5-6 week mark.

There are many other reasons why the guest list matters. Most notably is the fact that weddings can get quite expensive. For your wedding stationary, you don't want to over or under-order. Just like with most of the other vendors, your guest list will determine the cost of your wedding stationary (although we can usually get very creative in order to make your budget stretch). We also recommend that you always order at least 10-15 extra invitations because there will inevitably be a few that you forget (and you want to make sure to keep one as a keepsake, and one for your mom, and grandmom...). ;)

Another important note that most brides forget (myself included): for wedding stationary, you are looking for the number of households you are mailing to and not the actual guest count. A good rule of thumb is to divide your guest list in half and to add 25.

Now that we have a good understanding of the importance of guest count, we can focus on designing your save the dates! Next week, we plan to highlight some of our favorite save the dates.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment!