While we dish about the hottest trends and latest designs, we also know how stressful prepping for the big day can be. Meet Etta, our expert in all things etiquette. She’s ready to delve into your every dilemma.
I love the look of your embossers for the return addresses on my wedding invitations and RSVP cards! But I’m wondering if the post office can actually read them? I would hate to get the invitations done and then none of them make it back to me.
You can definitely use the embosser for your wedding invitations for your return address and the post office will absolutely be able to read it. In addition to the embosser you can also use one of our custom stamps for your return address on your wedding invitations. If you are still a little unsure and want to take all precautions you can check with your local post office because each one may have different rules.
For your RSVP cards we recommend using a calligrapher for your return address because with the mechanics of the embosser we feel it works nicely when the return address is on the back flap of the envelope. Allow at least 2-3 weeks for the calligrapher and make sure you allocate time for collecting everyone’s addresses too because this can take a lot of time and is often overlooked.
Another option for your RSVP card is using one of our custom stamps for the front of the envelope. It would look like the photo below but your return address would be in the middle of the envelope. Remember to also include postage on the response cards for your guests and have the return address go to the person in charge of the responses. This is usually the person who is hosting the wedding but often times can be the bride.
Etiquette for Addressing Wedding Envelopes:
If you have decided to use inner envelopes, this is the place to mention exactly who is invited to the wedding. You can use familiar names on the inner envelopes such as “Uncle Charles and Aunt Beth” and any children that are invited.
The other envelope is the more formal of the two and should be addressed conventionally. Titles can be abbreviated but all other words should be completely spelled out (no St. or Dr. here). For state names you can write it in full or use the two-letter abbreviation.
If you are sending invitations to a married couple be sure to address both, even if you already know only one can attend.
If you are sending invitations to an unmarried couple living together you should address both on one line. Example: “Ms. Shirley Adams and Mr. Ben Smith”
The most frequently asked question: How to do I address a “guest?”
It is a little impersonal to address your outer envelope as “Mr. Alex Brady and Guest” so when you are using the two envelope system this works well. You can address the outer envelope to “Mr. Alex Brady” and the inner envelope can read “Mr. Alex Brady and Guest.”
If you are only using one envelope you would only include “Mr. Alex Brady” and that would signify only one guest is invited to the wedding. If you would like to invite a guest and only have one envelope you could include a short note in the envelope stating they can bring a guest and to let you know as soon as they can with the RSVP.
Etiquette for Stuffing Wedding Invitation Envelopes:
- If you are using two envelopes insert the invitation (the folded edge first if it is folded, the left edge for a single card invitation) so that when the envelope flap is opened you will see the printed side.
- If you have enclosures (reply card and envelope, map, printed directions) they are placed on top of your invitation, printed sides up, in the size order with the smallest card on top. Again, make sure when the envelope is opened the printed side is visible. If the invitation is folded, the insertions are stacked in size order, with the smallest on top, but within the fold.
- The inner envelope is then sealed and placed inside the outer envelope so when the outer flap is lifted, the names of the guests will be visible.
Before you buy stamps you should definitely take an assembled invitation to the post office to have it weighed. If you have out-of-town guests and will be inserting directions or maps, make sure to bring this invitation as well and weigh both separately as it will be heavier. Keep in mind if you have an unusually shaped envelope there is usually extra postage required.
While you are at the post office you can also inquire about the different types of stamps they have or check a wider variety online.
Hand-Canceling: The Extra Care for Your Wedding Envelopes
If you are worried your wedding invitations might get damaged in the postage machines at the post office you can request hand-canceling. Instead of the machines printing bar codes on the envelopes, the stamps are marked by hand and will ensure nothing is bent or torn in the machine. This will keep your invitations looking neat and pristine. This isn’t required but if you want that extra touch this is an option for you!
We hope this answered all of your wedding invitation envelope questions and more! Good luck planning!
Have an etiquette question for Etta? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll post an answer for you.