Why Two Envelopes
Paperia | August 2014
Many wedding invitation suites include two envelopes: the outer envelope and the inner envelope. The outer envelope is a gummed envelope on which the mailing and return addresses are printed and the postage is placed. The inner envelope is a non-gummed envelope on which only the names of invited guests are printed.
The purpose of using both inner and outer envelopes is threefold. The inner envelope allows you to:
- indicate explicitly who, from a particular household, is invited to the event
- contain and further protect the elements of your invitation suite from rough mail handling
- uphold the formality of traditional social etiquette
Clarifying who is invited to the event can be particularly helpful when there are special circumstances. For example, when you are inviting a couple to bring their children, or when you are inviting a single person to bring a guest. Here are two common examples.
1. Inviting Henry Parker with a guest.
Mr. Henry Parker
Mr. Parker and guest
2. Inviting John and Jane Smith with
their two children, Robert and Lauren.
Mr. and Mrs. John Smith OR
Mr. John and Mrs. Jane Smith OR
The Smith Family
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
A few notes about including children on the inner envelope:
- A son under 13 should be addressed “Master,” and a son over 13 should be addressed “Mr.”
- If there are several young men, use “Messers.” And, if one or more of the children are not invited, the Messers can be specific (i.e. Messers Robert and Sam Smith) to show exactly which of the children are welcomed.
- If there are several young women, use “Misses.” Just like for the gentlemen, if one or more of the female children are not invited, the Misses can be specific (i.e. Misses Lauren and Rachel Smith) to show exactly which of the children are welcomed.
While some couples opt to forego the inner envelope in order to save on cost, the time and effort they could potentially save you from having to call guests to clarify who is invited may be worth the investment. Stop in to the Paperia to learn more about wedding envelope options and etiquette!