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Wording Guides > Envelope Adressing Guide
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Envelope Addressing Guide


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Envelope Assembly Tutorials
For step-by-step instructions on how to assemble your stationery items and stuff your envelopes, click here.
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Outer Envelopes
It is traditional to use the complete, formal name and address of your invited guests on the outer envelope (if your invitation has inner & outer envelopes) or on the outside of a single envelope (if your invitation only comes with one envelope). For example:

Mr. and Mrs. James Smith
123 Main Street Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30030

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Inner Envelopes
If your invitation comes with inner & outer envelopes, the inner envelope carries only the last name preceded by titles (Mr., Mrs., Doctor) of the primary person or couple being invited. There are no addresses on the inner envelope. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
- or -
Ms. Middleton

Invited children's first names appear under the parents' names. For example:
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Tyler and Elizabeth


Note: Invited children over 18 or older still dwelling with their parents should receive separate invitations.

If you are allowing single people (who are not dating anyone long-term) to bring a guest, you can indicate this on this inner envelope by adding "and guest". For example:

Mr. Paul Jones and Guest

Note: The most proper etiquette encourages that if you want your single friend to invite a guest, you should do your best to find out the guest's name. If they live at different addresses, it is considerate to send an invitation to the guest directly. However, since it is not always possible (or practical) to obtain the guest's name ahead of time, it is also acceptable to include "and guest" on the envelope.
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Single Envelopes
If your invitation set does not include double envelopes, write the complete, formal name and address of your invited guests on the outside of the single envelope. Children's names should be listed below parents' names on the envelope. For example: Mr. and Mrs. James Smith
123 Main Street Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30030


- or -

Mr. and Mrs. James Smith
Tyler and Elizabeth
123 Main Street Northeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30030


If you are allowing single people (who are not dating anyone long-term) to bring a guest, you would indicate this on the outside of the single envelope by adding "and guest" line beside the single guest's name. For example:

Mr. Paul Jones and Guest
456 Main Avenue Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia 30030


Note: The most proper etiquette encourages that if you want your single friend to invite a guest, you should do your best to find out the guest's name. If they live at different addresses, it is considerate to send an invitation to the guest directly. However, since it is not always possible (or practical) to obtain the guest's name ahead of time, it is also acceptable to include "and guest" on the envelope.
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No Abbreviations!
Do not use abbreviations on the envelope other than "Mr." and "Mrs."
Spell out Avenue, Road, Street, etc. as well as the State (or Provence) name. For example:

Mr. and Mrs. James Smith
123 Main Street Northeast
Apartment 216
Atlanta, Georgia 30030


- NOT -

Mr. and Mrs. James Smith
123 Main St. N.E.
Apt. 216
Atlanta, GA 30030


A few examples of address information that should be spelled out...

Post Office Box should be used instaed of P.O. Box
Road instead of Rd.
Street instead of St.
Avenue instead of Ave.
Court instead of Ct.
Circle instead of Cir.
Trail instead of Tr.
North instead of N.
South instead of S.
East instead of E.
West instead of W.
Northeast instead of N.E.
Southeast instead of S.E.
Northwest instead of N.W.
Southwest instead of S.W.
...and so on.
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Postage
Remember, before purchasing stamps, have one fully assembled invitation weighed at the post office to determine proper postage. Some invitations (like the square designs) will require additional postage. Don't forget to purchase stamps for the response (Rsvp) envelopes as well.
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Addressing Titles
Mr.: adult male
Miss: never married female, regardless of age
Mrs.: married, separated, widowed or divorced female
Master: young male, usually under the age of 18
Ms.: separated or divorced females, married females who kept their maiden name
Mmes.: Mesdames, married same sex female couple with same last name
Mssrs.: Messieurs, married same sex male couple with same last name
Doctor: usually used for Medical Doctors only, but it's common for most doctoral degrees
The Honorable: federal and state judges, justices of the peace, and magistrates
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Order of Appearance
Children: oldest to youngest if listed individually
Unmarried couple living together: list the lady's name first
Married couple with different last names: list the lady's name first
If one person is a Doctor: list the Doctor first, regardless of gender
If both are Doctors: Use "The Doctors Doe" on inner and outer envelopes
If one person is a Reverend: list the Reverend first, regardless of gender
If one person is Military: list that person first, regardless of gender
If both are Military: list the person with higher rank first, regardless of gender
If one person is a Judge/Justice: list that person first, regardless of gender
Gay couple: oldest first unless they've stated differently
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Use of Plurals
When names end in:
o add an s - for example: The Delanos
y add an s - for example: The Purdys
s add an es - for example: The Joneses
z add an es - for example: The Cortezes
sh add an es - for example: The Marshes
x add an es - for example: The Foxes
ch add an es - for example: The Bunches

Never use apostrophe in family names to indicate plural:
WRONG: The McCarthy's
CORRECT: The McCarthys

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