With all the pieces included in a wedding stationery set, it might be easy to overlook the envelopes. But according to Deborah Lau-Yu, founder of Palettera Custom Correspondences, envelopes (and the way you address them) can say a lot about the tone of your wedding.
“A lot of people want to save money, and yes, that’s important,” Lau-Yu says. “You can try to print the envelopes yourself, but home printers aren’t perfect. If you spent money on your invitations, it can cheapen them if you have a label that’s shifted,” she adds. This is why Lau-Yu recommends that couples have their envelopes professionally addressed in typography or calligraphy by their stationery designer. “When it’s printed in beautiful script or font, it shows something special,” she explains.
The details of how your envelopes are printed are just as important as what is printed. Lau-Yu tells couples that the most important thing is to always be intentional when it comes to addressing their guests. “Weddings are sacred things,” she says. “Having your envelopes properly labelled conveys respect, properness and sacredness.”
Here are some tips to keep in mind when addressing your invitations:
- If inviting an entire household, list all the names on the envelope. This means that if you’re not inviting children, their names won’t be on the envelope. “It’s also the aesthetic consideration,” says Lau-Yu. “It looks really nice to have all the names printed on the envelope, if possible.”
- If you don’t know the proper title or last name someone uses, ask them. “It’s important to be sensitive,” Lau-Yu says. Taking the time to asks the guests shows you care about them.
- Go with the more modern way of addressing a couple. Instead of saying, “Mr and Mrs. Peter Chan,” say “Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Amy Chan.”
- Ditch the traditional double envelopes. Outer envelopes and inner envelopes were used during the days letters were sent by messengers to keep the contents safe. But nowadays, this isn’t necessary. “If the invitation is well-built and the envelope has scuff marks, it’s a part of its history of how it travelled,” says Lau-Yu.
When in doubt, ask your stationery designer for advice on how you should address your envelopes. Couples usually go through their guest list to specify the envelope labeling to their stationery designer. Palettera, for example, gives couples a template to use as a guideline when they’re choosing how to label their envelopes. “With all the junk mail we get, printing a name on an envelope is not seen as precious,” Lau-Yu says. “When you have something with your own name printed beautifully, it shows something special.”
Here are some examples of templates you can use for addressing your envelopes:
For a married couple using different names:
Put the names on two separate lines, alphabetically.
Mrs. Jane Doe
Mr. John Smith
For a married couple using the same last name:
Put the names on one line, acknowledging both first names.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Amy Chan
For an unmarried couple living in the same household:
Put the names on two separate lines.
Mr. Jason Diaz
Ms. Ella Jones
For a family living in the same household, with children under 18:
Mr. and Mrs. Todd and Lily Woods and children
Write the children’s names out in order of birth.
Mr. and Mrs. Todd and Lily Woods
Miss Danielle Woods
Mr. Ryder Woods
If inviting the entire family, or if it is a large family where the names would not fit on the envelope, write:
The Woods Family
For a family living in the same household, with children over 18:
Give the parents and each child over 18 their own invitations and address them individually.
Send one invitation addressing the whole family.
For a family living in the same household, with some children under 18 and some over 18:
Give the parents and the children under 18 a separate invitation from the children over 18.
Mr. and Mrs. Derek and Aliya Mohan
Miss Aisha Mohan
And a separate invitation for
Mr. Ian Mohan
One invitation for the whole family.