Addressing the Outer Envelope

According to history, the outer envelope allowed the bride's footman to deliver the invitations to the correct households without actually touching the invitations themselves. This allowed the guests to receive the invitations, set in an inner envelope, exactly as the hosts had intended.

Today, outer envelopes are generally large, thick, and square in shape. They usually match the color and paper type of the invitation and inner envelope. Outer envelopes are addressed to the appropriate member(s) of the household and contain the mailing address, a return address, and postage.

First, make sure to review your guest list and confirm that all addresses are current and names are spelled correctly.

Always spell out the full name and address. Do not use abbreviations except for the following titles: Mister (Mr.), Misses (Mrs.) and Junior (Jr.).

Here are some guidelines for addressing your outer envelopes, listed by recipient type.

Married Couple (same last name)
Mr. and Mrs. James Baldwin

Married Couple (different last names)
Ms. Reese Cooper and Mr. James Baldwin

Single Woman
Miss Melissa Cartwright

Single Man
Mr. Benjamin Anderson

Unmarried Couple (at same address)
Miss (or Ms.) Colleen Smith (*the other guest will have his name on the inner envelope)

Married Couple (with children under age 18)
Mr. and Mrs. Collin Green (*children's names will be on the inner envelope)

Judge
if single: The Honorable John Brown
if married: The Honorable and Mrs. John Brown

Doctor (Medical)
if single: Doctor Bob Grimes
if married: Doctor and Mrs. Bob Grimes

Doctor (PhD)
if single: Dr. Henry Skinner
if married: Dr. and Mrs. Henry Skinner

Married Woman Doctor
Doctor Lisa Strokes
Mr. George Miller

Married Couple, Both Doctors
Doctors Michael and Jennifer Kelly

Clergy
The Reverend Paul White

Officer- Male, active duty or retired from service
Captain and Mrs. Leonard Greene

Officer- Female, active duty or retired from service
Captain Samantha Hart, U.S. Army
Mr. Carl Waters

*If no inner envelope is being used, include the names of all invited guests on the outer envelope.

Street names and directions should be spelled out and not abbreviated:

216 Ninth Street South
San Diego, CA
92101