If you are planning a traditional wedding, much of the same formality that appears in the invitation is also used on the envelopes. The outer envelope will include the guests FULL formal name including any title, whether it is professional, social, religious, etc. On the inner envelope you would list their names with no address and list their children (if invited) by their first names only. I think it is nice to address intimate relatives by their title - grandma, aunt, uncle.
Here are some etiquette guidelines that will help you when addressing your envelopes...
DO address all wedding invitation envelopes by hand or have them done by a calligrapher or calligraphy machine. NEVER PRINT ON LABELS!!!
DO spell out all street names and states.
DO address the invitation to both members of a married couple such as Mr. and Mrs. Anthony DiSalvio.
DO send ONE invitation to couples living together, and address it to BOTH of them with each name appearing on a SEPARATE line.
Mr. William McCarthy
Ms. Sarah Wellington
DO list a ranking title FIRST, regardless of gender. DO list a woman with a professional or military title on a separate line, ABOVE her husband's name on the outer envelope. On the inner envelope you would still use her title, but she and her husband would be listed on the same line, her name first.
Outer: Doctor Margaret Shepherd
Mr. John Shepherd
Inner: Doctor Shepherd and Mr. Shepherd
(Next blog will discuss common titles and how they should be addressed).
DO send a separate invitation to children over sixteen years of age. If there is more that one sibling over the age of sixteen, one invitation may be sent to the two of them, listing their names ALPHABETICALLY.
DO list the names of children who are invited to the wedding under their parents names on the INNER envelope.
DON'T write "and family"
DON'T write "and guest". Take the time to find the name of the guest's significant other. This could be a tough one for some people:-)
I hope you found these guidelines to be helpful. You may still encounter some "creative" situations or living arrangements that are confusing and need to be properly addressed. Please call me so that I may try to help you at 856-858-3777.