Return Address Etiquette: 5 Questions You Didnt Know To Ask
Wedding invitation address etiquette isnt a common topic of conversation for obvious reasons. Its not often something you think about until youre faced with a pile of envelopes waiting to be addressed.
Many of the questions that come up may surprise you. Were focusing on return address etiquette because its often overlooked in the hustle of preparing to address your wedding invitations.
Here are the answers to five questions you never thought to askuntil now.
Following Good Invitation Practices
How To Address Wedding Envelopes
A handy guide to wedding envelope etiquette
Once youve decided on your wedding invitation wording and its time to slide your beautiful invitation safely inside its envelope, theres still the matter of what to write on the front. But deciding how to address envelopes for everyone on your guest list isnt as simple as it sounds. With different scenarios to consider and titles to get right , its easy to forget where to start. So to offer a helping hand when youve got a million other things to prep and plan, weve put together this quick, simple guide to wedding envelope addressing.
Also Check: How To Address Families On Wedding Invitations
Addressing Wedding Invitations For A Casual Wedding
You might be wondering, “What if my wedding isn’t going to be that formal? Do I still have to make the wedding invitations formal?” Well, when it comes to addressing wedding invitations for a more casual event, we understand the temptation to just use first names, or first and last names without titles. While this isn’t traditional, if the vibe is really backyard barbecue or a picnic in the park, you may be able to get away with it.
But this is definitely the right time to use more formal wording for older or more conservative gueststhey may not notice that you were being particularly respectful, but they definitely will if they feel that you were too informal!
I Invited My Friend And Their So To The Wedding But They Recently Broke Up Now They Want To Bring A Friend I Don’t Likecan I Tell Them No
If you worded the invitation by having their partner’s name on the envelope , you have every right to say no. As a rule, invitations are nontransferable when people are invited by name. Explain that you’re not friendly with their proposed guest and you’d prefer the wedding be limited to close friends and family. If you invited all of your single friends sans dates, let them know they won’t be the only one coming solo .
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When To Mail Your Wedding Invitations
Typically you should send your invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. For a destination wedding and for out of town guests, send invitations 3 months in advance to give guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements. You should also allow an additional week or two if your envelopes require hand-canceling by the post office.
If Our Wedding Reception Is For Immediate Family Only Is It Okay To Invite People To The Ceremony Only
This is a tricky situation. Standard etiquette dictates that everyone who attends the ceremony should be invited to the weddingthat means the ceremony and the reception. By inviting guests to one and not the other, it could send the message that you want them there for the actual ceremony but you either don’t want to pay for their plate at your party or don’t care enough to have them there to actually celebrate your newlywed status.
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Return Address: 4 Ways To Step Up Your Wedding Envelope Game
Your wedding invitations are ready to be sent and soon your guests will get their first glimpse into your big day. But before you put them in the mailbox, have you thought of listing a return address at the back of your main envelope?
I know, it doesn’t sound like a big deal and it is a detail often forgotten or overlooked. But I always encourage my couples to have the return address either printed or handwritten on the back-flap of their wedding envelopes. Now, I am not big on etiquette and I believe that your celebration can only be special if it is truly a reflection of you. And that includes your wedding stationery and the wording you use. So there’ll be no nonsense from me but only two reasons for writing the return address: one practical and one purely aesthetic because I’m all about making your paper goods look exciting.
Why it is a good idea
The main purpose of a return address on the back of your wedding envelopes is that in the unfortunate event your mail doesnt get delivered to the intended recipient, it can then be returned to you. No more wondering if all your guests did get their invite or not, if nothing comes back to you, youre good!
What address you should use
Bold modern calligraphy for the names and for the address. The writing is covering most of the diamond flap, simple but efficient in style. Note that the postcode isnt in calligraphy to avoid any misreading from the post office and your invitation to be lost.
Mix it up
Etiquette For The Return Address
Not just any return address will do. Consider the return address on the wedding invitation envelope as the final resting stop for all the acceptances and regrets.
Wherever your guests are coming from to join your wedding celebration, a properly addressed invitation envelope will dazzle and delight and set the scene for your coming nuptials.
The host is usually in charge of collecting the RSVP cards, but the responsibility might be allocated to a different family member or friend. This is a pretty big responsibility and proper count is key to finalizing the final guest list.
The wedding invitation return address should also be the place you want your wedding gifts to go. Do you want your gifts to be sent to your house, or your parents house?
While the final decision is up to you, discuss these options with your planning team and make sure the person who lives at the return address understands the joyful duties that come with helping you plan your wedding day.
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Where Do I Put Return Address
For mailing, the return address usually goes on the back flap of the outer envelope and is traditionally the address of whoever is hosting the wedding. For the RSVP return envelope, the address used should be that of the person whom youve designated to receive response cards, be it your parents or you . Dont forget that the RSVP envelope should include the proper postage for return mailing.
How To Address Wedding Invitations To Children And Families
Include younger guests on the inner envelope of their parents’ invitation by their name. For girls under 18, you can use “Miss” if you’d like. Boys don’t need a title until they’re 18then they can be addressed as “Mr.” As with the other guests invited, you can always forgo titles or use the gender-neutral title of “Mx.”
Note: If you don’t include each child’s name, you’re implying that children are not invited. That said, don’t be surprised if some guests still mistakenly assume their children are welcome. If you’re concerned this will happen with your guests, ask your immediate family and wedding party to help spread the word that the wedding will be adults only and add the message to your wedding website. You may still have to follow up with guests who don’t get the message via phone to gently explain the situation.
On the outer envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
On the inner envelope:
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Abraham
Daniel, Jeffrey, Miss Brittany and Mx. Kelly
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Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquette
For a formal invitation to a married couple, classic envelopes incorporate social titles and the husband’s first name on the outer envelope, and only the titles and last name on the inner one. Note that all the words-including the state and the house number, because it is less than twenty-are written out. The writing doesn’t have to be aligned on the left- often stagger the lines in eye-pleasing ways. For some couples, omitting wives’ first names feels too old-fashioned including the first names of both husband and wife after their titles is appropriate. The house number, even though it is less than twenty, can be written as a numeral for a less formal feeling. And in keeping with a more personal style, the couple are addressed by their first names on the inner envelope.
When partners have different last names, the wife’s name is traditionally written first. Connecting the couple’s names by the word “and” implies marriage. For an unmarried couple that lives together, 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.
What Is The Return Address Etiquette For Listing Names On Save The Dates Or Wedding Invitations If The Couple Lives Together
You can be casual with SAVE THE DATES and list just your first names above your address, which allows you to avoid listing last names. However, on your WEDDING INVITATIONS, be sure to be more formal. List the brides first and last name on line one and the grooms first and last name on line two. The address will go on lines three thru five. Here are examples of both casual and formal return addresses that include both the bride and groom:
19 Emerson AvenueMinneapolis, MN 55423
Read Also: When To Send Save The Dates And Wedding Invitations
Why Is Any Of This Important
The return address tells guests two things: where gifts are to be mailed and where the response is supposed to be mailed.
If someone is unable to attend your wedding or if they would like to send their gift to you in advance , they should send their gift to the address used on the back flap of your invitation envelope.
Likewise, when a guest mails back the RSVP, they will use the address that is already written or printed on the front side of your response envelopes.
When Should We Send Out Our Wedding Invitations
Traditionally, invitations go out six to eight weeks before the wedding. That gives guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements if they don’t live in town. If it’s a destination wedding, give guests more time and send them out three months ahead of the wedding. Most couples also send out save-the-date cards so that their guests can hold the day in their calendar before getting into the nitty-gritty details. Save-the-dates typically are sent out six to eight months before the wedding.
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Whose Names Should Be On The Return Address
Formally, only the physical address is listed on the back flap of the invitation envelope. However, you can choose to include names if you wish. Ive seen clients do it many ways, but if you want to keep it traditional, no names here.
The return address on your response envelope should include names, since the post office will deliver this back to you.
Below, Ive listed some helpful samples for return address etiquette.
Invitation Envelope :
Remember, formally, no names are included on the outer envelope. However, it is okay to stray away from this option. If you decide to add names, use the RSVP Envelope suggestions below.
Otherwise, if you love grammar or if youre having a super formal affair, stick with this format for the return address on your invitation envelope:
12 Park LaneMobile, Alabama 36695
rsvp envelope: brides parents return address
Since the brides parents usually host the wedding, they most likely will collect all of your RSVPs as well. If thats the case, there names should be listed as such:
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Johnson12 Park LaneMobile, Alabama 36695
rsvp envelope: bride and groom return address
Nowadays, its not uncommon to see the bride and groom pay for their own wedding or to host the event together with their families. Formally, the bride and grooms names are not supposed to appear together in print before marriage.
If the bride and groom prefer their names listed on the response envelope, here are two formal suggestions for doing so:
Children 18 And Older
With any guest over the age of 18, they should receive their own invitation. The only exception would be if they’re living at home with their parent, as they can be included in the parents’ invitation. There are a lot of weddings that are choosing to do adult-only receptions, so make sure it is clear on your wedding website/invitations if children are not allowed.
On the outer envelope: Ms. Kayla Scott Or Mr. Maxwell Carter
On the inner envelope: Ms. Scott Or Mr. Carter
Read Also: When To Send Save The Dates And Wedding Invitations
How To Stuff Wedding Invitations
Before stuffing the wedding invitations, assemble all of the components that will be going into the outer envelope. These may include, but not be limited to, RSVP card and postage-paid return envelope, printed directions or map, and information on additional events.
After the names have been written on the inner envelope, the invitation is placed in the inner envelope. For a folded invitation, it is placed in the inner envelope folded edge down front-facing. If it is a single card, it should be placed left edge down also front-facing. This means guests will see the printed invitation once they have opened the inner envelope.
The assembled components listed above should be stacked smallest to largest and placed inside the folded invitation or in front of the single card. The inner envelope is placed unsealed in the already addressed outer envelope. Names and addresses should be double or triple-checked before mailing.
Once you have fully assembled the invitation, you should bring it to the post office to determine how much postage will be needed. The addition of multiple items may make the postage more than a standard letter. A few websites even offer personalized stamps that will have a picture of the bride and groom and the correct postage. You can also ask the post office to hand stamp the envelopes, which many feel are more attractive than the machine stamp.