You’ve found the perfect invitations – now you just need to address the envelopes!

One of our most frequently asked questions is how to properly address envelopes. The following guidelines give examples from the most common situations, but keep in mind that these are formal guidelines. Many couples are less formal in their approach to addressing, using first names on inner envelopes or no titles on engagement or shower envelopes.

Our suggestion is that you address your guests’ names the way you feel most comfortable. At Laura Hooper Calligraphy, we address the envelopes exactly as our clients submit their lists, so you should always be sure that you are aware of the policy of your calligrapher. If you have questions, ask before submitting your list – this will help cut back on time consuming re-dos!

Outer Envelopes

  • Use full names, including the first names. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jackson
  • Initials should not be used for middle names; spell them out or leave them out! However, if a guest never uses his/her given name, do not use it on their invitation; in this instance, an initial is acceptable.
  • Adults living in the same household who are not romantically involved, should each receive their own invitation.
  • If you know who the addressee is bringing as a guest, include his/her name on the outer envelope.
  • Children and “Guest” escorts should not be included on the outer envelope, unless you are not having inner envelopes (If you do not have inner envelopes, it’s perfectly acceptable to include “and guest,” guest’s names, and children’s names on the outer envelope).
  • Write out the words “Street,” “Boulevard,” “Avenue,” “Road,” etc.
  • Do not use symbols. Spell out the word “and”.
  • Use figures only when writing house numbers and zip codes. Example: 225 Third Street
  • Spell out state names – California, not CA 

Inner Envelopes

  • Exclude the first names of the guests. Example: Mr. and Mrs. Jackson 
  • Write the first names of children to be invited below the parents’ names in age order.
  • Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, even if they are still living at home.
  • Omit names of children if you are planning an adult-only celebration.  
  • If an invitation to a single guest extends to an unknown escort, address the inner envelope with your friend’s name followed by “and Guest.” Example Miss Jones and Guest 

For more information and situations, including informal addressing etiquette, please visit our website and do not hesitate to contact us if you have specific questions.