PW Guide Article: Etiquette Guide: Addressing Envelopes

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Etiquette Guide: Addressing Envelopes

Whether you?re addressing envelopes for your wedding invitations or thank you notes ? you want to be sure that you?ve got it right. While you may not want to hold to tradition exactly, this etiquette guide can point you in the right direction.

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Posted on August 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm
kakelley
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12/19/2009
kakelley

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(24) Comments

kakelley
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12/19/2009
kakelley

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kakelley

I am familiar with using full names on the inside envelopes for invitations, but we decided to go with invitations that only have one envelope. There is no "outside" and "inside" envelope, only one.. What is the proper way to address these?


 


Thanks


Kim

Posted on August 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm
dlander77
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06/12/2010
dlander77

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dlander77

this is helpful, especially since it is pretty close to the time for me to ship out my invitations!

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 5:18 am
dlander77
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06/12/2010
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dlander77

this is helpful, especially since it is pretty close to the time for me to ship out my invitations!

Posted on February 3, 2010 at 5:18 am
jlbo
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06/19/2010
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In regards to a widowed woman, Ms. may be fine for some generations however women in their 60's and older are offended by Ms., most etiquette books I have read says it is perfectly fine to go with Mrs. and either the woman's first name or her deceased husbands first name, whatever the woman's preference.

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 6:54 am
Printcess
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06/24/2010
Printcess

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Printcess

In response to Kim, if you are just using one envelope, just address the envelope like the outer envelope would be, but include the guests name.

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 5:09 am
mahoganieyes
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09/10/2011
mahoganieyes

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Very helpful!

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 5:17 am
lizza66
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06/26/2010
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So it is wrong to just call people their straight up names?  I can't address it Matt Jones, it has to be Mr. Matt Jones?  I don't like it.  It seems so pretentious to me!  It makes it sound older than the people are.  But also, I don't like Matron of Honor.  Why would I refer to my best friend as a Matron?  She is young and beautiful.  Matron makes me think of a 70 year old woman. 

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 5:53 am
kathycrandalldc
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04/11/2010
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kathycrandalldc

Regarding addressing invitations, there are traditional rules of wedding etiquette. All of society in the past used similar rules for everyday life, now it is reserved for special occaisions. Do you consider your wedding a special occaision or a casual event? The way you address and present your invitations to your guests tells them a lot about what type of an event you will be having and what will be expected of them as a guest regarding manners and attire.

Posted on February 17, 2010 at 6:47 am
karalisedj
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07/02/2010
karalisedj

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what about couples who have been together forever but are not married? do you address it to the one you know better and guest (ex. Mr. Bill Smith and Guest) or to both (ex. Mr. Bill Smith and Ms. Carrie Corner)? what if they have been together for a while, living together, but you've never met the sig other? so confusing...

Posted on February 23, 2010 at 5:16 am
kdh126
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09/04/2010
kdh126

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Extremely helpful, this stuff is confusing.
Posted on April 28, 2010 at 8:20 am
vcollier
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09/18/2010
vcollier

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What about couples with children? For instance, if the Smith family had two kids and both were invited, the address should read "The Smith Family," no?

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 6:36 am
MrsJW
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09/19/2010
MrsJW

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MrsJW

What about this situation: my girlfriend, her live-in boyfriend, and her son?  Is it Ms. Jane Doe and Little Billy Doe with Mr. John Smith underneath because she and her son are related and have the last name?  Or is it Ms. Jane Doe and Mr. John Smith over Little Billy Doe because they are an adult couple and he is a child?  A stumper!

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 6:14 am
mahoganieyes
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09/10/2011
mahoganieyes

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mahoganieyes

Needed this for my std. Thanks!

Posted on July 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm
poppyaka
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06/11/2011
poppyaka

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This article came right in time to send our STDs off! Thanks.

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 9:41 am
Future.Mrs.Bickel
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06/17/2011
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Future.Mrs.Bickel

"and family" is improper. And you are over thinking the addressing with the husbands first name and not the wifes. It's just the proper way to do it. Look it up.

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 11:19 am
QueenTrae
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06/25/2011
QueenTrae

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QueenTrae

I gotta tell ya, I'm not for following what someone else considers "proper". So many articles tell you to make your wedding about you and reflect your personality and then turn around and tell you what you SHOULD be doing or what's acceptable. Pssaw! If someone is REALLY that upset that I didn't address an envelope properly then I say they're focusing on the wrong thing.

Posted on February 16, 2011 at 9:58 am
2glick
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01/07/2012
2glick

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I must take exception with the advice on how to address an envelope to a widow. It is "accepted" to address her as "Ms", but it is "advised" to address her as "Mrs". Most widows would be hurt if you called them Ms instead of Mrs, unless it is a very young widow who is more familiar with and accepting of the use of the salutation Ms. I would still not use it under any circumstances for a widow out of respect for her marriage.

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 11:16 am
Carrolli
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10/01/2011
Carrolli

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Thank you for the topic.  I Haven't addressed an invite since I was 21.  I needed the refersher course.

Posted on February 26, 2011 at 11:38 am
futuremrsgamboa
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11/05/2011
futuremrsgamboa

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Seriously I could really care less about being "proper." I honestly dont think any of my guests would even think twice about there not being a Mr. or Mrs. in front of their names. Plus who even has the nerve to fuss about something like that? When I get a wedding invite I'm just excited they took the time and money to make sure I get to be a part of their special day. Just cause you write "The Doe Family" or "John and Jane Doe" on their envelope doesn't mean the addresser is trying to offend you...really.

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 4:12 am
carolyn.knits
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carolyn.knits

I'm making this simpler - everyone has their own name on the envelope.  "Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Doe" if they are married with the same last name ("Mr./Mr." or "Mrs./Mrs." for same-sex couples), "Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Smith" if they are married with different last names (as I will be!) ("Mr./Mr." or "Mrs./Mrs." for same-sex couples), "Mr. John Doe and Ms. Jane Smith" if they are living together/dating but not living together ("Mr./Mr." or "Ms./Ms." for same-sex couples), the only widows are my grandmother and FH's grandmother, who are both over 80 and go by "Mrs. Jane Doe", "Billy, Annie, and Sam Doe" for kids (on a second line under their parents' names), "Mr. John Doe"/"Ms. Jane Smith" for singles, with "and guest" in the few cases where they are invited to bring a guest who doesn't have a name - the goal is for the majority of the names of significant others to be on the envelope.


I refuse to put anyone as "Mrs. John Doe".  Ugh!  I don't know anyone in either of our families that would choose to be referred to that way and I definitely don't want to be called that when I'm married.  I can tolerate being called "Mrs. Jane Doe" even though I'll be "Mrs. Jane Smith" - no name change - but I refuse to lose my entire identity and just get referred to as "Mrs." and I won't do that to other women either.  Etiquette shmetiquette - maybe it's about time that antiquated etiquette changed.

Posted on July 4, 2011 at 5:34 am
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