- Invitations should be mailed six weeks to eight weeks prior to the event. If you are planning a summer or holiday wedding, you can choose to send Save the Date cards about eight to four months before your event. These cards are especially helpful for out-of-town guests.
- Take a completed invitation with all your enclosures to your post office and have them weigh your invitation so you will know the cost of the stamp that you will need for your invitation to be mailed out to your guests. Never assume that you know how much mailing an invitation will cost. Can you imagine anything more heartbreaking than getting back all your beautifully addressed invitations because you were short on postage?
- Ask your post office to hand cancel your invitations. Hand canceling each invitation will be post marked by hand and not placed in a machinery. This will help to ensure that large, thick, or oddly sized envelopes don’t get caught in processing machines. It can also minimize the amount of printing (for example, bar codes) the post office adds to your envelopes.
- Traditionally, two envelopes are used for wedding invitations and announcements. The inner envelope, which may be plain or lined, is without glue and remains unsealed. It is used to enclose the invitation or announcement and any accompanying cards. It also insures the delivery of the invitation itself in a clean envelope. The outer envelope has a glued flap and is used for the complete mailing address. The guest’s full name is always used on the outer envelope followed by the street address:
Mr. and Mrs. Eric Washington 265 Main Street Vernon, Connecticut 06066
- Nicknames or abbreviations should be avoided when possible except for Mr., Mrs., Dr., Jr., etc. and for military rank. You may use an initial if you do not know the full name or if the person never uses his given name. Cities, states, and numbered streets are written out in full. Remember to include zip codes.
The inner envelope always carries the last names only with no address:
Mr. and Mrs. Hartford
- The phrase “and family” should be avoided. If you wish to include younger children, they should be mentioned by first name, according to age, on the line following that of their parents:
Mr. and Mrs. Powers
Mark, Cynthia, Thomas
- These names should appear on the inner envelope only. The outer envelope would be simply addressed to the parents. Never write “No Children” on the invitation or envelope. If you do not want children to attend, the situation should be handled verbally.
- Formally, dates of single guests should be sent separate invitations. You may wish to enclose a personal note in the invitation of a single guest saying, “Please bring an escort” or “Please bring Miss Marie Quinn”.
- Children over 18 years old should be considered adults and should receive their own invitation, even if still at the home of their parents who will also be invited to your wedding.
- Two unmarried people who reside at the same address may be sent a single invitation. Their names would appear on separate lines in alphabetic order:
Miss or Ms. Nancy Summers
Mr. Robert Williams
- This same format may also be used when inviting a married couple, if the wife has kept her maiden name or uses a professional title.
- In addressing clergymen, military officers, and medical doctors, always use their titles in full:
The Right Reverend William Prentice (Clergy)
Doctor and Mrs. Martin Swift
Doctor Patricia Neddles (Married Woman Doctor)
Mr. Charles Lyons
Doctors Sam and Mary Hepler (both Doctors)
Colonel and Mrs. Quinlan Roberts
The Honorable and Mrs. Thurgood Thompson
General and Mrs. Barry Lynch (Officer – Male who is active duty or retired from the service)
Captain Sandra Kellerman, U.S. Army
Mr. Anthony Giminiani (Officer – Female who is active duty or retired from the service)
- A single guest, an unmarried woman over 18 or a divorced woman who retains her maiden name should be address as ” Miss” followed by her first name and maiden name.
- A divorced woman who uses her married name should be either Mrs. or Ms. first name and married name.
Mrs. Susan Smith or Ms. Susan Smith
- For same gender couples, their names should appear on separate lines in alphabetically by last name.
Miss or Ms. Sharon Black
Miss or Ms. Janet Brown
- Your return address should be included on the outer envelope so the invitation can be returned to you if the address is incorrect or if the invitation is not deliverable for some reason.