DIY Wedding Envelope Addressing Tips

By Joelle of A Charming Occasion

I am so excited to be here today to share some wedding envelope addressing tips for you. As someone who has addressed my fair share of envelopes (I offer hand lettering services through my etsy shop), I have learned a lot about this seemingly simple process.

Depending on the type of wedding you’re having, you may evaluate whether or not you want to hire a calligrapher to address your envelopes for you. This cost can get pretty high up there, so don’t worry if it isn’t in your budget! I am a firm believer that anyone can master the art of handwriting, if you just practice. Here are a few tips to take into consideration when addressing your own invitation envelopes…

1. The names on the envelope are the names of the people invited to the wedding.

I’m sure this seems so simple, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t follow this rule. Traditionally, wedding invitations have both an inner and an outer envelope, but that is becoming less and less common these days. If you choose not to have an inner envelope, in which the names of all guests are explicitly written, be sure to specify exactly who the invitation is addressed to on the single, outer envelope. Here are a few examples as to how you can address your single, outer envelopes to indicate who is exactly invited to your wedding:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hooper

Mr. Robert Moore and Mrs. Taylor Hart

Ms. Lydia Hoover and Ms. Christine Larson

Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Lori Smith
Daniel, Katie, and Samantha

Guests under the age of eighteen can be included on their parents’ or guardians’ invitation. Anyone over the age of eighteen should receive their own invitation, even if they live in the same household as another guest (the exception being if they are a couple).

If you are on the receiving end of a wedding invitation, pay close attention to the names written on the envelope. Unless the envelope has your significant other’s name, or “and guest” written on the outside, don’t expect to bring anyone (including your children!). It’s impolite to call and ask if you can bring a guest, unless you are married and your spouse isn’t included on the envelope.

2. Figure out spacing before you start writing.

As a general rule, married couples are written on a single line, while unmarried couples are written on separate lines, with the partner you know best written first. These are only suggestions, however, and are completely dependent on spacing issues. Also, if you are using multiple vintage stamps on your envelopes you’ll want to see how they fit prior to writing (though you don’t want to permanently place the stamps before you write).

When I hand letter envelopes, I always keep in mind that spacing may vary from envelope to envelope, depending on the length of the names and addresses. Remember that your guests won’t necessarily see how the other envelopes are addressed! If you need to put the zip code underneath the city and state because you ran out of room, don’t worry. It may not be technically correct, but few know what technically correct is nowadays anyway.

3. Spell it out.

I always prefer to spell out words when I can, rather than use abbreviations. For example, street instead of st., Post Office Box instead of P.O. Box, and I always try to spell out the state (if I have room).

There is a lot to consider when you make that decision to address your own envelopes, but remember that there are a lot of ways to do it. I would encourage to practice as much as you can (you can see my How to Fake Calligraphy post here), and do your research. It may not be important to you to spell out the state, but I promise you’ll want to get the names spelled correctly! Give yourself plenty of time, and don’t be frustrated if you mess up at first. I even make sure to get extra envelopes, at least ten percent, to account for mistakes!

Photography by Amanda Driver of Driver Photography

  1. Joelle

    Thanks for letting me share my tips with you! Hopefully they help some bride with her own wedding invitations! xoxo

  2. Catherine

    Hi there, may I please have the link to faking calligraphy? I didn’t get in the post. Thank you and your blog is super duper cute! 🙂

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