Etiquette for Addressing Inner and Outer Envelopes

If you have ordered your wedding invitations already, you have probably noticed that there are two different envelopes to use.  First, there is the outer envelope used for mailing.  Everything else goes inside this envelope.  Names and addresses are to be completely spelled out; no abbreviations are to be used.  The wording can either be centered or spread out.  Most of the time the address is centered because it is too long to be spread out.  Here is an example:

Mr. and Mrs. John J. Smith
123 South Main Street
New York, New York  10012

 The outer envelope will also have the return address of the person issuing the invitations, for example the bride’s parents.  The post office prefers that you put on the front upper left corner.  This is not proper for an invitation.  The proper place for the return address on the outer envelope is the back flap.  Again, everything should be spelled out; however, it will just have the address and no names.

The inner envelope has no glue and will contain your invitation; the inner envelope goes inside the outer envelope.  Your guest’s names will be repeated on this envelope, but in a more personal manner.  For a couple with children, the parents’ names would appear on the first line with the children’s names on the line underneath.  Here is an example:

John and Susan
Johnny and Timmy
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