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Addressing Invitation Envelopes & Calligraphy Needs
Proper forms of addressing Envelope
 How to Address wedding invitation envelopes

Be sure to use the Worksheet List to plan other aspects of your Event!

  Worksheet List

Most Common Needs for Many Events

Addressing Envelopes
Event Evaluation
Flowers & their Meaning


Reception Set-Up
Rental Needs

Theme Ideas


Socials ~ Weddings ~ Dances ~ Showers ~ Corporate Events ~ Holiday Cards and more!

Why Calligraphy?
Honor your GUESTS by personalizing each invitation envelope. By addressing each envelope in handwritten, calligraphy-style lettering, it brings a special touch to your event and will delight your guests!
The cost will depend on your calligrapher, yet well worth the praises and compliments you'll receive from your guests.
Gather the names and addresses for the completion of one master list. This master list can also be given to both sets of parents and also those hosting bridal showers. Compose your list into three categories: those to receive a wedding announcement, guests to receive an invitation for the ceremony only (or reception only), and guests to receive both invitations to the ceremony and the reception. Access your guest list from the following:
Personal friends of the Bride and Groom
Both Parents
Work and employment affiliations
Clubs and Membership Organizations
Work affiliations by both sets of parents
Special interest group affiliations

Calligraphy Service for Addressing Envelopes


Advanced preparation is required before sending the list and the invitation envelopes to a calligrapher. After the list of names is gathered from all sides of the family, including business associates, co-workers, and special guests, have the list either computer generated/typed out, computer data base list, or neatly hand printed on 3x5 cards.
The outer envelope contains the addressee (excluding children’s names). The inner envelope contains only the title and last name(s), with the children’s names beneath it.  


• Have the Return Address preprinted on the rear flap
• Order an embosser to hand emboss the return address
• Order extra envelopes in the event of messy spills or ink splatters  

Order Large enough envelope size to accommodate full names and titles

BE SURE to have the calligrapher prepare invitation envelopes for both sets of parents and the bride as a souvenir & mementos!  

ITEMS Needed
• Inner & Outer Envelopes
• Place Cards
• Table # Cards
• Food Name Cards
• Name Tags
• Wine List
• Menu
• Poem or Verse
• Family Tree Chart or Book
• Wedding Book
• Fill-In Victorian Certificate

Seating Chart?  


Have the entire invitation
And its contents in the Envelope weighed at the post office Before purchasing stamps. Extra Postage may be Required.
Ask your post master for romantic or otherwise appropriate stamps. The theme selection is quite extensive now.
  Zip Code Look-up
When you hand-deliver your invitations to the local post office window, you can request that they be "hand canceled" with a rubber stamp, instead of by a machine. It makes the front of the envelope look a lot more attractive without the large ugly black postal markings all over it. 

Unseal? Reseal? envelopes
So.....what if you have to unseal the envelope after you have sealed it?  This is a terrifying dilemma--one that I don't care to ever have to repeat (true story). After calming self down, try the following.
The best way (and quickest) is to get a tall stew pot and place about 2 inches of water at the bottom. Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature. Place a strainer or grill on the top to allow the steam to funnel upward. Place each envelope (2 at a time) on the grill/rack for about 25-30 seconds. Test it carefully to prevent tears. Carefully open the envelope with flap out and place on a cloth. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And, repeat until you've done about 350 of them! Correct your error by inserting the misplaced item in or what ever was neglected. Then, take the 350 envelopes (or whatever amount you have) and place each envelope face down on a soft face cloth on the ironing board. Place a soft, clean face cloth on top of the envelope. Once your iron is nice and hot press down around the seal area to reseal. You may have to press down for another 25-30 seconds to ensure that it seals well. You may find that you end up with a tiny ruffle or wave, yet it far beats having to re-address 350 envelopes! Tried the microwave--it didn't work.


PREPARE the LIST for Addressing Envelopes for Calligrapher   (2 suggestions)



Children's Name or other for inner envelope






John Smith

Cindy and Kyle

123 ...

Full name

not abbreviated



Karen Talley







John Smith







Karen Talley






 2 column list:

M/M John Smith   (Cindy and Kyle)

1234 Street

City, State zip

Miss Karen Talley   (and guest)

1234 Street

City, State zip



NOTE:  Formal layout is the most appropriate.  Always use the man's name unless she is divorced.  Those whose husband has died still prefer using his name (i.e. Mrs. John Doe), so be sensitive to that.  Young children can be identified as "Master John" and "Miss Emily" for the inner envelope.


Addressing Guidelines  

Addressing Guidelines

Outside Envelope

Inside Envelope

Married Couple

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Married Couple w/children under the age of 16 at home and by age (16 & above should receive their own invitation)

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Kathleen, Kyle, Kim


Doctor and Mrs. John Smith

Doctor and Mrs. Smith


Doctor John Smith and Doctor Karen Smith

The Doctors Smith 

Doctor (woman)

Doctor Karen Smith and Mr. John Smith (can indicate his name 1st)

Doctor Smith and Mr. Smith (can indicate his name 1st)


The Honorable John Smith and Mrs. Smith

Judge Smith and Mrs. Smith

Judge (woman)

The Honorable Karen Smith and Mr. John Smith

Judge Smith and Mr. Smith

State Representative

The Honorable John Smith and Mrs. Smith

Representative Smith and Mrs. Smith

Divorced woman (can include maiden name before married name)

Mrs. Karen Smith

 Mrs. Smith

Divorced, yet has resumed maiden name

Ms. Karen Talley

Ms. Talley

Unmarried, living together

Miss Karen Talley       

Mr. John Smith

Miss Talley                       

Mr. Smith


Mrs. John Smith

Mrs. Smith

Single woman

Miss Karen Talley

Miss Talley

Single and date

Miss Karen Talley

Miss Talley and guest or

Miss Talley and escort

Single man (and date)

Mr. John Smith

Mr. Smith and guest

The President of the United States

The President and Mrs. Smith

The President and Mrs. Smith

Former President

The Honorable John Smith and Mrs. Smith

Mrs. and Mrs. Smith

Senator (woman)

The Honorable Karen Smith and Mr. John Smith

Senator Smith and Mr. Smith

University President or Dean

Doctor and Mrs. John Smith

Doctor and Mrs. Smith

Professor (may use "Doctor" if hold a doctoral degree)

Professor and Mrs. John Smith

Professor and Mrs. Smith

Foreign Ambassador

His Excellency The Ambassador of ... and Mrs. Cordova

Mr. Ambassador and Mrs. Cordova

Same-sex couple living together

Ms. Frieda Carlson and Ms. Roberta Lee

(If the names are too long to fit on one line, indent a second line three spaces and begin it with "and")

Ms. Carlson and Ms. Lee


Unmarried Couple
(living together)

Mr. Thomas Black
Ms. Jennifer White

Mr. Black and Ms. White
(names listed alphabetically)

Same Gender Couple

Mr. Thomas Black
Mr. Henry Gold

Mr. Black
Mr. Gold
(names listed alphabetically)










Single Woman

Miss/Ms. Jennifer White

Miss/Ms. White

Single Woman and Guest

Miss/Ms. Jennifer White

Miss/Ms. White
Mr. Gold (or "and Guest")

Single Man

Mr. Thomas Black

Mr. Black

Single Man and Guest

Mr. Thomas Black

Mr. Black
Miss/Ms. Green (or "and Guest")

Sisters (over 18)

The Misses Jennifer and Michelle White
(in order of age)

The Misses White

Brothers (over 18)

The Messrs. Jonathan and Thomas White
(in order of age)

The Messrs. White

Brothers & Sisters (over 18)

The Misses White
The Messrs. White

Jennifer, Michelle, Jonathan and Thomas
(girls first, in order of age)


Mrs. Thomas White

Mrs. White


Mrs. Clark White
(maiden name and former husband's surname)

Mrs. White



TIPS for Addressing Invitation Envelopes


Try to avoid using "and family"

Do not abbreviate words i.e. Avenue, Boulevard, Street, County Road, Trail, State names, "Post Office Box...", when possible

Use full titles i.e. The Right Reverend, The Honorable, Colonel


"at home" cards bearing the couple's married name should not be sent with the invitations.  This information may be placed at the end of the reception program or mailed.

Formal style of addressing envelopes dictates black ink and by hand--NOT typed

  · Episcopal

The Reverend (with doctorate degree): The Reverend Doctor

Presiding Bishop: The Right Reverend

Bishop: The Right Reverend

Dean: The Very Revered

Archdeacon: The Venerable

Canon: The Reverend Canon



· Catholic

Cardinal: His Eminence, John, Cardinal __

Bishop and Archbishop: The Most Reverend

Abbot: The Right Reverend

Priest: The Reverend Father

·Eastern Orthodox

Archbishop: The Most Reverend

Bishop: The Right Reverend

Archimandrite or Priest: The Very Reverend


Rabbi: Doctor or Rabbi (after obtaining doctor of philosophy)


  • Send the escort a separate invitation
  • permissible to use "Aunt Karen" on the inside envelope
  • spell out "and"
  • permissible to use Jr., Esq., etc.
  • Avoid using initials for a man unless he dislikes the name and prefers otherwise or it is for a business card


Common Abbreviations

1  One

Wy  Way

apt.  apartment

SW  South West

Pl   Place

Msgr.   Monsignor

Pkwy   Parkway

RR   Rural Route

S or So   South

Fr.    Father

Ln.   Lane

Cir.   Circle

Terr.    Terrace

U    Unit

CR     County Road




Print Shop & Paper Needs 


(inner & outer envelopes)


(inner & outer envelopes)

Reception Card



Reply Card w/envelope

Personal Stationery

Place Cards

(regular, rim or stem cards)

Name Tags

Food Name Cards

Bridal Book/Registry

Pew Assignment Cards


Table # Cards

Change of Address Cards

Match Books

Napkins (tip: double the amount of invitations ordered)



Ceremony Programs

Reception Programs


Seating Chart

Autograph Books for Tables

Address Labels

Address Embosser

Thank You Note Cards

Family Bible/Chart


Gift Favors


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I Properly Stuff Envelopes for a Wedding?  

Take the simplest approach by spreading your materials in an assembly-line. Pick up the following in order:
1. The Invitation Card (face up)
2. Tissue (optional)
3. Reception Card (always closest to the Invitation)
4. Response Card Envelope
5. Response Card is tucked in, under the flap of the envelope
6. Tissue (optional)

Remember to have the printed copy running in the same direction on all of these cards.

Place these items into the "inner envelope", printed side facing you. With the front of the "inner envelope" ---facing you ---insert it into the outer envelope.

When should I place my Order with a Calligrapher?
Each calligrapher maintains there own time schedule according to the amount of work they have.

Call and schedule a time frame with the calligrapher well in advance.
Allow a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the date that you intend to stuff the envelopes and mail out the invitations.

Why is it necessary to have both an inner and outer envelope for the invitation? This insures that the invitation and its contents are received in a clean envelope. Many years ago, invitations were delivered by a courier on horseback where the mail tended to become soiled. The invitation was presented to the servant of the household, who would discard the outer envelope and put the inner unopened envelope containing the invitation on the breakfast tray of the lady of the house. The invitation was always placed in double envelopes so that the lady would would not soil her hands on a dirty envelope, and have a fresh clean envelope to open. Although the reason no longer exists, the tradition of double envelopes for wedding invitations has remained (www.Victorian Elegance).

Is it necessary to use the tissues that the print shop included?
The tissue provides a traditional touch, yet is optional. In the old print shops, printers used the tissues as separators in order to protect the wet ink from smudging. Printing techniques differ today, yet the tissue is simply used as a traditional addition to your event.

The Age of the Recipient?
• Each family
• A person over the age of 16 (sometimes age 14)
• Couples living together (list both full names on the envelope)
• Individuals over the age of 16 living together in one household

When Do I Mail Out Invitations?
4-6 weeks before the wedding date, preferable 8 weeks if a response card is being used or during summer months or if the wedding is to be held during the holidays.



Calligraphy Service for Addressing Envelopes
Nostalgic Paper Valerie
Nationwide service--Located in Texas


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