Addressing & Assembling Wedding Invitations

Under the Sun Photography – Lazy Creek Designs

We receive more questions about wedding invitations, and how to address and assemble them, than anything else on the wedding checklist. We have sent countless emails to clients, and even recommend books on this subject. Finally, we will tell it all (or most of it) in this blog post to keep our clients and fans in the know on the proper ways to address wedding invitations.

Opening a wedding invitation is unlike opening any other piece of mail. Much care and artistry goes into not only the invitation design, but addressing both the inner and outer envelopes as well. Several enclosures usually accompany the invitation itself, and there is a thoughtful order to how they are placed inside the inner and outer envelopes, as well as a few things to consider before you stamp and mail them.

Invitations Ordering Timeline

  • 5-6 Months – Wedding invitations should be ordered 5-6 months in advance. The ordering process will take at least a month, including the design decision, proofing, printing and shipping processes.
  • 4-5 Months – If you plan to hire a calligrapher, an additional 3-4 weeks will be required to complete your inner and outer envelopes, depending on the number of envelopes. *It must be noted that you should get on a calligrapher’s schedule 8-10 months in advance to reserve your desired work time. 
  • 3-4 Months – Once all of your envelopes are addressed, they will then need to be assembled with care. It is very important to not be in a hurry during this process. Be sure to review your envelopes carefully when assembling to check for mistakes. If errors are discovered, you will have time for the calligrapher to make the needed corrections.
  • 2-3 Months – Lastly, your invitations should be mailed 8 weeks before the wedding date.

Important Details to Consider

  • Consider the reply address you will wish to use. Guest responses and gifts are likely to be sent to the return address on the outer envelope. If guests should reply to a different address, use it for the reply card envelope or list it below the RSVP line on the invitation.
  • Do not forget to order extra envelopes—inner and outer—in case of errors.
  • When addressing or assembling, be very certain that the area is clean. Be careful with beverages, and wash your hands before you begin.
  • Organize the master guest list in Aisle Planner’s Guest Manager, double check the spelling of your guests’ names, and make sure that the master list is updated as guests RSVP.
  • When response cards are used, lightly mark the back of each card with the RSVP number that is automatically generated in the Aisle Planner Guest Manager. This will allow you to know who the response card is from if they fail to write their name(s) on the response card before mailing.

Formal Addressing for Inner and Outer Envelopes

Invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple, even though you may know only one will attend. Additionally, invitations should also be addressed to both members of and established couple who are unmarried but living at the same address. Allowing single guests to bring guests or married couples to bring their children is not mandatory for all guests, and can certainly be considered on a case by case basis.

Titles such as “Mr., Mrs., and Ms.” may be abbreviated, but all other distinguished titles such as “Doctor, Judge, Captain, Lieutenant, and Reverend” must be spelled out. Additionally, all other words such as “Street, Boulevard, Apartment, and Post Office Box” should not be abbreviated either. States may be written in full or use the two-letter postal code abbreviation may be used. Middle initials should never be used, so either write out the full middle name or omit it altogether.

The Inner Envelope
The inner envelope bears the formal title and last names of the specific guests being invited. This allows the host to be very transparent to who is invited, and by omission, who is not.

If children are invited, their names may be written on a line below their parents’ names on the inner envelope.

* Note – All adult children, whether living with parents or elsewhere, should receive their own invitations.

The Outer Envelope
The outer envelope is addressed conventionally using titles, first, (middle), and last names, and bears the address to where the invitation is going.


Examples of Addressing

Married Couple with Invited Children

Inner Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. Darling
Sarah Darling
Jonathan Darling

*Note – It’s also acceptable to write familiar names for close family member guests; i.e. Aunt Martha and Uncle Bill, Grandma and Grandpa, or Cousins Cindy and Bob

Outer Envelope
Mr. and Mrs. James Arthur Darling

1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266

*Note – There is no need to write the children’s names on the outer envelope, as they have been addressed on the inner envelope. However, if no inner envelope is used, invited children’s names should be written in full on the outer envelope below the names of their parents.

 

Unmarried Couple Living Together

Inner Envelope
Mr. Williams and Miss Samuelson

*Note – “Miss” is utilized for all unmarried women under the age of 40. Older unmarried women should be addressed as “Ms.”

Outer Envelope
Mr. Kevin Michael Williams and
Miss Sarah Jane Samuelson
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266

*Note – An invitation to an unmarried couple residing at the same address is addressed with both names connected by “and.” Use one or two lines, depending on length of the last names.

 

Single Person with Invited Guest

Inner Envelope
Mr. Williams and Guest

Outer Envelope
Mr. Kevin Michael Williams

1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266

*Note – There is no need to write “and Guest” on the outer envelope, as the guest has been addressed on the inner envelope. If you are only using one envelope, include a short note with your invitation: “Dear Kevin, You’re welcome to bring a guest to the wedding. Please let me know her name and address. Best, Laura.” If there’s time and Kevin supplies the information, you may send his guest an invitation, too.


Married Female Doctor
Woman uses her husband’s name socially

Inner Envelope
Doctor and Mr. Werner

Outer Envelope
Doctor Barbara and Mr. Robert  Werner
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266


Married Female Doctor
Woman uses her maiden name both professionally and socially

Inner Envelope
Doctor Hanson and Mr. Werner

Outer Envelope
Doctor Barbara Hanson and
Mr. Robert Werner
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266


Two Married Doctors

Inner Envelope
The Doctors Werner

Outer Envelope
Doctors Barbara and Robert Werner
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266

*Note – All women with doctoral degrees and distinguished titles should be written first on the invitation, even if their husbands are also doctors or have distinguished titles. This same rule applies for couples with other same distinguished titles, such as: Captains, Lieutenants, Judges, Reverends, etc.


Those with Other Distinguished Titles

Inner Envelope
Judge Kelly and Lieutenant Kelly, U.S. Navy

Outer Envelope
The Honorable Jane Elizabeth Kelly and
Lieutenant Jonathan Ronald Kelly, U.S. Navy
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266


Those Who Does Not Identify with a Specific Gender

Inner Envelope
Mx. Peterson

Outer Envelope
Mx. Alex Lewis Peterson
1234 Wedding Street
San Antonio, Texas 78266

 

Assembling Envelopes

  1. When two envelopes (inner and outer) are used, insert the invitation (folded edge first for a folded invitation, left edge for a single card invitation), so that you see the printed side of the invitation when the envelope flap is opened.
  2. When there are enclosures—reply card and envelope, map, printed directions, etc.—they are placed on top of the printed side of the invitation, with their printed sides up, in size order with the smallest on top. Again, when the flap is opened, the printed side should be visible. If the invitation is folded, insertions are stacked in size order—smallest on top—but within the fold. Tissues are optional. If used, they are placed on top of the invitation and below any enclosures. If the invitation is folded, they are inserted into the fold.
  3. The inner envelope is then placed unsealed in the outer envelope, so when the outer envelope flap is lifted, the name(s) of the guest(s) is visible.
  4. Before sealing the outer envelope, double- and triple-check that the names on the inner and outer envelopes match up.

Mailing

Before you buy stamps, take an assembled invitation to the post office and have it weighed. It’s likely that the inserts, or even an unusually shaped envelope, will call for extra postage. The post office usually has wedding-themed stamps that will cover the cost of most invitations with enclosures. Some post offices may be out of stock, however, so leave time to find them at another branch or to order them online.

Remember that maps and other inserts sent to out-of-town guests will make those invitations heavier than ones sent to local guests and may require a postage adjustment. In that case, be sure to assemble two sets and have both weighed.

Last but not least, ask your post office if it is possible to have your envelopes “hand-stamped”. This produces a different postmark, and is considered more attractive than if your invitations were run through an automatic sorter.

A Good Read 

 

More detailed information on invitation etiquette may be found in The Blue Book of Stationery by Crane and Co. We highly recommend this book for all of  your stationery etiquette needs.

 

 

Brooke + Jeffrey’s Wurst Wedding Ever at the Allen Farmhaus

Brooke and Jeff’s love story began at Wurstfest in New Braunfels, over German beer, sausage and sing alongs on the Comal River. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement, as from that day on they were inseparable.

Since the lovely couple reveled in the way that they met, they felt that it was only fitting to have a Wurstfest or German themed wedding. And, in their untraditional form and to Brooke’s mother’s dismay, they decided to call it the Wurst Wedding Ever!

Brooke and Jeff’s ideas overflowed from everything to themed designer invitations, beer coasters, pretzel bars, strudel, 12 different types of kegged beer, custom bottled beer (made by the couple), German cuisine, German post wedding attire, and the famed S-Bahn Band (headliner at Wurstfest) flown in all the way from Vancouver, Canada; complete with their alpine horn.

The seating design plan was in quintessential Wurstfest style, with a touch of farmhaus elegance. The bride spent two years collecting various brass decor, German steins, and intricate pieces of interest to add to the farm tables, resulting in a unique personal touch.

Style was not the only unique aspect of this wedding; the bride and groom’s amazing sense of humor had us laughing constantly during our two years of planning together. For the first look, the bride decided to play a joke on the groom. His reaction was priceless!

S-Bahn Band stole the show as guests literally danced the night away in New Braunfels that night. The chicken even reappeared out of nowhere for some breakdancing and cheers.

Brooke and Jeffrey’s send off was complete when they rode away in their Volkswagen bus.

Congratulations, Brooke and Jeff! Thank you for allowing us the honor of being your wedding planners and coordinators. We were overjoyed to be a part of your wedding day, and wish you a lifetime of laughter and joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridal Gown Alterations | Couture Alterations
Bridal Gown Designer | Morilee by Madeline Gardner
Bridal Gown Shop | Bridal Galleria of Texas
Bride’s Reception Attire | Rare Dirndl
Hair & Makeup
| Jax Studio Creative

Cake | 2 Tarts Bakery
Catering | Ruth Stone Catering
Ceremony Music & Liturgy | Marianna Underwood; Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
Cinematography | Juliane & Alex Wedding Cinematography
Church
| Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church 
Cocktail Hour & Reception Entertainment | S-Bahn Band – Vancouver, Canada
Decor | Cat Haus Rentals
Design | Brooke Conaway – Volaré Planning & Design
Reception MC | Lumen Events
Reception Venue | The Allen Farmhaus
Facepainting | Dawn Smith Facepainting

Florals | Foxlove & Grace Flowers
Photography | Daniel Prislovsky Phtography
Photo Booth & Newlywed Transportation | GYPC Wagen
Sound Tech | Diamond Entertainment – Austin
Tent, Stage, Linens, and Placesettings
 | Marquee Event Group – San Antonio

Vintage Glassware | Cru Rentals

Alicia + Peter’s Wedding at Incarnate Word and the Southwest School of Art

Alicia and Peter’s wedding day began at the lovely Hotel Contessa on the San Antonio Riverwalk. Alicia was delighted when her bridal bouquet of champagne Sahara roses and white ranunculus was delivered to her suite. It was just as stunning and romantic as she dreamed it would be.

Lovely Bouquet by DeVinnie’s Paradise Florist

After getting ready, the wedding party made their way to renowned Chapel of Incarnate Word in Alamo Heights for the couple to exchange their wedding vows. Alicia had been a student at the university, and had dreamed of this day since she was a student there.

Lovely Alicia Before the Ceremony

After the ceremony, it was all laughs and no more seriousness for this group! They were officially ready to party at the Southwest School of Art!

Navy and peach accents with Juliet garden roses, Sahara garden roses, bright lemon leaf, and succulents brought in a fresh from the garden look into Coates Chapel at the Southwest School of Art.

This adorable couple performed an entertaining first dance, and wore their dancing shoes all night as the new Mr. and Mrs.

The balloon sendoff was the perfect romantic ending to this amazing wedding. Congratulations Alicia and Peter! We did it, and you had the wedding day of your dreams. Thank you for trusting us and allowing us to be a part of your day.

Southwest School of Art
300 Augusta Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

210-200-8205

https://www.swschool.org/about/rentals

Bridal Gown Shop | Mayfair Bridal
Getting Ready Location | Hotel Contessa
Hair & Makeup | Madame Makeup & Hair
Cake | Cakes and More Bakery
Catering | Absolutely Delicious Catering
Ceremony Entertainment | Marie Ann De La Garza
Cinematography | Limelight Photography and Videography
Cocktail Hour Entertainment | Mariachi Nuevo Jalisco
Reception Entertainment | DJ Connection
Reception Venue | Southwest School of Art
Florals | DeVinnie’s Paradise Florist
Photography | José Charo and Dane Miller (Dos Kiwis Photography)
Rentals & Linens | Great Events
Transportation |
ETI Limousine and Charter

Kathleen + Nash at Hotel Emma and Ivy Hall

Kathleen and Nash selected the famed Hotel Emma as the hotel for their San Antonio destination wedding. The hotel’s rustic, yet chic ambience were the perfect marriage with their ceremony and reception venue; Southtown’s premier urban oasis, Ivy Hall.

Kathleen and Nash on the Ivy Hall Lawn

Hotel Emma’a ample suites provided plenty of space for the couple and their wedding party to prepare for their wedding day. Additionally, the hotel’s luxurious spaces and five star services not only fulfilled their needs, but allowed them to feel pampered, relaxed and ready for wedding photography and the best day of their lives. 

Nash’s Suit Details

First Look at Hotel Emma

The hotel’s lovely outdoor courtyard and grounds provided a natural, intimate space ideal for Kathleen’s and Nash’s first look. Then, it was off to Ivy Hall for the wedding ceremony and reception.

For the ceremony, tropical florals and foliage were the focal point, and perfectly paired with the wild, yet serene design of the venue itself.

A handmade wedding chuppah was constructed, so that Kathleen and Nash were able to bring forth Jewish wedding ceremony customs into their ceremony. 

Handmade Wedding Chuppah

The tropical ceremony design was carried over into the reception design as well, with a large garden tent fit for king and queen. The bright green vintage goblets accented with the lush gardens that surrounded the newlyweds and all of their guests for a reception and dinner to remember. 

Specialty drinks, glorious garnishes, elegant crystal glassware, and copper accents surrounded the bar’s theme. All of which were just as sweet as the wedding cake itself. 

Congratulations Kathleen and Nash! Your wedding was so unique and beautiful, and we are so grateful to have been a part of your big day. 

This lovely wedding was featured on Wedding Wire, and may be viewed here: Kathleen and Nash’s Wedding

Ivy Hall Events
1127 South Saint Mary’s Street

San Antonio, Texas
(210) 439-0030

Bar | Drinks by the Alderman
Bridal Gown Shop | Bella Bridal
Bridal Gown Designer | Hayley Paige
Getting Ready Location | Hotel Emma
Hair & Makeup | Roxy Sanchez
Cake | 2 Tarts Bakery – New Braunfels
Catering | The Box Street Social
Ceremony & Reception Venue | Ivy Hall Events
Ceremony Entertainment | Terra Vista Strings
Cocktail Hour Entertainment | Mariachi Azteca de America
Reception Entertainment | DJ Steven Moya
Florals | Blume Haus Events
Ph0tography | Vanessa Lain Photography
Rentals & Linens | Peerless Events & Tents
Valet | Central Texas Valet

Italy ~ Villa Mosconi Bertani

The secret is out! We love Italy and are expanding our services to plan destination weddings in the most fascinating country in the world. In the first post of our Italian wedding venues series, we visit the glorious Valpolicella in the Veneto region of Italy; located just east of Lake Garda in the province of Verona. Here the hilly vineyards of Corvina, Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara vines wind through the small villages of the Valipolicella, creating a picturesque landscape that one can only dream up in a romantic fairytale.

Villa Mosconi Bertani

Within the heart of the Valpolicella Classica rests the elegant, neoclassical Villa Mosconi Bertani: the birthplace of the Bertani family’s Amarone and Valpolicella wines and home to lush vineyards considered to be some of the finest in the Veneto region. Since its sixteenth century origin, this elegant estate has been known for its innovative production techniques, excellence of its walled vineyards, ample space given for grape drying, and the extensive cellars ideal for long-term aging.

Corvina Grape Drying Racks

Although the term “Amarone” was not coined until 1936,  the Bertani family had been producing the same wine since the early 1900s under the name of “Recioto Secco” and because of this, many wine enthusiasts consider Gaetano Bertani the father of Amarone.

Volare Planning & Design was fortunate enough to visit the beautiful Villa Mosconi Bertani and meet Mr. Gatano Bertani himself. We were graciously shown much of the family home, living quarters, the wine cellar, and of course participated in an informative and delicious wine tasting, which was followed by gracious gifts from the ledgendary winemaker.

The most stunning space on our tour was undoubtedly the Salone Delle Muse (Chamber of the Muses).

The Salone Delle Muse is Ideal for Wedding Receptions Hosting 100 Guests Seated

The Salone Delle Muse is magnificent space for wedding receptions of up to 100 guests seated and 150 standing. Standing three stories in height, the lavishly decorated room features 18th century frescoes of stunning trompe l’oeil, figures of the muses of art and science, and an allegory of time’s flight depicting the four seasons; a clear reference to the agricultural setting and purpose of the estate. In the center, sitting amongst colorful flowers is the goddess Flora. To her bottom left perches Aestas, or Summer, painted in warm, bright colors. On the opposite side, in clear contrast, in dark storm clouds, are Fall and Winter.

The Salone Delle Muse

If your wedding guest list exceeds the 100 mark, the lush lawn in front of the exquisite villa allows for memorable vistas for guests to experience on a beautiful day with the vines themselves. And after dinner, you may pay tribute  to one of the most famous wine cellars in the world.

Villa Mosconi Bertani Facade

Villa Mosconi Bertani provides the perfect combination of Italian neoclassical elegance, the rustic ambience of lush farmland, and an undeniable respect of legendary winemaking at its finest.

Villa Mosconi Bertani
Località Novare
37024 Arbizzano-Santa Maria
Verona , Italy