Wedding Invitations
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Addressing Envelopes
Why are there always two envelopes?
Back in the days before the U.S. Postal service, when "mail" was delivered by hand by servants, the servant in your home would receive the message and remove it from it's outer envelope before delivering it to the addressee. For this reason, we address the outer envelope and furnish the inner envelope only with the recipients names.

What is the proper way to address my envelopes?
The proper way to address an envelope is to spell out everything possible. You may abbreviate Mr. and Mrs. for space purposes, however you should always spell out street names and titles such as "Street" and "Avenue". Also, always spell out state names. Numbers for the street address may be written out if they are short enough or may be written in numeral form for the convenience of the letter carriers. Always write the zip code in numerals as zip codes are machine sorted and it would cause great delay to write them out.

Inner envelopes should list the names of the recipients by use of their surnames; Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. Children under the age of 18 are listed under their parents' names.

Is it OK to indicate "and family" on the outer envelope?
It is not proper to indicate "and family" on the outer envelope. Children under the age of 18 should be listed by name under their parent's names on the inner envelope.

In what case do children receive their own invitation?
Children over the age of 18 should have a separate invitation issued to them, even if they reside with their parents.

What if I don't want children at my wedding?
There is no proper way to indicate on your wedding invitations that children are not welcome. Simply omitting their names on the inner envelopes should be sufficient. However, for some people this may not be a strong enough hint.

Many brides have begun to indicate on their reception cards "Adult Reception" and this seems to be an effective communication of your desire to have an adults-only wedding.

What is the proper way to invite an escort for my single guests?
The most proper, and thoughtful, way to include a guest for your guests is to contact them and find out if there is a steady person in their lives and send a separate invitation to that person at their own home. However, in cases where this is not possible, simply indicating "and guest" or "and escort" on the inner envelope is sufficient.

What if two of my unmarried guests are living together?
Simply address the outer envelope with each of their names prior to the address, with the lady's name on the first line.
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