Friday, February 20, 2015

Envelope Etiquette 101

Are you wondering what to do when addressing an invite to someone who kept their maiden name? Or if a couple is living together but unmarried? Addressing envelopes is probably one of the questions that I answer over and over again.

Married couple with the same last name
Outer: The husband’s full name (no nicknames), preceded by “Mr. and Mrs.”
Inner: Don’t use first names; in this case, it would read Mr. and Mrs. Harbin

Mr. and Mrs. William Harbin
9319 Oak Bluff
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Married couple with children under 18 living at home
Outer: Children’s names are left off the outer envelope
Inner: “Mr. and Mrs. Burleson” on the first line; children’s first names on a line below

Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Burleson
125 Magnolia Circle
Birmingham, Alabama 35213

Married couple in which the woman has kept her maiden name
Outer: The wife’s name appears first, on its own line; “and” indicated marital status
Inner: Place “Ms. Olsen” on the top line; “and Mr. Hayes” is written below

Ms. Olivia Olsen
and Mr. Ethan Hayes
62 Waterfront Road
Seattle, Washington 98118

Married couple in which the woman is a doctor
Outer: The woman's name is placed first, if the husband is also a doctor, the address is either "The Drs. Werner" or "Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner."
Inner: “Dr. Werner” is written first; “and Mr. Werner” appears second
Dr. Barbara and Mr. Robert Werner
3747 Valley View
San Francisco, California 94107

Unmarried couple living together
Outer: The guests’ names (ladies first) are written on two lines, without “and”
Inner: Write “Miss Stein” on the first line, with “Mr. Richmond” below

Miss Christine Stein
Mr. Joshua Richmond
43 East 92nd Street
Apartment 6D
New York, New York 10128

Single person with a date
Outer: Address this envelope to only the guest you know personally
Inner: The words “and guest” are added. For example, “Mr. Paris and guest”. And never capitalize Guest.

Mr. Matthew Paris
1686 Stanhope
Dallas, Texas 75225

Final Tips and Tricks:

  • Never use first names on the inner envelope, except for children’s
  • Spell out state names, plus words and terms such as “Street,” “Road,” “West,” “Place,” “Post Office Box” and “Apartment”
  • Whenever a woman’s name appears independently - no matter the reason - it always goes on the first line
  • Include titles such as “Doctor” or “Judge” only if guests use them both socially and professionally

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