After a bit of a break, I've finally got the last part in the stationery etiquette series! I'm sharing tips and tricks on how to get your guest addresses perfect and how to avoid awkward situations with guests!
It's easiest to collect your addresses in Excel or Google Sheets. Of course there are many ways to do it, but I definitely recommend one of those two for keeping everything organized. It also makes it very easy to see what information you're missing from which guest!
I also recommend keeping pieces of information consistent as you gather the addresses. If a guest sends you their address as "123 Main St." and another guest sends you "222 Elm Avenue", make a decision on whether or not you'll abbreviate information, and correct accordingly. It looks cleaner and is easier to see if there are spelling errors!
When you collect addresses, consider the formality of your wedding. For example, if your wedding is more formal, you may want to format your addresses more formally (Avenue instead of "Ave.", Mr. and Mrs. John Smith instead of "John and Susie Smith", etc).
Not everyone will have both inner and outer envelopes, although it's thought to be more formal and proper. If you do have both inner and outer envelopes, the more formal names and the address will go on the outer envelope, while the inner envelope is more informal and does not have an address.
The inner envelope can also help clarify who exactly is invited. For example, if the outer envelope is addressed to "The Smith Family", the inner envelope should list the parents/head of family, and then on the next line, the names of the children: "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" / "Eliza, Benjamin". If you really don't want to do an inner envelope, you can list it on the outer, it may just look very cluttered. Children 18 and older should receive their own invitations unless they are still living at home with their parents.
If you only choose to do an outer envelope, you probably will want to consider being very clear and careful about which guests are invited to the wedding. An idea for doing this that doesn't involve more envelopes is to consider adding a line on your RSVP card about how many seats are being reserved per household. This isn't traditional etiquette but can help with clarifying the situation.
CHOOSING NOT TO INVITE CHILDREN
With the costs of weddings getting quite expensive these days, it is not in everyone's budget to invite children under a certain age, or at all. Parents may assume that their children are invited, so to be as clear as possible, only list the parents' names on the envelope if you are not inviting their children. Some guests might still think that their children are invited, so you may want to consider another method to ensure that you are clear without being rude (see above about the RSVP card coming in handy here).
INTERNATIONAL ADDRESS FORMATTING
Many people have guests coming in from out of town or overseas. If you are planning on sending mail to an international address, double check with your guests on how their address is supposed to be formatted. They will likely know best if they are the ones that live in that country! It should hopefully be more accurate than Googling it and hoping for the best. You'll want to ensure that your invitation makes its way to them too.
TRIPLE CHECK YOUR ADDRESSES
This is such an important one! You'll want to ensure all the mail gets to the right place, and while most people feel confident that they've double-checked the list of addresses, something always gets missed. So it doesn't hurt to triple check the list! I've had many clients come back to me saying that there were a few mistakes on their list after I finished doing their envelope calligraphy, and at that point they have to pay for re-dos, which isn't ideal. I recommend making life easier for yourself and your calligrapher by checking your list multiple times!
Did I miss any important aspects of guest addresses? Was this helpful to you?
If you're looking for tips specifically related to addressing with a calligrapher, see this post!